Thursday, December 31, 2015

Dryer Balls


Static cling is common in the dry, winter days, but it can be reduced by creating and using wool balls for the clothes dryer. The balls take a bit of effort to wind and to felt, but they can be used for years in the dryer.

Directions for winding and felting the balls can be found here.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Back in Time - Fiber Fest 2014

Fremont Fiber Arts Guild Fiber Fest
Riverton, WY
Fiber Fest 2014 was a day, filled with wonderful fiber goodness, conversation, and fellowship. Fremont Fiber Arts Guild members gathered Friday afternoon to set up tables and assist vendors with their displays for the biannual Fiber Fest to be held the next day.

Five vendors displayed yarn, notions, roving, and other fiber goodies, and on Saturday six guild members demonstrated their crafts: wheel spinning, drop spindle, twining, crocheting, knitting, cinch making. Guild members donated items for several Silent Auction tables.

Bea R. and Sheri H. help assist two new knitters
In addition to giving demonstrations, guild members worked with those who had some prior knowledge or a particular craft but were struggling with a concept or a project.

Laura B. leads a demonstration in drop spindle
Several men attended the event and seemed to enjoy trying the drop
spindle and rug twining as well as observing the wheel spinning demos.
Even though a specific date has not been determined, Fiber Fest will be held again in 2016.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Warm Up America!

Warm Up America! is a charity that has warmed peoples' lives since 1991. It started in a small Wisconsin town with neighbors knitting and crocheting afghans for neighbors in need. Warm Up America! founder Evie Rosen came up with the idea of having volunteers knit or crochet small sections and then others join them together to create blankets and afghans.

Today, knitted or crocheted rectangles are sent to the Warm Up America! headquarters by people across the nation. Then volunteers sew the colorful rectangles into blankets and afghans that are given those in homeless shelters, teen pregnancy homes, battered women’s shelters, nursing homes, hospitals, hospices, and clinics, and to national nonprofit agencies such as the American Red Cross. 

Why not take a couple of hours and make a 7 x 9 inch rectangle and send it to:

Warm Up America!, 740 N. Josey Lane, Suite 102, Carrollton, TX 75007

If you or someone you know is learning to knit or crochet, why not turn that beginning project into something that will warm another person. 

In addition to the rectangles, the Warm Up America! always accepts these knit and crochet items: 

Finished adult, child, and baby size afghans
Adult hats
Baby clothing
7" x 9" knit and crochet sections

Monday, December 28, 2015

Dyeing Yarn with Kool-Aid

Yes, it's possible to dye natural fibers with Kool-Aid, the popular children's drink powder, and the best part is that Dye Your Yarn has taken all the guess work out of the colors that it creates.

Dye Your Yarn gives complete instructions for using Kool-Aid to dye fiber here. However, another page gives Formulas and Photos of 135 different colors.

Note that in the lefthand column on the Dye Your Yarn website that information is listed for other dyes and fibers. Dyers might want to bookmark the site.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas

Madonna and Child
counted cross-stitch
stitched by Sheri H.

Merry Christmas


Fremont Fiber Arts Guild

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Yarn Tags

source offers a free PDF of five yarn tags that can be printed on card stock. To keep all the tags together, punch a hole in the top and place on a large ring. The tags are a good way to add some organization to your leftover yarn or to have a handy reference of the yarn in your stash.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Crocheted Socks

Why should knitters have all the fun of making socks?

Fifty Shades of Ply has broken the process down on her Rock Those Socks - Make Along

Rock Those Socks


    part one

    part two

    part three

    Lacy Version (shown below)


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Back in Time - Art Center Exhibit

November 2010 the Fiber Guild Show was held at the Lander Art Center. Beverages and appetizers were available during the opening of the show, and a small combo provided music. A good-sized crowd mingled among the displayed items, admiring the variety of talents and reading the information provided by the artist.

Knit sweaters and hats 
lace shawls, rugs, quilts, scarves and even woven bears
Christmas stockings and hats

The exhibit drew a large crowd to the opening night
 and many items were sold. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Navajo Knitting

Navajo plying was demonstrated and explained by Maggie Casey at the Guild Professional Development weekend. She showed how to turn a single plied yarn into a triple-ply without using three bobbins.

Navajo Knitting is very similar in that a single strand of yarn is turned into a triple strand. It's a great way to turn a worsted yarn into bulky or a lace weight into a fingering or DK weight.

Lucy Neatby is attributed with creating this knitting technique and says the links don't show in the finished piece.

The technique is demonstrated by Lucy Neatby in this YouTube video:

Friday, December 18, 2015

Finding Old Posts

This blog has two "search" features that can be used to find posts of specific topics.

 First, you can used the "Search this blog" bar in the upper righthand column, directly above the Guild logo. It looks like this:

search box in the upper righthand
column of this blog

For example, if you type "spinning" in the search box, you will be directed to all posts that have the word "spinning" in them. 

Note: clicking on the image above will only open the image window; you MUST find the "Search this Blog" box in the righthand column for this search to work. 

Second, you can use the list of "Posted Topics" which is also located in the righthand column. It looks like this:
Posted topic list that is located in the
center of righthand column

Note that the Topics are followed by numbers in parenthesis. Those numbers indicate how many posts have that topic. Click on the topic, and you will be directed to all those posts. The posted topics are listed alphabetically for your convenience. 

Note: clicking on the image above will only open the image window; you MUST find the Posted Topic list in the righthand column for this search to work. 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Meeting Reminder

Fremont Fiber Arts Guild Meeting

Saturday, December 19, 2015

10 AM

Lander Public Library
200 Amoretti Street
Lander, WY 82520

Come and enjoy the fun
games & door prizes after the meeting

Want to participate in a gift exchange? 
Bring a wrapped, single skein of yarn from your stash

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Crochet Rag Rug

Need an idea for a project to start after the holidays. Crocheting a rag rug is a great way to recycle old clothing, sheets, or "ugly" fabric as well as create something lovely for your home or for future gifts.

The directions for preparing the fabric and how to create the rug shown above can be found here.

Don't want a circular rug, then check out Noble Knits' directions for crocheting a rectangular rug.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Unfinished Gift Stress Reliever


If you are stressed about finishing handcrafted gifts for Christmas, then this is your solution. Print one of the IOUs (link given below), add the necessary information, place it in a box or envelope, and place it under the tree. The holidays can be stressful enough without working on a deadline.

A sheet of various IOUs can be found here. Print the sheet and watch your stress disappear.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Back in Time - Professional Development - Orenburg Lace

Orenburg Lace Shawls
Riverton, WY
April 13, 2012
The gorgeous Orenburg lace shawls, pictured above, were shared by Galina A. Khmeleva at a trunk show the day before the Professional Development in 2012.

Galina Khmeleva
shares the history of Orenburg Lace Knitting
Galina displayed each shawl and allowed Guild members to admire the intricate stitches on the sheer shawls.

The Guild brought Galina to Riverton, WY for two days of lace knitting workshops, and members could enroll in one day or both days.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Cord Keepers


We all have numerous charging cords for our tech devices (tablets, cell phones, eReaders, ear buds, etc.) and keeping them under control is difficult at best.

To tame those cords, check out these tutorials for making cord keepers:

Made by Me - cord keeper from fabric scraps - shown in the photo above

Wild Olive - elongated hexagon cord keeper

Vicky Myers' Creations - fabric cable tidy to control multiple cables

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Bedazzle Your Spinning

"Mom" on Simply Notable shares how she added beads to her spinning. While her technique is explained using a drop spindle, it may be possible to adapt it for other types of spinning as well.

I hope someone will try this idea and share the results at a Fiber Guild meeting.

Information on this technique can be found here.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Three Ply Fractal Spinning

The Schacht Spindle Company featured information on Fractal Spinning in September. The article gives tips for organizing the roving and even a cowl pattern to use the yarn once it's plied.

An earlier article and tutorial on Fractal Spinning by Benjamin can be found here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Painting With Dye


Linda Whiting's dyeing technique proves that subtle color can be added to knit items with a paintbrush or eye dropper.

More information on this procedure can be found on Twist Collective's posts here and here.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Back in Time - Wet Felting Program

Is there a better way to spend a Saturday morning than playing with wool? Perhaps, but in 2009 several Fiber Guild members gathered to make "wet felted" balls and prepared some dry balls to be felted in the washing machine for the tree the Guild was preparing for the community fund-raiser, called the Festival of Trees.

Katheryn E. and Lucy O. 
First, roving was carded into batts. Aligning the wool fibers all in the same direction makes felting easier.

Alice G. and Katheryn E.
The wool is carefully removed from the carding drum.

Colleen J.
Then a handful of odd bits of roving are then blanketed in the batt.

Alice G., Kathy M., Jean A., Lucy O., Nancy S. and Leane L.
For "wet felting" the balls were submerged in hot water and then dish soap was applied to the ball. The wool is then worked to allow the fibers to adhere to each other.

We rubbed, rolled, dipped, rubbed, rolled, and dipped for about 15 minutes. Gradually the balls became more compact.

Lucy O., Jean A., Kathy M. and Colleen J.
Once the balls were the size that we wanted, they were rinsed in cold water until the water ran clear.

Lucy O. and Kathy M.
The dry balls were prepared the same way, but they were placed in an old pair of nylons with knots between each ball. One of the ladies felted the wool balls, knotted in three pair of panty hose, in her washing machine.

The felted balls were embellished at the next Guild meeting.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Pricing Your Crafts

Artists often struggle with how to price their items for sale.

The product pricing worksheets shown in this post can be downloaded free from Tolmema and may help to ease the anxiety of what to charge for items you wish to sell.

Other information on how to price your work can be found on So Sew Easy. Near the bottom of the So Sew Easy article is a pricing calculator that may be helpful.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Package Tag Ornaments

Handcrafted package tags
Nancy L. brought the package tags that she made for her grandchildren to the November gathering of the Lander Sew Sistas. She makes new tags/ornaments each year to adorn the gifts, and eventually, each child will have a collection of ornaments of their own.

This year, one grandson's packages under the tree will have snowmen tags.

The child's name was embroidered on the back.

Angel, Reindeer, and Santa tags will be used for Nancy's other grandchildren

Thank you, Nancy L. for sharing this clever way to personalize packages and to build an ornament collection, too.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Sewing Machine Needle Cushion

Mary H.'s sewing machine cushion
 Sewists routinely use many types and textures of fabrics, requiring them to change the sewing machine's needle. To obtain the best results, the machine's needle should be suited to the fabric, i.e. a ballpoint needle for knits, a universal needle for cottons, etc.

Guild president, Mary H. is a serious sewist, so she changes needles often. To keep track of the needles, Mary has created her own version of a sewing machine needle cushion. She divided a standard pincushion into segment and labeled the sections with the following abbreviations:

    BP = Ballpoint

    TS = TopStitch

    J = Jeans

    M = Microtex Sharp

    U = Universal

    S = Stretch

    J = Jersey

   Ti = Titanium

this photo shows that a category can have more than one size of needle,
so Mary created sub-sections, too
 Mary says commercially produced needle cushions can be purchased, but she used what she had.

If you want to make your own sewing machine needle cushion, tutorials can be found here and here.

Information on how to choose the right sewing machine needle for fabrics and projects can be found here and here.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Back in Time - Jamie's Big Knitting Needles

Fremont County Fiber Guild Co-president, Bea R. and member Lucy O.
are intrigued with Jamie D.'s new knitting needles
December 2011
Former Guild member, Jamie D. commissioned a local man to make these special knitting needles for her.
Jamie demonstrates how to cast on at the 2012 Fiber Fest
She cut T-shirts into strips and looped
them together for "yarn."
Jamie counts and arranges the stitches on the needle. Alice B. in background.
With any knitting project, the first row can be a bit tricky. Alice B.
steadied the right-hand needle as Jamie knit the first row. 
Jamie D. knitting with giant needles
Off the needles
January 2014

Recently, Jamie moved to Indiana. She was an active member - participating in many Guild projects, organizing the last two Knit in Public days, and handling the advertising for the Fiber Fest and Spinning Weekend.