Deb jumped into Fiber College on Day One…she’s a familiar face to anyone on the Maine fiber scene and we’re so glad that she continues to vend and teach here each fall. Got a question on spinning, weaving, dyeing, felting or ___, ask Deb and you’ll be moving forward in no time. You can find her teaching Fiber Preparation Techniques on Saturday from 11:30-1:30
In her own words, she shares:
1. The unauthorized biography of your life is titled: My Life as a Fiber Floozie…
2. Do you live with any animals? I have 2 Cornish Rex cats. One is a red tabby, Gwynneth, and her sister, Ceilidh, is a tortoise shell. They are 14 and 12 years old and love to be brushed. I have been collecting their hair for many years and will spin it at some point to be used in a very special project.
3. What are you currently reading? The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stig Larson
4. What is the most surprising response to your art you have ever received? I’ve been told numerous times that my handspun yarns look like they’re machine made because they are so uniform. I patiently explain that it’s because of many years of practice and my perfectionist tendencies!
5. What do you listen to while you create? I’m a closet hippie having come of age in that era. I listen to classic rock and roll and sing and hum along with the music
7. What do you know that you don’t know? I know that even though I’ve been weaving, spinning, knitting, felting, and dyeing for many years (and teaching these crafts to others) that I learn new things every day. There isn’t one way to do anything. If you find something that works or works better for you and accomplishes your goal, then that’s the way to do it despite what anyone else might say or think.
8. How does, or should, the word “passion” relate to an artist? The fiber arts used to be a hobby for me. It was something I did when I came home from my “real” job as a nurse-midwife to decompress, relax, and do something for me. After many years, I realized that weaving, spinning, knitting, felting, and dyeing, was really where my passions lay and I decided it was time to step up to the plate and work at that full time. That was the “birth” of Purple Fleece.
9. A lot of artists want to be famous, and some just want to make a living doing what they love. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? I am the luckiest person in the world. I love what I do and I get to do it everyday. I have my own shop, my own studio, I teach others to do what I love, and I get to sell my work in the shop and at fairs. If I’m still doing this in 5 years, what could be better?
10. When it’s time to “tap” your creativity…where do you go to get the juices flowing? I keep a pad of notepaper and a pen near me at all times. Inspiration comes at odd moments and I like to capture the idea when it occurs. Sometimes it’s a new colorway of yarn, sometimes a new weaving pattern, and sometimes an idea for a new knitting pattern.
11. How many projects do you generally have going at one time? I like to “flit” from one project to another. I always have at least one weaving project, one spinning project, and one knitting project going at all times. When I finish a project in any fiber discipline, it’s time to start another. In addition, I have a regular dyeing day every other week to try and keep up with the demands for my Hand Painted yarns.
Are you a Raveler? What is your screen name? I’m “PurpleFleece” on Ravelry and have a group there also as “Purple Fleece”. I’m a yarnie selling my Hand Painted yarns and a designer selling my knitting patterns.
Do you Facebook? Yes, I’m on Facebook too with both a Fan Page and a Group for Purple Fleece! I think it’s very important to network socially and I’ve met a lot of new friends and customers and students that way. In addition I have a website: http://www.PurpleFleece.com and a blog: http://PurpleFleece.blogspot.com where I post the occasional ramblings about what it’s like to be a fiber artist and yarn store owner.