For the last several years I've gone to the Nice Threads Facebook page to communicate with the outside world rather than here in the blog. But FB is great for quick takes and great photos, not much for personal messages. Since November 2019, I have been on hiatus from public shows, workshops and openings, as much of the world has done, from necessity to stay alive. Nearly two years have passed and a lot has changed for everyone. That phrase "outside world" has a more poignant meaning too as we enter the second wave of the pandemic. This is the first time I've tossed a message in a bottle out into that sea.
During that two years, I lost my basement studio to climate change and the development of my Black Mountain neighborhood. In 2016 it had started to flood frequently, due to much heavier rainfall, construction next door and the removal of about 20 huge hemlock trees across the street that protected my house downhill from the elements. Inevitably, with the increased heat, mold began to take over and now it needs remediation before I could re-use it. Just in time for lumber and all construction materials to skyrocket in cost. For that and other reasons, I'm selling my house as soon as I can make it habitable.
I have been staying with a friend in Hickory and I was glad to be in a two-person, three-kitty pod during lockdown and not by myself. What was a temporary move has become permanent, and I've moved the very basics of my fiber studio into the dining room of my rented suite of rooms. I can still spin, weave, knit and crochet, and even some small batch dyeing here, but large scale felting, as I have done for the last 20 years, is now out. And frankly, my back was starting to feel it too. I hate to leave Black Mountain and the Asheville fiber community but big change was in the cards.
The market for craft has changed along with the rest of my life, and that has been happening for awhile too. High end art to wear has become a difficult sell in a world where no one goes out anymore. I've been concentrating on less pricey crocheted pieces which are easy to fit into my small space, and I've started sewing again too. I had to - pandemic baking rendered my summer shorts drawer into the "not until I'm skinnier" drawer. Churning out more capacious shorts reminded me of my first fiber business, River Daughters, selling tie-dyed clothing, that I designed, sewed and dyed, at music and other outdoor festivals. I still have inventory and even signed up for a festival this fall in Florida. Which I probably won't go to after all, if the COVID crisis down there doesn't taper off. I am putting up some of my River Daughters pieces on the website, just in case. Check them out if you like.
So we learn and adapt and try again. Life changes a lot in two years. It will change again in the next two years. We have to get used to it. But the practice of the fiber arts will always be reassuring, familiar part of life for me. And I hope, for you too.
Stay safe friends.