Local Cloth Blog
You know you don't actually have to be working on something to join us if you feel like chatting about fiber arts and beyond! Certainly the interesting things we discover often causes me to put down the piece I am working on. Last Friday's group time was as interesting as ever.
RE: June 27 Yarn Yard Sale at Local Cloth parking lot (good weather). I promised first to post directions to the Local Cloth studios in the Refinery Creator space at 207 Cox Ave. Here is what the building looks like from the front and I will post a screenshot of the map. Essentially, directions are come down 26 and exit onto Patton Ave. heading into Asheville. Turn right on Coxe Avenue (next after Asheland) and continue down to 207 Coxe at the bottom of the hill. It is on the right.
The group began with a discussion loosely related to knitting socks using various methods. Judy's favorite is to use Scandinavian patterns and favors using two circular needles, one for the front and one for the back. Any size is good if it is long enough since you are using them straight. That does make a lot of sense to me, I use double pointed needles but the design of the sock takes you on two occasions to using 2 needles (at the heel and at the toe for the Kirchner stitch). More here on all the types of knitting needles with illustrations. Someone else mentioned another blog "The Yarn Harlot, where toe up with 1 circular needle methods was mentioned. Let me check. Ah, here it is, The Yarn Harlot.
Paula was doing her least favorite task, tucking in the loose threads on the back of her quilt. Here is a iPhone shot of the screen showing the quilt front!
Here is a quilt of Paula's from 2015. It was at the NC Arboretum show last year 2019. Her web page is here.
Paula mentioned that in competitions, tucking in the ends is a must-do. The judges don't accept messy quilt backs! I find the backs can be interesting, and unlike Paula, I don't submit quilts for competitions. My machine does have the advantage that it can cut and tie the threads at the end of a stitch run and they always turn out the same length.
Katya finished her hat from leftover materials that she has! She followed our suggestion from last time to paint the fabric blue.
Then we began reminiscing about play clothes versus school clothes, barn clothes versus dress-up clothes, remembering when in high school skirts were a must, no pants allowed, and then just 5 or so years later, pants but no jeans were the rule. At Wayland High in the Boston, MA area, skirts were a joke. It was too cold number one, and number two the campus was a grouping of buildings with outdoor walkways in between.
Clothing discussion transitioned to dyeing hair red with henna, then lemon-lightening hair as teenagers. Unrelated to hair color, staining cloth with coffee and tea was brought up by Judy. We must have started in on antique fabric stashes. Since coffee and tea do only stain fabric, it is not permanent if washed. Judy uses it for her samplers to lend an antique air to the piece.
Maybe at this point the chickens wandered up to Sebette who was Zooming from the front porch! Pretty girls. (This phrase pretty girls has also been applied to goats, sheep, and other critters). Judy has several times mentioned her flock, gaggle, bunch of cats both her indoor flock and outdoor mom plus kittens. We want to see a picture!!! By the way it is a clowder or clutter of cats. Paula watches the neighbor's goats wander around her driveway. And, Sebette has sheep, not just chickens! Sebette just made a sale I believe to Judy who is interested in spinning Leicester long wools that Sebette has. Of course, Leicester referred to in the sheep's name is not the Leicester (lee-sess-ter) of NC fame where Beth, Sebette, and I live!
Judy did send me the link where one can join a Facebook group "The Fair Isle Fisherman's Kep Page" to buy a collection of Kep (Fair Isle Hat) patterns. "This group has been established to promote the Fair Isle Fisherman's Kep knitting pattern produced by Anne Sinclair, which we send as a pdf to support the George Waterston Memorial Centre and Museum in Fair Isle, Shetland. "
These Keps are beautiful!! You have to apply to join the group answering three questions and the site is exclusively about Fair Isle Keps.
Signing off till next Friday!
Hello Friends of Local Cloth,
This is a short update to tell you that our pledged support is now at $5,280!
Many thanks to the twenty-one people who have donated thus far. We have a list of your names hanging in the studio.
Two thirds of our $15,000 goal remain ahead of us; with your support, we can do it!
Do you have a friend who loves fiber arts, taking classes, or learning new things? Tell them about us! Invite them to look at our list of upcoming classes. Let’s keep expanding our community.
(Treasurer, weaver, knitter, dyer.)
We love to look at pictures, and so I don't feel bad when I upload a bunch of them! We had two new folks yesterday in the V-circle which was fun. Everyone has multiple talents, it is interesting to see all the various directions we all take in our learning and growth as artists and makers. Lyn Burkitt hails from Silva and Judy lane lives near Celo, so once again, virtual togethers are a boon both for avoiding driving a long distance and keeping together and growing as a community during the pandemic.
Judy is a long time expert in twined knitting. Twinded knitting involves no carrying yarn on the back side and the piece lies flat and is stretchy. Knitty, for example, has a page on twined knitting with pictures of how to and says that Twined knitting dates back to at least the 17th century and was traditionally done using both ends of the same ball of yarn. Because it is two color and knitted densely because of the yarn twisting each stiff, the knitted fabric is very warm. Here are images of the front and the back of a hat that Judy is working on.
Front of the twined knitted had
Reverse of the twined knitted hat.
Judy also enjoys covering boxes with hand dyed material, crewel work on the lid, and silk lining within. In the very top picture at the start of the blog, the upper right hand section is a view of the side of her container, and here is a view of the top. Realize that this is a iPhone shot of a screen view during our Zoom get together!! The pictures of the knitted fabrics were emailed so we can really see the pattern and details of the stitches on the hat.
Katya gave us a fashion show of her finally completed bolaro. The piece was knitted as one with just increasing and decreasing. I forget the numbers, but #3 needles and 500-ish stitches at the widest. [Katya, correct me!!]. She's been working on it for a long time! Here are some shots Katya sent me:
During the V-circle, I made her turn and pose so many times so I could catch a screen shot with my phone that we started to crack up (insert emoiji's and smiley faces, and hearts here if you can, see pics below)!
Katya is currently working on a floppy outdoor hat using leftover fabrics. The lining (or reversible side) of the hat is a beige color whereas the reverse of the hat is a blue pattern, so we discussed the best possibilities for dyeing the beige. Since she doesn't have many of the materials required for dyeing the presumed cotton material, we ended up suggesting using an acrylic-based fabric paint, either Setacolor or the like, or a silkscreening paint. Both require heat setting using an iron, but are permanent. These paints add texture/stiffness to fabrics depending upon the amount of paint applied and whether it is thinned, but since the hat should be fairly stiff to keep it out of the face the extra umphh added by paint would be ok.
Then followed a long discussion of steeking. We hear most about steeking in knitting in the round used to convert a pullover to a cardigan. Katya and others have used this technique. Judy added that one could do it with crocheted pieces as well. Her project involves crocheting a rug like flat piece, then using steeking to create a poncho head opening. She has also used steeking to inset an arm hole for a pre-knitted sleeve in a tubular knitted sweater body. Such a variety of approaches to knitting. I am afraid my approach is simple stuff!
Several in our group are intensely interested in a thing called fiber share that I had not previously heard about. There is an international group and a Facebook page as well. Check it out! Maybe June 15th is the next date to participate. It is fun, you prepare a package, someone else does, you are linked with an exchange partner, wait for your package in the mail!
The miracles of wooly nylon for darning or reinforcing hand made socks, adhesive spray from Elmer's (I could have avoided the horrible blotches caused when I painted glue on the lamp shade when I made a new hand dyed covering for it), and Eileens tacky glue. The glues are availabe at Wally's World (you know what I mean!).
Ok, it is maybe quarter to 6, our tummies start rumbling. Guess what we talk about next!? FOOD! A great discussion on making sourdough bread, Judy gave us her take on how to do it, Lyn also bakes sourdough, and I am going to start! I love it. I jotted some notes.
Lyn and I also finished projects: socks. But no, we did not model them!
See you next week! Sign up through Local Cloth. Share your stuff on Instagram and Facebook so others know about Local Cloth!
Dear Members and Friends of Local Cloth,
Hello, it’s Sandy here, your friendly treasurer. I want to share with you that our Sustaining Donor Campaign is off to a fabulous start. Six members of our community and eight women on our leadership team have become sustaining donors, committing to support Local Cloth with a total of $4,560 over the next year. Thank you so much!!
We still have a ways to go until we meet our $15,000 goal, and we believe we can get there -- with your help! The funds you help us raise go directly toward rent and maintaining a studio space for classes, events, and interest groups, while also supporting our instructors who make so much of our programming possible.
I want to tell you why I became a Madder-level sustaining donor. It has to do with my love of weaving and knitting, but mainly it has to do with people. In the past two years, I have made connections and forged friendships with wonderful makers through Local Cloth. I choose to donate because I value the artists, farmers, and crafters in my fiber community.
I choose to donate at the Madder level because $25 per month is about how much I would spend treating myself to pastries and chai tea each month (normally). I am happy to forgo a weekly City Bakery visit in order to support a fiber community which nourishes my spirit! I also look forward to my free full-day class and using my two studio rentals each quarter. After the safety training, I will use the dye studio to create more cochineal pinks like the wool below!
I recognize that this is a time when many of us are re-examining the aspects of life that are important to us, and deciding where we want to commit our time, resources, and energy. Thank you for considering Local Cloth in your contributions this year.
Click on the words below if you want to read more about the campaign or donate:
Sustaining Donor Campaign
Hope to see you soon, be it on Zoom or in the studio.
Here we are, the regulars who love not having to drive anywhere to attend a fun get together! That is one of the big benefits of our V-circle. The down side is that we can't really see what anyone is working on unless we say hold it up!! That was the driving force to start a blog: a place to see interesting things in higher resolution and a place for those who miss a week to see what went on and to catch up with the news.
New kittens at Judi's house!!!
Poppy and Daisy!
A day or two earlier, Nancy went to Joyce Tromba's V-Bookmaking 1 hour workshop and was working on finishing up her book. She showed us some of her pages and what the book front looked like.
On the front of Nancy's book is a window for display of a small artwork.
Below Nancy showed us the interior pages of the book. She claims to have just used old junky paper, but we were struck by the beautiful patterns of colors. Nancy has developed a method and the habit of placing cellulose papers of all sorts underneath her ice dyeing projects to catch the color and generate materials for collage pieces, and now books!!
Nancy had to leave early, but later, after she left, we explored some of the wonderful videos she posts on her YouTube channel. I remember we watched the one entitled "How to Ice Dye a Blooming Bouquet". :)))))!
Speaking of flowers, our (collective) gardens and the WNC area is gorgeous now, so many things in bloom, and we have just learned that the Arboretum is now opening (safely) and the Bonsai exhibit will be accessible. Beth Sellar's husband it turns out does Bonsai at their home.
Sebette Hamill mentioned that she just bought a small kit to learn sashiko stitching. Sashiko originated in Japan and is a functional embroidery used in mending.
I showed the mending in my lap, which isn't sashiko, but just applique with straight stitching to cover the thin spots in my favorite, already mended linen overalls.
I have tried to learn interesting embroidery stitches. Recently, I bought "The Geometry of Hand Sewing" by Natalie Chanin of Alabama Chanin, The School of Making. I failed/ gave up, but I need to go back. Judi Jetson commiserated with me telling us she attended a workshop held at the Univ. of the South in Swenanee, TN and led by a trainer from Alabama Chanin. She said the stitches are difficult and hard to learn even in person! Check out the links to Alabama Chanin to see samples of these intricate yet simple stitches they have developed and collected.
Where the heck is Sewanee?? It is in the southeastern part of middle Tennessee!
Sebette wasn't spinning this week, but was also mending things, in this case her beloved barn jacket that continually gets torn on overlong screw ends. It is funny how we get attached to certain items of clothing: color? pattern? comfort (!)? hand-me-down from someone we love? just plan functional? So many individual reasons. I love t-shirts and sweatshirts broken in by my sons, my father, my husband..... They are in rags, but we put off discarding them and mend again.
We discussed dyes that "break". The scientific functional way to separate dye components is chromatography. Dyes also migrate at different rates through paper or cloth. This is particularly obvious when one uses a dye that contains multiple types of dye molecules and the ice dyeing technique. Primary dyes ("The Primary Dharma Fiber Reactive Dye colors that correspond to the CMY primaries are as follows: Magenta #13: Fuchsia Red. Cyan #25: Turquoise. Yellow #1: Lemon Yellow" from Dharma, for example) are combined to make other colors using the CMY color wheel. In my work, I have found that turquoise is one of the fastest migrating colors .
Some folks have been working on cyanotype dyeing of fabrics (blue, sunlight). Cheap Joe's has 8" X 11" pre-treated fabric for this purpose Sebette mentioned. My niece Hannah Mode who is an environmental artist has done multiple residencies in at the Juneau Icefield Research Program in Alaska interacting with scientists. They make cyanotypes on site using rocks, ice and other objects to create art pieces reflective of the environment.
We all began talking about food as it neared 6:00 pm (wonder why!?). I personally was amazed at Sebette's love of okra and the multiple ways she enjoys it (fried, roasted, french fried in strips, steamed....) which led us to compare traditional southern foods, there non-availability in New England where some of us grew up or lived (and foods from New England that are less available here!). Bye-bye dinner time we said.
About June Artist-of-the-Month, Janice Schmidt of Goddess Rags, in her own words:
I found out about Local Cloth through some textile artists I met at a few shows. I admired their work and they spoke highly of Local Cloth. When I looked online, I was blown away by the breadth of offerings.
My Studio is in my home in Weaverville. We moved here almost two years ago and studio space was a priority. For anyone whose house hunted recently, you know it’s a challenge to find a home that meets all your needs. In Atlanta I had both a home studio and a studio in a coop that housed mostly painters. But I love working from home. I love getting my morning coffee and going straight to work. The home we bought has a huge formal living room with beautiful hardwood floors and huge windows. Since we don’t live the kind of lifestyle where we need a formal living room, the space has worked well as my studio.
Since this pandemic started and the news was upsetting, I started making face masks. Initially I made them to donate, especially for those on the front line. But after a month, the requests shifted and the requests kept coming in for masks to purchase. The orders have come in non-stop for more than a month. I’ve even gotten orders from high-end boutiques. I use my kantha scraps to make the face masks using a pattern that fits well to faces. They now seem to be a fashion statement/necessity!
I’ve worked with textiles as long as I can remember. My mother was an amazing seamstress and my grandmother taught me to knit, crochet and bake break (all very tactile). I did a few commercial wall hangings before moving into making mosaics, which I did for roughly 20 year. In mosaic you cut up hard materials into small pieces and reassemble them to create an image or design. It’s all about relationship of colors and creating allusion. I was exhibiting at High Point Furniture market a few years ago when I ran across some beautiful kantha blankets. They were colorful and very interesting pieced together cotton sari fabric that was hand quilted by villagers. I loved the handwork and that buying them helped create an industry for women across the globe. I started playing with the fabric and the size of my projects grew from belts to garments. I was hooked.
I think the fabric itself gives me ideas. Since the blankets are so unusual and sometimes have odd assortment of colors, I have to think about how to best display the fabric in a three dimensional way thinking about drape and scale. I mostly make vests and jackets that are reversible. I pay attention to the look of a garment that I find interesting and might make a good kantha garment. I love digging through magazine, Pinterest…wherever I see interesting clothing.
I can’t imagine ever stop creating. My mother reupholstered her sofa when she was in her 80’s so I have a great heritage of creators in my DNA. Creating keeps me curious. It looks like the demands for masks will keep me busy for a while which hasn’t left me time to experiment. But I can assure you that my curiosity is drawing me toward some of the dyeing workshops at Local Cloth.
As promised, and with permission from Marcia Kummerle at Good Fibrations, I am posting the two parts of the Vimeo videos that comprised most of the tour. We had some get together time on Zoom: before, during and questions at the end.
The videos were taken and edited by Lynnie Wright.
You will enjoy these videos!!
Good Fibrations video part 1 and video part 2.
Here we are at a relaxing, exciting, informative, cozy, getting to know people better V-circle session (Do I have to type Virtual Handwork Circle?).
Beth and Nancy hadn't met yet so there were a few introductions (both lived in Ohio) and getting to know each other chat.
Beth was happy to see Sebette (she had missed the last two workshops when Sebette had started joining us. It was "accidental", because Beth really got involved in what she was doing and the time just blipped by! Unusual focus for a maker? Nope. We forgive her. :)
Next up: our let's-see-what-you-are-working on bit of the V-circle.
Nancy is developing a workshop project that would work very well in a virtual or in person setting. All you need is old wool sweater & scissors & cloth scraps & needle & threads! I'd attend and the others were equally enthusiastic. What about you all? We want her to do one at Local Cloth.
Beth is finishing a project started last year that needed finishing. She wants that loom for a more important project and some yarn was begging to be used up... We witnessed it when she cut the piece off of the loom and were totally impressed on how long it was and the beautiful colors. Some of her wool was hand dyed and it included handspun art yarn.
Sebette was spinning. Sheshowed us the "before" and "after". She has a few more bats to spin before finishing this project.
Do you know what impresses me? Both Beth and Sebette who spin and weave (Sebette do you weave? I can't remember) do not knit or crochet. Well, as a knitter and crocheter, I was flummoxed! Sebette even mentioned that she didn't always know what to do with the yarn when she was done. I bit my tongue (thought bubble: give it to me!!!!!!!!!).
Here are the socks that I am working during our recent sessions. It is lovely sock yarn that I am working with: Alegria.
I asked the next question and really benefitted from group knowledge (although Nancy might have been bored to tears on this one!). What about spinning wheels for someone who has never done it?? What types have you used? We discussed mostly electric wheels such as the Mano Electric Eel E-Spinner (that Beth started on) or the Ashford Jumbo for art yarns, maybe not for beginners, instead the regular Ashford, or the Lyndrum starter wheel. I could go on the Anything Fiber Facebook page "in search of" to look for a wheel for beginners. This is a relief to have a small number of wheel suggestions to begin investigating. When I searched for spinning wheels for beginners, Google returned 52,000 results in 54 seconds.
We saw Beth's triangle loom on the wall which was loaded with warp ready to go in beautiful blues and greens. She confessed to having gotten bored with it so now has become a wall hanging. I had loved seeing Marcia Kummerle's mohair and wool shawls that had been made and designed on a triangle loom at Good Fibrations. I am hoping to post in another blog the links to the videos she made as a part of the Local Cloth studio tour she presented a few weeks ago. Wonderful goats and yarn and shawls!
Speaking of acquiring more yarn (were we?), Beth mentioned that Local Cloth might host a yarn sale. It could even be outside adjacent to the studio where social distancing, etc. would be easier and safer. I am all for it!
Fun fact: Susette, Beth, and Sebette all live in the same area in Leicester and have the same postman, Rex!! He is a treasure we all agree.
Time slipped away and I am writing the blog this Sunday afternoon remembering our previous Friday get-together. I apologize if this picture was taken after you dropped out. You know what to do! Send me a pic!
We welcomed a new hand worker to our session, Sebette Hamil. Sebette is actually a near neighbor of mine in Leicester! The best part of our virtual handwork circle is that we get to meet and find out about more artists in our area. We are lucky to live in WNC in Asheville and its surround. Local Cloth takes in a radius of 100 miles as its fiber shed. I found out yesterday attending the studio tour of Marcia Kummerlie that there are 500 fiber farmers in this watershed!!! Plenty of folks to meet!
In the process of everyone showing what they were working on, we touched on several topics, including
Some of the folks hadn't heard the complete story of Nancy Gamon's project (see May 15, 2020 blog) and so Nancy explained more about the project she is hand stitching. A year or two ago she and the poet Wendy McVicker were community artists-in-residence where the theme was Common Threads. Ms. McVicker is currently the poet laureate in Anthens, Ohio. Together, they focussed on the following question with participants: "What would you like to invite into your lives?" Those at the workshop wrote these short words/phrases down on cloth, used a colored piece of cloth as a backing/frame, and pinned them to a blank garment (mumu like dress). Now, Nancy is painstakingly sewing each of these pieces to the garment. We are all curious as to the final results and what words will populate this dress! Here is an in-progress picture of the garment with the words.
The rest of us hand workers are still working on things begun previously: a 1 piece knitted bolaro, sweater, and socks. And this led us to consider our project bags. I mean the bags themselves! Judi has one for every project and showed us one that a friend gave her. I would like to solicit everyone to send me a picture of one or more of their project bags or baskets! I would like a montage of knit project bags/baskets/boxes. Your favorites. Why they are your favorites (susetteshanddyedart at gmail.com). Here is Katya's current project bag (!):
Somehow we started discussing how to edit Zoom recordings, because who wants to listen to the extra hums and haws? This is especially relevant when recordings are to become a permanent record or to be shared publicly. Judi Jetson mentioned Camtasia (upfront software purchase, free trial period, easy to use--I concur since I used it for some training and to prepare for an article on methods with videos.). Filmora, iMovie (on Mac) were also mentioned, but of course are not the only choices out there.
Judi Jetson has been shoring up on many aspects of leadership and skills to promote Local Cloth as well as the company that she still works at part-time by attending a class on social media marketing given by Sarah Benoir at JB Media. JB Media is a local Asheville social media marketing firm. Sarah Benoir's specialty is training crafters and artists on social media. In addition, the JB Media (JB standing for Justin Bellamy) provides classes on how to teach on line. Great insights such as 1) don't speak for longer than 20 min at a time, and 2) have breakout Zoom groups for participants were included.
Another amazing thing Judi witnessed was "graphic facilitation". The graphic artist attends a conference or meeting, converting everything (things, people, and concepts) into graphic art, with arrows and such to connect concepts. This talented person would be something to behold in action!!!!
The weavers in our group found that the CONVERGENCE in Nashville is cancelled this year, rescheduled to 2022. This led to a recollection of the fashion show part of that gathering. The most memorable was when Nick Cave presented a show showcasing his Soundsuits. This was maybe sometime in the 1980's... You have to see it to appreciate it!!!! We all watched together! He is amazing, and apparently a very nice man. The youngest of an unbelievable number of brothers who learned to sew to personalize his hand-me-down hand-me-downs.
I apologize for any mistakes, omissions of interesting tidbits etc! Email me with additions and pictures and corrections!
About May Artist-of-the-Month, Ann Hord-Heatherly, in her own words:
I am a life-long lover of textiles. I learned to sew on my grandmother’s treadle machine when I was about six years old. She would stand by nervously, just sure I was going to sew through my finger. (So far, thankfully, I haven’t.) I sewed for myself, then later for my children. When my children outgrew my sewing skills, I became interested in art quilting and appliqué. About twenty years ago I discovered art dolls, and I have been hooked ever since. I have had opportunities to learn from some highly accomplished doll artists... Akita Blount, Dede Triplett, Lisa Lichtenfels, Charlie Patricolo, Barbara Willis, Leslie Keeble, and Deborah Pope to name a few. I belong to Go Figure, a figurative art guild, where we are always learning from each other.
My studio is in the basement of the farmhouse I share with my wife and a menagerie of animals including cats, dogs, goats, and chickens. We live on what was her family farm in in the Jupiter township of North Buncombe County. We spent most of our adult lives in Charlotte, but had dreams of moving to the mountains and renovating the old house. That turned out to be the creative endeavor of a lifetime, but we love being here and having the opportunity to bring the farm back to life.
We introduced goats to the property in 2014, shortly after we moved here full time. That is when I became involved with Local Cloth. I have always been interested in fiber and textiles, so raising my own animals and producing my own fiber was irresistible. I learned quickly that farming is best accomplished with a community of supportive friends. While I have learned a great deal from reading, that can’t take the place of an experienced friend when you need advice or help with medicating an uncooperative goat.
I admit to having more ideas than time and energy. There are several dolls in various stages of completion in my studio. My loom is warped and the heddles are threaded, but I still need to sley the reed. I have a sweater mostly knitted and pair of socks that only lack one toe. I have eleven raw fleeces waiting to be skirted and washed, and the garden still needs to be readied for spring planting. But the materials I ordered to try out block printing came this weekend, so there’s that. I’ll need to live to be 130 to finish what I’ve started, but my favorite project is always the next one. I’ve loved the variety of classes I’ve taken through Local Cloth and the people I’ve met along the way. I feel fortunate to live in an area with such a rich heritage and vibrant creative community.
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