Wednesday, February 28, 2018

GBFG March 2018 Newsletter

Newsletter of the Greater Birmingham Fiber Guild 

President's Column

by Jennifer Lackey
It’s Olympic season and several of our Guild members have been enjoying a super fun, online version through Ravelry called the Ravellenic Games. If you aren’t playing or following along, you really should participate, because, for me, that’s what the Olympics are all about: participation. Yes, it’s a chance for the best athletes in the world to show how amazing they are, but I’m always so pleased to see athletes who know they have no chance of winning and who still look just absolutely thrilled when they simply finish their event. Their joy and enthusiasm at participating and representing the ideals of togetherness and unity are infectious. And no, I’m not trying to weigh in on the controversy surrounding the Hungarian freeskier in the halfpipe who so obviously didn’t belong at this elite level of competition! I haven’t decided what I think there. But, it did get me thinking about how I truly love the spirit of the Olympics: a mix of athletes of different ethnicities, different political ideologies, different skill levels and different talents, all coming together to share an experience with one another. Given this spirit of togetherness and love of their craft, how could the Olympics not inspire a similar event among the fiber world!?! Some of you may be cynical about the Olympics (and trust me, I feel that sometimes too), but I feel zero cynicism about our group!! We value each other and our talents and we want to share them with each other and with the world.  This is a rare and beautiful thing. So, this month at our Guild meeting, our “event” will be curling…kidding! It’s drop spindling. I hope you’ll all come out and participate!

Next Monthly Meeting
Saturday, March 10, 2018
10 a.m.
Hoover Church of Christ

Program: Drop spindle spinning
This month Karen Ford will lead the group in drop spindle spinning. The drop spindle is an amazing invention; both ancient and portable, yet still providing a great way to spin yarn. It is the perfect gateway tool into the world of spinning! We hope that you join us, whether you've never spun before or are a seasoned spinner! We look forward to sharing our love of spinning with everyone!
The guild will be providing approximately 1 ounce of BFL top (sheep wool) per member. If you require other fibers, please bring them with you.
If you already own a drop spindle, please bring it in with you. A limited number of beginner drop spindles will be available for use during the program (top whorl, 1.8 ounces). If you would like to keep your beginner spindle, the guild will be offering them for sale at $4 each. Please bring cash, check, or PayPal to the meeting to purchase the spindle.

Doing our "due diligence"...Dues are due!
If you have not paid your 2018 guild dues ($25), please do so by February 28. You may pay by cash/check at the February meeting or mail your check to Jennifer Lackey, 1907 Saulter Road, Birmingham, AL 35209, or send it to the PO BOX still in use: GBFG, PO Box 660723, Birmingham, AL 35266.

Dues also can be paid using PayPal. Mark it "Friends/family" and NOT "Goods/services." Use this link: 
or use our gmail account

Ravellenics: we're raving over your accomplishments

Members of the Greater Birmingham Fiber Guild joined together on Ravelry and celebrated the Ravellenics during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. In addition to posting our progress online, we had a small party at both the opening and the closing ceremonies. At the closing ceremonies we awarded some prizes and showed off our finished objects. Congratulations to all our participants and a big "thank you" to our team captain, Rosalynn!

Cochineal Natural Dye: an invitation to learn more

This item came to us through email and we're passing it along.
"My name is Lorenzo Perez, I'm cochineal farmer from Canary Islands dedicated to producing high grade cochineal. I'd love to share to with your Guild Association a report on the Turkey Red Journal about our natural dye.
If you are interested in this natural dye and need more information, please don't hesitate to contact back.
Thank you very much!" Best regards, Lorenzo Pérez

Preview of coming attractions: guild programs through summer
Here's a brief look at what we have planned for the next few months. More details for each program will be in the monthly newsletter preceding the program. All programs are subject to change, and are not final.
We will have a discussion on our favorite notions. Bring your favorite notion(s) to share with the group. Please limit your selection to no more than three notions.
Annual Guild Picnic. Please bring a dish to share. Location TBD.
Worldwide Knit in Public Day with the Hoover Public Library. We will meet at the Hoover Public Library this month.
No meeting this month.

Look what we did last month!

Ruth Truett did a stellar job instructing February's attendees in the art of weaving yarn rosettes. Here are some images provided primarily by Nancy Clemmons. Our group shots had so many happy faces that it was impossible to include them and still abide by stated wishes not to have members' likenesses appear online; so...that called for some close cropping.


Ruth Truett, our gracious instructor, with some of her beautiful rosette-adorned pincushions in the foreground at left:

Here is an immediate use one of our members found for the two rosettes she made on February 10:

Thanks, everyone, for a great time of learning and crafting together in February!

Tatting Study Group update

The Tatting Study group will be working on a new pattern, "Rosaleen." Here's a photo of the thread selected for this upcoming "tat along" (TAL) project:

For more information on the tat along, please see the guild Ravelry page:

Backstrap Weaving Workshops in April are almost full!

Laverne Waddington is returning in April to teach two workshops on backstrap weaving! This year she will be teaching her beginning workshop, Complementary-warp Pick-up, followed by a workshop for experienced backstrap weavers, Double Weave. More information is available on the guild's online sites. Registration opened for members on February 14 and there are only 1 or 2 seats available at the time of this writing.

Complementary-warp Pick-up will be April 2 and 3. That is Monday and Tuesday after Easter. Double Weave will be April 4 and 5 (Wednesday and Thursday).

If you are interested, email to find out if there is still space!

Membership Dues & Renewal

The new membership year starts in January. Annual dues are $25. Please pay your 2018 dues by February 28. Thank you! You may pay by cash/check at the meeting, or mail your check to Jennifer Lackey, 1907 Saulter Road, Birmingham, AL 35209, or send it to the PO BOX still in use: GBFG, PO Box 660723, Birmingham, AL 35266. 

Dues also can be paid using PayPal. Mark it  “friends/family” and NOT “goods/services”. Use this link: or use our gmail account

We want to know about you! If you haven't completed a new Membership Form this year, please do so. Your answers to a few simple questions help the Board keep track of all our members to make sure you receive the newsletter and other communications. This form of information sharing also gives us an idea of what fiber arts you're interested in, so we can plan workshops and programs accordingly. Please submit the form with your check to Nancy Lavender when you renew your membership for 2018. You can also copy, paste and email the form to

Member information form 2018


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?

Guild goings-on

Knit Night in the Forest
First Monday of the month, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Vestavia Hills Public Library, Treehouse Room
We are thrilled to have a new night-time knitting group in our area! Knit Night in the Forest is officially kicked off, in conjunction with the Vestavia Hills Public Library! We had a full house on Feb. 5 and it was a great time of stitching, chatting with friends old and new, and even handing out some fun door prizes. (We actually kind of "wowed" the library staff with our great turnout!)

This pilot program will continue through May 2018 (with the option to extend depending on turn out). Knit Night in the Forest will be held the first Monday of the month from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Treehouse of the Vestavia Library. This room is downstairs and has the best view of the forest behind the library. While this event is listed as a "knit night," any and all fiber arts are welcome! Find our Ravelry thread for Knit Night here.

This Knit Night is posted on the Vestavia Library events calendar:
The Vestavia Hills Public Library is located at:
1221 Montgomery Highway
Vestavia Hills AL 35216

We have a full schedule of CAL/KAL/TAL/WAL/etc. planned for 2018! We’d love for you to join us for any and all of them! Often, more details and group discussion can be found on the GBFG discussion page on Ravelry located at

(And here's a little reminder of what the acronyms mean:
KAL - knit along
TAL - tat along
CAL - crochet along
WAL - weave along
SAL - spin along
FAL - finish along)
KAL - Sweet Dreams by Boo Knits (or any Boo Knits pattern)
In progress
Pattern can be bought on Ravelry at
The new Knit Night in the Forest group will be working on this beaded lace shawl starting in January 2018. We’d love for you to join us for the KAL or just come hang out at Knit Night!

TAL – Rosaleen by Tatting by the Bay
Start Date: January 2018
Free pattern can be found at
The Crochet and Tatting Study Group will be hosting a tat-a-long. We have selected a free pattern that has a couple variations to allow for easy customization by size and thread weight.
Attendance at the Tuesday Crochet and Tatting gatherings is not required.
CAL – Sophie’s Garden by Dedri Uys
Start Date: Spring 2018
Free pattern can be found at
You’re invited to a garden party!
The Crochet and Tatting Study Group  will be hosting a crochet-a-long. The CAL will be taking a stroll through Sophie’s Garden
. If you want to continue past Sophie’s Garden, you can expand into Sophie’s Universe!
Attendance at the Tuesday Crochet and Tatting gatherings is not required.
Expected start date is Spring 2018. We’d love for any and all to join us!

Start Date: undetermined
Weavers, often (due to the combersome nature of their equipment) independent in their work, find a WAL awkward. We hope that sharing progress and questions, photos and milestones on Ravelry will improve the experience. At the moment, we are finishing up a fall WAL using overshot. Watch for news of at least one new WAL for 2018!

In progress
With all of life's distractions, not to mention the siren call of new projects, sometimes we forget about the put-aside-just-for-a-minute projects. Our Ravelry group will host a FAL (Finish-along) or two this year, giving those who want it a period of time to focus on clearing out at least a few unfinished pieces. One  began on Jan. 3, to last 6 weeks.  The other will be showing up in June.

Tour de Fleece
Dates: July 7 - July 29, 2018
The Guild forms a wildcard team for the Tour de Fleece called Team Vulcan Spinners. The goal is to challenge yourself and spin every day the Tour de France rides, if possible. We share our progress and encourage each other along the way! More details can be found on the Guild's Ravelry page closer to July.

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! The page manager shares information and posts that she receives on the guild's Facebook group page and keeps 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. Find helpful information on participating in the Ravelry guild group on the blog,

Study Groups Meet Monthly
  • First Thursday Spinning and Weaving Group:  Spin & Weave Night, 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Hoover (on Patton Chapel Rd, across from Hoover Church of Christ). Park behind the church, come in the large glass doors, walk toward the happy, loud voices. Everyone is welcome! Contact Kathryn Pitt at for details.
  • Spinning Study Group:  4th Wednesday of the month, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at St. Peter’s Church in Hoover. Please check out the GBFG Blog for cancellations or schedule changes.
  • Knit Night in the Forest:  1st Monday of the month, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the Vestavia Hills Public Library. Please see Ravelry for more details.
  • Trish Raczynski is hosting a tatting and crochet group. Please check the group discussion thread on Ravelry for more information. 

Newsletter news

If there's something you'd like to share in the monthly newsletter, let us know. Suggestions:
  • book reviews
  • fiber-related articles or web pages we can attach or link (within copyright allowances)
  • your fiber questions to which you would love answers or suggestions from other guild members
  • tips you've discovered and used that make your fiber art a little bit easier
Please send your newsletter submissions by the 15th of the month to go into the following month's newsletter. Email me at and put GBFG Newsletter in the subject line. Corrections are also encouraged; we want to get correct info out and anything wrong corrected as soon as possible. Thanks!

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 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. (no meeting in July). Visitors are welcome. The Guild offers programs almost monthly, focused workshops several times a year, and equipment rental (see below).

 2018 Officers and Board 

Jennifer Lackey, President
Rekha Drwiega, Programs
Mary Spanos & Mary Margaret Gray, Workshops
Chloe Hope, Membership
Nancy Lavender, Treasurer
Shira Robinowich-Miller, Secretary
Barbara Gower with Kathryn Pitt & Janna Ford, Social Media/Blog
Betsy Lowery, Newsletter


Rental of Guild Equipment & Materials
The Guild has available, for rental to members, the following:
  • Lucy Neatby's DVD knitting collection (more info on this resource)
  • Drum Carder
  • Laura Fry's Magic in the Water book and DVD
  • 4-harness table loom (Jennifer Lackey)
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 be checked out at Fiber Guild monthly meetings; please check with Jennifer Lackey. Deposit checks will be held by Nancy Lavender, treasurer, until checked-out items are returned in original condition.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

GBFG annual dues are due!

Guild members:  Annual dues are due February 28.  The most efficient way to pay dues is by using the PayPal link:
Be sure to mark it "family and friends" (NOT "goods and services")

(or use our gmail account

Annual dues are $25. 

If you prefer, you can mail a check to Jennifer Lackey, 1907 Saulter Road, Birmingham, AL 35209, or send it to the PO BOX still in use: GBFG, PO Box 660723, Birmingham, AL 35266. 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Tatting study group update

The Tatting Study group will be working on a new pattern, "Rosaleen."  A photo of the thread selected for this upcoming "tat along" project is pasted below. 

For more information on the tat along, please see the guild Ravelry page:

Monday, February 19, 2018

Cochineal dye available: see link

My name is Lorenzo Perez, I'm cochineal farmer from Canary Islands dedicated to produce high grade cochineal. 
Would love to share to your Guild Association a report on the Turkeyredjournal about our natural dye. 
If you are interested in this natural dye and need more information please don't hesitate to contact back. 
Thank you very much !

Best regards 
Lorenzo Pérez

Back strap weaving workshops in April : Register now!

The Greater Birmingham Fiber Guild welcomes Laverne Waddington for two back strap workshops this Spring!!  On April 2-3, she will be teaching Complementary Warp Pick-up and on April 4-5, she will be teaching Double Weave.

Registration is open NOW  for our paid members.  Registration for all others will begin in March.

To register (or to join/renew membership), please go to this link on PayPal and send the appropriate payment.  There is NO registration form to fill out!!  

Membership is $25 for the year.  To register for one workshop, send $70 as deposit.  To register for BOTH workshops, send $140 as deposit.  If you need further instructions, especially in using PayPal, please let us know!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Schacht 4 harness Baby Wolf floor loom for sale

Debbie Scott is selling this loom:

26” wide, gently used in good condition. Includes a stroller for easy rolling, a wolf trap, a high castle for holding all your tools, some easy to see eye heddles, and steel reeds in good conditions in 8”, 10”, and 12”. This loom rolls easily when folded. I believe the loom was made sometime in the mid 80’s. Original booklet and accessory booklets are included. This loom is not a 4 now 4 later loom. If
you bought this loom brand new with all the accessories it would cost approximately $2009.00. I am selling this loom for $750.00 FIRM PRICE. Serious inquiries only. Cash or certified check only.

If you are interested, or for more information, please contact Debbie directly using the information in the Guild directory.