Gene’s Potholder Story

While Piglet has been weaving tabby potholders for decades, it was just over three years ago that she stumbled on the potential for more complex weaves, and drew me into the project of creating this collection of charts. Since then we’ve spent hundreds of hours weaving, and hundreds of hours making charts — a wonderful crafting collaboration.

Our decision to post these charts online for free was a natural outgrowth of our professional backgrounds in the open-source software world, and our immersion in various online enthusiast circles of open cultural production: our dream was that they would help other people on their own creative journeys.

Since then, word of our charts has spread by word of mouth within this little niche, and it’s been lovely knowing that a few thousand people come to every month to download patterns. However, there’s no way for us to know who actually ends up using those charts, and it’s hard to have a clear sense of how much influence our work has had.

So it was very touching when a couple of our friends told us about an article they’d found in the Spring 2024 issue of Handwoven Magazine, in which Lucy Morris writes about her husband Gene, whose dementia makes speaking difficult, and whose one expressive outlet is that he weaves hundreds and hundreds of potholders and gives them away.

The article shows him happily surrounded by stacks of his work — and every one of them seems to have been woven from our charts! 

It’s heart-warming to know that this thing we created is making a difference in the life of someone we’ve never met. Our thanks go out to Lucy for sharing this story, and to Gene for bringing so many of our charts to life.

5 thoughts on “Gene’s Potholder Story”

  1. This is beyond sweet and a real tribute to both of you! I know that I LOVE your free charts and appreciate the time and trouble you’ve gone to so others can enjoy them!
    Thanks soooooo much!!

  2. I received my issue yesterday. Read the article this morning. Looked you up just now. Am going to dig for my potholder loom. Thanks to both of you, Lucy, and Gene!

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