ABINGDON, Va. — After moving from the suburbs of Chicago more than 20 years ago, a Washington County fiber artist has written a book on her experiences in Southwest Virginia.

A weaver, spinner and knitter, Deborah Prescott will conduct a book signing at A Likely Yarn in Abingdon during National Spinning and Weaving Week, which begins Oct. 7 and ends Oct. 13.

Her locally published book, “The World Is All October: Reflections on Bad Weather, Good Work, Broken Connections, Nature as Mother, Farmers as Magicians and Real Magic (Among Other Things),” is a memoir in essays about her 23 years of experience living on a small farm in this area.

“I talk a lot in the book about the importance of working with our hands and how it can be a restorative thing,” said Prescott.

“I do that in my own life through spinning, knitting and weaving. But the main thrust of the book is the value of relationships with the land.”

Prescott said she and her husband were searching for a relationship with the land when they moved to the area.

“I never really felt I belonged anywhere until I moved here,” she said. “I always thought something was missing. Moving here was like coming home.”

The couple has spent several years raising farm animals — in particular, sheep, whose wool she uses for making sweaters, socks and scarves. The artist collects wild plants on the farm and uses them to make dyes, so she can color her own yarn for garments. She spins on a drop spindle and spinning wheel and weaves on a rigid heddle loom.

“Now that we’re getting older, we’ve cycled out of farming,” said Prescott, 69. “But I still enjoy the crafts.

“And the value of hand crafts is so important. They help us to slow down and to be open to what is real. If we have relationships with what is real, we find more satisfaction in life, and it leads us to putting less priority on things and more emphasis on relationships,” Prescott said.

“I think this is important in this era where we’re learning to downsize our lifestyles both personally and as a result of changes with nature, such as global warming.

“If we have a relationship with the natural world, that gives us the ability to cope with changes better.”

Prescott will conduct spinning demonstrations and sign her books at A Likely Yarn at 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 5; noon to 4 p.m. on Oct. 8; 3 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 10, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 12.

The book, published by Hoot Books Publishing, sells for $19.95.

A Likely Yarn, located at 213 Pecan St., offers classes in spinning, weaving, felting, crocheting and knitting.

Check out their website at www.alikelyyarn.com, or call 276-628-2143.

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Carolyn R. Wilson is a freelance writer in Glade Spring, Virginia. Contact her at news@washconws.com.

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