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Monday, February 25, 2013

Fiber Swapping!

My Bag of Stuff
I belong to a group of fiber artists in Wilmington NC, started by Jan Wutkowski of aMuse Artisanal Finery.  It's an eclectic group of women artists who sell their work locally, and in some cases, nationally and internationally. I feel honored to be part of this collective.
My Bag of Stuff

We've met periodically to "show and tell," teach/learn a new technique, watch videos, share ideas, meals, and materials.  Yesterday we met in the apartment upstairs from Jan's aMuse to hold our first (I hope, annual) fiber swap.  Eight of us lugged our stash of discards up the steep, narrow stairs of the 19th century building to discover a unique apartment filled with large windows and brilliant sunshine.  The grab bagging started almost instantly.  You'd think we were needy of supplies!  We produced bags and baskets filled with "stuff," and you know the old adage: "Someone else's trash is your treasure!"

We dumped our stuff out on the floor or passed the bags around, greedily pouring through the piles.  Amazingly there was no fighting!  I had gone through my entire studio - although you'd never know it! - to try to discard as much as possible.  This is no simple task!  Any of you reading this who are artists (or craft junkies/hoarders) understand the almost impossible task of giving things away.  What if we need this at some, elusive future time?  But I DID give up quite a bit - to almost fill a HUGE plastic bag (one of those that holds a whole bed-in-a-bag size.)  It included fabric, fabric sample books, roving, wool locks, netting, mesh, vintage earrings and lace, and of course, yarn that I think I won't ever use.  Remind me sometime that I gave away that ugly yarn that I then need for the perfect touch to some creation.  Hopefully I'll just forget I ever had it.  I don't mean to insult anyone for selecting my "ugly yarn!"  I'm sure I've taken on someone else's!

We had wine, sushi, a fabulous curried spread, chocolates (I left my own contribution on my kitchen counter!).  We also had cameras, but alas, NO ONE took any photos!  It would have been fabulous to see this group of eight women sitting on the floor and around the room like kindergarten kids ogling and grabbing the goodies in front of them.  Wish I'd taken pix!

The Return Trip
But I am proud to say that I came home with FAR less than I brought to the swap!  Mind you, some of these yarns were already knitted into something, so I had to frag much of the dark green that I am now knitting into a felted bag. AND the worst night mare was the beautiful yellow/cream partial skein of Prism Light Stuff that took me an hour+ to detangle and roll into a ball.  There remained much less than I thought, but I WILL find a use for it (soon!).  I also grabbed some great lampwork beads, a few buttons, and an interesting leather medallion that will probably embellish a bag - maybe even this green one!


Chrissie Marshall said...

Sounds like a perfect and fun day and the sort of thing I would love. A few weeks ago I gave away "yes I did" some tassles that I have had for like ever and never found a use for them. Blow me down I wanted to add 4 tassles to a cushion and where are they, GONE. but hey ho that's the way it goes. Glad you had such a good day

Chrissie Marshall said...
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