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V-Handwork Circle for November 2020

12 Dec 2020 11:06 AM | Susette Shiver (Administrator)

Hi all,

I seem to be falling behind on my regular blogging, so I am instituting or have already instituted my irregular blogging. It is not that nothing is going on, it is that too much is going on.  Who says we have too much time on our hands because of covid?? I love time on my hands.  Us "Virtuals" love time on their hands (Virtuals = V-Handwork Circle participants).  That means spinning, knitting, dyeing fabric and yarn.  For others in our circle it also means the same but broadening the categories including doll making; quilting and sewing;  using up stashes of all kinds of fiber and fabrics; making new fabrics; surface design; carding novelty wools into bats, felting for the holiday season; and contemplating social media and how to sell the items we love to make, marketing, the topics are endless.   


Kathleen Lewis and her fox

Tiny! Pre-holiday knitting by Paula Entin.

Tiny! Antique crocheted earrings (I think made by my great grandmother  Sarah De Bow Fasig, maiden name Perrine).  She was an amazing quilter and needle artist who made all the family quilts, table cloths, decorative pillow cases, and so on). 

Paula Entin's quilting project (she has been processing some of her mother's unfinished quilting work).

And, Martha Brandon's knitting project.

Katya Hoke knits! A sweater vest in one piece (I think vest).

Beth Sellars is making cutie felted creatures like this little pig with a red heart in the wrong place!!

and a more flattering side view!  Pigs don't fly!  (Check out Curly Furr on Etsy and Facebook)

Me (Susette Shiver) has been knitting fingerless mittens, on #1 needles, ouch! using @localclothinc #localcloth Joyce Tromba's naturally dyed wool.  

Martha Brandon not only knits but also weaves.


I got a little ahead of myself in the last blog of October 30, 2020 and so added in part of a discussion on doll making which I continue here.  

Although Kathleen has a huge stash of cloth and accessories left over from her business, other doll makers were discussing on-line and store sources for materials: diverse colors as well as best types of fabric to use.  

Doll making resources for supplies including fabrics and much much more can be found at:


Susan Nadelson in NJ who is a spinner and dyer has been an inspiration as shared by one of us Virtuals. LuAnn of My Paisley World blog, has explored Susan Nadelson's work in a blog.

Yarn Harlot is an ever popular source of blogs and is quite entertaining: knitting and life! Then one of us Virtuals (of the circle--sounds reminiscent of Lord of the Rings???) mentioned toes-up sock patterns in our discussion.  We finished up recalling argyle socks and their mystique.  I found a partially finished argyle sock that my mother had made back in her youth sometime; I wish I still had it. I was impressed at my mother's skill in knitting that multi-colored pattern on tiny needles.  So this sock fragment (memory) reminds me of her, as she must have been when she was younger. She taught me to knit when I was 9 or so.  I  found that I do still have that first bit of blue wool knitting as a memento.  Who could throw that in the trash filled with mistakes as it was?!


Wow, just wow, check out Tatter, a Gathering of Material Culture on-line.  The whole site is super cool and was highlighted in Alabama Chanin's blog about Tatter's Blue library in Brooklyn.  I want to highlight the Barbara Walters Knitting Project, March 6, 2019. In this project designed to connect fiber with the Blue library mission, Jordana Munk Martin reached out to knitters over the world with the request that they each knit a small swatch from a pattern found in A Treasure of Knitting Patterns by Barbara G. Walters. This book was originally printed in black and white. They were to use yarn in any color of blue which is transforming to view.  Check out the absolutely beautiful photographs of groups of pattern swatches:  400 samples from 14 countries!  Some are in solid, some have white.  Many are geometric in design. Tatter does much more as an organization; they offer classes in hand making of designer level small projects (see the classes page); so delightful to look through. 

Once thinking of blue (my favorite color), our Virtual minds turned to Indigo.  Check out the book The Indigo Girl: A Novel, by Natasha Boyd.  It is historical fiction based on a true story set in South Carolina beginning in 1739.  Indigo farming is central to the story, of course, and there is much drama involved.  Quite a few @localclothinc are involved in natural dyeing and in growing and dyeing with indigo, in particular.  Our western North Carolina, Local Cloth fibershed members have plenty of expertise on many aspects of natural dyeing including harvesting, processing, and preparing and dyeing the fiber. Check out LC's classes and teacher expertise.


For those of us who have our own particular gauge or who spin yarn, it is an advantage to be able to design your own sweater.  This can occur at two levels--how to make a sweater to the correct dimensions, or, how to design a fashion sweater.  Let's talk about the former.  The Sweater Workshop was mentioned and the use of proportions to design sweaters. Turns out, it's a book: The Sweater Workshop by Jacquelin Fee.  This book covers basic designs and multiple sizes with charts. 

And then there is Ann Budd of Interweave and a knitter.  She has published a book of top-down sweater knitting patterns

Both Jacquelin Fee and Ann Budd have patterns on Ravelry as well.  


Our group covers discussions of everything practical and not necessarily fiber related.  But we were brainstorming over where one might usefully recycle old glasses.  This is what we came up with: Lions Club in a box drop off that might still be available, Target, Walmart, and Sams Club.  None of these are certain, so call ahead!


Where can one reliably and expertly get jewelry repaired in the Asheville area?  One possibility is Paula Dawkins the owner of Jewels that Dance business. Her web page advertises repairs. She is a member of the Southern Highland Guild.  The store is closed at present, but we can contact her directly according to the website. Another possibility is to seek out jewelers in the River Arts District, but again, none of us has had direct experience.  

In this jewelry context, wire wrapping was mentioned.  Paula sent a note about sources.

INTERESTING FACT:  If you do a search of doll making or anything else fiber related and include localclothinc you will get a surprising array of hits from us! Here is an example. To be on this hit list when you post your work that was inspired by a workshop at Local Cloth, or, if you are a member of Local Cloth, or, you have taught at Local Cloth, or your participation in our V-Handwork Circle has inspired or informed your work, include these social media hashtags when you post:








Be part of the Local Cloth Fibershed movement, farm to product pipeline, and join in the local awareness of our wonderful resources.  Be part of the visual dialog on-line.

Yours truly,


contact me via if you like!


408 Depot Street
Asheville, NC 28801

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