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V-Handwork Circle 9/25/20 and 10/2/20

08 Oct 2020 5:59 PM | Susette Shiver (Administrator)

EEK! Tomorrow is Friday again, and I am just now thinking to write about the previous two handwork sessions!  I am going to write this blog in pieces since it covers several weeks worth.  The first piece is to show you the progress of Katya's doll.  She was kind enough to send me photos which are much better than the screenshots using a phone.  

Let me introduce you to Hope.

Katya added detail to the base of Hope's stand using buttons she made during a button workshop at Local Cloth this past year.  Adding flowers, she created added decorative detail that reflects the colors of Hope's beautiful and magical clothing.  


We look forward to seeing the final piece!


September 25, 2020 V-Handwork Circle

It is just too tempting to sit and knit and listen to John Lawton stories on Audible rather than use my brain to write blogs or design a new t-shirt silkscreen. That is the excuse tendered this time for falling behind on my blog making.

Did I mention that Tiger Tail wire, typically used for jewelry making, is also excellent for hat brims?  It is wire encased by nylon.  And although it cannot be tied into a knot (must use crimp bead), it can easily be used to thread beads, sans needle.  I have a big floppy hat for the sun that has wire that can't be bent, and therefore I can't wear it inside a car or leaning back on a tall backed beach chair.  But I do have a much better hat with bendable wire in the brim so it is easily reshaped for style or convenience.  Note the style (mine, below).  


And, remember back to an earlier blog, Katya's doll hat made for her grandchild where the brim benefited from some shaping.

During our V-session, we discussed sales[wo]manship.  Kathleen knows (by personal experience??!!) that certain people can sell anything to anybody. Susette knows that certain people have trouble selling things.  But, all makers of art and craft need or want to sell their wares I think, to enable the buying of more materials or maybe living expenses, and to support their sense of self worth and value.

But if you don't want to sell your artwork, you can always give it away, either to friends or to charitable causes. Friends of artists might prefer to be gifted your artwork anyway feeling that friends shouldn't charge friends.  The horrible alternative of why your friends don't buy your work might be that although they lavish praise on your work, they would never want it in their own homes (I prefer to think your style might not fit their home style) or they think it stinks but are too polite to say so preferring instead to give positive, encouraging feedback. 

As we age, we have filled up our houses with stuff, and now is the time to get rid of stuff, but we feel guilty filling up the landfill with items that are tiredly limping into the next century. Or, each item is still precious, and holds a dear memory of the giver. Daughters are the receptacles for all those downsized home items from their childhood, willingly excited to be so, or feeling a dreaded and sinister requirement to be the one to go to Goodwill.  Or, back to the first theme, each item is not precious, just collected junk.  I might be revealing something about my dilemmas, mightn't I?  Let's not make it black or white.  Some stuff is good, some stuff is not.  (Check out George Carlin's rant on stuff if you dare and don't mind some rough language!)

Judy has found multiple venues for her quilt art.  Through her quilt guild, Mountain Peace Makers in Burnsville, she participates in creating quilts for Veterans.  The guild raises money through raffles for quilt fabric, and the guild members construct patriotic quilts (i.e many in red, white, and blues).  Each quilt is given to a veteran in their surrounding area. The program is very successful; the waiting list still has not been fulfilled!  A priceless local thank you to aging veterans (WWII and Korea mostly); hand made quilts loved in the process of making and giving.

The conversation, stitches, and thoughts flow on.

Oh, and Ian Banks writes good Sci Fi I am told.  I will put him on the list to read!  


October 2, 2020 V-Handwork Circle

We had two new participants Martha from Weaverville and Machell (pronounced like Michelle) joining us from Hickory.  Machell has experience of industrial weavers, design teams, tabletop looms, and hand spinning.

Anne, also a new attendee (from Weaverville) began our discussion of tie recycling or upcycling as she was deconstructing silk ties.  Leading Beth to describe her thrill of hand spinning novelty yarn including using Sari silk strips as warp on her rigid heddle loom.  In case you are wondering what a rigid heddle loom is, I present to you a screen shot from a Google Search.

Dolls:  There are many doll makers in the Asheville area including several from our group all making a variety of doll types.  Kathleen is a member of the Skyland Doll Group, this might be the correct link as it is centered in Western North Carolina, Land O' Sky Doll Club.  The project she mentioned was sewing dolls that represent characters in story books.  Which led someone else to inquire whether anyone knows someone that can make repairs to antique dolls??? No one did, and if you are reading this and do know someone, comment please and tell us!

And how did we get onto the topic of the olden days (the "olden days") in Kenilworth? Kenilworth is an Asheville neighborhood with historic Kenilworth Inn and the Kenilworth lake, between Biltmore and downtown.  Our handwork circle, it appears, has deep memories of the Kenilworth of years ago as several grew up there.

Naturally, the discussion on Kenilworth led seamlessly into birthing stories of lambs, via Sebette the sheep farmer in Leicester, and then onto Ravelry where one can obtain a pattern informing how to knit a binding that is later used to steek a sweater. Steek, frighteningly, means to cut - with scissors, ouch - the front of a sweater that was knit in-the-round, converting it from a pullover to a front zippered sweater.

Next, the group advised and participated in deal making over a 100 yard roll of fabric (weighs a ton, I exaggerate) and the logistics of divvying it up into 20 yard pieces.  Interestingly, Kathleen still has her equipment including an industrial type fabric cutter.  The gals got it done somehow.  I am hoping to snag a piece myself! 

Machell is a wiz with a Cricket Joy machine which cuts via computerized direction 4-6" wide substrates.  We clamored for a virtual tour of her studio work place.  Her husband works for, or used to work for Restoration Hardware and so she has lots of expertise to fall back on for her projects.  I realize now that we need to quiz her for more details!  Another argument for virtual tour!!

Oriole Mills apparently is closed indefinitely, but Echoview Fiber Mill still is engaged in fiber processing and has a wonderful catalog of all things fiber, yarn, knitting, and tools.  Support your local NC businesses!! 

Judi Jetson runs a spinning study group the 4rth Monday of every month down at the Local Cloth Studio on Coxe Ave Asheville.  They are undertaking a broad study of local fibers and modes of spinning for each fiber.  There is also an on-line option to attend!  Goody.  

FYI, Valdez Weavers are weavers for residential fabrics, in Valdez, NC.  

That's all my little brain can handle this morning, next blog will be almost caught up (in time), our 10/16/2020 session!  

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