Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Annual Fiber Frenzy September 10

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, and remove any unsold items).
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 and registering: Email

Selection of members' work from the 2015 Homewood Library show

Monday, August 29, 2016

Baby Booties in Memory of Little Ones

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.

Let Nancy Clemmons know if you need more information or suggestions for patterns. 

There are lots of free patterns available on the web.

Some particularly popular ones are here:

Thank you for any contributions!

Booties made by Emily L.

Friday, August 26, 2016

National Alpaca Farm Day at Blackberry Hill Alpacas Farm

Ever wanted to meet an alpaca? Blackberry Hill Alpacas Farm is hosting an open house September 24 from 9-4.

National Alpaca Farm Day
Saturday, Sept. 24
Blackberry Hill Alpacas Farm
Open House 9am-4pm
Shop for unique alpaca fleece products in the farm store. Visit vendors’ craft booths. Watch knitters and spinners. Kids activities including face painting and a scavenger hunt.
For more info call 256-453-4147

Meet the alpacas and Wednesday the Camel! The camel will be on site from 9-1.

6330 Saks Rd., Anniston, 36206

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

for the beauty of: Birmingham

for the beauty of: Birmingham is a lovely book about Birmingham artists by photographer Charity Ponter. It features weaver and guild member Miriam Omura.

Contact Charity if you are interested in purchasing this book. Or check it out from the Mountain Brook Library.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Meeting Saturday

Calling all guild members, especially spinners! 

At Saturday's meeting Clare Clifford will be giving a presentation on Fractal Spinning. So if you're interested in trying this technique, please bring along a distinctly colored or bold colored braid to split along with Clare in the meeting, which you can then fractal spin later at home!

Also bring items for display at the Homewood Library show.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

August newsletter

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

Newsletter of the Greater Birmingham Fiber Guild 

                      President’s Column   

Welcome back from our summer hiatus!  Even though we haven’t had a guild meeting in July, guild members have been actively pursuing their fiber interests.  Following up on the fascinating Mycodyeing Workshop in June, several guild members attended a mushroom symposium at the Birmingham Botanic Gardens last month.  I hope we’ll get a report on that at the August meeting!  Some of us have travelled to workshops, while others have participated in the Tour de Fleece spinning competition on Ravelry.  Another Olympics-related activity begins there this month.  So, we’ve been spinning, knitting, weaving, dyeing, stitching, crocheting, tatting, making lace, and probably some other fiber-related crafts I can’t think of.  Show-and-tell will be really exciting this month!  We’re looking forward to a great program on spinning at this month’s meeting.  In addition, we’ll be voting on the revised by-laws, which you can find in our guild blog, and we’ll be collecting pieces for the annual exhibit at the Homewood Library.  Please consider showing your best work from the past year, or any year as long as you haven’t exhibited it at Homewood already.  We look forward to another beautiful month-long display of our work.  The patrons of the library really appreciate this annual event, and it’s a great way to give your fiber work a museum-quality showcase.  I will pick up your work at the August meeting, we’ll install the exhibit on August 31, and the exhibit will stay in the library for the month of September.  We’ll take it down on September 30, and I will return the pieces at the October meeting, or you can pick them up on the take-down day if you prefer.  Hope you see you soon, on Saturday August 13 at 10 a.m. at the Hoover Church of Christ!

 August Program
All About Spinning
Hoover Church of Christ
3248 Lorna Road, 35216
10am to 2pm

The August Guild Meeting will be all about spinning!  We will have a panel of Guild members talking about fiber prep, fractal spinning, and wheel selection/maintenance.  There will be a  Q&A time period, so being your questions.
We will also hear and see reports from our recent Tour de Fleece Revelry group and award the prizes to our intrepid spinners and boosters !!  (If you don't know what the Tour is, be sure to attend the meeting.  It's great fun.).

Everyone is encouraged to attend , spinner or not.  You will definitely learn something and, of course, there will be regular Show and Tell so bring your recent FOs or WIPs.  Don't forget to bring items for the Homewood Library Guild Show as well.

We will be meeting at our regular location.  There are doors on either side of the front of the church(part pointing to Lorna Road) that lead directly into the basement fellowship hall.  These will be propped open slightly.  If you park in he front parking lot near Lorna Road, there are a set of steps leading down to the doors.  There's also handicap parking on the other side of the building with an elevator that leads to the fellowship hall.  If you park in the large back parking lot, please walk around to the basement doors.  As always, if you're lost or need help that morning, just call Jennifer Lackey.  Bring or pack a lunch, it's  going to be a great day.

Fiber Frenzy
September 10
We are going to have a Fiber Frenzy blow out at the September 10 guild meeting! We hope that every member will come, as well as everyone interested in becoming a member. We'll meet at our regular meeting location, the Hoover Church of Christ from 10:00 to 4:00. Guild members will be demonstrating spinning, weaving, fiber preparation, dyeing, knitting, crochet, tatting and more. There will be time to meet new people, be inspired to try new things, show people what you are doing, and hang out with other fiber-crazy people. Bring things you've made to share and whatever you are working on so you are ready to hang around for a while. 
After lunch we'll open up the Sell, Trade or Give area. You are welcome to bring things to sell, trade or give away. You'll be responsible for handling your own sales and taking away anything you brought that is unsold/unwanted at the end of the day. Items brought for Sell, Trade, or Give should be in good condition, nothing broken, soiled, or buggy. This is a great opportunity to clear out your storage space or fill it up!
If you register ahead of time and make a lunch choice (see below), then your lunch will be delivered by Jason's Deli and paid for by the guild. If you don't register ahead of time, no problem, you are more than welcome to come anyway and will just need to bring your own lunch or plan to run out and get something (there are lots of options in the Hoover area).
To register:
Email Mary Spanos, tell her you are coming and whether you want a turkey roll-up lunch box or a vegetarian roll-up lunch box.
There is no fee for this event. It is open to all members and perspective members. We hope you will come and we hope you will bring a friend!
Grateful for all of the help we are receiving, the workshop chairs: Elizabeth Young and Mary Spanos.

Interesting Facts to check out:

Karen Ford sent us this link to check out:

Deb Kattus thought that since we have been talking about mushrooms that we might enjoy this:You Didn’t Know Mushrooms Could Do All This
Mushrooms are being tested in innovative and imaginative ways to help society. 
Read the full story

Karen also sent us this info:  Looks like they might be building wheels in Georgia!

Some Interesting Facts About Knitting

 When the knitting machine was invented, hand knitting became useful but nonessential. Like quilting, spinning, and needlepoint, knitting has become a leisurely activity.j

The world’s fastest knitter is Miriam Tegels of the Netherlands. She can hand knit 118 stitches in one minute.a

Linda Benne has been the North American speed-knitting champ for the past 10 years. She can knit 253 stitches in 3 minutes.a

The record for the most people knitting simultaneously happened September 2012 in Royal Albert Hall, London, when 3,083 people knitted together for 15 minutes.b

Mega knitting is a recent term that refers to the use of knitting needles that are greater than or equal to half an inch in diameter. Mega knitting uses needles that have been carved at the tips into hooks. The hooks help prevent stitches from slipping off the needles. Mega knitting usually creates more chunky, bulky fabric or an open lacy weave.b

The knitting machine was invented in 1589 (during the reign of Queen Elizabeth) by William Lee, a clergyman. After the invention of the knitting machine, knitting was gradually taken over by guild-organized cottage industries in the 17th and 18th centuries.d

The full-fashioned knitting machine was invented in 1864 by William Cotton of Leicestershire, England.j

Americans have sex an average of 6 minutes per sexual encounter. These six minutes burn about 21 calories. A person burns 55 calories by knitting for half an hour.e

Early knitting needles were typically made from bone, ivory, or tortoise shell.h

Ravellenic Games in Vulcan-land
Dates: Friday, August 5 - Sunday, August 21
"The One Rule To Rule Them All: Challenge yourself by starting and finishing one or more projects during the 2016 Summer Olympics. What will be a stretch for you? It could be a new technique, that first sweater or pair of socks, something massive, something delicate, or maybe finishing that monster in the closet." ~Home of the 
Ravellenic Games 2016
The GBFG Ravellenic Games will kick off at First Friday Spinning (perhaps while watching the opening ceremonies, technology permitting) and conclude with a closing ceremony party.
Events include:

  • Triathlon Trials 
  • The X-Yard Dash 
  • Finding the Finish Line 
  • The Handspun Hurdles 
  • The Foot-Race 
  • …and any other event ideas you may come up with…

Post your goals and projects in the GBFG Ravellenic Games Ravelry thread.

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!   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, (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

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.  

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.