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An afternoon of Nuno felting

2018 Felt making class with Alanna Nelson

An Afternoon of Nuno Felting

March 9, 2019

1 to 4 pm in Melrose, MA

$65 includes materials

Play with wool, soap and water to create fabric that is sturdy, beautiful and useful. We’ll talk about several ways to create felt and see examples. Learn how your wool choice impact the final fabric.

Create your own wool fabric about the size of a placemat using wool, water and soap.

No tools necessary. The class fee includes wool and simple tools to create your own felt. Wear comfortable shoes, bring a full apron (waterproof is great)  and clothes that don’t mind getting damp.

Class size limited to four people.
Have questions? Contact Alanna

Reserve your place by sending a check to Tactile Travel Fabric & Fiber, P.O. Box 761092 Melrose, MA 02176 or use the PayPal button below. Be sure to include your email address and/or phone number. Your payment is refundable up to three days before the class, provided that your spot is filled by someone off the waiting list.


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Thank you from Joined by Stitch!

Joined by Stitch had a lovely time chatting with friends old and new last night at the Andover Memorial Hall Library.  Thank you to everyone who came out… and thank you to the folks at the Herb Farmacy for having a talk during the same time frame. There’s definitely cross interest between the herb and the fiber art worlds!

Sue Colozzi took photos of the exhibit earlier this month, but don’t settle for pictures! The exhibit is up through April 30. Meanwhile, here’s a little teaser of the small quilts. I feel lucky to hang around such vibrant fiber artists.

Joined by Stitch at Andover Library

Joined by Stitch April 17

Joined by Stitch April 17

It’s up! My fiber art critique group has their first exhibit at the Andover Library through April 30, 2018.

Fiber Art Exhibit - Joined by Stitch - Andover 2018

Thanks to SAQA – MARI, Betsy Abbott gathered fellow members and friends together, creating what we now call “Joined by Stitch.” Seven fiber artists, each with their own perspectives and favorite techniques, meet monthly to share studio revelations and our journeys. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know Betsy, Sue Colozzi, Tarja Cockell, Janis Doucette, Anne Kimball and Madalene Axford Murphy.

We’re hosting a “Meet and Greet from 7 to 8 pm on Tuesday April 17 at the library. I’d love to see you there!

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Fiber Art at The Gallery in Malden

Fiber Art at The Gallery in Malden

Alanna Nelson winter landscape inspiration New EnglandThe March landscap in Massachusetts can be an acquired taste. Bare branches, squishy boggy mud and wide ranging weather possibilities make cozy pancake eating days in maple sugarhouses one of its main attractions. However, March 2018 is a magical time to discover Land and Nature Scapes in fiber art around Boston.

More than a dozen fiber artists share their work at The Gallery in Malden from March 1 to the 25. The reception is on Thursday March 8 15 (aforementioned wide ranging weather postponed the date) from 7 to 9pm. You’ll enjoy a wide range of imagery and messages inspired by the lines and color from around the world.

I’m delighted to be part of that exhibit, but let me point you to web sites of some of the other artists: Betsy Abbot, Sue Colozzi, Tarja Cockell, Madalene Murphy, Kathleen ConnorsCarol Ann Gotrian, Jeanne Marklin, Valarie Poitier, Janice Jones, Cathy Granese, Ann Kimball, all gathered by the wonderful Janis Doucette.

A newcomer on the Malden scene, The Gallery is a local maker’s gift shop, exhibit space and community space dedicated to the arts right in Malden Square. Its spirit and inclusion is boosted by the wonderful Ose Schwab, with the physical space supported by DSF Advisors. The Gallery reflects Malden’s diverse population, and I’m excited to see how it develops. Go Gallery, go!

Gallery Malden March 15 Fiber Art Reception

Will I see you there? Hope so, but if not, perhaps you can make it to April’s meet and greet… more about that next time.

Do you laugh when you hear “Knit-In”? Let me call you in.

Do you laugh when you hear “Knit-In”? Let me call you in.

Loretta Ross at 2018 Local Environmental Action ConferenceIt was my lucky day. I attended Local Environmental Action 2018, where keynote speaker Loretta Ross emphatically (in her folksy way) made her case for all aspects of human rights.  Loretta would like to see a culture where we can “call in” and build connections rather than “call out” and isolate people.

In group sessions, I marveled at the different paths life leads us and heard motivations for attending the Conference. International approaches to reducing our carbon footprint and adapting to the change inspired me to keep moving forward. Strategies learned at a session inspired by research from NNOOCI give me a framework to communicate in ways that can build consensus. I even won something in the silent auction!

At the closing keynote, Mariama White-Hammond encouraged everyone to protect our progress, build connections in our community and envision a future that will result in a more equitable and sustainable future.

It was an inspiring and tool building day.

There was a moment when my face wrinkled:  When Carol Oldham praised the efforts of Jane Palmer leading a knit in to protest a proposed pipeline in VT, she had to pause while many in the audience giggled. Oh, dear, not again.

Does “knit in” make you laugh? Let me call you in (a chance practice what I learned).

I cannot deny the stereotype of knitting as an activity of the elderly women, which is somehow not perceived as cool as… Beyoncé or Juan Manuel Santos. Not that many years ago, knitting was a necessary activity done by all ages. In the US, knitting and protest trace back to the Revolutionary War. While the decline in handwork was dramatic in the 1950s and 60s, activity rebounded beginning in the 1970’s.  In this millennium, motivation and passion for not just knitting, but all kinds of creation are growing in a new way.

Even Stephen Colbert half heartedly recognizes this, making a short attempt to learn to knit on air.

Mariama encourages gestation of a new vision that will include everyone. Perhaps the 2001 Manifesto of the Revolutionary Knitting Circle provides a framework for local environmental action.

We hold that all communities should have the means necessary to meet every essential need of their own people.

To that end, the Revolutionary Knitting Circle calls upon people everywhere to take up the struggle through the tools of local production. We shall bring forth not only our voices raised for global justice, but we shall rise together, with the tools to liberate local communities from the shackles of global corporatism.

By sharing in the skills and resources of our communities, we shall become free to cast off dependencies on global trade for our subsistence. In so doing, we shall all be able to enter fairly into meaningful and equitable trade of not only goods, but also those cultural intangibles that are necessary if we are to bring about understanding, justice and peace to truly enrich our individual lives and our communities.

I do not know exactly why Jane Palmer chose to knit at Vermont Gas. Perhaps, like me, she enjoys making each moment productive and doesn’t leave the house without her knitting. Perhaps the rhythmic, repetitive movement of their hands calmed everyone’s minds. Perhaps they were creating an installation to raise awareness of the proposed pipelines’ pathway. Whatever their motivation, knitting is part of their activism tool box.

You, too, can learn to knit. I’d be happy to teach you, and lead classes at Lucky Cat Yarns. If you’re not nearby, find your local yarn shop, pick up a book at your library or look online for videos to begin your journey.

Thank you for your consideration.