Past Programs

July 21, 2020, Christmas in July

Last night four of us zoomed in, with Kate hosting our meeting and Sharon, Laura and Jacque arriving around 7:00 p.m.

Since there was no real business to discuss, we chatted and caught up on each other’s news. Actually, the idea of having a Christmas in July meeting didn’t just fizzle out. We had lots of fiber news to “show and tell.”  Sharon told us about an 8-shaft double weave project which was patterned differently on the top and bottom layers.  I hope we all can get to see that later on. It sounds fascinating. Kate showed the baby blanket she crocheted for a cousin’s grand-baby, complete with the most adorable baby!  Jacque showed a warp she had painted last summer for a long, skinny scarf and had woven in a pointed twill, finishing it just in time for last night’s meeting. And Laura had actually taken her Christmas gift yarn—a pretty mid blue–and had knitted the most gorgeous cabled vest from it. Wow!

So “sheltering in place” hasn’t been a dead bust.  We’ve all stayed busy and creative.

And just a little additional editorial note: Zoom might not be the ideal way to conduct a meeting—nothing can really replace us all being altogether again. However, it’s a great way for us to stay in touch during a very difficult time. And if we have to do it again in August, we can do that. We are strong, we are resilient and we are weavers!  Jacque

November 19, 2019, Painted Scarves

Kathy Lenck taught the painted warp session

This month’s meeting was held at The Pilot newspaper building. The program was on “painting silk scarves” and cost $15.00. There was lots of paint and vinegar involved so everyone wore their work clothes. However, the results were spectacular and well worth all the thought and work members put into their projects. Everyone made two scarves: one decorated with colored tissue paper and then fixed with vinegar and the other painted.

During Show and Tell Linda showed the group a spinning workbook she had compiled during a workshop she had been to recently.

As a bonus, it was Teresa’s birthday, and we all celebrated with birthday cake and refreshments provided by Teresa and Andie.

August 20, 2019, Next Steps in Weaving: Color Basics

Linda presented a program on color for weavers called Things You Need to Know about Color. It was the second installment of the series Next Steps in Weaving, and followed up last month’s program on looms.

These programs are designed to present information that you should learn and know to become acbetter weaver. The handouts are designed to put in a notebook so that as we continue this series, everyone will have a notebook of what they should be studying and learning about weaving. The handouts are a guide for self-study.

Linda presented some color definitions that everyone should become familiar with because learning and talking about color requires knowledge of specific vocabulary. We discussed basic color schemes to become familiar with in your weaving. She reviewed how to use a color wheel and showed examples using the color wheel from Colorworks by Deb Menz which has templates to isolate specific color schemes. How color interacts and how yarn properties affect weaving was also highlighted.

We watched a short segment about value from a DVD by Deb Essen called Color in Weaving: Successful Color Choices for Handwoven Cloth. Linda had brought lots of yarn in a wide variety of colors so that everyone could try selecting color schemes and practice selecting yarns to be used together. They were challenged to try colors that were not their “comfort” colors. Everyone received a handout for their Weaving Notebook.

July 16, 2019 Next Steps in Weaving

The program entitled “Next Steps in Weaving” was presented by Jackie, Laura, and Linda. Refreshments were provided by Amber Galley.

At the end of June Jackie and Betty attended the MidAtlantic Fiber Association biennial conference on the campus of Millersville, PA, University. Jackie told us that she had taken Swedish pattern weaving with instructor Joanne Hall. It was a round-robin workshop in which six different samples were woven using Swedish yarns, shuttles and temples, supplied by Joanne.

Each workshop participant received the patterns from Joanne for Halvdrall, Jamlandsdrall, two different types of Monk’s Belt and a Rosepath. She had lovely samples of each and also brought a few other table linens that she had acquired on her travels.

Prior to the program, Laura showed everyone a reel of line she had spun together, with her beautiful seascape Saori weaving.

June 19, 2019 Lucet Weaving with Teresa

lucet weaving (4)

Teresa demonstrates a variety of lucets

A note from Linda:  So sorry some of you missed Teresa’s lucet presentation! She did a really fine job getting us fumble-fingered newbie lucet ladies going. And she had inspiring examples of what you can do!  I love your creativity Teresa!

The lucet is a horn-shaped tool often made from wood. which dates back to the Viking era. Lucets were in common use throughout Europe until the 16th century. A lucet cord is exceptionally strong and slightly elastic.

louet weaving (1)

The variety of things that can be made with a lucet are endless.

May 21, 2019 Presentation by Molly Gwinn

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMolly Gwinn, a local artist and art historian, gave a presentation on Josef and Anni Albers.

Molly Gwinn is an art historian and has been a presenter for the spring lecture series. Additionally, she has offered a number of classes with the Center for Creative Living at Sandhills Community College.

Molly earned her doctorate from Rutgers University and has taught at Rutgers, the School of Continuing and Professional Studies at New York University and at the Dallas Museum of Art.

During her presentation she reviewed the history of Josef and Anni Albers who had arrived at Black Mountain College in 1933 from the Bauhaus and Nazi Germany. There, they joined the faculty of avant garde artists and writers. Because Josef spoke no English Anni had to translate his lectures to his first class of art students.

Molly’s talk centered Anni’s Albers’ accomplishments at Black Mountain College, explaining that while Josef taught art, Anni found time to establish a weaving studio, where she encouraged students to imagine materials as an adventure and to created textiles from the unlikeliest objects they might find.  She went on to have a profound impact on hand weaving in America.

The program was preceded by “Show and Tell,” at which our talented members told us about their latest creations:

October 16, 2018, Swap Meet & Weaving Glossary


Jackie’s program was on a glossary of weaving terms

The meeting began with refreshments, served by Mary.

During the swap meet members had plenty of choices among a variety of fiber options–knitting needles from Linda’s stash, free yarn from Jackie and Betty, and homemade fiber by Laura.

We had a brief business meeting, during which we discussed the next three meetings and the date was set for Rock Day. It will be on January 5th, 2019.

Show and Tell included several hurricane projects, and then Jackie presented a really instructive program on a glossary of weaving terms.

August 21, 2018, Inkle loom weaving with Andie

Andie led our program in August

Andie showed us a new way to use Inkle looms

Andie presented a fascinating program on card weaving on an Inkle loom, a new twist on a traditional technique. By using cards, she is able to expand the number and complexity of possible designs exponentially. She had several examples of her work and showed us how to create patterns using cards.

Prior to Andie’s presentation, the early birds got to enjoy Helen’s delicious refreshments, consisting of berries and chocolate chip cookies, together with miniature caprese salads on skewers.  Wow!

Then a brief business meeting, in which we discussed our outreach activities at the Shaw House and Malcolm Blue Farm, as well as our plans for November and Show and Tell before getting on to the evening’s main event.

Thank you, Andie and Helen for a terrific evening.

July 17, 2018 Expanded Show and Tell

Members gathered on Tuesday night to share some of their latest fiber creations with each other. During the course of the evening several interesting themes emerged: Learning from our mistakes, trying something new and fiber techniques discovered on some of our members recent travels.

All together, it was a very inspiring evening. Thank you Laura for putting this program together at the very last moment and for the pictures, speaking of which, the photos below show a little of what our members have been doing recently.

June 16, 2018, Dye Day at Nancy’s home

At the end of the session, artists and their spectacular skeins

Nancy began our session with a brief description of the two types of dyeing that were available. People could choose to dye an entire skein in one color using the dye pot method on the grill or do a painter wrapped skein in the microwave.

She explained that anything used for dyeing was not to be used for food preparation. The pots she used just for dyeing on the grill and the microwave on the deck were old ones designated for dyeing.  She passed out a handout and rubber gloves and showed us the colors that were available to use or to mix.

Each person had brought a prepared skein of natural (white yarn), and Nancy had prepares several as well. Theresa and Betty decided to dye  purple skeins and then later they painted ones for the microwave, Diana also dyed an orange skein to use in her Rock Day project. Lynne, Andie, Mary and other decided to paint skeins.

Nancy made some goodies and Jackie brought a wonderful Soba noodle salad for lunch, and everybody brought their own beverages. We started at 9:00 a.m. and were finished by 10:30, which was good since the deck was hot. We all came in for ice tea and salad.

A great morning, with spectacular results—thank you, Nancy.

May 15, 2018, Using a warping mill–Kate

We opened with our usual business meeting, a synopsis of which can be found on the Members Page. It was followed by a fascinating “Show and Tell.”

Teresa brought in a sampler scarf she had made recently, and Linda, a beautiful piece of  lace, which her grandson brought back from France for her. Recently, Jackie had been to a Tom Knisley workshop on Color and Weave at the Triangle Weaver’s Guild and showed us the 5/2  mercerized cotton sampler she made there.

Louella showed us her heirloom counterpane.  I believe the main body of it was woven in honeycomb with a gorgeous knitted border. It was created by one of Louella’s ancestors several generation back, and it really is a museum piece. Not many people have the opportunity to see up close such exquisite work.  Thank you, Louella.

April 17, 2018, Looms and useful equipment

Report from Jackie

Linda showed us a really long shed stick!

Linda presented a program explaining the different types of looms available to weavers today. We watched a wonderful video presented by Tom Knisely. He clearly explains the differences between jack, counterbalance, countermarche, and one type of table loom in his video “The Loom Owner’s Companion.” Demonstrating the treadling on each loom, he explains the mechanisms which made them either a rising or sinking shed.

Linda had a large collection of equipment that she finds useful when she weaves. A yarn swift, ball winder, bobbin winder, many types of shuttles, t-pins, swords, batten, lease sticks, tape measure, sharp scissors, wooden ruler, pick-per-inch magnifier, post it notes, bobbins etc. The table was chock full of great items!

Nancy Farina shared a helpful tip with the group.  Since she weaves mostly scarves of narrow width, she uses paper-towel rolls that she cuts lengthwise to wrap her warp on the back beam.  They wrap around each other neatly for easy storage also!  Start saving all of those paper-towel cardboard rolls!

The Sandhill’s Community College Weaving Show will be held in the Boyd Library in September.  We discussed and agreed on the subject of “Handwoven Covered Journals.”  We will display the journals that were created at a past meeting thanks to Teresa Storch.  Since we have many new members who were not present for the journal-making, we will be making inkle bookmarks to display in the cases also.

November 21, 2017, Planning your project

Report from Nancy

Linda, wearing the striped vest, led the group through the math calculations.

Linda, wearing the striped vest, led the group through the math.

Linda led this month’s Guild program, which focused on planning a weaving project. She used Peggy Osterkamp’s  Planing Project worksheet that is available on line.
In Show and Tell, Theresa showed some triangle shawls that she made with her triangle loom.Linda walked us through each of the steps and then we decided as a group to make the vest that she was wearing in wool with the warp being two shades of purple and the weft would be a yellow wool. Linda discussed the advantage of using warp calculations for the weft.

October 17, 2017, Initial thoughts on a set of bylaws

A note from Linda

During the course of the meeting everyone shared their ideas, feelings and suggestions about how the guild works and what should be included in the bylaws. We learned about what has attracted and held members and how participation in guild activities has helped us grow. We also embraced the diversity of our fiber work and the mission statement listed on the website. It was a very insightful time.//

The main points we decided needed to be addressed are these: purpose, voting, officers & responsibilities, membership & dues. A few other areas were suggested that might also be useful to include.

*Since this process is going to take time we formed a Bylaws Committee to come up with a draft set of bylaws for the membership’s consideration.

* Members: For additional information please go to the Members Page.

September 19, 2017, Warping from front to back

Following the business meeting we had a great Show and Tell with Linda explaining how she transcribed an old draft using Fiberworks and Lynne and Betty showing us their latest weaving creations. To see the captions run you mouse over the picture. Some things about WordPress are still a mystery to me. I don’t really have the hang of consistently getting the captions to show up below the pictures!

More about the business meeting on the Members Page, where you will find the call for volunteers to work at historic sites between now and Christmas, together with the Treasurer’s report.

And so on to the main event of the evening. In preparation for the up-coming workshop, Jackie showed members her special technique for warping a  table loom from front to back. In this process Jackie chains of the warp from the bottom of the warping board and then pre sleys the warp into the reed. Jackie chose a mixed warp of many colors 20 epi producing a weaving width of 14 inches.  She threads 4 threads thru each dent skipping one in between and then places lease sticks in the cross and secures the ends with a figure 8 tie. After all threads are thru the reed she places the reed in the loom and attaches a back beam. She winds fiber on back beam, then undoes the warp from the front and puts it thru from the front of the reed and ties behind the reed. Then she resleys the reed after threading through the heddles.

She says this is time consuming but makes a smooth even warp.

Nancy has taken some terrific pictures which explains the whole process perfectly. Thank you Nancy.

August 15, 2017, Sale of Barbara’s equipment

This month’s meeting was held in Nancy’s weaving studio. We started out with Betty’s delicious refreshments and a business meeting, the details of which can be found on the Members Page.

It was with mixed feelings that some of our members attended the sale. After all it was Barbara’s weaving and knitting supplies. She had been precious to us and a driving force behind the Guild. On the other hand, it was exactly what she wanted to happen to all her craft stuff, and our members went away from the sale with mementos from a dear friend.

The Guild will keep some of the tools to start a tool lending library. (More details on that in the near future.) And, since some of our members also belong to the Triangle Weavers Guild, those items that didn’t sell will be put up for sale at their annual sale later in the year.

 July 18, 2017, Book Making–Part 2

This was our first meeting in the new format. We had refreshments in the lobby at 6:30 p.m., followed by show and tell. We welcomed a new member, Lynn, who found us on the website, and then we had a brief business meeting.

We went to the classroom at 7:30 to begin sewing our pages in the books. Those who made smaller books finished while other are still working on theirs. Louella donated her small book to the Guild, and everyone in the class wrote a message in it to Jacque, now in Farmville, VA. (Louella and Sharon subsequently stopped off at Jacque’s house to give it to her on their way to a workshop in Pennsylvania.) Teresa drilled holes and gave us handouts on the sewing details. She proved once again what an excellent teacher she is, and now we all have a far greater appreciation for the cost of a handmade book.


June 20, 2017, Book making–Part 1

From Nancy and Teri
Teresa was really prepared for our arrival with work stations set up around the room for paper selection, gluing, cutting and page making. Each member selected a book board and used either paper or cloth which was glued on to the board. Then another sheet of paper was chosen for the inside of the cover to hide the raw edges.
The pages were grouped in 7-9 sheets and another pretty paper was selected to cover each packet of pages. An awl was used to make holes in a page which will be used as a pattern for the pages in the book. All of us were told to weight our book covers while they dry.
We cleaned up, tasted Teri’s delicious refreshments and had a brief business meeting.
Thanks Teresa for a great class.

 May 16, 2017, Macramé snowflakes

 From Nancy and Teri

Teri led our May program about making macrame snowflakes

Teri led our May program about making macramé snowflakes

Teri opened the meeting with show and tell. Teresa talked about next month’s book creation and what it entailed.  Then following a brief business meeting we got down to the main business of the evening: macramé snowflakes.

Terry had given each member with a handout from a 1983 edition of Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Crafts to Make Ahead. Each person also received a wooden block with a post (nail) on which to mount their Macrame ring and hold it in place, 18″ lengths of crochet thread (Luster Sheen size 8) and a 3/4″ plastic ring. Each table had a completed sample of the snowflake and a larger sample made out of cording to more clearly show the knotting process. Teri shared her history with macramé snowflakes and told us that the size of the ring and the size of the thread determined the size of the snowflake. After most persons had a good start on their snowflakes, we tasted Louella’s famous dessert.

April 18, 2017, Recycling your yarn

From Linda

Betty's recycled projects

Betty’s recycled projects

Betty Weidaw gave a very informative and inspiring presentation on working with old sweaters. She had created lovely example to show her ideas and suggestions. First, she showed how to adapt a sweater that was too long in the torso or sleeve.The cut-off bit can be unraveled so that the same yarn can be used to finish the sweater after the length adjustment. Then she explained about how to take apart a sweater and unravel the yarn for reuse.

She suggested reading “Deconstructing Cashmere: A Plyer’s Affordable Treasure Trove” by Jill Graham in Spin-Off magazine, Winter 2015.

Betty had some wonderful cashmere yarn that was unraveled from a 50 cent purchase at the Coalition (a local thrift shop). Although the yarn could be used by itself, it was fine enough that she planned to ply it with another yarn to create something different. She explained how to make a cardigan from a pull-over with several suggestions on ways to finish the cut ends, such using contrasting/blending ribbon bands or knitting with the unraveled yarn. Other suggestions included making a vest from an old sweater or even a poncho from one that had stretched out of shape.

We were all really excited about the possibilities of ways to make something wonderful from bargain finds at thrift shops are even our own closets.  This was a really excellent presentation that made us all start thinking in new ways about how things can be changed and reused.

March 21, 2017, Annual Swap Meet

From Teri

On Tuesday evening the Sandhills Handweavers Guild held its annual swap meet.  Members had been encouraged to sort through their fiber stashes at home and clean out any items that no longer interested them. These items included yarn, roving, books, tools, craft notions, fabric, baskets, and completed projects. We even had a “guild” table of items that had previously been donated to our group. As the members roamed around looking at items, you could see the spark of interest and delight as each item was examined and details of each sale were negotiated! All in all, it was a very enjoyable evening and one that the members look forward to each year.”

From Linda

We had a great time surveying, poking around, looking at, buying, and generally getting our fingers in and around lots of “new to us” fiber, yarn and related stuff. We had a pretty good spread, with a full table of items donated to the guild. Everyone sold some things, but Anne gets the prize because she is down-sizing and needed to re-home lots of things. Nancy brought some delicious refreshments, so we had plenty of fuel for our chatting during Show & Tell. Teresa brought some very impressive small triangle weavings she had woven and then embroidered with blackwork designs. It will eventually be a knitting bag. She also showed some larger work from her triangle loom. Louella brought a stunningly beautiful quilt that the Randolph Quilters Guild is raffling off as a fund-raiser. Our own Louella did an amazing amount of hand quilting on it. Of course, we all wanted to purchase chances on that quilt! Mary brought two of her delightful flower paintings and told the inspiration behind them.

February 21, 2017, Embellishing Your Fabric

Patty showed an inspiring video about embellishment.

Our February program was another fun session full of great information.

We started the evening with the DVD from Anita Luvera Mayer, entitled “Creative Cloth.” We watched the sections on Stacked Beading, Crochet Cord, and Wrapped Rings. We also saw the section on dyeing with Dye-Na-Flow Fabric Paints.

Then, using the techniques we saw on the DVD, we all went to the tables and tried them out on our own material, making crochet cord and attaching those to the fabric. We also tried our hands at wrapping rings with yarn that can be attached to the material and then using our “Bead Soup”  to add the stacked beading technique, as well as individual beads to the fabric. These techniques can be done on any fabric, handwoven or commercial, or on any garment item to which you may want to add a bit of extra Bling! For example, a scarf, sweater, jacket, or blouse. You can personalize any item in your wardrobe!!

Thank you Patty for a interesting program.

August 16, 2016, Omiyage with Sarah

Sarah demonstrates the art of Omiyage

Sarah demonstrates the art of Omiyage

This month Sarah gave us another wonderful presentation. This time on Omiyage–the Japanese practice of giving small consumable gifts in beautiful packages.

She demonstrated how to turn a 20” square kerchief into an elegant bag, and presented examples of other designs, such as bento bags, Japanese knot bags, jewelry holders, “Chinese take-out” style bucket bags, and, most delightfully, fish bags, which come with their own wee fish coin purse.

She also provided patterns and templates for these designs and discussed taking existing packages, such a small cardboard containers, and decoupaging them with lovely designs to be re-used.

Thank you, Sarah. You have given us a leg-up on our challenge for this year, which is to make a small but highly embellished pouch.

July 19, 2016, Gamps Galore

Jacque explains the anatomy of a gamp

Jacque explains the anatomy of a gamp

We kicked off the evening with our usual business meeting and made some decisions about the exhibition.

(Please bring your exhibit to the August meeting so we can make labels for them in time for the September 23 opening. Calling all volunteers to meet in the library at 10:00 a.m. to day to set up the display cases and give Nancy a helping hand with the bulletin boards if needed.)

Jacque reminded everyone that our Gamp Weave-In will be held on November 4th, 5th and 6th. More about that under “What’s Next.” And that sort of transitioned straight into her presentation on Gamps.

Several members had brought in gamps that they had woven previously and hung them here and there around the room. They really were the main attraction and absolutely invaluable for illustrating the ins and outs of gamps.

Jacque explained the anatomy of a gamp and all the different types that could be made. To illustrate the value of making gamps, we looked at a couple of point twill variations on the computer, but ran out of time to completely plan a gamp on the white board.

However, I think everyone got the general idea, and several of our members volunteered to mentor anyone who ran into difficulties.

But the time had come to wrap it up–Teri’s pineapple up-side-down cake beckoned. Wow, the best yet! Thank you, Teri.

June 21, 2016, Michelle’s magic knitting maching

Michelle demonstrates

Michelle demonstrates her knitting machine

Our June meeting centered around Michelle’s knitting machine. But first we had a brief business meeting and a spectacular Show and Tell at which Jackie modeled a beautiful lace shawl she had knitted and Louella showed us a quilt made by the members of the Randolph County Quilters Guild for a member who is expecting a baby in August. Members had quilted squares, and she had worked the border and pulled the whole thing together—a labor of love and a beautiful expression of their caring for each other.

Then on to our program: Michelle’s knitting machine really is a technological marvel. After she had explained how it worked, everyone got a turn to have at it! The surprising thing was that moving the handle back and forth to create the rows of stitching really gave you a good workout.

Following several rows of plain knitting in one color, Michelle added a second color and explained that there were more than 200 patterns programmed into the machine’s computer. Being a technological wiz, it is right up Michelle’s alley! She admitted she loves both the challenge and the creativity it provides, and that, although it might take some time to solve some of its mysteries, there was not a challenge that she hadn’t been able to resolve eventually! And we were in awe of the beautiful clothing and baby blankets she had produced on it.

A perfect synthesis of art and technology—I, for one, was impressed. Machine knitting really does take the historic craft of knitting right into the 21st century. Thank you, Michelle, for an inspiring program.

May 17, 2016, Quilling with Teresa

Teresa, our quilling teacher

Teresa, our quilling teacher

We had a great turn-out last night for Teresa’s program on quilling. I think it was a new craft for us all, and under Teresa’s tutelage we certainly had a good time, letting the “child within” come out to play.

Following a brief business meeting and Show and Tell, at which Jackie showed us the beautiful blanket she had woven using natural dyed wools, Teresa explained the ins and outs of the ladylike art of quilling. “Ladylike” because it was one of those decorative arts that only ladies of the upper class did to occupy their time.

With the help of the quilling tool, which has a slot at the end of the point, it wasn’t difficult twist the 1/8th inch paper strips into coils, but the art lay in arranging and gluing together the coils into just about any design you could imagine—flowers, hearts, butterflies, snowflakes, or whatever you fancied.

The finished designs could be used to decorate anything: boxes, jewelry or to dress up refrigerator magnets! We made roses and by the time we had cut and pasted everything together, they all looked beautiful. Then we mounted them on our choice of a magnet or a brooch clip.

Our evening of quilling just whetted our appetites for more. Thank you, Teresa, for a fascinating evening.

April 19, 2016, The Swap Meet

What an evening—we set up our tables, we visited, we chatted and we shopped—big time!  Yarn was the big seller, and members’ tables that had been loaded down at the beginning of the evening quickly emptied out.

The Guild table did a steady business throughout the evening, but the star of the show was the silent auction run by Linda. Equipment that had been donated by Georgie’s daughter filled two tables and, although nothing much seemed to happen there, members found real treasures and quietly signed up to get them.

We finished up the evening with a brief business meeting, at which we talked about the possibility of holding a “gamp weave-in” at the beginning of November. Then, basking in the glow of another great swap meet, we figured up what the guild had made through the silent auction and the guild table. Thanks in large part to Linda’s work setting up the silent auction, we broke all records.

Thank you everyone for your participation and to Linda for organizing the silent auction.

March 15th, 2016, Our library collection with Jackie

Jackie shows us the beautiful yarn

We held our March meeting in the Wood Reading Room at the College’s Library–a truly beautiful room with comfortable chairs and sofas you could just sink down into. The word must have got around because we had an overflow crowd for Jackie’s presentation about the Guild Library. It’s all going to be very efficient, using a card file tracking system. We now have a wonderful collection of books, mostly donated by former members or their families, and we would love for you donate the books that you are no longer using.

I know the library will be a great asset for the Guild. Thank you, Jackie, for all your hard work.

The second half of the program was devoted to our favorite craft and fiber books. A few of the better-known ones surfaced. But what was really interesting were several off-the-wall books that inspired our members’ creativity. And then there were those hard-to-find books, now out of print, whose information is just a valid today as it was when they were first written. It was a fascinating collection and a terrific evening.

February 16, 2016, Figuring out what to do with that yarn! Laura

Last Tuesday night, before we got around to our program, we had one of those rare but productive business meetings. After lots of input from our members, we voted to become a dues-paying organization. We are asking everyone to pony up $20.00 at the beginning of each year.

Having a little more money in our bank account should mean that in the future we’ll be able to invite really top-notch instructors to conduct workshops for us and keep a little money in reserve for expenses. (That said, I have to add that in the past we have donated our time and money willingly to support our Guild, and I would hate to see our members’ extraordinary level of generosity come to an end just because we have built up a little reserve fund.)

Then on to the fun part of the evening.

We went from table to table, looking at members’ stashes–all those yarns that we didn’t have a clue why we bought them nor what to do with them now. And some really good suggestions came out of our brainstorming sessions. Sometimes we just need someone else’s ideas to help us see these problem children in a whole new light.

And before we knew it the evening was over, and it was time to say our farewells until next time. On March 15 we will meet in the Wood Reading Room at the Boyd Library on the Sandhills Community College campus.

Sadly, I didn’t take any pictures this time. I was so engrossed in what we were doing that I forgot to pull out my camera!

Laura, thank you for a really fun and inspirational program.

 December 15, 2015, Christmas Dinner

Nancy hosted annual Christmas Dinner and Gift Exchange at her house on Tuesday, December 15. Please follow the link to Special Events/Christmas Dinner.

November 17, 2015, Knitting with two colors with Anne

Anne models a Norwegian knitted headband

Anne models a Norwegian knitted headband

We had a really good turnout at Tuesday night’s Guild meeting. Beforehand. we had all knitted the first 10 rows or so of a very pretty snowflake headband from Norway. Then, Anne handed out the chart of the actual design and showed us how to knit using two colors of yarn–continental style.

With a little practice we mastered handling both yarns over the left index finger and  knitting off whichever color the chart called for. It was not nearly as daunting as many of us had thought it would be and we all got the hang of it.

While we knitted we talked about the Christmas Dinner and yarn exchange at Nancy’s on December 15th, and everyone volunteered to bring either a side dish or a dessert to accompany her roast beef dinner.

We also talked about the possibility of having a workshop in the spring—and bringing in a guest instructor to run it. This is going to be exciting stuff, but it takes time to get all the wrinkles ironed out, but as the details become available we will post them on the Special Events page.

 October 20, 2015, Crocheted Casting On

Random striped scarfI’ve just come back from our October Guild meeting and am all fired up about casting on with the help of a crochet hook!  This month’s program was all about knitting a scarf with random stripes running lengthwise instead of across, and the effect is spectacular.

In order to make both the cast-on edge and the cast-off edge look the same, Barbara taught us how to work a crocheted cast on. Something new for most of us, but once we got the hang of it, it wasn’t so difficult. Everyone there mastered it.

Now it takes a lot of stitches to knit a scarf lengthwise: 203 for about an 80″ scarf. But we concentrated–it was one of our quieter meetings!

Once the casting on was done, we were home free and could pick our colors at random, working as many rows as we wanted in any color. It was a great way to use all those odds and ends in our stashes.

To find the pattern and a good diagram of casting on with a crochet hook go to

Close up of crocheted cast on

Betty got the hang of it right off!

Thank you, Barbara for a really interesting evening.  There’s always something new to learn at the Sandhills Handweavers Guild.

September, 2015, Show & Tell with a Twist

Once in a while “life” happens, and I don’t get to our monthly meetings. But this was one I definitely shouldn’t have missed! My loss, sadly because by all accounts it was a phenomenal success.

Here’s a brief write-up from Kate:

“My goodness, you missed an event. My stuff was the merest blip on the screen compared to the other things people brought for show and tell. It was awesome. Our new members are really prolific. Barbara took a bunch of photos to send you. Faith and Nichole from Fayetteville brought knitting, spinning, and needle felting; Jan brought the most gorgeous quilt; and Betty and her daughter Teresa brought some lovely needle felting, beading, and paper quilling”

And the list goes on! So I’m going to let all that incredible talent talk for itself. Thank you, Barbara, for the great photos.Please click the link to the photo page.

August 18, 2015, Spinning with a drop spindle

Holly demonstrates using a drop spindle

Holly demonstrates a spindle that spins in its own cup

We missed several of our regular members last Tuesday night, but it’s August and everybody is off in different directions at the moment. However, we did have six lively new visitors, all potential new members.  And they were all so much fun.

Holly started her presentation with a brief history of spinning and introduced us to her collection of drop spindles from around the world. Her talk was packed full of information–more than we could possibly remember. Fortunately, there were handouts that covered everything from the anatomy of a drop spindle to all the fascinating facts she had shared with us during her talk.

Then the fun began. Holly had made about a dozen drop spindles from dowel, wooden wheels from children’s toys and cup hooks, so those who didn’t have their own were able to dive right in and start spinning. I have to admit that we had varying degrees of success—but everyone there produced some usable spun yarn before the evening ended.

And we all had a great time. Holly, you were terrific–thank you so much.

Towards the end of our program we broke away from our spinning and dove into Michelle’s beautiful platter of fruit and cake, proving once again that fiber, friends and food are an unbeatable combination. Thus, our evening drew to a close, but we still had so much more to talk about we were reluctant the call it a night.

SHG members and Guests drop spindle spinning

July 21, 2015, Technical Aspects of Weaving

Our session on the technical aspects of yarn

Our July meeting took the form of a round-table discussion on the technical aspects of weaving. Sarah explained weights and thicknesses of yarn, including silk deniers, which had always been a mystery to me! Then she fielded a bunch of questions about the technical weaving that is done right here in North Carolina.

 June 16, 2015, The Alexander Technique

Heather showing ideal posture at the loom

Heather showing ideal posture at the loom

We have just had a terrific program given by Heather Snyder Ippolito about the Alexander Technique’s approach to body mechanics.

The Alexander Technique is a way to “unlearn” harmful lifetime postural habits in order to find relief and solutions for chronic pain. It a powerful tool that can be used in anything you do, whether you are sitting at your desk, playing a musical instrument or weaving.

First, Heather demonstrated a simple lengthening of the spine technique which put the head in the correct alignment. The difference was dramatic. Suddenly we all felt an inch taller. Then away with the stress induced hunched shoulders; instead, she showed us how to use those strong back and ribcage muscles (the latissimus dorsi and the serratus anterior) to do the heavy lifting, without hiking up our shoulders. After that we learned to sit correctly, no more slouching around for us. If we will only pay attention to how we sit—square on our seat bones—our bodies will be aligned correctly.

Laura had brought a good deal of weaving equipment to the meeting, including her small floor loom, a warping board and a warping mill. We explained to Heather how each piece of equipment was used, and she figured out the best way for each of us to use it, eliminating the postural problems we have as weavers due to poor body mechanics—you know the sort of thing—folding up like a pretzel to get under your loom to tie up or stretching beyond reason to thread your heddles.

From beginning to end, it was an enormously interesting meeting. We learned so much that we can put to work for us in our weaving lives. Thank you, Laura, for introducing us to Heather.

And thank you, Heather for a eye-opening program.

May 19, 2015, Fringes

That Tuesday, Barbara was sick and Sarah bravely stepped into the breech. Our program was all about fringes, how they were made and everyone had brought samples of fringes that they had either made themselves or admired. It turned out to be a really informative session. We learned so much about finishing techniques from a master. Thank you, Sarah.

 April 21, 2015, Backstrap Weaving

Laurel demonstrates backstrap weaving

This month we had a guest speaker, Laurel Stanell, who told us the story behind many of her beautiful backstrap woven pieces and demonstrated how a backstrap loom worked. Some of us even tried it out for ourselves.

With one end of the warp hooked onto a stable object (in the picture that’s Linda), and using a rod to stabilize the warp at the other end, she looped a webbed strap around her hips to secure it.

And just that quickly, she was ready to weave.

The reed was intriguing. Laurel makes her own perfect rigid-heddle reeds from coffee stirrers, with a hole drilled in the center of each one and then glued top and bottom to horizontal slats.

Backstrap weaving is Laurel’s creative outlet. She received her undergraduate degree in home economics, after which she taught school for a while. Then she went on to Graduate School in the Arts Department at the University of Minnesota where she discovered weaving. But what she was really wanted was a craft that was far more portable than working on a floor loom. Backstrap weaving was the answer. Here was a beautiful fiber art with endless possibilities that she could do just about anywhere.

Thank you, Laurel for a really enjoyable evening.

March 17, 2015, Swap Meet

Some serious bargaining took place at last year's swap meet.

Some serious bargaining took place at last year’s swap meet.

We had a good turn-out for our second annual Swap & Shop meet. There was yarn galore, and some good pieces of equipment changed hands too. Unfortunately, we were all so busy shopping we forgot to take any pictures, which was a great pity because we planned to have a Show and Tell in the middle of the program.

Louella had brought some beautiful quilts that she was in the process of finishing up for an exhibition she was planning in Asheboro, NC; Michele, our newest weaver, showed the dish towels she had woven during the last six weeks or so—fabulous pieces. She has been exploring twill and even created a complex overshot gamp. WOW! There’s no stopping her now! Elizabeth had woven a shibori stole, a gorgeous example of her work—definitely something for the rest of us to aspire to.

Then back to doing some last minute shopping. Everyone went home happy and sales at the Guild table surpassed all expectations.

Thank you everyone.  It was a very successful evening.

February 17, 2015

This month’s program was to have been a Handwoven Roundtable, during which we had planned to discuss four articles from the Jan/Feb 2015 issue of Handwoven magazine.

But the ice storm came and our whole geographic area just shut down. Instead, as long as we had power, we hunkered down in the comfort of our own homes and didn’t venture out unless it was absolutely necessary.

It was a pity because the roundtable idea had all the makings of being a really interesting program, but we will try to fit it in at a later date.

January 10, 2015

Roc Day signals the beginning of a new creative year, and it’s almost here. That means it’s time to finish up (or start) on your challenge piece and be ready to tell us a little about it. The 2014 challenge was to be inspired by a piece of art of your own choosing. And, of course, Linda will be announcing this year’s challenge.

We’ll meet at Linda’s house at 12:00 noon. Anyone who hasn’t been out there before can e-mail or call her for directions. Please check out the e-mail she sent out on January 3 and let her know whether you will bring a bread or a dessert to accompany the traditional beef stew.

To learn a little more about Roc Day, please follow the link to the Forum/Let’s Talk page and to see last year’s challenge projects, please click on the Gallery link.

 December 16, 2014, Christmas Dinner

Instead of having our regular December Guild meeting at the Community College, we held our Christmas dinner at Nancy’s house. Please click on the link to take you to Christmas Dinner page under the Special Events heading.  Thank you, Nancy for a great evening.

 November 18, 2014, Create your own tweed knitting, Sarah

Despite being a cold, rainy night, we had a great turnout for our November Guild meeting. Everyone was looking forward to Sarah’s presentation on how to knit tweedy looking fabric. And the weather was not going to deter us.

Her inspiration had come from a pattern for a knitted tweed jacket. However, instead of slavishly following the directions, she decided to develop her own tweedy look by using three colors of similar weight yarns blended together. The result was one of infinite possibilities, and she started sampling, photographing and charting her designs.

Then, she shared them with us.

We all came armed with knitting needles and balls of yarn. Sarah gave each of us a set of index cards with pictures of her knitted samples on the front and the charted pattern on the back—simple, effective and fun to work.

She explained that the beauty of this technique was that you did not have to follow her samples and patterns exactly.  The title on the handout said it all, “Temporary Rules—to be ignored later.”

Writing about the process has proved challenging, but suffice it to say that the colored squares on the chart represent stitches knitted with the colored yarn and the blank squares are slipped stitches. Using one of the simpler charts, I read the knit row from the left-hand side, followed by a purl row read from the right. Now, I might have been doing it all wrong, but it seemed to work for me. And who knows, I just might have discovered a whole new way of creating tweed knitting.

But, no matter how we decided to work the chart, the results were spectacular. And I will definitely return to this technique in the future.

Thank you, Sarah. It was a great program.

October 21, 2014–Making a Simple Handwoven Vest, Helen and Linda

Helen and Linda gave an excellent hands-on presentation about making a simple vest from a woven 9-to-11 inch strip of fabric and showed us how to make a pattern based on one from Weavers’ Wearables by Virginia West.

Linda modeled the vest she had made from fabric woven on her rigid heddle loom, using a 3.5-yard warp of variegated merino sock yarn and explained how she had made it. 

First, she made a pattern out of paper bags, and then a fabric mock-up so she could adjust the pattern. She told us that the side panels, which were made with strips of the same woven fabric, could be made as long or short as you needed them. She also pointed out that the vest could be lined or embellished with beads or felt flowers. She had zigzagged the selvages for durability.

Helen showed us a short, double-breasted jacket that she had woven and created several years ago and a couple she had made from purchased fabric. With her help, we all made brown paper patterns from grocery sacks to fit ourselves. We rounded out the evening with wonderful pumpkin cake provided by Teri, and a discussion of our upcoming Christmas dinner. More about that later.