Fibre Madness Challenge winds up

Local fibre artist Terry Irvine has completed a creative challenge: designing and creating one new work per day during the month of February. What a great way to beat the February blues!

Here is the second set of photos from her project. Scroll down the page to find the article  detailing the first installment.

“The seemingly dye resistant flowers accepted the colour when immersed in my acid dyes. Success!” says Terry.

Here is a whole bouquet of  acid dye flower brooches :


Terry completed two sets of hot pads wirth coasters, each in an animal paw design.  The first photo shows the blue and white set before the felting process. It was created using thick handspun and a store bought edging yarn after knitting. The next photo shows the set after felting.


The third shows the results of the second set.

  Terry comments on the process:  “The coasters didn’t felt that easily by hand so I gathered some other things that needed felting and put them all together in the washing machine. The next day the hot pad was ready for felting, but nothing else was. Interestingly enough, the machine felted coasters were thicker and fluffier than the hand felted hot pad, which was surprising and, if ya think about it, opposite how you’d want them for functionality.”

Irvine also tried her hand at felting a water bottle carrier. However, felting is a mysterious process that doesn’t always give you what you expect:

“This was already knitted [before the challenge started], but needed finishing, ends sewn in or twisted for design elements, a border added to finish the top edge and felting and was one of those items added to make a load in the washer worthwhile. Its purpose when knitted was to be a bottle carrier complete with handles.

As you can see, it is so not a bottle carrier, but a uniquely shaped vase!”

And here’s a bit of whimsy: “I wanted a container for tissues in the car that could be crushed and otherwise abused and still look good. The final project is smaller than it should be, but I was able to try out my handspun ‘eyelash’ yarn and really like the result. I coulda checked the washing machine sooner, but…….”

Terry also sent a photo showcasing the whole Fibre Madness collection, nicely arranged on a fallen log. Congratulations Terry!

Want to comment? Email and we’ll publish it or forward it to Terry per your request. Are you an OCAC member with a project of your own? Let us know!

February Fibre Madness

Local fibre artist Terry Irvine gave herself a challenge this past month to beat the notorious  February doldrums:

“I set myself a couple of goals for the month of February. The first one was to produce a fibre product each day. The second was to document and photograph the products. The third was to upload the photos onto my computer and share them with friends who would like to see my progress and share in the madness. I figured by the end of the month, I’ll have a nice cache of smaller items for the farmers’ market and be more computer literate in terms of uploading and sharing photos.”

Irvine is the founder of The RipOff Artists, a local multi-media co-operative that chooses the work of a famous artist to “rip off” each year, each in their own artistic medium. Terry Irvine works with a variety of yarns, spinning, crocheting, knitting, and felting to create wonderful three-dimensional pieces of art. She was inspired by fellow Rip Off artist Thea Haubrich (of Twin Lakes Encaustic Art) who set herself the goal of doing an encaustic (wax) piece once a day for a month in the spring of 2010.

By the first week’s end, Terry found herself easily mastering the fibre portion of the February Fibre Madness project, but stymied by the computer:

“I’ve an interesting (and annoying) dilemma on my hands.I can get my photos from the camera to the computer, but the computer won’t accept them. A nice little photo preview shows on the computer screen followed by a statement that talks about the program not being initialized. Then the photos disappear. Sigh…..My plan is to call in the professional who is a Mac master in the Oliver area. With any luck he’ll be able to come over this upcoming week. In the meantime, I’m continuing with the knitting, crocheting, spinning, etc. Oh yeah, and the taking pictures.”

Problem quickly solved with phonecalls to some computer-savvy girlfriends, the photos soon arrived. See below for just a few samples from Terry’s daily photo diary:

Photo 1: A ‘sitster’ fibre artist using handspun yarns, bead & pipe cleaners.












Photo 2: Free-form crocheted flower using handspun (orange) & Hempwol (green). To be felted, beaded in the centre and made into a brooch.

Photo 3: A gym bag for my mat, weights and elastic. Crocheted, waiting for the washing machine and felting.

Photo 4: I hand felted the bowl in about 10 minutes. The red and purple yarns were knitted using a slip stitch pattern. Both yarns shrank up very quickly. I was aiming for a container to put business cards in, but ended up with a bowl that was ever so slightly too small. Back to the drawing board…

Photo 5 and 6: One of several fabric flower designs. The first few Terry made were for brooches. This one, as she describes,  “is bigger and meant to hold small objects rather than be worn as a brooch.”  

Got the blues? Why not set yourself an artistic challenge!  



Sound familiar? If you’ve every had a colic-y baby you know how babies can scream and wail until they’re purple in the face. It’s called “the Period of Purple Crying”. Some new moms and dads become so frustrated by the experience, they are at risk for shaking their newborn and causing Shaken Baby Syndrome.

The Desert Sage Spinners and Weavers Guild (see some members at left) is hoping to educate new parents about this risky behaviour by knitting purple toques for newborns. They will be donated to at-risk parents: new parents, young parents, and single parents for example. Their purple colour will hopefully remind caregivers that their crying baby’s purple face is normal, and that they need to seek some outlet for their frustration other than shaking their little one.

The guild invites all knitters and crochetters to get involved. President Gail Erickson describes the small plain caps as “melon sized” or “grapefruit sized” to fit the baby’s small round head. If you need a pattern or other intructions, contact to be put in touch with the spinners and weavers guild. To learn more visit:

Caps can be mailed to B.C. Children’s Hospital, c/o Claire Yambao, 4480 Oak Street, K1-209, Vancouver, B.C. V6H 3V4.

Thank you to Oliver Daily News for the photo. Check out more Oliver happenings at: