Do baskets, barks and mittens have anything in common? Yes, especially when they’ve been the focus of recent classes at Sievers School of Fiber Arts! Stacks of baskets were created in Jeanette Biederman’s Splint-Woven Basketry: Independent Study class, with some completely finished and some ready for the final touches at home. Next year, the plan is to take a photo that includes all the baskets made during the week. Might need to stand over by the barn to fit them all in the camera lens!
Instead of a stack of baskets, how about class time spent on one perfect Winnebago Picnic Basket? Even Schoolhouse Beach may not be ready for this beauty!
Learning the techniques of making Latvian mittens followed by a separate class on Latvian Mitten Design with Sandy De Master and Mary Germain made this writer think about which Brown Sheep Naturespun sport weight wool colors and what design to incorporate in knitting her next pair of lined mittens. Completing a mini-mitten in the technique class is just the “helping hand” you need to move on to making a full-size version.
From computer-aided design and charts using a rainbow of colors to knit the mittens on the left, to a pair designed using yarns dyed in Donna Kallner’s Natural Dye Retreat class, tradition and modern were represented by both knitters.
Bark is special. A pliant, leather-like feel and sheen make it a unique material that is easily showcased. In class with Karen Tembreull, students made a Bark Pouch with willow, basswood and cedar. Teacher- and student-made cordage (mohair locks brought by a student were incorporated into some additional cordage, too) provided the strap for these pouches, which were then lined with up-cycled wool sweater pieces.
Extra class time allowed students to create another small project. The array of Karen’s own work, shown on the right, provided inspiration and a trip to the Island Exchange (landfill) supplied the bases for one of the baskets. You’ll have to guess what they were looking for to use as a base!
With Ellen Graf’s Drafting in Quilt Design and Donna Kallner’s Local Color: Botanical Prints classes, followed by another Open Quilt Studio, we’ll be focusing on fabrics next. Then on to fleece in Deb Jones’ Spinning Art Yarns. For us, the fun never ends!
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