Friday, May 27, 2011

Spinners Scarf Challenge

Last fall, the spinners laid down the gauntlet: make a scarf from your own handspun yarn using either Falling Leaves or Morning Surf pattern. The challenge met...and displayed at the last Spinner's meeting. While each scarf was crafted from one of the two patterns, it is absolutely amazing the uniqueness of each scarf, based solely on the distinct properties of each spinners' handspun yarn. Well done!

This is the last spinner's meeting until Fall. As the summer rolls on, think about what you want to do or to learn about during the next spinners' year. See y'all at Mid-West Weavers Conference in Hancock, Michigan. Happy Spinning.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


It may not feel like summer today, but it looks like some of the weavers were thinking ROAD TRIP. Sara, Grace, Jill and Lucy hit the road to the Yarn Barn in Lawrence, Kansas...nothing like the smell of fiber to excite a weaver, not to mention a significant sale. And lo and behold, they ran into Mary...I guess brilliant minds just think alike. Having fun amist all that yarn....

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Iowa Federation of Handweavers and Spinners of Iowa

This Saturday almost 90 people attended the biannual gathering of the Iowa Federation of Handweavers and Spinners. It was a great day, a little dreary outside, but inside, the sun was shining and folks were having a grand time. Whether if was coffee and kolaches, spinning with friends, learning something new, or shopping the vendors, there was definitely something for everyone.

There were classes teaching spinning with beads, knitting with unspun fleece, blending fibers, knit one below, ply split braiding, weaving snowflakes and hearts, knotted table mats. It was standing room only for the class, "making use of specialty yarns" or what I like to call it "How to use your yarn stash". Guess what that says about the lot of us?

There were demonstrations of ply split braiding, of Navajo plying, ply on the fly and spinning tweed.

Of course, there were the vendors, not that any of us spend any money in fiber.

Popular Choice, the exhibit of our members work which allows the members to select a winner among the entries. Whether its homespun skeins, knitting with homespun, weaving with homespun, weaving with commercial fiber, Handfelted, the entries were sheer proof of the vast array of talent that pervades this group.

This is a group which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. One of our more experienced members, a mere spunky 94 years and a member for probably all of those 50 years, cut the cake and shared her wisdom.

And to top off the day, each participant took home one of these lovely bookmarks. Each woven by a member of the host guild, Craft Guild of Iowa City.

Makes ya just wanta weave/spin/knit something incredible.

Happy 50th Birthday... Federation of Handweavers and Spinners

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Gradations of Color

Color is always a challenge for quilters; finding just the right hue, in the exact value or saturation often makes us want to simply dye our own. With that in mind, a dozen or so quilters gathered at Nancy Granner's home for a lesson on dyeing fabrics. Nancy demonstrated the process of gradation dyeing,i.e, one hue produced in various values or intensities. Nancy mixed the dye and gradually diluted the mixture in six stages. As we sat and stirred the dyepots, it reminded me of Shakespeare's witches o'er their brew..., "Double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn, and cauldron bubble". While we aren't exactly witches, we certainly did cackle as we saw the colors develop. It was amazing to see how some fabrics take up the dye differently. In the picture you can see how the white on white took less color than the simple cottons even though they were processed in the same batch, same pots over the same time. Top the morning off with incredible treats, individuals showing their works in progress, and the report that 150 quilts sewn by Pam's group of quilters were shipped to Japan. It doesn't get any better than this.