Friday, September 2, 2016

September newsletter

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

Newsletter of the Greater Birmingham Fiber Guild 

                      President’s Column   

It’s football season, which means it’s time to get out the spindles, wheels, needles and shuttles and fiber!  The annual guild exhibit is up at the Homewood Library, and you can spend some time surrounded by our members’ gorgeous textures and colors later this month when we celebrate Spin in Public Day, Saturday, September 17, at the library’s gallery from 10-12.  Bring your wheel or spindle and join us!  September is also our Fiber Frenzy time, our third annual celebration of fiber and a time to welcome new members.  Saturday, September 10 at the Hoover Church of Christ will be the setting for this year’s Frenzy, featuring demonstrations, lots of door prizes, and opportunities to buy, sell, and give away fibers, yarns, and tools.  See below for more details on Fiber Frenzy.  I hope we’ll all get inspired to try some new techniques and crafts. 

 September Program
Fiber Frenzy
Hoover Church of Christ
3248 Lorna Road, 35216
10am to 2pm

 Are you ready for the annual Fiber Frenzy?  We sure are!  Saturday, September 10th is just around the corner!  Be ready to spend the day, from 10 to 4, learning something new, sharing your art with someone, or just plain hanging around.  With so many awesome stations to choose from (knitting, tatting, crocheting, dyeing, spinning, weaving), there’s bound to be something for everyone!  Need to bust some stash so you can fill it back up? Then the Sell or Trade is JUST for you! You can bring items to sell or give away (you need to mark prices, collect your earnings, have change just in case and remove any unsold items). Please have everything labeled with prices, yardage if needed. Sell or Trade will take place after lunch--no exceptions.
    We’ll be having lunch together. If you are a member, the guild would like to buy your lunch, so register by sending an email to, including your choice for lunch (Turkey or Veggie), no later than Sunday, September 4th. If you are not a member, feel free to bring a lunch or run out and grab something at any of the many restaurants and fast food joints in the area. Either way, please register to let us know you are coming. 
    Come get your fiber on and join us for a Fun Filled Fiber Frenzy at the Hoover Church of Christ!

(Questions? Email

International Spin-in-Public Day
    We will be celebrating International Spin-in-Public Day on Saturday, September 17 at the Homewood Library’s central gallery from 10-12.  Bring your wheel or spindle, or just come to support the cause.  We hope to meet library visitors and perhaps recruit some new members as patrons pass through our exhibit and bring us their questions about fiber crafts.  Thanks to Heather Cover and the staff of the Homewood Public Library for sponsoring this event. 

Homewood Library Exhibit    
The guild's exhibit has been installed for the month of September.  Go by and see it.  We have amazing fiber artists in our guild and this is just a sampling of what we do.  Thank you to everyone who brought things to be exhibited.

Tour de Fleece

 Each summer, the on-line community Ravelry hosts the “Tour de Fleece” in solidarity with the annual Tour de France.  People from all over the world organize themselves into teams to set goals and spin along with the “spinners” in France.  This year was the Guild’s second time creating a team and the participation and enthusiasm grew exponentially!  With only two more participants than last year, we put up 707 posts, over three times the number from last year, with the number of photos increasing from 82 to 144!  Together we spun over 17,000 yards!!  Spinners and non-spinners alike enjoyed great on-line camaraderie as we shared our progress, our new ideas, our joy at being involved in a fantastic event with a fantastic team.  The 2016 Guild TdF team was a resounding success; we look forward to even more participation next year!
Participants included:
Kathryn Pitt and Jennifer Lackey – co-captains
Mary Spanos – Most pictures posted award
Janna Ford – Novice award
Maddy McLendon – Novice award
Elizabeth Young – Most varied yarn spun award
Jennifer Justiss – Most varied equipment used award
Nancy Clemons – Most yardage spun award
Debbie Scott – Random award
Janice Weinstien – Booster award
Karen Ford
Emily Levitan
Julibeth Jones

Knitting at ArtPlay
   ArtPlay, located at 10th Ave. and 19th Street, will be offering a free knitting group on Thursday evenings from 6-8 beginning September 8.  Mary Kaiser will be moderating, and giving knitting instruction or help on an as-needed basis.  All are welcome.  We often talk about books while we knit, so please bring your recommendations!

Save the Date

Our holiday party will be December 10 at Jennifer Lackey's house. The board decided that this year our gift exchange would be along the lines of a stash buster.  You may 4 oz or more of whatever fiber you wish to give.  Also, bring a salad or dessert.  More info as the event gets closer.  Start looking through your stash.  

Some Interesting Facts About Knitting

David Babcock entered the Guinness World Record when he finished the Kansas City marathon in 5 hours 48 minutes 27 seconds—all while knitting a scarf measuring 12 feet, 1¾ inches long. He eclipsed the previous Guinness World Record, held by Britain’s Susie Hewer. To be eligible, competitors must complete the marathon in less than six hours.k

Live TV, a Norwegian public broadcasting network, plans to dedicate five hours of airtime in an attempt to break the knitting world record. The current nonstop record is held by Australia at 4 hours 50 minutes.i

The longest French knitting is 16.36 miles (26.33 km) long by Edward Hannaford in Sittingbourne, UK. He has been working on the French knitting since 1989 and is working on it still.g

Knitting first appeared in England during the 13th century in the form of felted caps that were worn by soldiers and sailors. However, knitting did not become a popular method for creating other garments due to the difficulty of producing quality steel needles.d

Queen Victoria was a prolific knitter until her death. In fact, the reign of Queen Victoria (1837–1901) saw an explosion of all sorts of handwork, including knitting, which coincided with the development of trade with the woolgrowers.h

During WWI, vast quantities of knitted socks, scarves, mittens, and helmets were sent to the soldiers in France. Knitting gave emotional comfort to the women who were at home waiting for news from the front.h

Changes in fashion in the late 1980s and early 1990s, as well as the huge influx of cheap imported knitwear, led to decreased interest in knitting. The cost of buying yarn compared unfavorably to buying ready-made clothes.h

While knitting has gone in and out of fashion for the last 200 years, the early 21st century has seen new interest in knitting with an influx of new fibers, with yarns made from bamboo, soy, hemp, alpaca, camel, and microfiber, and more. Additionally, there are hand-painted and hand-dyed yarns, pure cashmere, and other exotic blends. There are also beautiful needles made from bamboo, rosewood, and ebony.h

There are three basic types of knitting needles: standard “pin” style, double pointed, and circular.d

The word “knit” is derived from the Old English cnyttan, which means “to knot.”h

More young adults are learning to knit

Between 2002 and 2004, the number of women knitters in the U.S. ages 25–35 increased nearly 150%

Baby Booties in Memory of Little Ones -
Annual Charity Knitting/Crocheting Opportunity 

Each October there  is a special service at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens called an Annual Walk to Remember. Tiny knitted/crocheted baby booties are presented to those who have lost babies during pregnancy or afterwords. The booties are not actually worn; they are "take aways" from the service. They can be made in any pattern.  Approximately 200 pairs of booties are needed for the service, which will be held, October 30, 2016. Any extra booties will be saved for next year’s event.  Free yarn, donated by In the Making, is available.

Please contact Nancy Clemmons for more information or suggestions for patterns. 

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

We really want to hear from you!

Message from Emily

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
   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

Membership Renewal

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.

Member information form 2016


Email address:                                    

Ravelry name:                                     

Phone number:                                    



Fiber crafts you do:      Spinning         Knitting         Weaving         Crochet         Sewing         Tatting        Quilting     Embroidery      Other (please describe):

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 hosting a tatting and crochet group at her home.  Please check the group discussion thread on Revelry for more information. 
  • 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.  Email:

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.

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.
Copyright © 2016 Greater Birmingham Fiber Guild, All rights reserved. 

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