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Tour a Fiber Artist's Studio

Sep 8, 2008

Note from Sandi: I’ve made it to Canada, my new home sweet home! Now before I learn about all things ice hockey, I need to unpack my fiber stash. Each skein, each fleece had its own space, and I’m up for the task of creating my new studio. While I’m disconnected to the internet for a couple more days, I’ve asked Liz Gipson, managing editor of Handwoven magazine and one of the hosts of Knitting Daily TV to write about her studio, her very own fiber space. And, after you read what she has to say, you’ll see why I’m utterly jealous!

The W.I.T. Room

We all dream of it right—a room of one's own in which to do as we please? Most of us manage a spot on the couch where we pile our projects around us or perhaps an entire desktop and set of shelves in the family room, but an actually room where we can play with yarn? That's every yarnies dream.

Liz's StudioWhile strolling in the neighborhood with my husband last year, we stumbled upon a house for sale that had—get this—a whole little house in back and a goat barn! In the city! Three-quarters of a mile from Interweave! The W.I.T. (Woolfian Inspired Textiles) room was born.

The sweet little house in back has two rooms. One is my husband's where he built a ski bench, set up his bike stand, and keeps other odds and ends of sporting equipment. The other room is mine all mine. I don't have to share. See I ski, but he doesn't weave.

Just about the time I got my little mitts on this space, our sister publication Cloth Paper Scissors came out with a special issue, Studios. I poured through it for ideas.

I'm a front of the book kind of magazine reader. I love all the small tips, trick, and special interest stories. Some ideas are devilishly were simple, but I would have never thought of them on my own (use a sugar dispenser to hold balls of yarn while warping, page 8) while other bits affirm the crafting lifestyle (. . . another day another dust bunny gets to live. . . " page 6.). The best part of the issue for me is the many, many photos of shelving. I think of yarn as art and shelves as their frame.

Liz's StudioMy room is long and narrow with floor to ceiling windows that look out at the pasture. It has room for my baskets of yarn organized by color in an old display rack from a soap shop. I have a wee desk; lots of shelves to hold coned yarns, tools of various kinds, and books, more books, and magazines; and a pin board for weaving samples and sketches.

I own fourteen looms—one floor, two inkle, and the rest are rigid heddles of most makes and models. I have two spinning wheels, a basket of spindles, and a very disorganized box of knitting needles and crochet hooks. (I knit and crochet and have done so for ten years, but just not consecutive years.) My warping board hangs on the wall.

Now this is an old house mind you. It has baseboard heat and no running water. It's mighty hot in the summer and a little nippy in the winter, but who cares! It's mine!

Interested in creating, remodeling, or reorganizing your fiber space? Check out Cloth Paper Scissors magazine’s newest special issue Studios! On-sale at your local craft store and bookstore October 7, 2008, Studios is also available here for pre-order online. And don’t forget to watch Liz Gipson on Knitting Daily TV, her studio away from home. Liz demonstrates how to spin thin to thick yarns, weaving using a basic rigid heddle loom for simple home décor projects, and even gives a tutorial on dyeing sock yarn. Knitting Daily TV Series 100 DVDs are now for sale online.

Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily. 

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MLM wrote
on Sep 10, 2008 3:33 PM

Sandi--I, too, just moved to Canada--Nova Scotia, to be exact.  I'm really happy to be here, and hope your new home works out well.  Luisa

EllenD wrote
on Sep 10, 2008 8:54 AM

Please, please, please have a literate person proof the blog.

One does _not_ pour through a book, one PORES through it.

BTW, "Some ideas are devilishly were simple" too.

on Sep 9, 2008 8:51 PM

wow i'd love to have a huge yarn room like that.

derStricker wrote
on Sep 9, 2008 10:44 AM

"You make Canada sound like a frozen wasteland with nothing to do but play hockey."


I disagree.

MarilouM wrote
on Sep 9, 2008 10:07 AM

Sandi: I look forward to your messages every day but was a bit disturbed by your message today. You make Canada sound like a frozen wasteland with nothing to do but play hockey.  I am Canadian and very proud of this. My favorite activities (apart from knitting) are gardening and swimming. I also love to shop!  I hate cold weather and snow but I never "winter" far away from home.  We are not a land of Eskimos as I hope you will learn. I am sure that you will love it here as much as we do.

Marilou from Ontario Canada

PhyllisV wrote
on Sep 9, 2008 9:07 AM

I am lucky to have a dedicated space at the top of my 100+ year old house (I can sympathize with the blazing hot in the summer).  As a quilter, weaver, spinner, knitter, dyer, seamstress, etc., organization is the key.  I have 2 floor looms, a table loom, a tapestry loom, 2 spinning wheels - and the list goes on.  For me, I find there is a thin line between inspiration and visual noise.  So, I spend a great deal of time trying to figure out how to store the majority of my supplies out of sight.  I recently posted details of my space on my blog if anyone is interested.


Mildred S wrote
on Sep 9, 2008 6:46 AM

I too have a little space to call all my own.  After our first daughter decided to live on her own, we converted her room into a knitting sanctuary for me.  In that small space, I have my PC, printer, scanner, cabinet for my yarn stash, small rolling table that holds my swift and ball winder and other items such as needles.  I love my little sanctuary and everyone loves being in that room -- especially our cats!!