Wednesday, January 11, 2017

January Newsletter

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

Newsletter of the Greater Birmingham Fiber Guild 

                      President’s Column   

Welcome to the new year!  As your new president, I find myself reflecting on all the new of this season.  This is a time for new beginnings, new hopes and, of course, those new resolutions.  Sometimes I feel that all I should resolve is to have no new resolutions:)  They often feel like “pie crust” promises – easily made and easily broken.  But,  I do have one simple resolution that I believe we all share and that I know I will keep.  Make something. With your own hands.  Just make something. Those of you who get email from me may have occasionally seen this added at my signature:
“But tho’ industrialism has now won an almost complete victory, the handicrafts are not killed, & they cannot be quite killed because they meet an inherent, indestructible, permanent need in human nature.”
It’s a favorite quote of mine, written by Eric Gill, an intensely contradictory artist, who wrestled with the contradiction that is modern life.  He was a sculpture on one hand but on the other hand, also invented the font Gill Sans, which you probably have on your computer word processor right now.  Two hands, one on either side of that contradiction, the hand made and the machine processed.  My hands do the same.  One the “one hand” my world is pre-fabricated by machines, items sent to me in plastic shrink-wrapped, mundane, identical packages.  But on the “other”, my hands make things, filling a need in my nature that I know cannot be destroyed.  
Whatever else “new” you find in your life this year, I wish you the joy of finding new creations from your own hands and I promise you the joy of sharing that with a  community of fiber enthusiasts who understand our victory!

January Program
January 14, 2107
Hoover Church of Christ
10 am

   Welcome to 2017!  Join us at 10:00 on Saturday when we will jumpstart the new year with a review of last year's resolutions and the making of new resolutions for this year.  We will also brush up on our hand sewing and embroidery skills by making name tags from repurposed sweaters.  The guild will provide materials, but members need to bring scissors and large embroidery needles.


Laverne Waddington Weaving Workshop
Coming in March 

Preparations for the Laverne Waddington backstrap weaving workshops in March are coming along nicely! We heard from Laverne this week and she has her plane ticket from Bolivia to Birmingham and her train ticket that will take her from here to Atlanta, the location of the workshops she will teach after ours.

The 3-day weekday workshop is full with one name on the waiting list. Five people have signed up for the 2-day weekend workshop, so there are 3 seats still available. If there are any seats available on January 15 then we will open the registration to the people who have already signed up for the 3-day workshop (we've been holding them off to let as many people as possible get a chance to take a workshop with Laverne).

You can get all of the details on Ravelry at:

Or on the blog:

If you aren't planning to attend the workshop, we hope you are looking forward to seeing the amazing things the workshop participants will make, at the workshop and after. Every time any one of us learns something new we all benefit.

Reflections on 2016
Kathryn  Pitt
It's all Shira's fault.  She happened to notice that our group on Ravelry, as a local guild, had a very high number of posts per month.  I checked, and had to be careful about the search terms I used.  But yes, there we are, almost at the top of local guilds.  Here you go.  Out of 189 matches for the terms "guild:local", we come in with the second highest number of posts.  Bakersfield What the Knit has 185 members and 191 posts per month.  GBFG (that's us has 143 members and 165 posts per month.  Who would have thought...?  Of course, Jen helped us along with a series of one... word... posts.

Then there are our own numbers: the most posts per thread per year within our group.  Team Vulcan Spinners TDF 2016 had 707 posts; Ravellenic Games in Vulcan-land had 262; Spinning Study Groups had 221; Crochet & Tatting Study Group had 217; and Weaving had 137 posts.  The Spinning and Crochet/Tatting threads include this month up to Sunday, 1/8/17, 10:25am.

And that's all I have to say about numbers for 2016.

Membership Dues Renewal
It's that time of year when we ask members to renew their memberships.  Dues for 2017 will be $25.  Please fill out the application form below  and give it with a check to Nancy Lavender at the December meeting or mail both to:
Greater Birmingham Fiber Guild
PO Box 660723
Birmingham, Al 35266-072

It would be great to have all renewals by the first of January.


Member information form 2017


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?

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!

New weaving study group!

We are finally set for a first weaving study group meeting.  It will be on second Thursdays at 6:00pm at Hoover Church of Christ.  Anyone interested in weaving is welcome to come.  Bring a project on a small loom, if you have one going.  That would include inkle, rigid heddle, card, backstrap, tapestry, even zoom looms.  Otherwise, just come ready to be inspired.  If you want  to be included in the reminder emails, let Kathryn Pitt know.  Or watch the new Weaving Study Group thread on Ravelry.

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 to
   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

         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. 
  • 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.  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.
Email me at 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).  

 2017 Officers and Board 

President:  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:  Mary Kaiser

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 © 2017 Greater Birmingham Fiber Guild, All rights reserved. 
You are getting this email because you are a member of the Greater Birmingham Fiber Guild or are somehow affiliated with the organization. 

Our mailing address is: 
Greater Birmingham Fiber Guild
P.O. Box 660723
Birmingham, AL 35266

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