Fibercamp Compendium 2016

Were you at FiberCamp 2016? I had a great time again.

FiberCamp 2016 at MIT Cambridge MA

This year, I didn’t lead a single session. I didn’t even peruse the session pages until Thursday. Jumping into a pool of friends and tantalizing topics with abandon, I soaked myself in whatever seemed good at that moment. So refreshing!

Dirty Water Dyeworks raffled at FiberCamp 2016

(Above) The gradient bundle from Dirty Water Dyeworks was a hot ticket! (Below) Two fabulous knit skirts inspired by the good mojo at Yarns in the Farms

Attending sessions on photographing textiles , new techniques in double knitting, and wet felting (with the women launching FABRIC), I missed other good topics. Equally notable, I met new people, got to know others better and caught up with past attendees and Guild members.

Much time was spent in the vendor room… ok, get rid of the passive voice. I shopped til I dropped! This was a conscious decision:

  • I wanted to support the small businesses who support Fibercamp;
  • I wanted to break in a newly issued credit card 🙂

Picking up lovely yarns from Toil and Trouble, A Riot of Color, a gradient bundle from Dirty Water Dyeworks and recycled silk blend from Boston Wool Works.

Alanna Nelson loves knit stash procured at FiberCamp!Alanna Nelson explores Circular Weaving Looms from janda Multimedia

I finally treated myself to a cheery project bag from Beantown bags and a pompom maker. I immediately ordered an circular weaving kit from Janda Multimedia , which is made right in Norwood using a 3D printer!

In a new twist this year, the first 100 FiberCamp attendees received a hand stamped project swag bag stuffed with all kinds of goodies! I should have really taken a photo of it, so darling, but frankly I popped it open like a kid on Christmas morning.

FiberCamp is different each year, reliably,  it’s better than I think it will be. What a great way to spend a March weekend… even if the weather outdoors was unseasonably fabulous.

Setting sail with Judy’s Magic Cast ON

One of the unexpected gems from FiberCamp last weekend was Anne’s method to create a knitted tubular cast on. There’s oodles of options, but I’d never seen her version, which uses Judy’s Magic Cast On. Surveying my knitting circles this week, I realized that many have yet to try this versatile cast on technique.

I also hadn’t explored Judy Becker’s book about other ways to use this cast on. So I ordered Becker’s book from 2011, .
Beyond Toes: Knitting Adventures With Judy’s Magic Cast-On (aka JMCO).
Now, of course, I’ve got several projects I would love to try. Stay focused, Alanna, those Master Knitter corrections need to be in the mail before sailing season begins on May 1.

I’d love to see ways any of you use JMCO in your projects. Links in comments, please?

Crochet Circular Cast on

Crochet Circular Cast on

The intoxicating inspiration of FiberCamp 2014 spawned new project ideas, friendships and improved techniques in crochet, sewing and knitting.

In heady fumes of the moment, I imagined writing several blog posts about the weekend. In reality, I’ve only written on Tactile Travel. Erin from Knitting in Beantown has a lovely round up from her perspective.  Any one else? I’d love links to your impressions.

One of the weekend highlights was the Designer Showcase, organized by Julia Farwell-Clay. The Guild did a fabulous job spotlighting this Handknit Runway. Now that I’m finally writing, I’m sure I could go on and on and on…


Today I want to share the great way Jennifer creates a circular start in crochet. I’ve traditionally started granny squares or other circular items by chaining a few stitches, linking the chain to create a circle, then beginning the first round. There’s always been a gap in the center of the circle, but Jennifer’s method makes a nice tight beginning. Watch this!

P.S. Jennifer, if you have a web site or other way we can credit you, shout it out!



All together now! FiberCamp and North Shore Yarn Crawl

I need no yarn, but you’ll definitely find me at Sit n Knit in Melrose on Sunday afternoon, helping Janet and enjoying the North Shore Yarn Crawl. Janet’s offering 20% discount on yarn and she has a lot of fun giveaways, raffles and goodies, so be sure to stamp your passport there!

On Saturday and Sunday morning, it’s time for the FiberCamp Boston.  Can it be? I just watched the video we filmed for the first FiberCamp in 2009.

Really, the fact that there’s only 24 hours in a day is one of the biggest problems with Boston. Will I see you around this weekend?


FiberCamp Boston 2013

Did you think I was on the sofa, eating bon bons and watching “Downton Abby“?  Mais, non!  (Alright, I did spend the last two Sunday evenings with knitting and hot chocolate, watching season 3).  Fabric and yarn excitement and shifting priorities made the last three months simply sizzle.

Currently, the waning fireworks are from the Common Cod Fiber Guild’s Ignite Craft and FiberCamp… three days of creative energy, company and the opportunity to share with others.  On Friday night, I spoke at Ignite about the wonders of FiberCamp.

Ignite Craft 2013 speakers

All eyes on Guido Stein as we prepare for IgniteCraft Boston 2013.

I offered to facilitate three sessions at the FiberCamp  itself:

  • Making a Log Cabin Quilt Block (here’s my handout CreateLogCabinBlock)
  • Creating a Duct Tape Mannequin
  • Fair Isle Knitting (I had no idea there was such trepidation about this topic!)

FiberCamp 2013 SewingThere was also time to show Sheeri around her new sewing machine, fetch coffee, label rooms, browse the pop up vendors like Dirty Water Dyeworks (a skein from Stephanie is a FiberCamp tradition!), pick up that incredibly crazy “52 Pick Up” pattern from Fallingblox and some teal hand spun from SnowMoon3.

Good thing stash reduction was not a New Year’s resolution.

I treasured the session led by Jen Stark of BlueAlvarez, where she shared the Excel spreadsheet she’d developed to streamline pattern grading for knitwear design.  Jen is a creative and thorough designer who has experience, education and “the eye.”  Fit, function and statement flow from her designs.  Wow!  The SAORI Weaving session was at the same time, and I thought perhaps I would follow the “rule of 2 feet” and try to stop by both sessions, but I was totally absorbed with the possibilities and ease for sweater design.  What a great session Jen led.

Thank goodness I was able to enjoy Mihoko’s presentation the night before at Ignite Craft… I’ll be sure to share the video when it is posted.

Amy King of Spunky Eclectic led a bunch of sessions on Saturday and I managed to catch a bit of making patterns from existing clothing.  I have, on occasion, been burned by mistakes while doing this.  Most of these could have been avoided by placing my pattern paper on top of a soft surface (say carpet) and pricking important lines with T pins.  Now why hadn’t  I ever thought of that?
Amy King at FiberCamp 2013 Whatever the session, it was fun to dive in and see what might happen next. I crocheted aliens, overheard tips on thrummed mittens, and just enjoyed the company of the other FiberCampers.

Now it’s back to my regularly programmed life and posting about other fiberlicious projects in my studio.