Reflections on Nature Exhibit

Hi folks,

If you follow any of my social media accounts,* you’ve seen my work on this piece over the last couple of months. Now it is finished and it is hanging in an exhibit with work from some of my fellow Kansas City Fiber Artists. Yay!

Harvest Meditation | Annie Webster | Webster Fiber Arts

This piece is called “Harvest Meditation” and it is one hard piece to photograph. I’ve been trying to color correct the photos I took of it yesterday for a while now and I have given up and am showing you that “good enough” one above. Reds and oranges are always hard for me to capture. I wish I didn’t like using those colors so much.

Anyway…I dyed the yarns for this piece with natural extracts and food scraps that I had been storing in the freezer for a few months. I used spent tea bags, assorted herb scraps, red and yellow onion skins, avocado, turmeric, madder, logwood, and iron. I think my favorite yarn is the green, which comes from the red onion skin (weird, I know). I love pulling green yarn out of a pot of reddish-purple water. It is just so cool.

“Harvest Mediation” is on display at the Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center in Kansas City, along with beautiful pieces from other artists in the Kansas City Fiber Artists group. There is some really cool stuff in our exhibit. Please go check it out!

Gorman Discovery Center
4750 Troost Ave
Kansas City, MO 64110
Monday through Friday, 8 AM – 5 PM
Open until 7 PM on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month
Open 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month, 9 AM – 4 PM

Our exhibit runs through December 1, 2018. On that day, there will be a “Meet the Artists” reception with some fiber technique demos. That event runs from 10 AM – 1 PM.

Until next time,
Annie

*And you totally should, because I am much better about posting things to them to than I am to this blog because I don’t have to write as much/give it as much thought. Instagram is my favorite, because it is pictures, but I’m on Facebook and Twitter, too.

The Nature of Fiber Exhibit

Hello there, fiber folks! How’s it going? Mike and I are camping out in our house at the moment. We are in the midst of doing some house selling and some house buying, but we are hung up waiting on some paperwork. All of our stuff is in storage, but we have clothes and camp chairs and an air mattress. I don’t know when we will actually get to move, but soon, I hope. Soon.

I have been crocheting away while sitting in my camp chair and watching game shows from the 1970s on the laptop. One of the pieces I finished before we started all of this packing and moving business is on display at the Anita B. Gorman Conservation Discovery Center right now. Our group of Kansas City Fiber Artists is putting on “The Nature of Fiber,” a collection of works relating to fiber and nature. I saw a few of the pieces when I dropped off my work and it is a cool exhibit!

I used yarns I dyed with marigolds in the fall to create my piece. This is one is called “Marigold Merriment:”

Marigold Merriment | Annie Webster | Webster Fiber Arts

You can see my piece and the work of 14 other artists through January and February:

Gorman Discovery Center
4750 Troost Ave
Kansas City, MO 64110
Monday through Friday, 8 AM – 5 PM
Open until 7 PM on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month
Open 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month, 9 AM – 4 PM

On January 16th, there will be a Meet the Artists event from 6 PM – 7 PM at the Center. I’d love for you to stop by, see the show, and chat with all of us. Yay!

Until next time,
Annie

Honorably Mentioned

You guys!

I was mentioned! With honor! My Crunchy Granola Baby Blanket received honorable mention in the Home Décor & Afghans category of the annual Crochet Guild of America Design Competition. Yay!

Crunchy Granola Baby Blanket | Webster Fiber Arts

I created this blanket as a way to showcase my plant dyed yarns. In this piece there are fibers I dyed with blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, tea, dandelions, and the leaves of violets.

Crunchy Granola Baby Blanket Detail | Webster Fiber Arts

I chose to crochet hexagons with my yarn because I love them. I toyed with doing some half-hexie shapes to make the edges even, but I liked the ragged edge when I put it together, so it stayed that way. I went with a baby blanket size because that’s the amount of yarn I had (some decisions are easy to make).

Until next time,
Annie

In the Weeds

Hi folks,

A few weeks back, I showed you some yarn I dyed with natural dyes. Today, I have one of the pieces I made from that yarn to show you. This is In the Weeds:

In the Weeds | Webster Fiber Arts

I made a large mandala from my yarn. It is earthy and muted and I am quite happy with it.

I started my mandala on the computer. I drew a chart for several rounds of the piece, but I wanted to get to crocheting, so I didn’t draw out the whole thing, and even the part I did draw, I didn’t make a full 360-degree chart of—just the parts I needed to get me going on each round.

I made it six or seven rounds in before I started deviating from my chart. I love the look of the bullion stitch when made with a chunky yarn (those are the coil-looking stitches in light yellow in my mandala), so I made a bunch of them. This gave me a bit of waviness in my piece, which is not usually something you want in a mandala or doily, but in this case, I thought it worked, especially since I knew I was going to be mounting my piece so it could hang on the wall.

In the Weeds Detail | Webster Fiber Arts

My finished mandala is about 16 inches across, so I got an 18-inch square canvas to attach the crochet to. Mounting crochet to hang is something that I am still getting the hang of, but this piece was fairly easy to mount. I dyed some wool felt with tea to get my tan background color, then stretched it around the canvas and stapled it down with a staple gun. I had to put the canvas on the floor to do my stapling. I needed the support of the floor on the base of the stapler to work against as I squeezed the trigger because I don’t have the hand strength to just go shooting off a staple gun willy nilly (probably for the best).

Once the felt was attached, I stitched the mandala to the felt with beige all-purpose thread.

I loved working with these natural dyed fibers. I’ve dyed a few more yarns since, and I have almost completed another piece with those yarns.

Until next time,
Annie

Eco Dyeing with Weeds

Hi folks,

I hope spring is treating you well. I have been busy making things and working in the yard. I ended up with quite a few mosquito bites from my weeding and mulching last week. It is too early in the year for the number of bites I have, but I am now the proud owner of two tubes of anti-itch cream (one for the house and one for my purse), so I should now be able to find relief from the itching where ever I am.

I have also been doing some yarn dyeing, this time using nature to get my colors. While I have been weeding, I have been collecting yard waste, and have come up with some pretty cool yarns:

Eco Dyed Yarns | Webster Fiber Arts

I am so pleased with the way these turned out! I have three skeins of 100% wool yarn there, one worsted weight and two bulky. I broke these into little mini-skeins for my dyeing because I didn’t have huge amounts of dye stuffs. I have looked at several books and websites about natural dyeing, but I referred to the directions at The Spruce while I was working this time around.

Some of my plant matter worked better than others, but I had (and am continuing to have) fun experimenting with flower petals and such. All of these colors are very muted, which is what I was expecting. Since I am usually so drawn to bright, vibrant colors, this is a big change for me, but I really do like these shades.

Grape Hyacinth, Tulip, and Tea Dyed Yarns | Webster Fiber Arts

In the photo above, from front to back, I have grape hyacinth, red tulip petals, and a bag of Luzianne tea. Initially, the tea skein was to be dyed with little violets that I painstakingly plucked from the yard before Mike did his first mowing of the year, but those petals yielded no color in the pot, so I threw in the tea bag and I love it!

Dandelion Dyed Yarns | Webster Fiber Arts

These three skeins are from dandelions. I popped a bunch of these babies out of our flower beds, roots and all. I separated the flowers from the greens for my dyeing. On the left is yarn dyed with the dandelion flowers, and the two skeins on the right are from the greens. I did not drain the plant matter away before I threw my yarn in the pot, which may account for the slight color variations in the yarn. I love the result, but cleaning the little bits of dandelion off the finished yarn was a pain.

Daffodil Dyed Yarns | Webster Fiber Arts

Last, I have this super awesome buttery, lemony yarn that I dyed with spent daffodil heads. This yarn was such a wonderful surprise! I love it so much. The color is so creamy.

I have been plucking dried flower petals and weeds this last week and have a bag of them in the fridge ready for more dyeing. From what I have read, flowers in bloom are probably a better choice than dried up ones, but I can’t bring myself to cut down a flower in its full glory to dye yarn. I’m such a softie.

Until next time,
Annie

Two New Pieces: The Light Side and the Dark Side of Gray

Light Side of Gray Cowl | Webster Fiber Arts

Hi folks,

So, that whole “I’m starting to feel lousy” thing from last week? It was a cold. An energy sucking, head congesting, feeling gross cold. I do feel better now, though I am still doing a little coughing and sniffling.

And now comes the catching up. I have a couple of new pieces to show you today. I used yarn that I hand-dyed for both of these cowls. Both are a mottled gray, teal, and purple kettle dyed yarns, but I used different amounts of dye to get different intensities of color.

First is the Light Side of Gray Cowl:

Light Side of Gray Handmade Cowl | Webster Fiber Arts | Etsy

This is a short cowl that I worked in an open, airy stitch, but the yarn is a bulky, wool roving. You can see more photos and purchase the Light Side of Gray Cowl in my Etsy shop.

The second piece is longer and darker. This is the Dark Side of Gray Cowl:

Dark Side of Gray Handmade Cowl | Webster Fiber Arts | Etsy

I used a variety of stitches in this one. I love how the little flecks of teal pop out against the dark gray and purple. You can see more photos of this one and purchase it in my Etsy shop.

Until next time,
Annie

New piece: Campfire Stripe Wrap

Campfire Stripe Wrap | Webster Fiber Arts

Hi folks,

I have a big, cozy wrap to share with you today. This is the Campfire Stripe Wrap:

Campfire Stripe Wrap | Webster Fiber Arts | Etsy

I used some of the remaining hand dyed yarn from my New Horizons Wrap to make this piece. Instead of going all in with the multi-colored yarn, I went with just a few rows of the hand dyed yarn and crocheted the rest in winter white. Like New Horizons, Campfire Stripe is a big wrap, and it has nice, long fringe.

See more photos and purchase Campfire Stripe in my Etsy shop.

Until next time,
Annie

New Piece: Broken Maroon Infinity Scarf

Broken Maroon Infinity Scarf | Webster Fiber Arts

Hi folks,

How’s it going out there? It is an absolutely gorgeous day here in Kansas City—sunny and in the upper 60s. It is really starting to cool down. It is going to be time for cuddly scarves before we know it. And it just so happens I have a new one to show you today. This is the Broken Maroon Infinity Scarf:

Broken Maroon Infinity Scarf | Webster Fiber Arts | Etsy

I loom knit this piece with the same hand dyed yarn I used for my Maroon & Gray Neck Warmer. The long stitches in this infinity scarf make a diagonal stripe pattern that I really like.

See more photos or purchase on Etsy.

Until next time,
Annie

New Piece: Cherry Cola Scarf

Cherry Cola Scarf | Webster Fiber Arts

Hi folks,

Like the scarf I shared with you yesterday, this piece goes back about a year, too, though it has been complete for quite a while now. It fell through the cracks in getting posted, and then it fell through the cracks in getting blogged about. This is the neglected Cherry Cola Scarf:

Cherry Cola Handmade Scarf | Webster Fiber Arts | Etsy

I dyed this yarn using Wilton’s Color Right food dyes. I like using the Color Right dyes because they can be released from the bottle by the drop, so I can get some fairly exact colors without messy measuring, and they are food safe, so I don’t have to put on my mask, or worry about contaminating pots and pans or spoons or tongs or whatever when I use them.

You can see more pictures and purchase this scarf in my Etsy scarf.

Until next time,
Annie