"Judith lives in British Columbia, she is an accomplished weaver, spinner, dyer, and general fiber person, specializes in Oriental rugs, works as a conservation scientist for a BC museum. She's also an excellent and active moutaineer, which makes me think she's perfect :-). The workshop in question was one in which we covered all the different methods of spinning and plying fibers... all the way to chicken feathers, and why one might choose one technique or another. We also got a fine course in wheel maintenance as Judith, who has strong mechanical skills, adjusted each one in the class to give her best, tips on avoiding repetitive stress injuries, design ideas etc... Altogether a most satisfactory, educational time :-)."
Judith had just published an article in the Bible of Spinners, Spin Off, about my favorite fiber. I tracked her down at a recent spinners' conference and she obligingly looked at my box of newly de-haired cashmere and flattered me with, "how can I get you to sell me this?" We had a long talk about my goal of starting a fad for American cashmere. Although she has no email, she is well aware of its details and demands.
Many of the leading lights in the field are involved in email lists and some have their own web sites. One interesting site is Spindlitis, which is about spinning with small spindles instead of spinning wheels, an activity that one can do under almost any circumstances. Teri Pittman who is behind it collects and uses these beautiful tools and spoke with me at the aforementioned gathering about spinning and the use of UNIX on the Web!
Although there is an ongoing effort to create a "cashmere industry" in the U.S. the gap between the thousands of cashmere-producing goats here and the tens of millions in China makes this a fairly vain prospect. Those of us who are in to "improving the breed" find fiber production to be more sink than source - at least in bean counter terms. Diana Hacheberger whose Three Bags Full in Montana supplies goats, fiber, processing, spinning and knitting typifies the American cashmere enthusiast.
In my decades of working at the Smith-Kettlewell Institute I have been privileged to travel to meetings dealing with issues relating to improving access to the World Wide Web, most notably the Web Access Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). In my lifelong search for excellence I occasionally encounter competence, sometimes excellence, but rarely genius - the people I've met who work for the Consortium represent one of the largest pools of excellence in my experience.
Although I am comparatively naive in the technical details of programming and tend to dwell rather heavily on issues springing from my anger with the slow pace of progress in making the planet accessible, they all treat me with respect and seem genuinely interested in what I have to say. At our first encounter I was given a copy of "Cascading Style Sheets - Designing for the Web" by its authors Håkon Lie and Bert Bos. It is now autographed by almost all the Consortium members - which makes me if not the only, at least the oldest "W3C groupie".
The other main creators of HTML 4.0 and CSS2 - two Consortium efforts that promise to strongly further the goal of "everything, everyone connected" - Dave Raggett and Chris Lilley have listened carefully to my expositions concerning accessibility as a human right rather than a bestowed privilege. It has also been very pleasant to work with Judy Brewer and Daniel Dardailler in various WAI Working Groups. Chris typifies their major characteristics: an awareness of just about anything; and an almost devotional attentive listening. Now if they would only learn to spin!