I spent my sophomore year in college as an exchange student in Sweden. I learned a lot of things, like Swedish, and how to folk dance, and what marzipan is. Most of these things I've forgotten, like Swedish, or never tried again, like folk dancing, or didn't really care for anyway, like marzipan. One of the things that DID stick with me though was knitting and an undying love of fiber.
This was back in the 80s. Remember the 80s? In the States, nobody knit. At least, not college kids. But in Sweden, everybody knit. Even the men knit. So, the Swedish college students taught the American college students how to knit. It was a little like the folk dancing. We thought it was quaint. I made one complete sweater while there. As I recall, I wasn't crazy about the sweater so I gave it to a friend.
Little did I know, that unlike the folk-dancing, the knitting would stick with me forever. I loved being able to knit. Once back home I knit and knit and knit. By the time I finished college I'd made sweaters for everybody I knew. And I'd discovered yarn stores. Oh, be still my heart.
By the time I got to graduate school I was ready to branch out. I tried a few other crafts. I learned to throw (pottery). I spent hours and hours in the studio instead of the lab. My studies suffered, not surprisingly. By the time I hit upon the idea of weaving, I'd already dropped out of school, tried out two other career paths and somewhat reluctantly gone back to where I'd left off in school. My mother heard my weaving ideas with her usual tolerance, then suggested I get my life in order and my career secured before I tried to learn. I agreed to try.
That was 1991. If I'd realized how long it would take to get my life in order I never would have agreed.
Can you see me now Mom?