Linda Ligon’s Yarns at Interweave Yarn Fest 2019

Whether or not you’re signed up for classes at Interweave Yarn Fest (and it’s not too late!), learning is only one part of what makes Yarn Fest great. We’re just getting started on the other two: the awesome vendor market and the community events. We’re counting down to all of it—and it’s not too late to join in.

This year’s keynote speakers, Linda Ligon and Joe Coca, are well known behind the scenes at Interweave, but readers may not have heard of them.

Linda Ligon, Editor and Instigator


Linda founded Interweave in 1975, beginning with just one magazine and eventually branching out into books, magazines, videos, events, and just about anything else she thought might be fun to try. She created a space where crafters can come and learn from each other, a true community.

After selling Interweave in 2005, Linda didn’t retire. Still serving as creative director, she decided to take on a side project: a book about weavers in the Andes. Weaving in the Peruvian Highands by Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez was released in 2007. In the years since, Linda has shifted her work to publishing 19 more books and counting under Thrums Books. (“Thrums” are the lengths of warp yarn left on the loom after weaving.) Hear Linda talk about some of her adventures in the first episode of Interweave’s new podcast, Fiber Nation.

Linda on one of her many adventures, wearing a huipil (blouse) she discovered in Mexico.

As I write this, 2 weeks before we begin Yarn Fest classes on March 27, 2019, Linda is working on a book in China along with former Interweave staffer Karen Brock and Linda’s longtime photography collaborator, Joe Coca, about the ethnic Dong and Miao textile traditions of Guizhou Province, China.

Joe Coca, the Man Behind the Lens


Joe Coca has photographed most all of the Thrums titles worldwide, from Women Artisans of Morocco (affiliate links) to Silk Weavers of Hill Tribe Laos: Textiles, Tradition, and Well-Being to Spider Woman’s Children: Navajo Weavers Today. Thrums Books are recognized for their evocative photography, which takes the reader inside the studios and homes of artisans and their families around the world.

Before he became the primary photographer for Thrums Books, though, Joe was the primary photographer for decades of Interweave books and magazines. Along the way, he became so adept at capturing our crafts that he knows without asking how to capture the shine of silk and the softness of wool while avoiding glare on silver jewelry. Readers came to recognize and appreciate Joe’s work so much that Complex Weavers invited him to give a presentation on photographing textiles.

When we asked Linda which of the dozens of books and countries she and Joe would be speaking about at the Keynote Dinner on Friday, March 29, Linda replied, “I don’t know; Joe’s making a slide show and we’ll talk about it.” So will we travel to Guatemala or China? Mexico or the American Southwest? Maybe we’ll go back in time. No matter what, these two know how to travel.

Join us for a delightful evening with your fellow yarn-lovers, and pick up one of Thrums Books titles in Interweave booth in the Marketplace.

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