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V-Handwork Circle 10/19/20-10/23/20

01 Nov 2020 10:34 AM | Susette Shiver (Administrator)

BOO!  Yesterday was Halloween.  Scariness from afar for most of us.  My grandaughter was Baby Yoda (The Mandalorian, Disney +, really fun to watch!!) and my grandson was a TIGER!!  

Some of our group have never heard of Don Knotts in Andy of Mayberry (they missed the re-runs too).  The link is to a wonderful picture of Don Knotts (on the left) and Andy Griffith (on the right).  What a physical comedian he was on that show.  I am ready for some covid-winter-Andy-of-Mayberry binge watching!

Speaking of comedy, we are all scrunching up our faces in an effort to see the detail on the small ornament that Katya has made, yes, a red bird!  This while we hold on to our stitching or knitting so as not to lose our places.  It requires facial contortions don't you think?

Right along with that discussion came the great advice to use woven cotton tape to stabilize the side and neck seams of a top that I knit from bamboo ribbon yarn.  This is part of the show and tell and brag aspect of our v-circle. I hold it up to the screen and everyone oohs and ahhs; we validate each other, it is a support-entertainment-technical tips-grow your art group.  Paula not only gave me the yarn, but also has given me valuable tips during the making of the piece.  Thanks Paula!!  It hangs beautifully, but is prone to great stretching as Paula warned me.  Still, I haven't yet tucked the ends in or sewn in the tape, but no rush.  Add to the giant pile of stuff to finish. 

Kathleen, who owns a shop in the Woolworth Walk Art Gallery in Asheville, mentioned that the gallery had re-opened in June.  Sales are picking up with the modest return of tourists.  The space has two floors and lots of open air for masked-ones to feel safe going in.  For shops such as Kathleen's that do well, there is a constant dash to keep it stocked.  There is also the terror of shoplifting which is increasing. The young women that run it probably have to spend most time at the checkout area and can't guard everything.  How terrible is it to hand make items, try to sell at a competitive price, and have people stuffing them in their pockets.  Sigh, the increasing cost of doing business. 

Kathleen spent the hour sewing buttons on her handmade, multi-fabric hats (caps?) and in a more recent session, hand sewing tiny bears, and sewing eyes on owls.  You can check out her webpage.



  • "Shout" color catchers are great for limiting color bleeding.  Specifically, when washing quilts in a tub in cold water, add color catchers to prevent color bleeding especially those reds.  
  • Years ago I knew about wool felted balls in the context of children's toys.  Many folks use them in the dryer to fluff clothes as they are drying!  I also found out how to make them (it was a mystery to me before then).  The process involves 100% wool that felts (not superwash wool or wool containing other synthetic fibers), needle felting tools, stockings (so that the ball retains its integrity in the wash), and of course the dryer.  You can put the method together with these clues.

Here is a question that we asked and never really answered:  Are Welsh quilting patterns in any way like or related to Amish quilt patterns?  Might immigration and mixing of Welsh folks with Amish folks be involved?  

I use the app Paper to draw cartoons and preview new lettering that I design, and other visual ideas for surface design on textiles.  I was originally inspired by the digital art of David Hockney (who used a program called Brushes).  Check out his digital art and revel in the colors!!!

Who knows where pinking shears can be taken to be sharpened?  This is a jagged problem.  

ATTENTION: Fiber Feel Day is Nov 7, 2020, outdoors at the Farmer's Market.  Meet the fiber farmers (sheep and more), their products, yarn, and more.  Wear your mask and distance!  

These fiber produces and spinners have drawn me in via virtual classes and previous in-person classes from Local Cloth. I want to learn to spin.

Spinning Yarn

The decision is made after trying to avoid going off on another tangent (or is it just learning a new tool to incorporate into my fiber art?) I will learn to spin the wool: I know how to dye it already, know how to knit it, know how to felt it, fun fun fun til hubby took her spinning wheel away........La la la.  I love my husband, we are moving stuff out of the room I use as a studio to a former bedroom-now-exercise room, leaving me more space to expand.  


The v-circle folks love gardening.  Knit knit, sew sew, organize roving organize roving, sew dolls sew dolls, make bears make bears, AND discuss the flowers we love in gardens:  columbine, lupine, nasturtiums, peonies and the places we can now buy them (covid times) Reams Creak, BB Barnes, Sandy Mush Herb Nursery, but the Herb Festival was cancelled.  Boo hoo.


Shows we like to watch:  Poldark, Dr. Pol a veterinary show of which there are many, Downtown Abbey---oh my the fiber art there!! Fabric + beads = divine.  How to bead while you knit?  Two methods at least, involving fishing line;  "beading methods knitting fishing line" is a good search phrase to pull up many videos and products. Beading for jewelry, beading for knitting, beading on fiber cords you can make using Kumihini tools.  Kumihini is a Japanese cord making technique that I will give a try soon.

I save old guitar strings every time my husband changes the strings.  They are beautiful I think, some wound some not, strings with that interesting circle end that catches the string as you tighten the nut, pulling the string taut.  I would like to bead them and make jewelry, necklaces.  I would like to use them in crochet jewelry projects.  Bits of these projects catch my eye on my dresser top, in my studio, saying "finish me would ya?".

And this brought us around to our musical adventures, now and in the past (Martha and her band in high school, Kathleen and her friend singing Elton John songs and the like).  We are all friends, friends that have never met in person.  But wait, Kathleen and I had been, pre-covid, in the same swimming exercise class at the Asheville YMCA with Dee for quite some time. I haven't been since Feb 2020.  We didn't change in the same corners of the locker room ever (or I am sure we would have spoken), and we look very different wet in a bathing suit with bad hair rather than dressed, hair combed, visible only from the shoulders up on a Zoom call!

See you virtually soon!


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