We had a great day of natural dyeing with indigo at the Guild Picnic last month, and I can’t wait to see the results in hand-dyed fiber, fabric stitched into quilts, and even works on paper. Continuing our color season, we’ll be dyeing with mushrooms at the workshop with Alissa Allen on Saturday, June 11. Since this is an all-day affair, we won’t have our usual monthly business meeting in June. There will be no July meeting. Please start looking around your studio for items to exhibit in our annual Guild show at the Homewood Library. We’ll be taking items at the August meeting for the show. No theme this time—just give us your best, and our styling geniuses led by Nancy Lavender will arrange them to advantage. This year, we’ll be having out Fiber Frenzy in September at the library, so everyone will be able to pass through the exhibit and enjoy this showcase of members’ work. Later this month, we will post the revised Guild By-Laws on the blog. We’ll vote on the By-Laws at the August meeting.
Mycopigment Workshop with Alissa Allen Saturday, June 11, 2016
The upcoming mycopigment workshop with Alissa Allen is going to take the place of the June meeting.It is going to be great! If you aren't going to be there, you can still look forward to seeing the beautiful colors the attendees will bring to future meetings. If you have already signed up and paid your deposit, then we'll see you there! This workshop filled up quickly, 19 guild members signed up and only 1 non-member was able to get a seat.
Elizabeth Young and Mary Spanos are organizing this event and they are sending emails to participants with information about what to bring, the schedule, and the location (the Hoover Church of Christ where we have been meeting). Watch your email inbox and if you haven't received anything yet, please contact Mary.
Some Interesting Facts About Knitting
No one knows how old knitting really is, though it is generally thought to be older than handcrafts (rug hooking) but not as old as weaving.d
Many ancient textile fragments thought to be knitting have turned out to be nålebinding (Danish for literally “binding with a needle), an ancient form of needlecraft that is sometimes referred to as “single-needle knitting.”j
The history of knitting is not well known because fabrics used for knitting are made of wool, silk, and other fibers that decay rapidly. Additionally, knitting needles are hard to distinguish beyond a doubt from hair picks, skewers, spindles, or the other many uses of a sharpened stick.h
Historians posit that knitting is a relatively recent invention because there are no ancient legends of knitting like there are legends of spinning and weaving, such as Arachne, Ixazaluoh, Nephthys, Amaterasu. There are no ancient gods or goddesses who knit.j
Knitting is considered to have originated in the Arab world, and from there, spread with the Crusades into Spain. The term “to knit” wasn’t added to English until the 1400s.h
The earliest known types of knitting by nomadic people in the desert places of North Africa actually used circular or narrow, oblong wooden frames. The knitting action was similar to “bobbin work.” Historians are unsure when the frames were dispensed with and knitting began to be directly on hooked knitting needles.j
One of the earliest known examples of knitting (formed on two sticks by pulling loops through loops) were a pair of cotton socks found in Egypt from the first millennium A.D. Many of them have knit into them khufic (a decorative Arabic script) blessings, symbols to ward off evil, or both.h
Men were the first to knit for an occupation
Knitting was initially a male-only occupation.d
Bring Us Your Best: Annual Guild Exhibit
Homewood Library, September, 2016
Our annual guild exhibit is scheduled for September, 2016. We’ll be collecting your work for this year’s exhibit at the August meeting, so now’s the time to get those beautiful projects finished and ready for the world! This year, Fiber Frenzy will be happening at the library, so we will all get to see the show together and celebrate our joy in working with fiber. Don’t miss this great opportunity to give your work a museum-quality place to be seen and to share your gifts with all of the library visitors.
Fingerless Mitts and Wrist Warmers For UAB Chemo Patients
Chemo treatment rooms are very cold even in summer, and patients might appreciate a pair of stylish, handmade mitts to protect cold fingers while they’re receiving treatments. Guild member Rosalynn is making and collecting several pairs of mitts for UAB chemo patients. If you want to contribute, guidelines are below. Any weight of yarn Machine-washable: superwash wool, acrylic, cotton, etc. Primarily adult sizes, both men and women Any color or style (breast cancer pink is lovely, but consider neutrals and other appealing colors too) Knitters and crocheters can use whatever pattern they want. Wristwarmers are a great way to learn to knit small circumferences in the round or just to use up leftover yarn. They can be short, patterned tubes with some ribbing or a little fancier according to the maker’s taste.The mitts can have thumbs, no thumbs/thumbholes, long or short, etc. All mitts should be submitted with the fiber type or yarn name, size, and first name of the maker. Rosalynn will make some Fiber Guild tags with care instructions and gender/size/age suggestions for each pair. Rosalynn says "I happen to be using April Klich’s KIS Mitts, http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/kis-mitts (free), to practice some simple colorwork, but they can be made plain as well."
Workshops and Events
Elizabeth Young and Mary Spanos are the workshop/event chair people this year and are excited about the possibilities that are available for us to pursue. They’d really like to hear from everyone in the guild so they can organize the best events and teachers so you can do more and learn more about the things that interest you most!
To read more about this and to share your thoughts, see the "GBFG Workshops and Events!" discussion thread on the guild's Ravelry forum
GBFG members (and any other readers), I'd like to post news on the blog about shows you are participating in or other events you think would be of interest to fiber artists and crafters in the Birmingham area. Please send me information through blog comments, Facebook, Ravelry (emmybess) or email. Photos of your work would also be great. Thank you! Emily
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 http://greaterbirminghamfiberguild.blogspot.com/2015/04/gbfg-on-ravelry.html
Because our membership has grown so much, it was decided by the Board that having a membership form would be a good idea. This is so we can keep track of all our members to make sure you receive the newsletter and other communications. It will also give us an idea of what fiber arts the members are interested in so we can plan workshops and programs accordingly . Please submit the form with your check when you renew your membership for 2016. These need to be mailed to the GBFG address or give to Nancy Lavender at the meetings. The new membership year starts in January 2016 but you may submit this before then if you wish. After March, the newsletter will only be sent to current members.
Are there any programs or workshops you would like to give?
Are there any programs or workshops you would like take?
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.
Join us for First Friday Spinning Study at Jen Lackey's house. We meet around 6pm. Feel free to email Jennifer for directions and parking information.
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.
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).
2016 Officers and Board
Mary Kaiser – President Jennifer Lackey – Program Elizabeth Young/ Mary Spanos – Workshops Janna Ford - Membership Nancy Lavender – Treasurer Jan McMahon - Secretary Emily Levitan – Website Deborah Kattus - Newsletter Karen Ford - 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.