Healing with Weaving
I originally met Debbie Barrett-Jones when I was a student at the Kansas City Art Institute. She had graduated just before I had arrived in 2009, and she has been weaving nonstop since. Like me, she is very into working with Tencel™ yarn and hand-dyeing her colors. As a matter of fact, she came in and taught one of my classes how to dye yarn for weaving, so I credit her for being an influential part of my weaving journey.
For almost a decade, we really haven’t crossed paths, but I would look in on her work from time to time because it is beautiful and vibrant and inspiring. Last year we began to reconnect, when she began her first semester in grad school and started her Patreon membership, and I was beginning my own business.
Sometimes I feel like the universe lets you know when you’re on the right path. It felt that way when not two weeks after I decided what my new brand would become, and that I wanted to somehow support the hospital that had taken care of my sister (read The Story of Shiny Dime blog post for more of her story), that I found out that Debbie was starting the Healing with Weaving project.
As she describes it on her website, Debbie “will be launching her first Healing with Weaving Community Outreach Program’s pilot project at Children’s Mercy Hospital Adele Hall Campus in Kansas City, MO. The project will be providing 200 Healing with Weaving Frame Loom Kits with instructions to be used by patients, family members, and staff to explore the meditative and therapeutic benefits of weaving. Designed to make weaving accessible, these kits provide tools and a creative process that can help anyone experiencing anxiety, stress, grief, and loss.” The Adele Hall Campus is the home of the Emergency department for Children’s Mercy. The hospital is very enthusiastic for this project, and has asked for loom kits to begin arriving as soon as possible.
My sister spent many months in and out of the Cancer Center of Children’s Mercy hospital. My mother and I found knitting to be a way to deal with the constant hum of stress and endless waiting. I later found weaving, which I continue to come back to no matter where life has led me since. I’m still working through the emotions that I never learned to deal with after my sister’s passing. Weaving is often a healing practice for me. It is rhythmic, meditative, and productive; a practice that I find creates love and beauty.
I am grateful for the lovely doctors and staff that took care of my sister during her illness. It is an honor to be able to support this project. I wholeheartedly believe in the mission of this project, and in Debbie as well. She is a truly caring individual who is the right person to bring this project to fruition. This pilot project is just the beginning, as she plans to continue to make and donate loom kits to other facilities.
If you would like to know more about this project, or wish to make a donation, please visit healingwithweaving.com.
I've designed a new gradient yarn kit to celebrate the launch of my new brand. 10% of the proceeds will be donated to this project. I can't envision a better way to celebrate the Shiny Dime story!