My love for all textiles and handcrafts came from my mother. She was originally from Finland, where she had her own loom and used to work as a seamstress, sewing clothing for the community around her. She taught me to knit and crochet at an early age. My love for looms also came from her. Some of my early memories include me sitting under her loom, gazing up at the wonderful coloured warp threads above my head and I remember thinking that someday I would also own a loom like this and make rugs for my floors.
My grandmother was a Saami from northern Norway and she earned her living by knitting, weaving and other textile crafts. She was the first person in her village to own an oil lamp. The light from her flickering oil lamp could be seen in the dark winter nights as she worked on her weaving projects, which she would sell in the summer months to the Norwegian Saami. I have a special interest in learning more about the textiles of Finland and Saami peoples.
By profession, I became a management accountant and raised our family in Vancouver, BC. About 20 years ago we left the urban sprawl of the big city and moved to the small town of Nelson, BC in the Kootenays of British Columbia. There I had the good fortune to meet Judith MacKenzie, who became my mentor and good friend. I took classes from her through the Kootenay School of the Arts, and learned the art of weaving, handspinning and dyeing beautiful yarns.
In 2003, we had the opportunity to move to London, England. Although we lived in a small flat, I still made room for a loom in the middle of my lounge and continued to weave. I am now living in Chichester UK, located on the south coast of England. And again have a studio room for my loom. I like to weave Finnish style rya tapestries and linen textiles: sauna towels, table runners, placemats, and smaller braid weaving projects using small Saami style looms.
About All Fiber Arts
Many years ago, I used to work as the Weaving and Spinning Guide for About.com. When a large number of Guides were let go from About.com, I moved my content onto my own server at AllFiberarts.
At All Fiber Arts, all links are hand-picked and I continue to update links and look for new patterns, yarns, books, resources and information for the textile artist. This is an ongoing task, but I think that it is important to remember how to make and do, especially in the current times of this digital world.
Recently I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I will be writing about my experiences as I take this journey. If you would like to follow along, please visit My Life with Cancer
Your patience is appreciated if I have some delays in keeping this website updated.
I used to provide private workshops from my home in the UK. I no longer do this but continue to write about the textile arts and produce how to videos via YouTube. I sell some of my hand spun yarns and handwoven items through my website Paivatar Yarns.