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Remembering Carol Strickler
June 17, 2007
Today I am preparing for the inkle weaving class I’ll be teaching at Midwest Weavers Conference in Omaha next week. I know spaces are still available, so if you’re a spur-of-the-moment type check it out for next weekend (June 22-24). In getting my materials ready, I uncovered a treasure-trove of inkle samples willed to me by Carol Strickler before her death in 1992. This, and the recent mention of Carol in the May/June 2007 issue of Handwoven regarding to her development of the Pourrey Cross Cataloging System for the Pourrey Cross Textile Library housed at Interweave Press, made me reflect on Carol and the generous weaving community we are a part of. Carol was my technical editor at Handwoven when I was editor (1985-1992). I always appreciated that Carol knew exactly what a weave structure was doing by just looking at the draft; she could see instantly when something was amiss. Carol could wrap her mind around instructions, keeping all the details intact to know if everything really added up in the end. Handwoven’s readers are fortunate to have had her behind-the-scenes contributions.
Because of Carol we have A Weaver’s Book of 8-Shaft Patterns. What most of the weaving world doesn’t know is that as she created her book, she was also fighting ovarian cancer, which she succumbed to shortly after her book was published. As managing editor of this project, I visited Carol ofttimes daily. Her strength and desire to leave this legacy were remarkable, and I felt privileged to be a part of this work. Also, I know that the book would never have been possible without hundreds of swatches submitted by Handwoven readers. In addition, many of Carol’s weaving friends and members of the Handweavers Guild of Boulder wove samples per Carol’s specific request to fill in any gaps in the material. Guild members also volunteered countless hours, because they wanted to come to Carol’s aid — from threading looms, to toting boxes, to helping Carol sift through scores of samples, to making meals, and even doing yard work. From this experience I learned how caring our Guild and the community of weavers could be. Seeing Carol’s inkle samples reminded me of her and how lucky I feel to be part of the community of weavers. The above, as it turns out, is a rather lengthy preamble to what I want to say, and that is what I think we all want and hope for: community (a place to be) and creativity (a desire to create with our hands). Weaving is this and more for me.
Above is a little treasure I found in Carol’s stash. It’s a tiny bag made out of a short piece of inkle band. The handle is another tiny woven strip. I think it’s a great idea for Christmas tree ornaments—never too early to start weaving for Christmas! Plus, it’s quick and fun to weave, too.