My guild is awesome. I’m sure there are other wonderful fiber groups out there–the fiber community has been one of the most excellent and welcoming collectives I have ever experienced. But my guild? The Champaign-Urbana Spinners and Weavers? Yeah. They’re awesome. Now I just have to follow up with some proof, right?
Luckily for me, we had our very well attended annual Show and Tell guild meeting this month. The breadth and depth of knowledge on display was fabulous: lace, felting, socks, rugs, blankets, shawls, dishcloths; you name it and someone made it this past summer. Here are a few highlights to get you inspired. [Photo credits to each of the makers]
Notes from the maker: Both are woven of sock loopers, the circles cut from socks that are mill rejects. I chain the multi color loops together to make a continuous weft. The small knots at the end of each color make an interesting texture effect to the finished piece. I chose to warp my loom in black as I felt this looks best with the multi color weft.
Notes from the maker: I attended my first Convergence this summer. Convergence is the meeting of the Handweavers Guild of America. They meet every 2 years in a large city somewhere in the states. This year it was in Milwaukee (close). I went for the whole time and took 4 classes. The attached picture is from my Natural Pigments class with John Marshall. It was a wonderful class, I was shown a whole new level of dying that I had never even imagined.
Notes from the maker: In the Pink Shawl for my niece’s wedding. Skacel merino lace weight yarn, size 5 needles. Unusual and challenging construction; I’m now knitting a long strip of the edging pattern and will pick up stitches to fill in the body of a (possibly semicircular) shawl.
Notes from the maker: I am a knitter that currently is drawn to most things that are knitted and then felted. I really enjoy the transformation of a loosely knit item into something much firmer and more three-dimensional. The Iris pattern is by Pick Up Sticks and the vase pattern is by Plymouth Yarn. It’s for my mom and will be a great match to her kitchen colors and last much longer than the ones out of my garden! The Woolly Beehive Skep pattern is by Marie Mayhew Designs. It’s for my husband’s grandma to add to her bee collection. I can’t wait to show my adopted grandma and fellow knitter the finished product the next time we see her!
Notes from the maker: I based these on the Ravelry pattern, Star Trek Socks by Laura Hohman, with some modification. I knit top down, attempting to use Cat Bordhi’s Cedar Sock architecture, but the maths kinda made my eyes cross. I really shouldn’t be complaining about the math, but I did it wrong about 7 million times, and the color work messed up the usual stretch factor. The umber colored, Command Sock, has WWJTKD on the toe, of course standing for what would James T(iberius) Kirk Do? I did a little manipulating to make the blue Science socks, (nowhere was the science insignia charted, I mean what?) which has WWSTSD on the toe, for Spock. Remember how Spock is always like “Terrans have difficulty pronouncing my full name,” well bam, I don’t have to pronounce your name to knit it, Mr. S’chn T’gai Spock.
Notes from the maker: This is a table runner which I wove this summer. It is a “huck lace” pattern and is in 3/2 pearl cotton. It is a fairly easy pattern, with the most difficult part being twisting the fringe.
Notes from the maker: This is one of the Taquete placemats I wove this summer. They were woven on an 8 harness loom and required 8 picks to complete one row. I have towels inspired by the placemats coming off the loom tomorrow done in turned Taquete. The towels are done on 4 shafts with all the color in the warp .
Notes from the maker: This is a scarf I wove from my home-gown, hand-reeled silk. I used a Swedish lace pattern alternating blocks touching with blocks spaced apart every 10 inches. Woven as raw silk and degummed after weaving. Each thread was from 80 to 100 filiaments thick. Sett of 45 e.p.i. (ends per inch). 6.5 x 60 inches plus a 3 inch twisted fringe. Weighs about 1 oz, equivalent to 150 cocoons worth of silk.
Last, but certainly not least, is one of the beautiful Spurlock Museum Projects by Debbie Mandel. You can read more about the guild’s collaboration on the museum website. I know that the project is from a few years ago (and not this past summer), but oh my, I think it bears revisiting. The doily was designed from scratch based on the museum’s collections, the lace yarn was spun by Debbie and then knitted. Gorgeous, don’t you think?