Carol Wyche 1945-2016

Carol Wyche was a long term WSSA member, she passed away on January 21st. Eileen Thompson wrote this remembrance of her. Sharon Bramblett provided the pictures.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACarol was born and raised in Houston, Texas where she attended Rice University.    Her family was of German origin and as a little girl she was taught to crochet by her grandmother.    In college she learned to knit from her roommate’s mother and began a lifetime’s interest in the fiber arts.

I met her for the first time in 1983 when the Texas Knitters & Crochet Guild was formed (later to be become the Austin Knitters & Crochet Guild).    She was an enthusiastic demonstrator of  knitting for the guild at Winedale,  in Dallas at the Texas Irish Festival where she knit Celtic hose and at the Texas Folklife Festival in San Antonio.   She loved to design knitting patterns for tams some of which can still be found on her web site under Firewheel Designs at   Later in the 80’s she took a spinning lesson from Carol Rhoades and soon became equally proficient at spinning.   A teacher by profession, she delighted in teaching knitting and spinning and was known as a particularly talented and patient teacher.  When the Wildflower Fiber retreat began about 1989 it was one of the few places for knitters, spinners and weavers to gather – and Carol, Suzanne Correira of Fireant Ranch and I would make the long trek out to Tyler together to attend.    In its later years she was their regular new spinners helper.    She was also a member of the Llama Mamas spinning team demonstrating a Fiber to Fashion  (or Sheep to Shawl) at the Kidn’Ewe Fiber Festival many times.

CW 2008 L shawlOver the years she held various jobs – demonstrating spinning and weaving at Pioneer Farm  and the French Legation and teaching knitting and spinning in her home.   When Old Oaks Ranch opened in Wimberly she became their spinning teacher and again became known for her ability to teach even those who were “all thumbs” to spin.

Carol was a WSSA member for many years.    She bought a loom at one time and gave weaving a try, but decided it was not for her, preferring instead to concentrate on designing intricate and unusual patterns for her beautiful handspun yarns.   She was the Registrar for the Contemporary Handweavers of Texas Conference when it was hosted by WSSA in 2005 putting in many long hours of volunteer work.  She was always extremely generous in sharing her knowledge and skills and happy to help anyone wanting to learn knitting or spinning.

Typically, in her final days she insisted on teaching her caregiver to knit and continued knitting herself, finishing a poncho she had designed a few days before her death from inflammatory breast cancer. She will be greatly missed.

February 11, 2016 Program Night — Creativity Study Group

The Creativity Study Group has finished their twelve months of learning how many different art forms, such as painting, architecture, and music, can feed into weaving and other fiber arts design.  Come join them at the Thursday, February 11 Program Meeting as they share their work and their new-found inspirations.

Our program nights run from 6:30-8:45 at NorthWest Recreation Center.

January 28, 2016 Hands-on Night

January 28, 2016
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Austin Recreation Center

This month we’re just gathering to socialize and work on our personal fiber projects.  Bring your spinning, weaving and other fiber projects. Great opportunity to get help and advice from other members!  WSSA has a wonderful library and it is open for business during the Hands-on-Night meeting.

January 14, 2016 Program Night– Warp with a Trapeze / Mangle your Cloth


We’re thrilled to welcome Jette Vandermeiden to Austin  for a few days in January.  She’ll be speaking at our January 14th program night and teaching a 3- day workshop.

The program night topic is “Warp with a Trapeze/Mangle Your Cloth”.  Sounds fun doesn’t it? Kind of circusy?  Not really. A warping trapeze is an ingenious device that allows the weaver to put long warps on a loom with wonderfully even tension. I love mine. And mangling.. that sounds… well, bad.  It’s not. It’s how the Scandinavians get their linen so beautifully shiny and flat. I remember my grandmother’s mangle — it was a huge wooden box full of rocks, that rested on a giant wooden cylinder. Modern Scandinavians have smaller electric versions in their homes, and we will be learning the process using a marble rolling pin.

Here  is the program description from Jette’s website:

The Scandinavians weave beautiful and fine cloth. They have a different approach to setting up a warp, preparing their looms, and weaving. Find out what a warping trapeze will do and how to mangle your cloth. Included are demonstrations of dressing a loom using a trapeze, and finishing cloth using a simple mangle.

Our program nights run from 6:30-8:45 at NorthWest Recreation Center.

Jette Vandermeiden  has been creating textiles since early childhood. Studying weaving, embroidery, knitting and bobbin lace at college led her to find her strength in weave theory, structure and design of cloth. With her extensive knowledge of fibre related topics, Jette has been a consultant to museums, documentary researchers, and developers of weaving curriculum for college fibre arts programs. A prolific writer and teacher, Jette has conducted classes and workshops across Canada, USA and England and is a regular columnist for FIBRE FOCUS. She weaves damask and Scandinavian weaves on her drawlooms, and volunteers at several museums, consulting on the Jacquard loom. Her goal is to share weaving skills so this ancient craft will continue to enrich our lives.

The weekend immediately after Jette is teaching a 3 day workshop  “All Tied Up”, the website description follows:

The tie-up is your best friend! Thread the loom with one versatile threading and learn how to re-arrange your tie-up so you can weave many, many different structures and projects without re-threading. Discover how integrated twills, layered double weave, summer and winter, plaited twill, breaks and recesses, M’s and O’s, waffle weave and so many others can all be woven with small changes to the tie-up.



December 10, 2015 — WSSA Holiday Shin-Dig!

JulhjartaPlease join us and celebrate the season at the annual WSSA holiday party.

December 10th at  7 PM.
Meg’s House — Check the Google-group mail or your newsletter for address.

Bring a dish for our delicious potluck, beverages of all types are always welcome, and a fiber related gift for our “stealing” gift exchange.  And, of course, your show and tell. This is great time to renew your dues, if you haven’t already.

We won’t meet for Hands-on Night in December, since it falls on Christmas Eve.

Here’s wishing everyone a peaceful and happy New Year.

Photo Credit: Junas Place

November 12, 2015 Program Night — Making Holiday Cards

Card_wovenJoin us in making one of a kind holiday cards!  We will supply the cards, glue, etc.  Please bring your creativity and hand woven scraps, handspun and other fun fibers.

We meet at 6:30 for socializing, meeting time is 7-8:45 at NorthWest Rec Center.

Picture Credit : Salt Spring Weaving

Time to Renew for 2016!

RenewIt’s time for WSSA membership renewals. Our memberships run January to December.  Dues remains the same as last year, and you can renew online with one of these handy buttons, please consider setting up a recurrent dues payment in PayPal– that way your dues will be paid automagically every year on January 1st!  It’s one less thing to think about and you can cancel this feature at any time.

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