Who is this Janet person, anyway?
Well, mostly I'm a fibre junkie, and have been since my dear old granny introduced me to knitting at the tender age of eight or nine. Like all junkies, I'm a terrible influence on those around me and am bringing as many of my friends to fibrous wrack and ruin as possible. Mostly they don't seem to mind.
Specifically, I'm a weaver, a spinner, a knitter, and an occasional dyer. I've dabbled a very tiny bit in felting, rug hooking, and like both those things. I've also tried my hand at sewing and quilting but seem to get along better yarn and string before it gets turned into fabric.
I do have some street cred beyond just loving yarn, though. Here are a few of the things I've done and am working on now:
I'm a member of the Sydney Weavers' Guild, The Unspun Heroes, the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design, the Atlantic Spinners and Handweavers (ASH), the Guild of Canadian Weavers (GCW), Complex Weavers, and occasionally the Handweavers' Guild of America. I've been president, vice president and secretary of the SWG at various times over the past 16 years and was the HGA Rep to the Atlantic Provinces for four years a while back, too. I'm not any of those things currently, but I am the guild's go-to girl for technical stuff like websites and computer drafting.
I teach handweaving and a little bit of spinning. I taught the floor loom classes at the Centre for Craft and Design for nine years, from 2000 to 2009. Since then I've taught rigid heddle classes privately, and a series of annual week long courses at the Willingham Weavery on Vashon Island, in Washington State. My goal is to teach floor loom classes here as well if I can just find (and afford) a studio space large enough. I've been playing the lottery like mad but no luck so far. In the meantime, I teach rigid heddle classes and take individual students. I also farm myself out to work with weavers in their own spaces, whether it's to offer instruction, assistance with dressing the loom, equipment troubleshooting or whatever else they need.
I've got two fibre related businesses: The Weaver's Palette and The Bobbin Tree. The first is my handweaving business, which I started in 2005 and under which banner I weave items that I sell at craft markets and through local retailers like Arts North on the Cabot Trail and the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design in Sydney. The Bobbin Tree is my new baby, and a natural extension of my rapid descent into fibre addiction: it's a weaving, spinning, felting and other fibre pursuits studio and supply with en suite classes (though classes are limited by space issues, see above). I am pleased as punch to be able to say that I am Cape Breton's one and only (and possibly even first?) loom and wheel dealer, and I do love those product lines, but truth be told it's the yarn and the spinning fibre that I still go bonkers over. Before The Bobbin Tree, I was a member of Mixed Media Artisans and helped run our retail craft gallery on the Sydney waterfront for five years. I was recently interviewed for the Cape Breton Partnership NextGen series on young entrepreneurs.
I've also got two fibre related blogs, which are woefully neglected these days 'cause I'm just so busy with the Bobbin Tree. The first, High Fibre Diet, is about all things fibre that I get myself into and up to. The second, Scarfaday is intermittent log of my scarf weaving binges. I've had a couple of real articles published over the years as well: one in the OHS Bulletin back in '97, one in Handwoven Magazine in Nov/Dec 2007 and another in Handwoven Nov/Dec 2009.
I'm also a bit of a techie, though not a super techno-geek like my husband, bless 'im. When I'm not working like mad (and sometimes when I should be) you can find me on Facebook and on Twitter.
So there you have it! Me in a nutshell. If you want to get in touch with me, drop me a line!