Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Handspinning a bridge in Peru

Jennifer Justiss shared this link to an amazing feat of handspinning...

From the Youtube description:
Published on Jun 5, 2015
Every year, local communities on either side of the Apurimac River Canyon use traditional Inka engineering techniques to rebuild the Q'eswachaka Bridge. The entire bridge is built in only three days. The bridge has been rebuilt in this same location continually since the time of the Inka.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Guild Newsletter, July 2015

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

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Newsletter of the Greater Birmingham Fiber Guild 


                      President’s Column   




Hello Fiber Friends!
Great news! The Guild has a new meeting place! Starting in September we will be meeting at In the Making in Cahaba Heights! Big thanks to Donna for welcoming us there! We will meet in the downstairs room. Be aware that parking will be an issue as construction will be ongoing.  The specifics will be in the August newsletter. We certainly enjoyed our time at St. Peter's! But what better place for us than in a knit shop!!!!

I am excited about 2 more things this month....color and spinning. Gale's presentation got me all enthused...can't wait to dye my sock blanks in August! Planning on some wild socks! Then the second thing is the Tour de Fleece. If you haven't heard, go to our Ravelry page and find out. Such a clever way to get us spinning. Our thanks to Gale for telling us about this. We are the Vulcan Spinners.....think you'll like the picture of our mascot! Also, we have spinning fiber packets for those spinners who want to participate....limit one per spinner and they are $10.

Stay cool and hydrated...the Corgis are seeking out the A/C vents and ice cubes! Since there will be no meeting in July, I'll see some of you at the workshop in August. Then it's time for a Fiber Frenzy in September!



Remember no meeting in July!


We will resume meetings in August with our Dyeing workshop which will be at Karen Ford's house.

Then in September, we will have Fiber Frenzy at new meeting place  In the Making in Cahaba Heights. 



GBFG Sock Blank Dyeing Workshop
Saturday, August 8 

We have 27 members that have signed up for dyeing workshop.  Registration is now closed.  The location has changed to Karen Ford's house .  More information will be forthcoming in August newsletter. 


Bring Us Your Best for the Homewood Show

It’s not too early to begin thinking about our annual guild exhibit at the Homewood Public Library, during the month of September, 2015.  Our theme this year is “Bring Us Your Best.”  Please consider displaying your best work from the past year, or any work you’re proud of that hasn’t been seen in public.  For the past ten years or more, the library has welcomed us to use the two large glass cases in the entrance foyer, as well as three table-top cases in the central hallway.  The exhibit will run through the month of September, and we will collect your work at the August guild meeting, returning your work at the October meeting.  If it not possible for you to bring your work to the August meeting, please email Mary Kaiser  to arrange for pickup.  This is a great opportunity for guild members who do not sell their work to shine in a museum-quality setting, and it’s also a way for professional fiber artists in the guild to reach a wide audience.

Team Vulcan Spinners, TDF2015

While cyclists from all corners of the world are competing in the Tour de France, Ravelry (online community of fibery folk) holds an annual Tour de Fleece spin-along during the Tour de France. They spin, we spin. A real spinning-themed spin-along.
The concept is simple:
Challenge Yourself.
Have fun.

For the first time, the GBFG has a team, the Vulcan Spinners.  As a wildcard team, we make our own guidelines and keep track of our own team members.  As of noon on July 2 we have 13 team members including 2 co-captains.  Each participant has stated her/his own goals and will post daily progress reports with supporting photos in the guild's Tour de Fleece thread.
Come cheer us on!  You don't need to be on the team to follow our progress.  The more comments that give us encouragement, the better.
Start date is Saturday, July 4.  We have two days of rest (just like the cyclists) on July 13 and 21.  The last day to spin is Sunday, July 26.
Go Team Vulcan Spinners! 
Vulcan test

Old Shale: Variations of an Old and Much Loved Lace Stitch
A Free e-book from the Wednesday Afternoon Knitting Study Group

Members of the Wednesday afternoon knitting study group came up with the idea to knit 25-inch samples of 10 different versions of Old Shale  to explore and record some of the possible ways to knit this lovely, old lace stitch. We pursued this project for the fun of seeing all of the different versions that could be produced by a group of knitters, all sharing the work of knitting useful swatches. Individually, none of us would likely have ever knit a 25-inch long  swatch, or knit 40 variations of one lace stitch. Working together,laughing       and talking over coffee, the work was nothing.
Old Shale, Variations of an Old and Much Loved Lace Stitch is a  stitch dictionary of variations of a single lace stitch. You can download Old Shale on Ravelry at, which will let you find it easily in your own Ravelry library and keep up with updates.
When we finished knitting the samples and recording them in photographs, charts and instructions, we turned them into three  small baby blankets. The instructions for making the blankets are included in the back of the Old Shale e-book. We hope you will find these variations of Old Shale inspiring and useful in your own work.

The Guild on the Web

Between newsletters and meetings, keep up with the guild on the web at:
       If you don't want to miss new posts to the guild blog, you can choose to receive new posts by email. Go to the blog and look for "Follow by Email" on the right hand side of the page. Type your email address in the window and click "Submit." If you want to have something posted on the blog, send it to
      You can post to the guild's Facebook page yourself! Emily shares information and posts that she receives on the guild's Facebook group page and keep Facebook users up to date on what is going on in the guild.
      Ravelry isn't just for knitters anymore. Crocheters, weavers, and spinners all upload photos, project information, and patterns. Kathryn is managing the GBFG group and has posted helpful information on participating in the Ravelry guild group on the blog, find it at

Next in our series of craft mysteries

The Sugar Maple Chronicles by Barbara Bretton

Barbara Bretton 2
Protagonist: Chloe Hobbs, owner of a local knitting shop called Sticks & String
Setting: Sugar Maple, Vermont
Number of books: 4, plus one short story
First in the series: Casting Spells
Sugar Maple looks like any Vermont town, but it’s inhabited with warlocks, sprites, vampires, witches, and an ancient secret. And Chloe Hobbs, owner of Sticks & String, a popular knitting shop, has a big secret too. She’s a sorcerer’s daughter in search of Mr. Right, and she’s found him in Luke MacKenzie, a cop investigating Sugar Maple’s very first murder. Bad news is he’s 100% human, which could spell disaster for a normal future with a paranormal woman like her.
Why we love it: The magic in Sugar Maple adds a fun twist to the traditional murder mystery. Not to mention, Luke is an absolutely dreamy love interest.


         Study Groups Meet Monthly

  • Spinning Study Group:  4th Wednesday of the month from 10 am 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 (Deborah Kattus ) by the 20th of the month to go into the following month's newsletter.
Email me at 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). 

 2015 Officers and Board 
Karen Ford – President
Mary Kaiser – Program
Debbie Scott – Workshops
Emily Levitan - Membership
Nancy Lavender – Treasurer
Janice Weinstein - Secretary
Mary Spanos – Website
Deborah Kattus - Newsletter
Janelle Zorko Schultz - Past President


Rental of Guild Equipment & Materials

The Guild has available, for rental to members, the following:
There will be a $30 deposit per DVD (Lucy Neatby) and $100 deposit for the drum carder. Deposit for Laura Fry's materials still to be determined.
The rental fee for all items is $5 per month rented.
Equipment can only be checked out at Fiber Guild monthly meetings and a check-out list will be posted inside the door of the cabinet. Deposit checks will be held by Nancy Lavender, treasurer, until returned in original condition.
Copyright © 2015 Greater Birmingham Fiber Guild, All rights reserved.
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Greater Birmingham Fiber Guild
P.O. Box 660723
Birmingham, AL 35266

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Friday, July 3, 2015

Archaeologists find Viking spindle whorl in Perthshire, Scotland

Archaeologists recently found what they believe to be a spindle whorl at a Viking site in Scotland. Although the article doesn't give a date (the archaeologists might not have gotten the results back from radio carbon tests yet), Wikipedia says that Vikings are typically dated from the 8th to the 11th century.

If you'd like to read more about this very old spindle whorl, see the full article here.

[Speaking of spindles and spinners, Ravelry's Tour de Fleece begins Saturday, July 4, and GBFG has a team this year, Team Vulcan Spinners! To join in the fun, see the guild's group here.]