Monday, April 27, 2015

GBFG on Ravelry

Greater Birmingham Fiber Guild has three homes on the web!  In addition to this blog, there is a Facebook page (find it here) and a Ravelry page (find it here).

At the recent guild meeting, Kathryn Pitt agreed to manage the guild Ravelry page and has started group threads to which folks have been posting photos. Emily Levitan manages the Facebook page and Mary Spanos (that's me) manages this blog. So, hopefully, no matter where you hang out on the web, you can find some guild friends to visit.

To get everyone up to speed on posting to Ravelry group threads, Kathryn has provided the following information.
from Kathryn Pitt (Ravelry name: wildapple):

I suspect the majority of you in the Guild already know of Ravelry and our presence within Ravelry as a group.  For those of you who have no idea of what I'm talking about, or who want to make more use of GBFG's group forum (share pictures, announcements, experiences), read on.

Ravelry is an online community of people who share an interest in fiber.  It is "a place for knitters, crocheters, designers, spinners, weavers and dyers to keep track of their yarn, tools, project and pattern information, and look to others for ideas and inspiration." 

To join Ravelry, go to You will be asked for your email address to which they will send you a signup link.  From there, follow the directions.

Once you've settled in, you can join the Greater Birmingham Fiber Guild group.  Select the group tab at the top of the page, type our name into the "search groups" box, and hit "search."  The next page will give you a link for the group; select it.  There is a button on the right side of the page just below all the tabs for joining the group.  Need a fast way to get to the group forum site later?  You can get to it by way of "My Notebook: groups/events" or, even quicker, just hit the "forums" tab.

Our forum page shows the different discussion threads for our group.  At the moment, several people have posted pictures of their projects.  I will be posting notices of meetings and special events.  Actually, any of you can do that as the need or opportunity arises.  Comments or questions about any post are usually welcomed.  AND, any of you can start your own thread!  The site is designed to be user-friendly. 

If you are having trouble figuring out how to do something, try looking it up with the help (?) button.  If you are still having trouble, please feel free to ask in our group forum.  I added a HELP thread especially for that purpose and will keep an eye on it.  You could also pm me (send me a private message) by going to my profile page.  Place your cursor over my ravatar to the left of any of my posts, select the "view profile" link, then select the "send message" link (immediately under my rav name).  It's pretty clear from there.  I will be notified of your message when I am in Ravelry, and also by email.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Nuno felting workshop in Birmingham!

Maria Paracca is hosting a nuno felting workshop lead by Judith Dios in May in Birmingham! For more information check out their web sites. See more about Maria here and read about Judith here.

Update, Monday, April 27, information Kathryn posted on the Ravelry:

A little basic info about the workshop:
  • you will make a 3-D Watercolour (hand-painted) Nuno Chemise or Vest;
  • the workshop is May 28-30, 2015;
  • the cost is $330 plus $50 materials fee (or more--see the workshop info here, about halfway down the page);
  • it will be at Maria Paracca’s studio in Hoover at Artists on the Bluff, 571 Park Avenue.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Loom for sale!

Harrisville 4H 4Treadle 22" loom. Added tray on top. Comes with pair of lease sticks, 3 reeds (8, 10, 15) and custom made raddle. Has been well cared for and well used. Asking $400. Call Susie at 205.266.3999

Fiber and Craft Studio Sale this Sunday!

Weaver and craftswoman of 4 decades (Ruth) is moving and having a Studio Sale on Sunday, April 19th from 2-5 pm. Some of the items include cotton, rayon, wool, and other fiber yarns in cones and skeins; weaving tools (shuttles, tapestry beaters and tools, ball and bobbin winders, etc); looms (inkle looms, 4 H/4Treadle 22² Harrisville loom, and 8H Table loom); knitting tools; and associated craft items for basketry, rope twisting, etc. Also will be quilting hoops; Kumihimo stands; and finished art items. And many, many excellent fiber art and craft books. Everything is priced to sale!
Address: 5708 9th Ave. s., 35212 / Phone: 205-592-2592

Monday, April 13, 2015

SEFAA Square Foot Fiber Art Show

At Saturday's meeting, Mary Umlauf discussed the SEFAA Square Foot Fiber Art Show and passed on this link to the SEFAA web page that provides more information:

Scroll down to find the information on the call for entries for the Square Foot show. Entires can be no larger than 12-inches by 12-inches. Online entry forms must be submitted by 5 pm on April 23. See the web site listed above for the form and where to send it.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Great meeting this Saturday!

This Saturday, guild member Janna Ford will share her crochet skills with us in an Introduction to Crochet program.  After a brief introduction, Janna will help us all get started on a crocheted washcloth, using several of the most common crochet stitches. 

Please bring a crochet hook size “I” and a ball of Sugar’n’Cream cotton yarn (available at Michaels and Walmart) in any color you like. Any worsted-weight cotton yarn should do fine.

Janna received permission from Laurie Laliberte to use one of Laurie's patterns for this program. As a "thank you" to Janna for asking permission to use Laurie's copyrighted material,  Laurie created a discount code for us to use at her Etsy shop for the rest of the month. Come to the meeting to get the code! Here is a link to Laurie's Etsy shop and you can follow this link to her blog.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Guild Newsletter, April 2015

Newsletter of the Greater Birmingham Fiber Guild 


        President’s Column   




Hello Fiber Friends!

I hope everyone is enjoying our beautiful weather! As I write, the birds are singing, the deck door is open and the Corgis are snoring!!! I guess next will come the sneezing...oh well!

Now is the time to start thinking cotton/bamboo instead of wool! I do have a hard time giving up my wool projects for the warmer weather. I think more of socks, and spinning. I am trying to resolve to knit some cotton or bamboo cowls to wear with my cotton shirts before it gets really hot! Several of us drove to Alexandria to a charming knit shop, Yvies, last week, and I did indeed buy yarn for 2 cotton cowls. 

I have to say our meetings have really energized me! The attendance has been phenomenal! I believe we have the largest membership in the history of the Guild right now! Good job spreading the word! I was so excited to see the 2 "new" spinning wheels acquired after the talk on antique wheels! Way to go!!!

I am looking forward to dusting off my crochet skills with Jana showing us how to make a dishcloth out of cotton at our next meeting. It should prove to be a lot of fun!

I hope to see you all at the meeting this month!

Karen Ford             

April   Meeting
Saturday, April 11
10:00am - noon
  St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church
2061 Patton Chapel Rd
Birmingham, AL  (205) 822-4480


 April Program: Introduction to Crocheting

Presented by Jana Ford 
This month, guild member Janna Ford will share her crochet skills with us in an Introduction to Crochet program.  After a brief introduction, Janna will help us all get started on a crocheted washcloth, using several of the most common crochet stitches.  Please bring a crochet hook size “I” and a ball of Sugar’n’Cream cotton yarn (available at Michaels and Walmart) in any color you like, and Janna will get us started!


Attention All Spindle Spinners

 Materials engineering professor, Uday Vaidya, has asked us to help introduce new engineering students to the concepts of spinning and weaving again this semester. Textiles play a big role in modern industry, from the Kevlar used in soldier's helmets to strong and flexible parts for the aeronautics industry. Dr. Vaidya's students will engineer better components by fully understanding how yarn is made, and we will get to introduce curious, intelligent people to the concepts of spinning and weaving. You can read about last semester's class on the blog at: 
If you are comfortable spinning on a spindle and might be able to arrange your schedule to spend an upcoming Friday morning at UAB, please contact Mary Spanos. We don't have a date for our class yet, but as soon as we know we will send out an email to all interested spinners.

Interesting Fiber Items to Read and Check Out...

Some interesting uses for sheep wool: 

46 interesting facts about knitting:

Check this out to see an unusual use for knitting:

Another interesting article about crocheting:


The Guild on the Web

Between newsletters and meetings, keep up with the guild at . If you don't want to have to visit the blog to see if anything new has been posted, 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


Craft Book Series

Thought it might be fun to suggest different series that deal with fiber crafts.  This is series of books dealing with crocheting.  More series to follow.                
betty hetchman
Protagonist: Molly Pink, a bookstore event coordinator
Setting: Tarzana, California
Number of books: 9
First in the series: Hooked on Murder
When bookstore event coordinator Molly Pink stumbles across the dead body of a crochet group’s leader, her complicated past with the woman makes her a prime suspect.
But while Molly’s fending off a detective with a personal grudge and navigating the pitfalls of crochet group politics, the real killer remains at large. And it’s up to her to catch the culprit — before she winds up in a tight knot.
Why we love it: Molly is the character we all want to be — not only does she crochet, but she also gets to work at a bookstore every day.

         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
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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