Book Review

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  This is How I Go When I Go Like This: Weaving and Spinning as Metaphor
by Linda Collier Ligon
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In 1975, Linda Ligon founded Interweave Press from her kitchen table. Today, the company encompasses seven magazines and more than 150 books in print. Many in the fiberarts community admire Ligon, and she is one of my personal mentors.

Enter the Essays
Besides a skilled businesswoman and publisher, Ligon is also a gifted writer. Over the years, she has published her thoughtful, highly personal writings in Handwoven Magazine.

This little book was produced by Ligon's staff without her knowledge and presented to her in a special ceremony honoring Handwoven Magazine's 25th anniversary.

It brings together 32 of her most memorable essays on life, liberty, and the pursuit of fiberly happiness, all of which were published previously in Handwoven Magazine.

Ligon is donating all royalties to the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts.

What's Inside
Ligon's essays cover such seemingly random topics as computers, flooded basements, and children's comics, each time artfully linking them to the fiber arts. Each essay is brief, normally two and a half pages long, and you could read the entire book in one sitting.

Among the myriad of topics she covers you'll also find a discussion of using "weaved" versus "wove" and "spinned" versus "spun," when to admit defeat with a yarn, the value of being a procrastinator (or "crastinator," as she suggests), and loving praise for opposable thumbs.

Ligon effortlessly maintains a dialog with readers, whom she knows so well, respecting their patience and intelligence. She never is a self-indulgent essayist.

For example, on the subject of the fiberarts, Ligon writes, "These pursuits are antidotes to haste, impatience, pressure, conformity. They remind us to respect the natural world and the materials it provides. They give us a sense of continuity with our past, and a sense of linkage with other cultures. They connect us with weavers and spinners from other times, other places. When you practice these crafts, you end up with so much more than a bunch of placemats or a jacket or a nice wall hanging. You end up with new reverberations in your life—how you look at things, what you value."

The Writing Itself
The book is a gift for those of us who may not have seen her essays the first time around.

Truth is, weaving and spinning are powerful metaphors, and Ligon does a beautiful job of finding the parallels between the fiberarts and other elements of our lives.

Even if you don't spin or weave, you'll enjoy this little book.

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