consecutive years and counting that I have attended the Maryland Sheep
and Wool Festival and barring unforeseen incidents, I hope to make it
seventeen this May! I can’t wait to hear the little lambs baaing in
the barns, see the beautiful entries in the skein and garment
competition, and, most of all, to just be outside in the beautiful Spring
weather with amazing fiber-y activity all around me. This month the
Guild has some activities designed to get you outside enjoying the
weather and the fiber arts too. We have our Alabama Chanin road
trip on May 12th and our annual May picnic on May 13th.
Hope everyone can come out to join us for one or both, but wherever you
venture this month, old favorite festivals or brand new adventures, take
your handcrafts with you!!
May Means It's Picnic Time May 13, 2017 11am
gather this year at the home of Mary Elaine Harris in Leeds on Saturday
May 13 at 11:00. The guild will supply brats for the
grill. Please bring a side, salad or dessert to share, something to
drink and a chair. We will have indigo dye pots again this
year, so bring something to add to the pot. Your items need to be
pre-washed and thoroughly rinsed. Also bring a mesh bag such as
the ones that oranges or onions come in with your name on it
since things tend to get mixed up or lost in the bottom of the pot and a
plastic bag for carrying home wet stuff. Look for email with
Upcoming Visit to Al Chanin
We will be leaving the church parking lot
around 8 am Fri 5/12 and will be caravanning. It is about a 2 hr drive.
Once there we will have a tour of their facility, lunch and a workshop.
The workshop will be a journal cover. If you want to go & do
the tour and lunch it is $15. If you’d like to do the workshop too then
the fee is $100. We will be getting home late that evening so you may
want to bring some money just in case we stop for some dinner on the way
home. Contact Shira
via email firstname.lastname@example.org further questions.
Homewood Library Show
again be displaying our different fiber arts at the Homewood Library in
September. Please begin to think about what you would want to enter
or get busy making something for the show. Because we have so many
talented artists in the guild, it is inspiring to see what people submit.
GBFG on Ravelry
activities are coming up on our Ravelry group in the next few
months. There will be a Weave-along starting mid-May. At the
moment, we're gathering ideas in the Weavers Anonymous thread. Once
we know what we're doing, a new thread for the Weave-along will be
created. And on July 1, Tour de Fleece 2017 begins. Watch for
our "rules" (hah!) and timetables. Start thinking about
what you want to spin. (The colorway that Mary Ann of Three Waters
Farm is creating for our Guild should be ready in plenty of time.
Just a thought.)
Advice from LLewelyn
Last summer (2016) as I
paged through Pinterest and Ravelry images of patterns and ideas, I cast
my eyes upon a lovely knitted snowflake pattern. I picked up the closest
yarn at hand which happened to be an orange cotton from a dishcloth I had
finished. The right size needles just happened to be in arms' reach and I
pulled up the pattern and started knitting away to see if I liked
it. It was supposed to be a
swatch. But it took some progress before I understood the architecture of
how it formed so when I finished the first attempt, I 'got it' but was
not pleased with the outcome from several mistakes. Since there was
plenty of yarn left, I just started knitting a second one that turned out
much better (still some mistakes).
But... I never knitted
another one ( at least so far). So during the holidays gone by, my
snowflake sat on the ironing board where it had been blocked. It doesn't
feel like winter. It doesn't feel like summer. Maybe its a bookmark...
for a really big book, or a large coaster.
Lesson learned: When
swatching, use a color/yarn you would actually like to see the finished
article completed in! It may be the only time you make it!
February, a new experiment was launched in the hand-crafting world; a
website which offers online instructional videos on traditional skills.
Seen that already, you say? Au contraire!
Every other online
craft instruction site uses the corporate model. “TRV is a digital
education outlet that is run by folk art and craft educators, not
corporations,” says instructor John Mullarkey.
endeavor, named Taproot Video, is a co-operative of instructors from
across the world. Founded by instructors, it is managed by instructors,
and benefits instructors and students alike. The co-op members film the
classes that they have been offering at national conferences which they
have taught and honed to excellence. And being solely in control of the
quality of the video class, the instructors can proudly put their name
(indeed their reputation) on the DVD or streamed class.
‘Taproot’ honors this rich folk tradition history; as a plant’s taproot
drills deep into the earth for nourishment and life-giving water, so folk
traditions provide us with essential elements from the deep history,
grounding us in the chaotic, frantic modern world. “I feel that Taproot
is on the right track by making it a co-op of like-minded artists who have
a passion to see that folk lore skills are preserved,” says Joan Ruane,
nationally acclaimed cotton spinning instructor.
exciting aspect of this new co-op is the chance it offers to build
community, so important in our divisive world today. “It feels like being
on Taproot will be more than a thumbnail among others on a web page with
a price tag attached.” says Laverne Waddington, international expert
on backstrap weaving techniques. “It will be about being part of a
community...a connection between teachers as well as between our
students....all of us creating together as artisans, rather
than as vendors and customers.”
excited about this project and its potential,” says John Marshall, who is
planning to film (for posterity) the traditional Japanese textile
techniques he has developed over a lifetime. “But even more important to
me is to simply make sure that the information is shared in a Western
context that may be digested by Western mind set.”
that video and streaming are more popular as millennials replace older
students. Online streaming will never replace in-person instruction, but
the benefits of filming are clear. Carol James, instructor of sprang and
re-creator of George Washington’s sash, says “Everyone gets a front-row
view of the technique.”
historian of Tablet Weaving, says “Much of my work has centered around
the necessity of documenting and sharing what is known from the past
before it disappears.” Marilyn Romatka agrees. “I love teaching the
attendees at the national conferences, but my heart truly lies with high
schooler and middle schoolers. This is how we pass on the skills – get
them into the hands of the next generation!”
As Kris Leet
puts it, “I prefer to work within a community of artisans, where each
artisan is inspired and encouraged by the community, where we learn from
each other, not just a craft but how to be better teachers. Taproot is
becoming that kind of community and I can’t wait to see what comes next.”
Membership Dues Renewal
Several members have not renewed their memberships for
2017. Dues for 2017 will be $25. You may now pay using
PayPal. Use this link paypal.me/GBFiberGuildor use our
gmail account email@example.com If you prefer
to pay by check, please give to Nancy Lavender or mail to : Greater Birmingham Fiber Guild PO Box 660723 Birmingham, Al 35266-072
Are there any programs or workshops you would like to
Are there any programs or workshops you would like take?
How not to
miss out on guild news:
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! Janna
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
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
Study Groups Meet Monthly
love to have some information on what each of these groups is presently
pursuing. Please email me (email@example.com) with
anything you would like posted.
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
Weaving study group: Second Thursday
of the month at 6 pm at Hoover Church of Christ. Contact
Kathryn Pitt for details or check the weaving study group
thread on Ravelry.
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.
The Guild on
newsletters and meetings, keep up with the guild on the web at:
Each month, we
would like to have news from you to share with all of us. If you
have a favorite blog, website, book, etc that you would like for us to
feature, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and put GBFG
Newsletter in the subject line.
Birmingham Fiber Guild
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, 10:00-2:00 (no meeting in July). Visitors
are welcome. The Guild offers programs almost monthly, focused
workshops several times a year, and equipment rental (see below).
Jennifer Lackey Programs:
Jennifer Justiss Workshops:
Shira Robinowich-Miller Treasurer:
Nancy Lavender Secretary:
Maddy McLendon Social Media
(Blog): Barbara Gower Membership:
Janna Ford Newsletter:
Deb Kattus Past President: