Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Free Fabric for a Guild Member?

Classified Ads

Free to a good home – 12 yards/10.97 meters of FABRIC, sheer, thin-striped, shiny, organza fabric in shades of burgundy, olive, navy with specks of gold, and fairly dark looking, but the stripes are subtle.
Contact Deb R. through the MFAG membership list.

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Last month, (Dec 12th, 2014) the Guild received a letter to the editor on our website. Read it below.

Hi Paul,

I wanted to say thanks for your webpage, http://www.mesafiberartsguild.org/Links.aspx. My name is Julie, and my family and I are planning some fiber arts projects for Christmas gifts. Your page has some great information and resources we'll be able to reference. Thanks a ton for compiling them!

I also wanted to share a useful spinning resource that my daughter Aubrey found while helping me, http://mjjsales.com/spinning-wool-and-other-textiles.html . Can you add this to your resources webpage? She's very into fiber arts, but her friends don't share her enthusiasm, so I thought this would give her some extra encouragement. :-) And I thought your other visitors would find it useful.

If you have any good project ideas for us, let me know! Happy Holidays!

Julie Loomis

M is for Musk Ox

M is for Musk Ox
by Lynn Hamann

Alaska's town of Deadhorse where the Dalton Highway ends near the Arctic Ocean is one of the homes of wild Musk Ox in the USA. Each year when the musk ox molt, their fiber is collected from the ground and the bushes. It can take years to collect enough fiber to process (600 lbs / 272 kgs) But there is another way to collect the fiber. I'll tell you about it later in this article. Musk ox are also in other parts of Alaska.

The musk ox boasts a double layer coat. The undercoat is the softest, strongest and warmest of fibers, but even the long outer layer is soft. The fiber from the musk ox is very expensive. Its value is that it can withstand any temperature in water without shrinking, but the trade-off is that it's not good for felting. Never mind, because the fiber is softer than cashmere, and stronger and warmer than sheep wool. This sumptuous fiber is called QIVIUT, and is pronounced KIV-ee-et.

Most qiviut is reserved for the Alaskan natives for use in their Oomingmak Musk Ox Producers' Cooperative in Palmer, AK. Knitters create handmade hats, scarves and other clothing. It is very popular for its warmth and softness and often purchased for gifts. A qiviut scarf can go for over USA $300.00, though it will last forever.

The Musk Ox Project to domesticate Musk Ox was started in the 1960s on a farm in Fairbanks, AK and is still there. An adult muskox can produce four to seven pounds of qiviut a year. Most commercial qiviut comes from Canada, but Alaska's wild and domesticated musk oxen continue to produce, though in smaller quantities for sale to others.

During the molt the qiviut loosens from the animal's skin and pulls away slightly. At this stage of the molt, the undercoat is a short and a uniform distance from the skin. It's time for combing the qiviut from the animal in a single large sheet. This is the best way to collect the musk ox fiber. It's possible to do it this way because qiviut is much drier than sheep wool with only 7% oils.

At the Robert G. White Large Animal Research Station (LARS), a modified bison crush is used to gently but firmly hold the musk ox in place, and the pelt combed out using a long-toothed comb or hair pick. Afterwards, it's cleaned by hand, to remove vegetable matter and then it is “dehaired”, that's removal of intermediate hairs (greater than 30 micrometers in diameter). Mechanical carding breaks and weakens the fiber. (Because the qiviut pelt is combed rather than shaved, few guard hairs exist. Pelts from hunted animals are shaved, so the dehairing process in this case is more laborious.) The qiviut may be cleaned again before spinning.
Because my husband (working in Alaska) and I were looking for a stockist for qiviut in order to replenish Dean M's supplies, we started researching the pre-historic looking musk ox and it's fiber. I am sharing some of what I learned here. Dear husband found a wonderful place to buy qiviut. Best of all, Dean approves of the quality of their qiviut. Click on their link . For more information on QIVIUT, click on these links:

February 2015 Guild Treasurer's Report and Meeting Minutes

Treasurer's Report January 15, 2015
Balance 12/13/15 3249.63
Total Income 140.00
Total Expenses 60.00
Balance 1/15/15 3329.63

January 7, 2015

The meeting was called to order by Paula O, who chaired the meeting.

Mary Jo’s friend, Lavonne, was introduced to the guild members.

Approval of minutes: Dean M motioned, seconded by Judy B to approve the minutes as printed in the January newsletter. Motion carried.

Approval of treasurer’s report: Nancy B motioned, seconded by Lynn H to approve the treasurer’s report as printed in the January newsletter. Motion carried.

United Way Fiber Show: Judy B handed out signup sheets for items to display at this show during the months of March through May. Everyone signing up is asked to indicate when they submit the item whether the item is for sale or not; how it was made (e.g. knitted, spun, woven); name and phone number or email address.

Fiber Show at Church: Mary W indicated the show will be during February. Members who signed up to display items should provide the same information as for the United Way Show and get them to Mary
before February. If you will not be at the meetings or subgroups gatherings, call Mary and she will pick up the item. (Secretary’s note: This show was later cancelled due to construction at the church.)

Other Announcements: Lynn DeB indicated the evening meeting program would be on Navajo Weaving.

Also, the evening group will be moving to a new location in February because the group attendance is increasing.

The April meeting will be a joint meeting and will be held at Mary H’s studio.

Deborah R thanked everyone who donated socks.

Mary Jo announced the Thursday birthday lunch group will start up again this month. The lunch will be at the Garden of Eatin’ at 11:30 am on January 22. Everyone is welcome to join us. Lots of fun! The lunch group tries to get together most months on the fourth Thursday of the month.

Sunshine Fund Raffle: A lovely scarf knitted by Kay G was donated to the raffle this month. The raffle
basket was passed around. Shiloh H won the raffle.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:20 pm.

Refreshments were served followed by Glenda Moore’s program on braided rugs. Thank you Glenda for a very informative demonstration.

Nancy B, Secretary

Evening Meeting Minutes

January 8th, 2015

Thank you to Carolyn Dorman who gave a fun and informative presentation on Navajo Weaving.

Meeting minutes to follow. Watch for Revision # in the newsletter section of our website.

February 2015 Thrums from Paula O.

Ahhh, February! Month of hope that winter will soon turn to spring! Valentine's Day! Presidential Birthdays! February gives us all sorts of inspiration for fiber projects: saying "I love you" to friends and family, stockpiling to sell at Spring bazaars and craft fairs, making something bright and Spring-y to be ready for warmer weather, or just making things with cherries on them because it's fun. 
At this month's Guild meeting, we have Lynn H. showing us how to make yarn from tee-shirts. You can use this kind of bulky yarn several ways, and I know this will be an interesting program!

Next month, Roz will encourage us to recycle fibers and materials we have around the house to make new fun jewelry and clothing. Roz's wonderful imagination can jump start all sorts of ideas for fiber projects!

We have several new members in the Guild, so when you see a new face at a meeting, introduce yourself and find out what interests you and the new folks have in common! And remember to wear your name tag! (Alas, this is advice from the person most likely to forget and to have to make a new one at the meeting!)

Finally, remember to bring your show-and-tell projects so that you can be in the drawing for a prize at the May meeting.

Until the weather warms up, we can use February's cool days to hole up and play with fiber! Go have a good time and make something wonderful!


February 2015 Calendar


Wednesday, February 4th, Noon
First Presbyterian Church 3940 27 1⁄2 Rd, Grand Junction, CO 

Program: Making and Using Tee-shirt Yarn for weaving, knitting, or crochet with Lynn H. Refreshments: Gail P, Mary Jo N. and Deb R. REMEMBER YOUR NAME TAG !

Thursday, February 5th, 6:00 pm
The Center for Independence 740 Gunnison Ave, Grand Junction, CO
Program: Spinning with a Drop Spindle with Candice T.

MesaFiberArtsGuild, email info@mesafiberartsguild.org


Rug Hookers: Wed, January 28th at 9:30 a.m. at the Bakery/Coffee Shop next to Garfield’s in the Redlands.

Weavers: Sat, February 7th at 9:40 a.m. at the home of Jayne S. Program: Brenda Wi on Equipment and Books in our Weaving Library.

Knitters: Wed, February 11th at 9:30 a.m. at the home of TBD.

Spinners: Wed, February 18th at 9:30 a.m. At the First Congregational Church,1425 N 5th St (5th and Kennedy.)

Rug Hookers, February 25th at 9:30 a.m. at the Bakery/Coffee Shop next to Garfield's in the Redlands.

Guild Gathering Lunch: Thurs, February26th, at TBD.

Dyers: Meet quarterly at a “hands on” dye workshop in January, April, and October. Time and date TBD by Mary H, owner/proprietor/artist at: Color Creek Fiber Art, 1150 North 25th St Unit B, Grand Junction 81501

A gentle reminder: Remember to turn in your items for display in the March – May United Way show to Judy Br. Bring to the February Guild meeting, if possible.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

New Dyers Group!

The first meeting of the new Dyers Group was held on January 10th. Over-dying was presented by owner of Color Creek Fiber Art and Dye Group coordinator, Mary Hertert. Dyers brought wool, fabric and even a basket to over-dye. It was an informative Saturday morning. Everyone had a great time.