Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Guild Newsletter, September 2014

          President’s Column                           

Hello Fiber Friends!

My husband and I like to take the dogs to Pepper Place on a Saturday morning. The vegetables,  and the people are so varied that it is always a fun experience. Several weeks ago I encountered a woman selling sheep cheese! Well, you know my eyes lit up and we started chatting. I was curious as to what kind of sheep she had. Well, come to find out she had a breed I had not encountered yet....Gulf Coast Native Sheep. We made arrangements for her to bring a fleece the next week! It is a beautiful, soft fiber and reminds me of merino wool! I know I've been in a de-stash mode but fleece is ALWAYS hard for me to resist! She also brought an East Friesian sheep fleece...never heard of it either! I plan on taking these to Spinning Study to spread the joy!


Please always share your love of fiber with anyone who will listen....and be sure to invite them to a Guild meeting! You never know who may have always wanted to learn but never know where to go or how to start...and you could be the catalyst! Maybe you could bring a friend to the Fiber Frenzy in September! And don't forget to let Debbie know you are coming....the Guild is providing lunch that day!

See you at the meeting!



September Meeting -
Fiber Frenzy!!!

Saturday, September13, 10:00 - 4 pm
  St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church
2061 Patton Chapel Rd
Birmingham, AL  (205) 822-4480



YES ... the GREATER BIRMINGHAM FIBER GUILD is hosting a workshop on Saturday, September 13, at St. Peter’s Catholic Church – Hoover, Alabama. Address:  2061 Patton Chapel Road.  (A map can be found on Google.)

Time: 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.  The workshop will be in Room C, directly across from our regular meeting room.  If you are new, this is to the left of the sanctuary, a separate door
entrance to the building.

FREE Catered lunch for all those who have registered.

REGISTRATION DEADLINE is WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3.  Please let us know if you have NOT already registered.  NO sign-ups after that date, as we will need to get a count for lunch.

If you aren’t a member of the guild yet, you can join for $25.00 but you will need to sign-up for the event by September 3. Membership is paid to Nancy Lavender, our Treasurer.  

You may contact:  Debbie Scott, GBFG Workshop Chair - debgbfg@gmail.com by Wed., Sept 3.  This event is for MEMBERS only.


The workshop will begin at 10:00 a.m.  We will have a separate areas set up for:

  • Hand-spinning (bring your wheels)

  •  Hand-spindles (bring your hand-spindle)

    • We encourage those who also want to learn to spin come and try both of these out. 

  •  Drum-carding – you may bring clean and washed fiber to card.  We will have some fiber on hand.

  •  Weaving – Small looms

  •  Knitting demo and questions

12:00 NOON we will break for Lunch.  The guild will provide coffee, tea, water and a catered lunch.   

DOOR PRIZES – YES! We are asking everyone to respectfully wait to handle sales/giveaways until AFTER lunch.  Thank you.

For Sale items – Bring only Fiber related items.  All items need to be labeled with your name and price.
 Each person is responsible for handling his or her sale of the item.  The guild will not have change or be responsible for these sales.

Give-away – Fiber related items that might find a new home.  Items for these can include books, fiber, yarn, tools.
This is your chance to take home some BARGAINS!

We ask that items such as books or fiber be in bags or boxes labeled with name and price.  If donating, we still need for you to bring items bagged or boxed.  It makes it easier!

After lunch, we encourage members to continue to spin, card, weave, or knit.  Ask questions, we are here to help and have fiber fun, too!  SEE YOU SOON!

Debbie Scott/GBFG Workshop Chair



We need YOU  to return your Workshop Questionnaire, if you haven't done so already. Your input is so important for the Guild's board to plan for workshops in the upcoming year. So, please bring it to the next meeting or put it in the mail to:

Greater Birmingham Fiber Guild
P.O. Box 660723
Birmingham, AL 35266-0723


Interesting Fiber Items to Read and Check Out...

From Pat Donald...

This form of weaving was developed in Japan and practiced in secret by the noblewomen of the Saga clan in the 18th century.  These women wove hair ornaments using colored Japanese rice paper for warp and the waxed paper similar to that used for umbrellas in the weft.  It uses a bamboo shuttle and pickup stick from the weaver’s garden. Since it was regarded as a spiritual practice and known to only a few, it was never developed commercially.   There is some commercial development now but it is considered secondary to the art form and spiritual practice.  In more recent times the paper warp is from the bush, kozo or mitsumata. Gold or silver leaf is affixed to the paper with a native glue or lacquer juice from poison sumac tree. Once dried, the paper is cut into fine strips. Three-ply reeled silk is used for the weft. The traditional patterns are point twill while more contemporary patterns include floral motifs. According to articles  (Handwoven 1991 J/F p43-45 and SS&D 1984 59:50-52) presentations about this art form were made at Convergence in 1984 and 1990 and some classes have been taught in the U.S.. I purchased my earrings at Complex Weavers Seminars 2014.

From Karen Ford...

To find out more about East Friesian Dairy Sheep, check out this website -

And what about Gulf Coast Sheep?!? -

From Janice Weinstein...
Knitting on PaperLaylock Knitwear Design
Here is a link to knitting graph paper that really looks like knit stitches!



Which one are you?

"A man who uses his hands is a laborer
One who uses his hands and his mind is a craftsman
He who uses his hands, his mind and his heart is an artist"
                                      - Louis Nizer

    (thank you Janice for sharing this!)                     

Georgia Alpaca FiberFest
Columbus, GA Convention & Trade Center
Classes, Shopping and a Fiber Fashion Show September 12–14

Fall into fiber this September as the Georgia FiberFest comes to its new venue at the Columbus Convention & Trade Center with classes, shopping and special events. This year’s event will be held Friday, September 12 through Sunday, September 14.

Now in its third year, the Georgia Alpaca FiberFest’s mission is to introduce fiber lovers to the wonders of alpaca and other natural fibers with a weekend of classes, demonstrations and a vendor market. Alpaca is a truly sustainable fiber offering something for every fiber lover.

Choose from 50 different classes in the areas of knitting, crocheting, felting, dyeing, carding, spinning, and weaving. Registration for classes is open now. Visitors can also shop the free vendor market area for all things fiber- and gift-related, such as coffee, tea, purses, jewelry, handcrafted soap, and ready-made garments and accessories, etc., to get a start on holiday shopping and enjoy free demonstrations.

The Festival hours are Friday, 2:00-6:00 p.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m., and Sunday 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. The market vendor area is free to the public.

Highlights during this fiber-filled weekend include:

Friday, September 12 at 7:00 p.m. -   Alpaca Fiber Fashion Show

Come see what luscious fibers can do! The FiberFest is bringing its own version of Fashion Week to Columbus! See our vendors’ and teachers' runway fashions made from alpaca fleece and other wonderful natural fibers. See some eco-friendly ways to use materials that otherwise would have been discarded. The Fashion Show is free to the public.

Saturday, September 13 at 7:00 p.m.  - Guest Speaker Matt Tommey and Dinner
Matt Tommey, a native of Columbus, is a widely acclaimed speaker, author, creator of sculptural art baskets and encourager to creative people of every artistic medium. His engaging style, contagious energy and practical approach leaves audiences with the practical tools and motivation to succeed at whatever they have a vision to pursue in their creative life. Join us for a dinner and special talk by this talented artisan. Reservations for dinner are required and can be made on website.

The Columbus Convention & Trade Center is located at 801 Front Avenue, Columbus, Georgia 31901.

For information or to sign up for classes or the dinner, please visit
www.gafiberfest.com, or visit Ravelry - www.ravelry.com/groups/georgia-alpaca-fiberfest and Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Georgia-Alpaca-FiberFest for more information and updates.

Homewood Library Exhibit Guild Show

September, 2014


The guild’s annual exhibit is now showing through September at the Homewood Library, in the display cases at the entrance and in display tables along the central hall.  Thanks to guild members who contributed their work, and thanks to the graphic design talent of Mary Spanos and the styling of Nancy Lavender and volunteers, our exhibit is both elegant and educational, a treat for the eye.  Please stop by to see it this month.

We will be taking the exhibit down at the end of the month (the exact date will be posted on the guild blog), and if you contributed your work, you can pick it up at the October guild meeting


   Start thinking about the Guild's December Gift Exchange!

Our Holiday Lunch will be held at Mary Kaiser’s house on December 13.  Our gift exchange this year is “gadgets.”  Wrap up your favorite little tools or fiber gadgets (limit is $15), and bring them to the party to exchange.

Study Groups Meet Monthly

  • Spinning Study Group:  4th Wednesday of the month from 10 a.m to 2 pm at St. Peter’s Church in Hoover.  Please check out the GBFG Blog  for cancellations or schedule changes.
  • Nancy Clemmons is interested in sharing her love of tatting with others by teaching one or more in her home. Please contact her if you are interested.
  • More groups may meet in the future.  Watch the newsletter for more information and let a board member know if you are interested in a study group.

Newsletter News...
Each month, I am planning to have items coming from YOU, our Guild members. These will include short book reviews related to any fiber art; a tip you have discovered and used that make your fiber art a little bit easier to execute; any fiber related articles; and a fiber question you would love answers or suggestions from other guild members. Please send your ideas, suggestions, book recommendations, questions to me (Susie Strauss) by the 20th of the month to go into the following month's newsletter.
Email me at
sushicoach@yahoo.com and put GBFG Newsletter in the subject line.

Greater Birmingham Fiber Guild
The Greater Birmingham Fiber Guild is comprised of individuals dedicated to the dissemination and preservation of fiber arts.  Meetings are the second Saturday of the month, 10:00-12:00 (no meeting in July). Visitors are welcome.  The Guild offers programs almost monthly, focused workshops several times a year, and equipment rental (see below). 

 2014 Officers and Board 
Karen Ford – President
Mary Kaiser – Program
Debbie Scott – Workshops
Emily Levitan - Membership
Nancy Lavender – Treasurer
Janice Weinstein - Secretary
Mary Spanos – Website
Susie Strauss - Newsletter
Janelle Zorko Schultz - Past President


Rental of Guild Equipment & Materials

The Guild has available, for rental to members, the following:
  • Looms of various types (floor, table, rigid heddle, tapestry), spinning wheels, drum carder, and more. Rental fee is $10 dollars per month with a deposit of $100 per item. Deposits will be returned when equipment is returned in good condition. 
  • Lucy Neatby's DVD knitting collection. Deposit of $30 per DVD. This is the current replacement cost. One-month checkout. See  http://www.lucyneatby.com/dvd_contents.html for description of DVD contents.
  • See inventory list and photos of Guild equipment in the Yahoo group folders section (you must be a paid member to access the Yahoo Group files and photos)

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