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.