Fiber Arts – Asheville Blog http://ashevilleblog.com Your Source for all things Asheville Fri, 13 Apr 2018 14:02:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.14 Blackberg Creative Studio Opens on Asheville’s South Slope http://ashevilleblog.com/blackberg-creative-studio-opens-on-ashevilles-south-slope/ http://ashevilleblog.com/blackberg-creative-studio-opens-on-ashevilles-south-slope/#respond Thu, 19 Mar 2015 15:24:09 +0000 http://ashevilleblog.com/?p=7712 A new business is coming to 120 Coxe Ave on Asheville's quickly growing South Slope. Neighbor to Vortex Doughnuts, Wicked Weed, and Twin Leaf Brewery, the new BlackBerg Creative Studio offers customers something other then beer and food. BlackBerg caters to the creative types that are always on the look for new and different crafts. The brainchild of Stephanie Mergelsberg, this new spot is a hybrid of craft store, classroom space, and studio space open to anyone with a project to use. 

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A new business is coming to 120 Coxe Ave on Asheville’s quickly growing South Slope. Neighbor to Vortex Doughnuts, Wicked Weed, and Twin Leaf Brewery, the new BlackBerg Creative Studio offers customers something other then beer and food. BlackBerg caters to the creative types that are always on the look for new and different crafts. The brainchild of Stephanie Mergelsberg, this new spot is a hybrid of craft store, classroom space, and studio space open to anyone with a project to use.

Part of the inspiration to open up BlackBerg was frustration at not being able to find certain fabrics and notions in the area. As a self taught crafter who was trying to figure out how to make a living in Asheville, Stephanie felt there were things missing in the Asheville craft scene. She started up craft afternoons, which gathered crafters and encouraged them to work on their projects and meet other similar minded locals. These afternoons grew into craft evenings, held at Metro Wines on Charlotte Street. Out of this collective, BlackBerg Creative Studio was born.

The main goal of BlackBerg Creative is to offer artists an opportunity to get out of the house and take advantage of studio space and equipment that would otherwise not be available them. Self employed artists are a large part of collective Asheville, and working from home can be isolating and sometimes stifling. BlackBerg Creative Studio aims to solve that problem. However, you don’t need to be a professional artist to take advantage of all this new studio offers.

Workroom rentals are not the only thing that this new creative space offers. Mergelsberg is in search of teachers to conduct classes in the studio’s ample classroom area. BlackBerg Creative not only offers studio space and classes, but there is a selection of craft supplies available as well. Starting out with a focus on fiber and textiles, the studio will carry small quantities of yarn, knitting, crochet, and similar supplies. Featured artists will also offer their wares for sale, and Mergelsberg has brought in an array of fabrics not found in other Asheville stores. Cloud Nine Fabrics come in a variety of appealing patterns, and all are organic cotton.

BlackBerg Creative Studios is hosting their grand opening party tomorrow, Friday March 20th, at 5 pm. Stop on by and check out the space and see what this new studio has to offer. There will be beer from Hi-Wire, wine from Metro Wine, and a variety of doughnuts from Vortex. Are you proficient in a craft that you are passionate about? Ask about teaching classes while you are there.

Give a warm Asheville welcome to this new creative space, and see what BlackBerg Creative Studio brings to Asheville’s South Slope.

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Spinzilla http://ashevilleblog.com/spinzilla/ http://ashevilleblog.com/spinzilla/#respond Thu, 03 Oct 2013 17:42:44 +0000 http://ashevilleblog.com/?p=1402 Spinzilla

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Spinzilla

What is Spinzilla?

Spinzilla is an event designed to increase education and awareness of hand spinning. Our goals are:

  • Collectively spin as much yarn as possible during Spinning and Weaving Week.
  • Raise awareness of hand spinning in the yarn market and beyond.
  • Increase spinning confidence and knowledge through various challenges.
  • Establish a spinning component with the Needle Arts Mentoring Program (NAMP), supporting educating children in the needle arts.

Why Spinzilla?

Spinning and Weaving Week has been a long-standing tradition in the spinning and weaving community. Based on membership feedback, the Spinning and Weaving Group created a committee to explore the options to create a fun event that would engage spinners of all skill levels and capture the imagination of the general public. Spinzilla 2013 is our inaugural year!

How can I get involved?

Come cheer on your local Asheville Spinzilla team! We are a group of very enthusiastic spinners with high hopes of winning the contest. We are sponsored by Asheville Homecrafts and will have several “spin-ins” throughout Spinzilla week where you can come meet us. Here’s our spinning schedule:

  • Monday – Spinning at Asheville Homecrafts 10 am to 12 pm, Asheville Visitor’s Center 11 am to 2 pm, Asheville Homecrafts 4 pm to 6 pm
  • Tuesday – Spinning at Asheville Homecrafts 10 am to 12 pm and 4 pm to 6 pm
  • Wednesday – Spinning at Asheville Homecrafts 10 am to 12 pm and 4 pm to 6 pm
  • Thursday – Spinning at Asheville Homecrafts 10 am to 12 pm and 4 pm to 6 pm
  • Friday (I love yarn day!) – Spinning at Asheville Homecrafts 10 am to 12 pm, Echoview Fiber Mill (Weaverville) 11 am to 3 pm, Asheville Homecrafts 4 pm to 6 pm
  • Saturday – Spinning with the Knotty Ladies Retreat in Jonesboro, TN 9 am to 5 pm
  • Sunday – Spinning at Asheville Homecrafts 12 pm to 4 pm

Spinzilla

My preparation for Spinzilla – fiber has been chosen, wheels oiled, cleaned, tightened and ready to SPIN!

How does this event work?

Beginning on August 15th, 2013, individuals can sign up for a team based on proximity to a store or an affinity with a certain brand.

The registration fee is $10 with a limit of 25 spinners per team. Once you have registered, your team captain will get in touch with you with more information about your teams goals, events, incentives, and other information about the event.

How will the winners be determined?

The first goal of Spinzilla is to spin the most yarn! Spin time begins at midnight EST on Monday, October 7 and ends at midnight EST on Sunday, October 13. In between these dates, spin, spin, spin! Registered spinners must submit a photograph of their yarn and how much yardage they spun by midnight EST on Wednesday, October 15 to their team captain.

Team captains will submit their team’s yardage by 8pm EST on October 16th. The winning team will be announced on Friday, October 18th! The Spinzilla Trophy will be awarded to the team who has spun the most yardage. Each member of the winning team will receive a $25 gift certificate from a participating prize donor. All Spinzilla participants will be entered into random drawings for product gift certificates.

How can I form a team?

The initial response to Spinzilla filled first year team capacity within the first month of opening team registration. Therefore, team registration for the 2013 event is currently closed.

 Where will the proceeds go?

100% of the proceeds will go towards toward establishing a spinning program within The Needle Arts Mentoring Program (NAMP), whose mission is to create community partnerships that promote and encourage relationships between adults and youth, fostering curiosity, creativity, and a feeling of achievement through the teaching of needle arts.

NAMP is a non-profit organization that supports programs that teach children the various needle arts, including crochet, cross-stitch, knitting, needlepoint, and now spinning. Spinzilla proceeds will fund supplying the organization with CD spindle packs to make available to educators that want to teach spinning to youth.

What is the Needle Arts Mentoring Program?

 NAMP is a volunteer-based program that supports adult mentors who teach needle arts to groups of children in grades one through twelve. NAMP resources are available to school systems, after school programs, scout troops, library programs or any other places where children gather. Generally, mentors meet with the children one hour per week for a six to nine week session, although programs can be designed to suit a particular situation.

 

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The First Annual Fiber Feel Day http://ashevilleblog.com/first-annual-fiber-feel-day/ http://ashevilleblog.com/first-annual-fiber-feel-day/#comments Thu, 03 Oct 2013 01:22:08 +0000 http://ashevilleblog.com/?p=1356 The first annual Fiber Feel Day was held at the WNC Agricultural Center on June 1st, 2013. The event featured fleeces, roving, and yarn for sale from many local vendors, as well as spinning, weaving, and felting demonstrations, and a chance to meet local farmers and their fiber animals. Sponsored by Local Cloth, Echo View Fiber Mill, the AFCNA, and WNC Communities, the event was held from 9 am to 1 pm and was free to attend.

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The first annual Fiber Feel Day was held at the WNC Agricultural Center on June 1st, 2013. The event featured fleeces, roving, and yarn for sale from many local vendors, as well as spinning, weaving, and felting demonstrations, and a chance to meet local farmers and their fiber animals.

Sponsored by Local Cloth, Echo View Fiber Mill, the AFCNA, and WNC Communities, the event was held from 9 am to 1 pm and was free to attend.

             Fiber Feel Day

“The event was created with the purpose of education for farmers and the general public, and connecting farmers with spinners, knitters and weavers”, said event organizer Judi Jetson.

With over 20 vendors, there was something for every fiber craft need at Fiber Feel Day. You could get up close and personal with alpacas and sheep, and talk with the farmers about the process of raising animals for their fiber.

Organizers plan to hold Fiber Feel Day annually with hopes that the event will continue to grow.

Shetland Sheep

A Shetland sheep eagerly greets visitors at the first annual Fiber Feel Day

Llama Farmer

A local farmer talks with a family about the process of raising Llama’s for their fiber

Baskets of Fiber

Baskets overflow with handspun yarns and spinning fiber from recently shorn local sheep

Weaver

A local weaver demonstrates weaving a scarf on her rigid heddle loom

Hat Model

A shopper models one of local fiber artist, Vasanto’s, unique felted hat creations

Table Filled with Yarn

Tables are filled with handspun yarn and woven scarves, ready for shoppers to take home

Alpacas

Freshly shorn alpacas greet visitors to the first annual Fiber Feel Day

Hidaway Farm Fiber

Fresh fleeces, roving, and handspun yarn for sale from Hidaway Farm in Hendersonville, NC

Shetland Sheep

A Shetland Sheep from Sycamore Farms in Leicester, NC says hello at Fiber Field Day

Spinner

A local spinner demonstrates spinning yarn on her Majacraft spinning wheel

Hats by Vasanto

Unique felted hats for sale from local fiber artist, Vasanto

Alpaca

A Huyacaya alpaca strikes a pose for visitors to photograph

Fellowfeel Farm

Hand knit hats, scarves, and accessories from local fiber artist Nancy Stamm of Fellowfeel Farm

I hope you’ll join me at next year’s Fiber Feel Day!

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The Asheville Annual Yarn Crawl http://ashevilleblog.com/the-asheville-annual-yarn-crawl/ http://ashevilleblog.com/the-asheville-annual-yarn-crawl/#comments Thu, 30 May 2013 13:22:17 +0000 http://ashevilleblog.com/?p=900 Every year in May, Asheville’s diverse fiber arts community comes together to adventure through the city and enjoy all that our local yarn stores have to offer. This year was no exception, as we were treated to an even broader variety of shops, spanning all corners of the county, as we took part in the …

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Every year in May, Asheville’s diverse fiber arts community comes together to adventure through the city and enjoy all that our local yarn stores have to offer. This year was no exception, as we were treated to an even broader variety of shops, spanning all corners of the county, as we took part in the annual Asheville Yarn Crawl.

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Echoview Fiber Mill, Weaverville NC
In all, nine stores participated in this year’s crawl, each offering special promotions, raffles, and surprise giveaways. The crawl is held on Mother’s Day weekend, falling on May 10th, 11th, and 12th this year. There is no charge to participate in the yarn crawl, and each participant is entitled to one free raffle ticket from each shop they visit. Participants in the yarn crawl are encouraged to try to visit all the shops on the crawl, in order to be entered into a grand prize drawing. My ultimate goal was to visit all nine stores in one day…and so I set off on my quest.

The first shop I visited was The Yarn Nook (1261 Smoky Park Highway, Candler NC). This was my first visit to The Yarn Nook and I was delighted with what I found inside. There were many friendly faces, graciously welcoming me into the shop, and offering help if I needed it. I talked with the owner, Linda, who was so excited to meet so many new fiber friends. I was interested to learn about the classes that The Yarn Nook offers, especially considering there was a class being held while I was in the shop. The Yarn Nook offers a great selection of reasonably priced yarns, including Berocco, Cascade, Debbie Bliss, and Noro, as well as many other great brands.

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Inside of Echoview Fiber Mill
My journey then took me north to a new stop on the crawl, Echoview Fiber Mill (76 Jupiter Road, Weaverville NC). While I have visited Echoview before, every visit is fun, as they are always adding new and exciting items to the growing mill shop. Echoview offers yarns spun right there in the mill, as well as spinning fiber, finished hand-knit garments, fun felted items, and a variety of goods from local artisans. The staff is very welcoming of visitors and if you call in advance, you may even be able to schedule a tour of the mill in action. Echo View is a state of the art fiber mill, offering wonderful spaces available for group gatherings, as well as frequent fiber arts workshops.

I then travelled back to downtown Asheville, where I was able to visit three of the shops on the Yarn Crawl, all within a short walking distance of one another.

image005Asheville NC Homecrafts (1 Page Avenue Suite 134, Asheville NC), located in the historic Grove Arcade, caters to a variety of fiber lovers, including knitters, crocheters, spinners, and felters. Asheville NC Homecrafts carries a variety of yarns and notions, as well as an amazing selection of finished garments, hats, shawls, and quilts from over 70 local artisans. They have recently expanded their shop to include other treats, such as honey, chocolates, sauces, and salsas, all created right here in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I had a wonderful time talking about spinning and fiber festivals with one of the shop owners, Marie.

image007Purl’s Yarn Emporium (10 Wall Street, Asheville NC) has become one of my favorite local yarn shops. The owners, Elizabeth and Rik, are so friendly and accommodating. The shop has an amazing selection of unique yarns, local yarns, and even offers their own line of in house, hand-dyed colorways. Purl’s offers a great program, Purl’s Scouts, encouraging both new and seasoned knitters to build and strengthen their skills through classes and workshops offered in the store. Purl’s also offers several times weekly where fiber friends can gather to sit and knit, and even offers a men’s group knit night on Tuesdays (see their website for more details). I am especially fond of their ever-changing, extremely creative window displays.

image009Earthguild (33 Haywood Street, Asheville NC) caters to crafters specializing in traditional Appalachian handcrafts, including spinning, weaving, basket-making, pottery, leather-craft, candle-making, and rug-making. They also carry a wide variety of yarn, felting accessories, magazines, and jewelry making accessories. Earthguild’s knowledgeable staff is great at helping customers select the best items to complete their next project. They offer spinning wheels from Kromski, Ashford, Louet, Schacht, and Lendrum, as well as looms from Beka, Schacht, Toika, Louet, and Leclerc. Earthguild is truly a gem in the Asheville fiber arts community. Be sure to check out their in house hand-dyed yarns, weaving kits, and hand woven scarves.

My voyage then carried me east, to Black Mountain, where I visited Black Mountain Yarn Shop (203 West State Street, Black Mountain NC). Black Mountain Yarn Shop is a lovely, bright, and airy shop, located in the bustling downtown shopping district. They offer an impressive collection of yarns, including Koigu, Malabrigo, and Lamb’s Pride, as well as a great knitting bag selection from Namaste, Atenti, and Lantern Moon. They offer a variety of workshops, classes,  and special events, as well as frequent times to gather to sit and knit. Black Mountain Yarn Shop offered a special door prize, The Orbit Scarf, to their first yarn crawl visitor.               

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Lindsey, sporting her door prize from Black Mountain Yarn Shop

I then returned to the Asheville area, stopping in at Yarn Paradise (6 All Souls Crescent, Asheville NC), and boy is the name fitting! I had never visited Yarn Paradise before, but it was such a treat to spend some time perusing all the lovely yarns they stock. They were having a special sale upstairs, with certain skeins marked 50% off. I was very impressed with the great variety of buttons and other notions they stock. Yarn Paradise also has an online store, so you can shop from the comfort of your home.

Next, my route took me south, to the area’s newest yarn shop, Kniticality (55 Robin Lane, Saluda NC). While they may be a bit off the beaten path, it is certainly worth seeking out Kniticality. They have an impressive selection of yarns and notions, and the owner, Amy, is simply a delight to meet. The shop opened about four months ago and is a welcomed addition to Western North Carolina’s yarn shop family. Kniticality offers many great classes and helps facilitate the weekly Sit’ n’ Stitch yarn therapy session, Thursday mornings at the Four Seasons Mall in Hendersonville. Stop in and enjoy the cozy fireside knitting lounge and knit anytime the shop is open. Also be sure to take a moment and savor the gorgeous view of the breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains from their entrance.

Rounding out my fiber field trip was a stop at Friends and Fiberworks (800 Brevard Road, Asheville NC) in the Biltmore Square Mall. Undoubtedly the largest yarn shop in the Asheville area, Friends and Fiberworks has an extensive selection of yarn in almost every colorway imaginable. They also carry a variety of spinning fibers, as well as locally crafted finished goods. Friends and Fiberworks offers a bi-annual fiber arts retreat, featuring world-renown fiber artists, classes, workshops, and vendors so you can get your fiber fix. They also participate in many fiber festivals and expos held throughout the country, including Stitches South, Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival, and SAFF. Be sure to plan for an afternoon in the shop, to be able to really enjoy the variety that they offer.

There were many prizes to be won including lots of yarn, notions, patterns, and gift certificates.

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Congratulations to all the winners!

As a first year yarn crawl participant, going it alone, I felt so welcomed by everyone at all the local yarn shops. I made many new friends and have developed a new appreciation for how lucky we are to have so many shops to cater to our fiber art hobbies. I’m already strategizing for next year…won’t you join me?

 

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