Monday, September 26, 2016

Spinners to study "Local" fleece.

Spinners gather with drop spindles and wheels to share their craft
 Exciting plans are underway for the spinners group. Greg announced that there will be two workshops and we will be studying "local" fleece this year. Local refers to fleece from animals raised within a two hour radius. He's so thrilled, he's already found quite a few. "My garage is full of fleeces,  I cannot wait to get my fingers into them." Similar to last year's breed study, he will distribute samples of each breed to "play with".  There will also be a spring workshops, April 8 & 9 at the Solon library, on the uniqueness of and the expectations for spinning specific crossbreeds and purebreds.  Each day is $110, and limited to the first 20 sign ups. Contact Greg if you weren't at the meeting if you'd like to be included in either of the workshops or the local breeds study.

Folks have been busy, spinning up last year's samples from the breeds study and other fleece found at the sheep and wool shows last summer. As we all know, spinning takes time and practice, yet amazingly, we see results. We do tend to be our own worst critics and fail to see the beauty and success of a not so perfect yarn. I often take my wheel camping. It sits proudly in the passenger seat, all buckled in, ready to ride to wherever our journey takes us. It doesn't care if it's raining, cold, or the campsite is less that ideal.  However, I do use a large mat under my wheel and basket after I absent-mindedly added leaves to my yarn.  It really wasn't a great disaster, just not fun picking out the leaves rather than spinning. Thankfully, spinning is an addictive and soothing activity in which perfection is not always the goal. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Weaving at the Iowa State Fair

Over the years, the Craft Guild of Iowa City has had a strong presence in the fibers and threads exhibits. This year, in addition to many entries, many ribbons, we had weavers demonstrating the fine craft on handweaving from 10-3 daily throughout the fair. 

Every day weavers worked at the loom, answering questions and hearing stories of parents and grandparents at their looms. One gal said her mom never bought a wedding present, but instead wove a rug for every couple. Handwoven rugs last forever. Another couple stopped by asking how to fix a long standing problem with a warp. Some just stood there and watched. 

A child asked,  "how's is that done, its string and then its cloth."  One little girl was delighted to help one of our weavers weave. "Mom, she says, look, I'm making colors". The joy and excitement we feel as weavers when it comes together as a towel, rugs or scarf, was obvious in many a child's delight.  I think we had as much fun as the fairgoers did. 

One weaver, Stephanie,  summed it up best. "...Love sharing my skills  and hearing the stories of our fiber history  💕💕"