Weavers group hosts yearly sale of fiber arts

Englewood Civic Center event scheduled earlier than usual

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With fall’s sunny weather and cooler nights comes an annual event we anticipate happily. It usually marks the beginning of holiday shopping because it offers items I won’t find anywhere else — ever — in beautiful color combinations and wonderful handcrafted fabrics.

It’s the Rocky Mountain Handweavers’ Guild Annual Fiber Arts Sale, scheduled a bit earlier this year in the Community Room at Englewood Civic Center on Oct. 11 (4 to 8 p.m.), Oct. 12 (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and Oct. 13 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). The Community Room is on the second floor, near the Museum Outdoor Arts.

The sale offers a variety of fiber arts from individual members: weaving, silk painting, basketry, jewelry, felting, natural dyed fiber, crocheting, knitting, handspun yarns and combinations thereof ... plan to stay a while!

Many of the hand-dyed yarns result from the guild’s partnership with Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Farms, where members help maintain the Janice Ford Memorial Dye Garden, harvest dye plants, mix dyes and dye their own yarns.

Sales chair this year is Karey Grant, a spinner, dyer and weaver who has started a new project caller Fiber Traveler. Her website invites one on a visual trip to visit a surprising variety of sheep in Colorado and nearby states, including Navajo churro sheep, border Leicester, California red, Romney, San Jose and more breeds. Who knew?!

She also visits alpaca herds and her website illustrates samples of small batches of roving, and yarns, including some wool-blended-with-alpaca yarn. She is one of the members who is active with the dye garden and offers soft, lovely colors in her handspun yarns. See AspenKid.com. Grant is interested in connecting fiber artists with each other and with small farms that offer nearby sources for wool and, in some cases, yarns.

The visitor is greeted near the door by members at work — weaving and spinning and happy to talk about their craft.

Inside, a dazzled person wonders where to start looking, as one sees racks of handwoven garments, towels, shawls and other items: knitted caps, sweaters, socks, mittens, felted pieces, balls of handspun yarns in a gorgeous array of colors and more.

This organization includes members who exhibit delicate painted silks, jewelry, baskets that verge on sculptural at times, purses, rugs, socks, belts, scarves, shawls, jackets and vests. One is tempted to feel every single item in the large room — and try on several!

Holiday ornaments for the Christmas tree fill a table and make a charming gift for your hostess — or a special small relative or art-loving friend.

Circulating members are happy to talk with a customer about techniques when the visitor wonders: “How on earth did the artist do that?”

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