On Babies, Weaving, and Tom Knisely
Babies change everything. This is what I was told frequently while I was pregnant, and today it’s a mantra I repeat as I try to balance the aspects of my old life with my new reality. For example, I still want to learn and grow as a weaver, but right now going out to a class or even a guild meeting just isn’t in the books.
At one point in the past couple years I was seriously thinking about taking a trip up north to Taos take some rug weaving classes, but now the idea of either driving that far with a baby in the car or spending a long weekend away from baby H doesn’t sound all that appealing. I’d much rather spend my limited free time with my boy and weave (and read, cook, sew, etc.) during his naps or playtime with Dada. So what’s a girl to do?
Well, for starters I’m grateful for my weaving workshop video collection. These workshops are absolutely perfect for people like me: those who want to keep learning, but don’t have the time or means to go out to classes. It’s so easy to watch these videos when I have the time and to pause when the baby needs me. If I am low on sleep (a frequent occurrence as babies apparently don’t sleep terribly well) then I can rewind and rewatch as much as I need to. If I’m nap trapped on the nursery rocking chair I can watch the digital video on my tablet. It’s perfect!
I also love that I can learn from some of the best weaving teachers out there: Madelyn van der Hoogt, Rosalie Neilson, Laura Fry, and, of course, Tom Knisely. Now if you’ve never heard of Tom there are only two things to know: (1) Tom is a truly astounding weaver and teacher and (2) he is quite possibly the nicest person on the planet—I have more than once described him as “if a hug were a person.” That combination is perfect for a new mom or dad wanting to expand their weaving knowledge.
I don’t know how much you might know about babies, but they can also be stressful. They sometimes throw fits at inopportune moments, especially when you are out in public. Every new advance in their brains is preceded by at least a week of fussiness as their brains are literally learning how to comprehend things like color, time, and object permanence. In other words, after a long day of baby wrangling, it can be so nice to relax with my weaving notebook and hear the calming voice of Tom Knisely.
So for the time being, I’m getting the hang of this whole motherhood thing and enjoying my baby actually being a baby. Then, in those quiet free moments after the baby is in bed and before I go to bed myself, I plan on spending at least ten minutes a night with Tom Knisely as he teaches me to weave rugs or take better care of my looms. And as I drift off to sleep I will plan new projects to weave in the weeks and months to come.
Babies really do change everything: for the better.
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