Lois Jones weaving with her family

Lois Jones weaves paper yarns on a loom with assistance from her daughter and granddaughter.

Spin a Yarn, Weave a Life began in 2011 as a collaboration between artists Cheyenne McCarter and Catherine Tutter. Catherine’s training in an ancient Japanese fiber art process, shifu, was joined with Cheyenne’s experience as a clinical social worker. Their partnership resulted in an award-winning, innovative project that transformed the life stories of five elders into fabric. After successful completion of the pilot and the positive attention it received, they expanded their engagement to include a range of individuals and communities.

Spin a Yarn, Weave a Life offers a unique experience for life stories to be shared and transformed. In the caring presence of skilled listeners, this experience begins with the recollection and sharing of memories and their transmission onto special paper. With guided support, the participant learns how to spin the paper into yarn and weave it into fabric.

Making woven cloth in this manner opens the participant to the pleasures of engagement, productivity and mastery, as well as unexpected bumps and wrinkles that can mirror many of life’s challenges. With warmth and respect, the creators of Spin a Yarn, Weave a Life shape the ideal collaborative environment for individuals to access rich dimensions of their lives.