I learned to weave in college in the late 60's. I was taking a general art course and couldn't get into the ethnic weaving class which taught how to use backstrap looms, etc. So I signed up for the weaving class taught by the Home Ec. Department. One touch of those big floor looms and I was hooked.
When I moved to Waldron Island in 1972 I brought with me a handmade loom made by a friend. I wove presents for friends and various household items for years, but it wasn't until I married Joel Thorson in 1984 and moved to what is now Thousand Flower Farm on the island that I started production weaving.
Steve Bensel of Waldron gave us three bummer lambs, lambs whose mothers wouldn't take care of them. In this case all three were triplets from mothers who couldn't count above two -"Whose lamb is that? Not mine!! "Joel wanted to learn to spin, to use our wool and to find a way to sell it that would bring in a reasonable income. So I dragged the loom out of storage where it had been put to make room for children and started making rugs from his handspun wool using a cotton warp material. They were an immediate success and we were off on the Waldron Woolens part of the farm.
I took up knitting because you can't carry a loom around with you and I like to have something to do on the ferry, in the evenings, and when traveling. Thus I began to create my line of felted and knitted hats.