Mary Skoy, 2020 Spun Gold Winner, Weaver, and Knitter

Mary Skoy is using this time of social distancing to try new things. “My knitting group and I are using Zoom to stay in touch,” she says, “we knit together, talk, and share what we are making. It’s pretty fun and completely new for us, so it keeps us disciplined when we share our work.

“It’s really changed the way I communicate with people,” Mary adds, “I had a Zoom meeting with a friend I haven’t seen in forever. We traveled together in Norway, and I asked to have a show and tell so we can see what each other is doing.”

These days, Mary is finding more time for her creative work. “I’m usually so over-scheduled,” Mary says. “I’m doing more knitting and weaving now that I would normally have done. I’m just finishing some waffle-weaved kitchen towels. All I need to do now is to weave them off.”

Mary’s says her Scandinavian heritage informs her work. “I’m naturally predisposed to that whole Scandinavian vibe,” she says, “Squares within squares, areas with no pattern. I see the designs as simple and elegant. That Scandinavian simplicity really brings inspiration to me.”

One such inspired piece is a pair of Scandinavian mittens Mary displayed for the 2020 Spun Gold Awards. “I took a class in Bergen, Norway, and there’s something very fun about working with an expert and with other learners. By the end we probably had half an inch done,” Mary laughs, “but the fact that I could make those tiny little fibers work for was really satisfying. Working with those colors and techniques really motivated me.

“My next project is for the Scandinavian Weaver’s Group,” Mary adds. “We are making things to commemorate The Baldishol Tapestry at The Norway House in June. This weave structure is something I’ve never done before — it’s completely new. The piece will be a jacket based on the garment worn by one of the major figures in the tapestry.”

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