Saturday, September 5, 2015

Guild newsletter, September 2015

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

Newsletter of the Greater Birmingham Fiber Guild 


                      President’s Column   




Hello Fiber Friends!

I hope everyone is listening to the sounds of know, needles clicking, shuttles flying, wheels and spindles whirling, dye pots dyeing! I am still contemplating my wonderful dyed sock blanks.....hope to start knitting them soon!

I am looking forward to our next meeting, our first at In the Making! We will be sending out parking instructions so please follow them carefully! We will have a period of adjustment, I'm sure but I think we will enjoy our new venue! If you have a lawn chair that you could easily bring, please bring and leave in your car.  We may need some extra chairs--not sure about how many were in the room. 

One thing I dearly love about our group is all the sharing and quiet teaching that goes on between members! I have learned so much formally and informally from this group!!! My latest is, having watched Jennifer Lackey double knit socks, I think I want to try this! Kind of goes along with the "I wish I were an Octopus" thinking! Knitting both socks at once on the same needles.....mind boggling! That said, I am so looking forward to our second annual Fiber much sharing and teaching goes on there! Last year was such a blast and I know this year will be, also. 

So, enjoy your sounds of Fall and I hope to see you at the meeting!!!

Karen Ford


September Program
Fiber Frenzy
September 12

Our September meeting, on Saturday, September 12, will be our first in our new location in the In the Making building in Cahaba Heights, and our second annual Fiber Frenzy.  This year, we’ll kick off the frenzy with a project session at 10:00.  Bring your spinning wheel or spindle, your current knitting or stitching and join us for an hour or two of sharing our favorite crafts.  Bring finished items for show and tell, of course.

There will be drinks for sale for $1 or bring your own along with your lunch to eat.  The guild will provide dessert.  Also, if you have  portable chair that you can bring, do so.  We are not sure how many chairs are provided.

After we eat, we’ll begin the Fiber Market with fibers, tools, books and gadgets to give away or purchase.  If you are selling items at the market, be sure to mark your items clearly, and bring change.  The guild will not be responsible for keeping track of sales, so each seller should be in charge of her sales.  Guild members are welcome to select from the free table.

If you have friends who are interested in fiber arts and crafts, bring them along—Fiber Frenzy is always a great introduction to the guild. 


Parking Instructions for Meeting


Tour De Fleece Update

Vulcan test 

The year 2015 will go down in the annals of the Greater Birmingham Fiber Guild as the first time we participated as a guild in Ravelry's Tour de Fleece.  Our Tour's duration matched that of the Tour de France, from July 4-26 with two rest days and one special challenge day.   With 13 of us making up Team Vulcan Spinners, each participant set her own goals, decided on a specific challenge, and kept track of progress with posts in Ravelry.  The entire experience was deemed to be a success whether goals were met or not, simply because we made progress in our spinning and, most importantly, had fun.

GBFG Sock Blank Dyeing Workshop
Saturday, August 8 
A fun time was had by all who attended our dyeing workshop.  Here are a few of the pictures from it.  Can't wait to see how everyone's socks or other items turn out.



 Homewood Library Show

Several guild members met at the Homewood Library to install our display of fiber arts for the month of September.  Please be sure to go by and see it.  Thank you to all the members that were generous enough to allow us to display some of their amazing work. Here are some pictures--lighting not great for picture taking.




Annual Walk to Remember
Someone in Nancy Clemmon's church participates in a city-wide service at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens called an Annual Walk to Remember. Tiny knitted baby booties are presented to those who have lost babies or children. The booties are not actually worn; they are "take aways" from the service. They can be knit or crochet in any pattern or size from preemie to newborn. They should be in baby colors (solids and/or mixed colors).  The sweet woman who used to knit them is unable due to poor health. We estimate they will need about 150 pairs of booties before the service on October 22, 2015. This is an annual event, so any extra booties will be saved for next year’s service. 

Weaver Needed
 Rachel Miley with Lifeline Children's Services, which is an adoption agency in Birmingham contacted David Dodd of the Desoto Fiber Guild in regards to finding a weaver.  Rachel said they were planning a banquet/program with the theme of "Woven" referencing how families sometimes are composed of separate parts, but come together to make a whole.  They are looking for a weaver so they could videotape someone actually doing the weaving process.  The program is in November, but their videographer has to have the work done by  Sept. 14.  
 If you know of someone who might be willing to work with them, please call Rachel.  
Rachel Miley is at  205-940-4705.  or   
Organic Cotton for Sale

Susie Strauss  who can be contacted at  205.266.3999 or
has several hundred pounds of 10/2 (lace weight) Organic Cotton color grown and naturally dyed yarns to sell (which are in Birmingham, AL). The yarns are on cones and in skeins and there is 4200 yards per pound. All prices do not include shipping and handling and there is a 10% discounts for all yarn purchase over $100 (not including S/H).
Samples available upon request.

Organic Cotton Cones:
  • Natural – 22 cones weighing between 3.5 and 3.6 pounds. Great for dyeing! Price per cone - $40. From the US.
  • CafĂ© – 1 cone weighing 11 oz.  Price $21. From Peru
  • Vicuna – 2 cones weighing between 2.4 and 2.8 pounds. Price per cone - $50. 1 cones weighing 1.4 pounds, price $28 - From Peru
 Organic 10/2 Cotton Yarn Color grown and Naturally Dyed.
The Naturally Dyed yarns were dyed in Guatemala by a group of Mayan women and men and have some color variations in the skeins. They were dyed without any toxic chemicals and heavy metals. NOTE: Each skein is made of up 4 separate smaller skeins (a little less than 4 oz each). There are 4200 yards per pound.
  • Natural  color grown – 6 skeins weighing between 15.5 and 15.8 oz. Price per skein - $12. From US and great for dyeing!
  • Indigos Naturally Dyed – dark, medium and light shades. Skeins weigh between 14 and 15.9 oz and price for skein is $20
  • Greys Naturally Dyed - dark, medium and light shades. Skeins weigh between 14 and 15.9 oz and price for skein is $20.
  • Taupe grey 2 skeins - Naturally Dyed – (1) 15.5 oz. for $20 and (2) 11.8 oz. for $16.
 Bags of Naturally Dyed Organic 10/2 Cotton:
  • Indigo shades – 56.4 oz for $70
  • Grey shades – (left) 40.2 oz. for $50 and (left) 38.9 oz. for $50             
  • Taupe grey shades – 1 bag 33.6 oz.for $44

Members of GBFG are invited to join in an unusual new online proj- ect. This will be a variation on the Knit Along idea. Instead of follow- ing the pattern of one person, we’ll be sharing our own patterns, or methods, or techniques that we use when we knit a sock, our go-to process of making plain, functional, wonderfully hand-knit socks.

Experienced sock knitters can compare their methods with other experienced sock knitters while new sock knitters can learn all the dif- ferent ways there are to cast-on, or turn a heel, or shape for fit. Every- one can ask questions and learn from everyone else. Cuff-down sock knitters can learn things about how toe-up sock knitters knit a heel and toe-up sock knitters can see how cuff-down sock create a stretchy cast-on edge. If you are devoted to cuff-down sock knitting, this is an opportunity to see how the other half lives and get help trying the toe- up techniques. Sharing, learning, helping, knitting, those are the goals. 

The Sock Project will “happen” on Ravelry. We will take a week or two to look at each step of the sock knitting process. If you would like to join in, get ready to start knitting your favorite, plain socks so you can describe and upload photos of how you do each step as the project progresses. We will announce when to post each step, so you might want to make this an extra project that you can pick up and put down when it is time to write about the next step and take the next set of photos (your descriptions will be better if you write them while you are knitting the section you are writing about). We will also post sum- maries and statistics on how we all do what we do when we knit socks (how many ways are there to turn a heel? how many of us knit toe-up? what size needles does everyone else use?).

The Sock Project discussion thread will be set up soon, so keep an eye on the GBFG Ravelry group. Get a skein of your favorite sock yarn and find an empty set of your favorite sock needles. This is going to be really interesting! 

The GBFG Ravelry group can be found at: 
I would like to just put a disclaimer in the newsletter this month.  For some reason yet to be determined by me, my computer wants to give me fits when I put this newsletter together.  I apologize if there are items that did not get in here this month--I could not get the program to work at times.  I thought I had taken care of the problem but the gremlins showed up again this month. I will continue to try to figure it out. Thank you for your patience.

Deb Kattus

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

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