Saturday, May 14, 2011

Weaver is uncommon thread in synthetic world

Linda Adamson’s Arcadia store is as colorful as a painter’s palette.

Neat rows of large spools, tightly wrapped in fibers of nearly every conceivable hue, line the shelves of her Tabby Tree Weaver. If you ask how many kinds of fiber her shop carries, Adamson’s eyes twinkle and she grins broadly, simply saying, “lots.”

She becomes almost lyrical rattling off a long list of the kinds of fibers she sells, including ones made from corn, soybeans, bamboo and tencel, which is made from wood pulp, then processed so it’s like rayon. Some of the wool she sells comes from Louie, a sheep she boards in nearby Sheridan.

“What you won’t see here is synthetic,” she adds. “I’m a natural fibers person.”

“Natural” is an apt description for Adamson, as well. She’s easy going and in her element at the shop. As she demonstrates weaving or spinning, her hands move with the artistry of a harpist, her fingers gently plucking and placing each strand.

But the most charming part of visiting the shop is getting to talk with her.

Whether it’s a long conversation or a quick chat – although I’m not sure she ever offers anyone less than 15 minutes of her time – Adamson is engaging as she talks about weaving and dying yarn. She’s passionate about her art and her adopted hometown.

A nurse by education and a former ophthalmologic technician by practice, Adamson learned to weave because she was sewing her own clothes and “I didn’t want to look like everyone else,” she said, so she decided to make her own fabric.

It’s an ongoing education.

“However you’re using fiber – weaving, knitting, etc. – you can never learn all of it so you’re forever going to stay young with it,” she smiled and philosophized.

She loves teaching her art and her life’s goal is “to leave as many new weavers behind me as I possibly can.”

Spend a few minutes with her in Tabby Tree Weaver, and you just might be the next one in the growing line of weavers behind Linda Adamson.

This post includes excerpts from “Handmade Businesses, Homemade Success,” a story originally published in the April-May edition of Hamilton County Business magazine.

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