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  • 24 Jan 2022 2:54 PM | Susette Shiver (Administrator)

    Here is the summary of the members meeting wrapping up 2021: our accomplishments, new board members, Strategic Planning introduction, show and tell, and membership volunteer opportunities.  Find the one that fits!!  


    “Greetings,

    We hope this finds you happy and healthy in the new year. We can't believe January is almost over! Thank you to all of the members who attended our virtual Annual Meeting last week. It was great seeing your faces and your handmade items. We hope you enjoyed the brainstorming breakout sessions and our guest Greg Walker Wilson. We have an exciting year ahead of us!

    If you would like to review the presentation please do so, we have included the link below. There were lots of great photos and recaps of the fun we had together last year, so many events and opportunities to connect with your fellow members.

    Also attached is the Annual Report as well as the Volunteer Opportunity List. If you are interested in joining a committee this is your chance. Local Cloth is growing and we want your input. The contact person for each committee is included, but as always if you have any questions feel free to reach out to info@localcloth.org


    Stay safe and warm,

    The Local Cloth Team

    Members were emailed the Annual Report and the Slideshow, so check your email!!

    Local Cloth Volunteer Opportunities

    Assistant Treasurer (1)

    2-3 hours per month, meet via zoom. Should be computer literate, good with numbers, and fun to work with. Help with all aspects of the Treasurer’s job, with an eye to becoming Treasurer in the future. Contact JoAnn

    Workshop Committee members (2)

    *Attend one meeting per month, first Tuesday of the month (currently on zoom)

    *Monitor class registrations and communicate with teacher and students as needed

    *During class: help teacher set up and clean up and help during class as needed

    ***Perks: Audit the class you monitor, no charge except materials fee

    Contact Joyce

    Retail - Shop Volunteers and Committee Members (several)

    Shop volunteers - Looking for fun and enthusiastic volunteers to work a 3-hour shift 1 to 2 times per month. You’ll get to work with customers, tell visitors about Local Cloth and show folks around the Studio.  Contact Betsy

     

    Retail committee meets once per month (Zoom or in person). Your role could be to communicate with vendors, find new vendors and invite them to apply to sell in the shop, review potential new items, tag merchandise, maintain display areas, or organize quarterly retail events.  Contact Beth

     

    Marketing Committee members (1 or 2) 

     

    Create calendar listings for Local Cloth events and workshops on the Explore Asheville website, Mountain Xpress online calendar, River Arts District webpage/FB/press releases.  Create Yelp, Trip Advisor and similar listings, and encourage members to leave reviews. Contact Caroline

     

    Membership/Volunteer Committee members (2 or 3)

    • Meet and greet new members and community groups while giving tours

    • Engage current members by reviewing membership profiles and matching skills with the people who need them

    • Plan new member orientation

    • Plan quarterly members events to help build networks and community. Contact Marilyn



  • 21 Jan 2022 9:41 AM | Susette Shiver (Administrator)

    You may have noticed that the LC blogger for the Handwork Circle (me) has taken a (very long) hiatus!

    MY DISTRACTIONS AT LOCAL CLOTH (all good and fun)

    There are so many things going on at Local Cloth that beg my attention, both in-person and zoomishly. 

    • There is the Shop Local Cloth in-person store where nearly 40 artists and craftsfolk (including me) sell their products.  
    • There is now the in-person handwork circle the first and third Thursdays of the month, 1-3pm.  It is currently led by Ciel Jensen, a neighbor of mine in Leicester as it turns out.  I lead the zoom handwork circle on all other Thursdays at the same time slot. 
    • There is the spinning interest group once a month where various things might happen, such as spinning marled yarn to help Judi Jetson who will be teaching a class on the subject.  
    • Or, as in this coming Sunday's spinning event, we will get to take a peak at the newly processed local fiber destined for the Blue Ridge Blanket project that has recently been funded.  Farmer-to-mill-to-spinner-to-weaver!  
    • And, we will be treated to a visit by Trish and Ann Hord-Heatherly who will discuss their fiber farm and bring fiber for us to drool over and buy.
    • Afterwards, since the board of Local Cloth has two retiring officers, a small party is planned to celebrate and thank them for their service.
    • And then a small meeting to plan for one aspect of SAFF coming up this fall!  
    • Oh, and then there are the times that I volunteer at the Shop Local Cloth store at 408 Depot St and in the process also become another customer what with the time to browse in between customers.  Shout out to Vasanto-I bought your felted purple vest.  I love it.  

    I am not the busiest person at Local Cloth by any stretch. Lots of wonderful volunteers; we are, after all, a non-profit.  

    HANDWORK CIRCLE 2021

    Over the past year, the in-person handwork circle has proved very popular  and a few sessions were held outside prior to Omicron and the cold weather.  Even with masks, the in-person handwork circle is still popular.  There are some of us who are also very comfortable in the zoom circle despite the inability to see colors and projects very well. It is very cozy at home.  

    This past week was an unusual one since the Shop LC inventory prohibited the in-person group from meeting and so we carried on over Zoom. Yes we are having fun, and yes we are at home, and yes we look better in person and not with our chins in the air!  Susette Shiver, Camille Daunno, Karolyn Burkhart-Schultz, Paula Entin, Ceil Jensen, Mary Kelley, Rebecca Norris, Kathleen Lewis, Martha Brandon.  Yesterday Kathleen asked everyone to tell a bit of their history leading up to present day fiber interests which was fun.  We are a highly educated group.  A few have had lifetime professional interest in fiber.  The rest of us have had a lifetime hobbyist interest with recent increased education via classes at Local Cloth and elsewhere in town. Everyone has tried many techniques and fiber applications.  Rebecca is the only one we know, however, that stitches Japanese temari.  We hope that she will teach a class this year at Local Cloth or perhaps start an interest group.

    A GREAT DEAL ON THIS YARN/FABRIC, BUT WHAT FIBER IS IT?

    Several times we have discussed how to identify unknown fibers in the form of yarns and fabrics.  The burn test is very accessible to a novice, but requires more than a modicum of caution and preparation.

    Here are some recent data collected from the internet:

    From www.threadsmagazine.com

    a video and chart (see below)

    and another video on burn test for yarns.

    Signing out for today,

    See you all soon, 

    Susette Shiver


  • 03 Mar 2021 7:43 AM | Susette Shiver (Administrator)

    The Local Cloth Spinning Study Group began last September 2020 and each month we get together to spin four local fiber samples (currently on zoom, but.....soon together!).  

    Previous blogs have highlighted local fiber farmers, many of whom sell their fibers. 

    Our running summary of the activity of the Spinning Study Group can be found at "Spinning Study Group Samples: Sept 2020 - to present"

    Jacob sheep

    at HobbyKnob Farm (Elizabeth Bell Strub)

    Conservation Breed (American Jacob), rare

    Ewe and Ram weights:  80-120, 120-180

    Fleece Weights: 3-6 pounds

    Staple length: 3-7" (HobbyKnob sample: 3.75", 4.3")

    Fiber diameters: 25-35 microns (HobbyKnob sample: 27 micron)

    Colors: white or lilac with black, brown-black, gray, brown, spots. 

    Horns: 2, 4, or occasionally 6

    Use: wool

    Live Stock Conservancy information on Jacob sheep.

    See also The Field Guide to Fleece by Deborah Robson & Carol Ekarius, Storey Pubishing, 2013.

    _____

    This photo is taken from the HobbyKnob Facebook page where Elizabeth says "...these little twins are now 2 weeks old ... for those of you that don’t know, the spotting pattern is unique to each sheep, just like your thumbprint"

    _____

    Just like all of us, the mature critter looks rather different, and can be very diverse in appearance; see photos and this note from Elizabeth.  

    "They can have 2, 4 or more horns. Their spotting pattern is like our fingerprint, specific to every sheep. There is a wide range of acceptable traits for registration but they all must fall within a range of 15-85% color. Also a range of fleece character. Rams specifically cannot be finer than 23.5 micron. And yes, we test if we (the inspectors) believe a ram is too fine and he will fail if he is below 23.5. You will notice in one of the photos a lighter looking ewe, she has a color we refer to as “Lilac”  a dark color with a lavender like hue instead of black/brown. You can tell she is a bit lighter than the others. " Elizabeth Bell Strub

    _____

    This light colored Jacob is almost lavender in appearance (probably not adequately seen in the photograph).  

    _____


    _____

    This is a Jacob ram.  The rams can, amazingly, have different numbers of horns.  This guy has four horns (how must his neck feel at the end of a long day?).  As a scientist, I would find it fascinating to study the development of these horns from embryonic bud to fully developed adult horn and then try to understand the nutrition costs to the animal relative to coat production, for example.  

    _____

    This is his fleece seen from the top and parted to show down to the skin.

  • 31 Jan 2021 11:34 AM | Susette Shiver (Administrator)

    Paula is bubbling over with ideas.  And, as she relays them to me, I will post here! Let's discuss at next Friday's V-circle this idea from Paula,

    https://www.dailydot.com/unclick/reverse-engineer-knits-pattern-doctor-who-outlander-star-wars/

    I've only a couple of times tried to reverse engineer something - it's best to use cotton yarn for testing, because it's easier to rip out and doesn't felt, like wool would. 

    And being really diligent about keeping track, row by row, and change by change, is both essential and difficult.  The words "oh, I'll remember" should NEVER pass one's lips or thru one's mind! 

    Let's ask the group next Friday how many of us have done that! 

    cheers, paula

    And another message, this is to Martha!

    for Martha!

    https://www.facebook.com/events/713107576014829/

    dyeing with kitchen waste!  The avocado made me laugh at the memory of Martha's experiments. 

    cheers, paula

  • 28 Jan 2021 4:48 PM | Susette Shiver (Administrator)

    This page summaries the work of the Local Cloth Spinning Study group from its inception September 2020 to the present continuing via monthly meetings. Eventually, we plan to produce a booklet detailing information on fiber obtained from farmers and producers within our Blue Ridge Fibershed.  Updated last: Feb 2021

    Below are snapshots of fibers spun at study group sessions since September 2020 to jog our memories and so that others can see our starting materials. 

    • I hope to add photos of finished yarn down the road from the participants! 
    • Please see the blog entitled Local Cloth, Fiber Farmers for more details on many of the fibers and where they were obtained.  

    For the study, fiber samples are transported to Echoview Fiber Mill where various characteristics are measured.

    • Here is a link to a glossary of measurements made of our study fibers using the OFDA system at Echoview Fiber Mill.
    • In particular, fibers with a comfort factor (CF) of at least 95% are best for for clothing worn next to the skin, such as scarves. This means that 95% of the fibers have a measurement of 30 micrometer (abbreviated μm) diameter or less. For comparison, a human hair is between 17 μm to 181 μm.  
    • To see a wool fiber at the cellular level click here with indications of how the structures in a fiber contribute to the fiber's overall properties, from Woolmark.

    Summary of Fiber Characteristics

    • Listed below are the study group fibers listed by month with comfort factor, fiber diameter, and staple length data that is most relevant to spinners.  
    • Link to the Excel file for this data (Sept 2020- Mar 2021).  This chart and the reproduction below will be updated periodically.


    For reference, links to the actual data from Echoview Fiber Mill are listed below.

    Photographs of Fibers by Month

    September 2020

    Alpaca from Last Penny Farm

    Montadale from Windy Wool Windings

    Mohair from Good Fibrations

    Shetland from a farm in Henderson County

    October 2020

    Blue Ridge Fine #1 from Local Cloth


    Blue Ridge Blend #1 from Local Cloth (at top)


    Jacob from Hobbyknob Farm

    (CF = 73.3%, 74.2%; Micron 27, 27.1)


    Lincoln from Hobbyknob Farm

    (CF 28.8%, 28.2%; Micron 36.3, 36.1)

    November 2020

    3/4 Blue Faced (Border?) Leicester x 1/4 Leicester Longwool (first shear) from Love Handle Farm

    (CF= 54.9%, 59.4; Micron 30.0, 29.3)


    3/4 Cormo x 1/4 Corriedale from Martha Owen Woolens

    (CF= 93.5, 94.1; Micron 25.8, 25.2)

      

    Romeldale CVM from Windy Wool Windings

    (CF= 99.2%, 99.4%; Micron 22.2, 22.3)


    Tunis (Tebo Tete) from Wellspring Farm

    (CF= 59.7%, 60.4%; Micron 29.6, 29.5)


    December 2020

    Cormo from Sebette Hamil of Wooly Ridge Farm

    (CF= 99.1%, 99.2%; Micron 20.3, 20.5)


    Dorset from Brian Grimm of Blackberry Ridge

    (CF= 73.4%, 74.1%; Micron 28.0, 27.7%)


    Icelandic from Katie Gaddy of Hidaway Farm

    (CF= 40.1%, 73.7%; Micron 34.8, 26.9)


    Romney from Barnardsville 2019

    (CF= 51.8%, 47.3%; Micron 30.5, 31.0)


    January 2021

    Llama from Peace of Eden Farm

    (CF= 50%, 55.3%; Micron 31.9, 30.8)


    Merino from Khakalaki Farm

    (CF= 97.6%, 97.9%; Micron 21.1, 22.0)


    Black Shetland from Sourwood Fiber Farm

    (CF= 61.0%, 59.0%; Micron 29.5, 30.0)


    Teeswater from Dry Creek Naturals

    (CF= 18.6%, 15.6%; Micron 34.9, 35.0)

    Hand Spun Teeswater at Dry Creek Naturals

    February 2021

    Border Leicester from HobbyKnob Farm

    (CF= 40%, 43%; Micron 31, 32)


    Icelandic from Hand and Horn, Caroline Williford

    (CF= 30%, 71.7; Micron 27, 39)


    Merino from Wellspring Farm

    (CF= 100%; Micron 17)


    Mohair from Out-In-Jupiter

    (CF= 72%; Micron 28)

    March 2021

    Finn

    Gulf Coast Native

    Hemp

    Romney X


  • 24 Jan 2021 4:37 PM | Susette Shiver (Administrator)

    So far this month of January, we have been meeting, making, and literally, chilling out. Cold weather is the best inspiration for making woolen sweaters, socks, and shawls; they keep your lap warm. January has also been a good month for quilting and sewing small creatures.  

    At the start of our first session this new year, Martha and I were treated to a gallery of tiny attendees lined up on Kathleen's sofa. 7 of them!  Kathleen may have admitted that the beautiful quilt over the back of the sofa is the only one she ever made. And, did I mention?  She is a professional sewist and retired from a business that she developed to manufacture clothing and other items to order. A consequence of her retirement is that she has a huge inventory of various leftovers from all the orders over the years and that now provide a constant supply of small animal parts to sew up : )

    Martha is demonstrating something in the photo above, but for the life of me I cannot remember what!!  The problem is unless I take notes and write the blog immediately, details fade. Since I'd rather knit and chat, I fail to write enough notes. At least this push-pull is trivial compared with the push-pull of home versus work obligations that I used to experience as a working mother!

    ....I am still trying to remember what Martha was talking about....ah! Perhaps it was when we were discussing Shibui yarns, Shibori knits, and Michael Smith's Shibori t-shirts. 

    First off, I had never heard of Shibui yarn. As I understand it, not having read in depth on the subject and not an expert myself, Shibui Knits, a small independent company, was founded in 2007 by Darcy Cameron in Portland Oregon.  According to the Shibui Knits website,

    "On a visit to Tokyo’s Ginza market in 2004, Darcy Cameron picked up a handwoven bag dyed with persimmons. She loved the bag’s pure simplicity, described by her Japanese friend as “very shibui,” or “elegant with a touch of bitterness.” This inspired an enduring aesthetic." 

    The Shibui Knits website store boasts already prepared and mixed yarns as well as the resources and instructions to blend your own yarn.  Using different yarns, yarn weights, and blended fibers you have to power to design the texture and look of your yarn; i.e., you direct the production of your yarn to your specifications. Their mix of yarns is spun together to create different textures in the knitted fabrics. Check out their resources page for more explanation.  This shop gets into the finer, more subtle details of knitting to allow you to explore textures and colors, to knit the project in the correct size you want, and using the best knitting techniques.

    I have to admit, the first time I glanced at my notes, I misread Shibori for Shibui.  Shibori yarn means dyeing hanks of yarn using tie, clamp, or other shape resist techniques.  Shibori knitting or crocheting would be, similarly, using shape resist on knit or crochet fabrics. From Interweave: "Asian Influence and the Magic of Shibori Dyeing", one learns how to indigo dye a piece of cloth created by crochet.

    I myself have hand dyed a knit hat and headband using Shibori clamp resist. The making of this hat reaches back to this past fall when I Iearned to spin yarn.  In September 2020, I attended the Fiber Farmer's Day 2020, and joined the Spinning Study Group of Local Cloth (Sign up here)!  This hat was made from hand spun Shetland fiber from Sourwood Fiber Farm, knitted, then Shibori clamp-resist dyed using pre-reduced indigo.  


    Another part of this Shibori discussion included Michael Smith.  He is behind Manifest Color and you should check it out for stunning Shibori designs on silk for starters and an extensive line of men and women's t-shirts.  His website is beautiful. If you are/were participating in Conversations on Cloth led by Yoshiko Wade and Ana Lisa Hedstrom, you might be able to visually parse the Shibori patterns to determine the type of Shibori resist used to create these complex designs.  

    Conversations with Cloth, Series I is hosted by Slow Fiber Studios and it has been an amazing learning experience for me.  Yoshiko Wada covers the history of traditional Japanese Shibori forms showing many examples in photos and from her collection.  She describes the techniques, both old and new, used to create them.  There is rich inclusion of film clips as well. In the second portion of the 2 h presentation, Ana Lisa Hedstrom presents work from current artists producing high end Shibori art, including her own work. For those who missed it, these streaming 2 hour Zoom episodes were recorded and will be issued as DVD's with additional learning materials sometime in 2021.

    Behind the quilt, in the photo below, Paula is holding up a recently finished quilt. In the next photo you will be able to see the contrasting front and back of her quilt. I apologize for the bad color representations in these quick screen shots! The true colors of the quilt are better represented in the small picture showing front and back beneath the larger photo.


    Martha Brandon has been making sweaters and such for grandchildren.  She just finished a hoodie sweater from a book entitled Kids' Knitted Seaters and More- by Cabin Fever Designers (2006).  However, if you want to get this book, it will have to be a second hand copy or you might find individual patterns from Cabin Fever Designers on Ravelry.

    Kids' Knitted Sweaters and More - Over 30 projects by Cabin Fever Designers

    I learned from Martha that a mattress stitch is the perfect stitch for attaching the hood since it looks the same on both sides. I'll have to ask her more about it and get a close up picture of the front and back of the hoodie she made. An internet search turns up, at top of the list, a YouTube video from Borocco Knit Bits.  In this video they show how to use the mattress stitch for joining two stockinette knit pieces side-by-side. However, I imagined the hood attachment joins the top of the body to the bottom of the hood, so it might be quite different.  Someone educate me!!

    In our last session on Jan. 24, 2021, Myrna joined us for the first time from Burnsville.  Myrna is a knitter amongst other things and she sent me several pictures illustrating her recently finished projects. The first photo shows The Lotus Crescent designed by Kieran Foley; the color work and the lace patterns surrounding the small color work patches is very eye catching.  Kieran Foley's webpage is entitled Knit/ Lab, Inventive Knitting Patterns by Ken Foley. I think Kieran Foley is part of the current wave of interest in knitting, particularly multicolor and complicated patterns of fabric construction. I might have to buckle down and actually learn some new tricks for my knitting! Myrna's second piece is a scarf with frills from the Knitting Stitch Bible.  


    We were marveling at something else that I ran across.  The art of using two sets of circular needles to knit two socks at once (each in the round). A quickie exploration on the internet that we screen shared in our Zoom session, led us to Tin Can Knits, a website of patterns for knitted seamless garments. There we saw a detailed description of the magic loop method.  Martha, a fount of knowledge concerning knitting, led the discussion on the best circular needles.  I have a dozen or more circular needles, with different length cords and different sizes and style of points.  What a mess in a box.  I never have the one that I want. Martha suggested the interchangeable sets.  Although much more expensive, in the end you have greater flexibility.  Her first choice, Knit Piks, she would not recommend.  However, Chiaoggo Twist, 4" or the 5" tip for larger projects are excellent.  The cords are red lace and of interchangable lengths. I still will probably always knit socks and mittens on 5 double point needles (I have a complete set). However, one goal of mine is to make a seamless sweater of the top down variety, in the round.  A higher goal is to do it using hand spun yarn.  Even reaching higher, I desire to make a top down sweater using hand spun, hand dyed yarn, designed by me including some  color stranded work. I will let you know in the next 10 years how it goes!

    See you soon!  Join us 4-6 Fridays for our Virtual Handwork Circle! You can sign up on the Local Cloth Workshops page--look for "V-Handwork Circle".

  • 17 Jan 2021 7:34 AM | Susette Shiver (Administrator)

    For those just coming to spinning wool from the world of just buying finished dyed yarn from stores, like me, there is much to learn.

    The first major lesson from being a member of the Spinning Study group of Local Cloth is that wool is not just wool.  (And, wool is not the end of the story; there is fiber to spin from from alpaca, angora rabbits, angora goats, and cashmere goats). Fiber from sheep wool is composed of protein from the keratin family of proteins as is human hair. The structure of the skin epidermis and the hair follicle control the growth of wool fiber as well as its properties (see this article).  A great summary of wool structure is found in this article.

    Wool and other fibers come from particular breeds of animals and have characteristics that can be described (article).  You can find articles like this one that describe the development of quantitative measurements of wool characteristics.  Local Cloth's Spinning Study group gets reports on the micron count, crimp, softness, and other characteristics of each sample from Echoview Fiber Mill, which uses an OFDA machine.  

    Here is a summary of the fibers that our group have sampled and spun from September 20, 2020 to January 26, 2021. Many have been donated and are from the stash of Judi Jetson.  If any of you spinners in our group can clarify any of these entries, email me please with corrections and/or additions. I would like to add our observations as well.  I have pictures of most if not all, but send me your photos too!

    Here is a link to a Word doc with the most recent spinning label card.  Here is the pdf version link.

    Sept 21, 2020

    Alpaca, Last Penny Farm

    Mohair, Good Fibrations

    Montadale, Windy Wool Windings

    Shetland, a farm in Henderson County

    Oct 20, 2020

    Blue Ridge Mountains Blend #1,  Local Cloth

    • 30% Montadale, 25% Shetland, 25% Alpaca, 20% Mohair

    Blue Ridge Fine #1, Local Cloth

    • 60% Montadale, 40% Alpaca

    Jacob, Hobbyknob Farm

    LincolnHobbyknob Farm

    Nov 20, 2020

    Romeldale, CVM Windy Wool Windings

    Tunis, Wellspring Farm, Yancey Co, NC

    3/4 Blue Faced Leicester x 1/4 Leicester Longwool (first shear), Love Handle Farm, Alexander, NC

    3/4 Cormo x 1/4 Corriedale, Martha Owen Woolens

    Dec 28, 2020

    Dorset, Brian Grimm, Blackberry Ridge, Southwest VA

    IcelandicKatie Gaddy, Hidaway Farm 

    Cormo top, Sebette Hamil, Leicester, NC

    Romney, Barnardsville 2019

    Jan 26, 2021

    Teeswater, Dry Creek Naturals, Taylorsville, GA

    Llama, Peace of Eden Farm, Madison, NC

    Merino, Khakalaki Farm, Trenton, SC

    Black ShetlandSourwood Fiber Farm, Scott Spell, Fletcher, NC


  • 04 Jan 2021 11:06 AM | Susette Shiver (Administrator)

    One of my ongoing projects is to bring together information that would be handy for those who spin fiber, as well as knit and weave.  As a newish spinner, I considered that a list of local fiber farmers would be handy for us all in Local Cloth.  Although many farmers attend the yearly Fiber Farmer Day to sell their fiber, I wanted to know where to obtain fiber (fleece, dyed or un-dyed bats and combed top) and to know my choices of fibers that local farmers produce during the year.  And, I wanted accurate information so that I could buy not just fiber to spin, but fiber about which I knew the details and that was produced locally.  I want to know the sheep breed that produced it and whether it is pure or a blended fiber.

    My awareness of fiber farmers in the area began with meeting a fiber farmer in our Virtual-Handwork Circle that I host and blog about on this site at Local Cloth.  FYI, spinning is a prized handwork activity in our group as well as knitting, doll making, and needle felting. 

    I found that Local Cloth is currently hosting a Spinners Study Group to evaluate fibers from local farms.  This group meets monthly, virtually at present. Judi Jetson, the leader, mails samples to those that register prior to the date so that we can prepare and then spin and discuss each of four samples during the meeting.  Of course I immediately joined the group.  For me, being around these spinners is wonderful source of information.  We explore together the characteristics of different fibers. The spinners are generous with their time and willingness to share information.  Elizabeth Strub, (middle row, left image) is a fiber farmer who attends this group so we get feedback from her expertise. Judi Jetson, the leader of the group and a long time spinner is top left in the image. Boo-Hoo Covid Blues, I wish we could meet in person.

    Thus, I am collecting fiber resources for spinners beginning with a list of fiber farmers.  This list was gleaned from the membership list at Local Cloth, those who included farming as an activity. I have eliminated a few that do not farm fiber animals (fruit farmers etc). 

    Upcoming fiber resource lists I hope to generate include

    • sellers of fiber outside of farmer sources, such as dyed and undyed batts, roving and combed top in the area
    • informal hand spinner contact information to promote networking possibilities and social spinning events
    • events and educational opportunities for hand spinners

    All of these activities, part of the mission of Local Cloth, are to promote a local farm-to-product pipeline economy and to support hobbyists in our area and further afield.  

    Local Cloth

    A fiber-promoting organization based in Asheville, NC whose Fibershed encompasses an area within 100 mile radius of Asheville.

    RECENT EVENTS AT LOCAL FOR FIBER FARMERS

    Fiber Feel Day Vendor list,  A spinner’s paradise.

    Fiber Farmers Day (Formerly Fiber Feel Day) 2020 list of participants (and see my personal blog entry on this event)

    Members of Local Cloth with fiber farms include: (updated Jan 28, 2021)

    A Fistful Of Felt

    Angel Ridge Farm

    Cherry Mountain Farm

    Good Fibrations

    Dry Creek Naturals

    Jehovah Raah Farm,LLC

    June Bug Farm

    HobbyKnob Farm

    Last Penny Farm Alpacas

    Love Handle Farm

    Martha Owen Woolens

    Mountain Meadow Farm

    Out in Jupiter Farm

    Princess Ridge Farm

    SourWood Fiber Farm

    Two Roots Alpacas and Two Roots Fiber Mill

    Venezia Dream Farm

    Windy Wool Windings

    Wooly Ridge Farm

    ___

    1/6/21, Susette Shiver

    ___

    If I have missed anything relevant, contact me please! I will update this blog with any new information so that it can become a resource.


  • 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.   

    WHAT WE ARE UP TO

    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.


    DOLL MAKING

    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:

    YARN AND KNITTING AND BLOGGING

    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?!

    GEOMETRICS AND KNITTING AND BLUE

    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.

    DESIGNING AND KNITTING SWEATERS

    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.  

    RECYCLE YOUR OLD GLASSES

    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!

    JEWELRY REPAIR

    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:

    @localclothinc

    #localclothinc

    #localcloth

    #lchandworkcircle  

    #fiberarts

    #ashevilletextiles

    #wnctextiles 

    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,

    Susette

    contact me via susetteshiver.com if you like!

  • 25 Nov 2020 10:48 AM | Susette Shiver (Administrator)

    October 30, 2020

    Kathleen Lewis's featured exhibit at the Woolworth Walk in Asheville will be up until November 29, 2020 so hurry down to see it!  Kathleen has been a regular at our V-Handwork Circle so we have seen some of her work in progress and heard lots of interesting stories of her present work as well as her previous professional sewist work.  If you don't make it, you can still go to her booth in the Woolworth Walk.  


    I was particularly interested in our discussion of Cormo fleeces since Sebette Hamil farms sheep including Cormo.  Apparently, Cormo is a cross between Corriedale and Merino sheep.  The "Why Cormo Sheep" page of The American Cormo Sheep Association explains.  Cormo is very soft with a 3" staple and 17-23 micron fiber diameter for you spinners and can be spun or felted.

    Katya mentioned the solitary bee house and some of us silently considered, what the heck is that??  Well these houses put together form a beautiful and interesting hotel for solitary bees.  This kind of bee lives and reproduces alone and doesn't make honey.  Here is a really interesting document with images entitled  "Building and Managing Bee Hotels for Wild Bees" pdf from Michigan State University Extension. 

    Doll making @localclothorg resource for supplies including fabrics and much much more can be found at:

    https://dollmakersjourney.com/fabrics.html

    FASTENERS FOR STABILIZING LAYERS OF CLOTH FOR  QUILTING:

    Safety pins, Kwik Klips, basting, and Q-snaps.  Guess the category!!?  Correct: quilting.  These are all things handy for stabilizing the layers in a quilt prior to topstitching either by hand or machine.  

    safety pins.  Everybody must be familiar with these, but extra large ones are handy for quilting since unlike straight pins, they won't prick you and cause blood stains on your quilt.

    Kwik Klips.  There is an amazing display of colorful kwik clips, wonder clips etc on amazon.  But how in the world would one use them on a quilt?  I must ask Paula which I failed to do during the v-circle, but in the meanwhile, a quick internet search reveals.....  another lesson on internet searches.  A trick that advertisers use? The trick of inserting "Kwik Klip" into the search tags for alternate types of products to bring page clicks. It is like searching on Etsy for handmade items--100 t-shirts handmade in China. Or, possibly the spelling alterations that are automatically inserted into the search when you type kwick or kwic or kwik?  Upon further research, I discovered that the Kwik Klip is tool, "The Kwik Klip Tool"  that is used to close safety pins.  It helps one avoid finger damage and speed up the process of inserting safety pins across your quilt layers.  Here is a blog link showing the tool and a movie demonstrating its use.  Paula Jean Creations is closing after 29 years apparently.  They are the holders of the Kwik Klip Tool patent.  Interestingly, they claim they are retiring the patent upon closing.

    Enough said.  Get out your needle and thread.  

    Q-snap.  The Q-snap is advertised for embroidering and stitchery.  Paula is an expert on using them for quilting and finds them very handy.  Here is the link for this item on Amazon where I snagged this image.  

    See ya'll soon.

    Susette


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