Clotho's Fiber Challenges

Beginning at our Annual Retreat in the year 2000 Clotho's members have challenged each other to create handspun skeins or items from little bags of fiber, sometimes dyed, often donated, and nearly always augmented with fibers chosen from our own ever expanding stash! Susan Q. made sure there was always a catch! Do you remember "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue"? Or how about our "Mixed Vegetables" or that all-time favorite "Silk Purse from a Sow's Ear"?

In the summer of 2002, a Chinese woman called to see if we could use the white silk fibers which stuffed her silk comforter that would otherwise be thrown away. We took her up on the offer and here are the rules Susan made for us to follow:

A silk purse from a sow’s ear…

My motto is never turn down anything that is free.  When Judith pulled out a tattered silk-stuffed comforter (disguised as a giant mushroom) at the 2002 Picnic, we all eagerly reached out for a “bite.”  But my gears were already spinning…  here was a golden opportunity to make a “silk purse” from a sow’s ear (ratty old comforter).  So I dragged all the leftovers home to live under the bed for a while.

Now the time has come… My challenge is for you to take some of that silk, and spin it up.  Then take your yarn and make a purse.  Your purse can be small enough to hold only a dime (knit on toothpicks on airplanes?) or big enough to carry home the LOTTO.  You may add more fiber, beads, bangles and embellishments, or go refined and restrained, or ridiculous. 

You can dye it, ply it, tie it up with trout flies.Hey, it’s your purse!  Just get it done between now and the Picnic!  Judging will again be done to the same exacting standards as in years past.                    



In 2003 there were so many beautiful entries that judging was almost impossible! Gayle's purse in purples
  and blues included every technique and embellishment imaginable to secure third place.

Susan Q. chose blues and greens for her colors
to weave a plaid purse, winning second place.

Linda P. was first place
winner with a number of purses and pockets all made from her shiny dark blue silk.    
See her prizewinning entry under Challenge 2003, below.
Here are Challenge results and 1st place or

        Grand Prize winners 2000 through 2009 ( photos begin with the earliest challenge
                                                                                                                    and end with most recent)

 2000  Y2K Colors to Dye ForLinda P.         


                                    2001  Fleece Odyssey:  Judith T.        

 2002  Alice in Wonderland:  Linda P.              

  A Silk Purse From a Sow's Ear:  Linda P.  
                                                                2004  Mystery Challenge:  Gayle M.                   

 2005  Mixed VegetablesCarol F.          

                           2006  Dye, Dye My Darling:  Jan G.

 2007  Pretty in PinkJoanna R.         


                                     2008  I'll Be the Judge of That:  Gayle M.

 2009  Out of the Closet: Judith T.         



Here you can see all of winners for Challenge Re- Run 2010!

Best Beginner     Jackie P.                                                                           First: Spindle Spun Yarn     Kristen H.                                              


Best Most Unfinished Entry     Sally W.       

(and winner of the coveted Paint Baa Number Prize!                                                 Fourth Place (tie)     Maggie P.

Fourth Place (tie) Joanna R.                                                                  Third Place     Hoy W.


Second Place     Marea S.                                        



                            First Place     Judith T.

*********   Challenge 2011    Spin Local     *************************************

Click on photo to see a larger image.







Best in Show:

Tied for second best in show:

Tera J.

Julie L.

Best Theme:      'Represent a Virginia person, place or event'

Secretariat's Meadow                                            Money Yarn

Challenge 2012: Tea Cozy

Rescue a homeless or discarded teapot (maybe from an antique or junk shop or even a box in your attic or shed), give it permanent housing, employment, and a Coat Cozy.  The emphasis is on using things we already have, maybe repurposing items rather than purchasing new stuff, and to use the imagination to create a unique "Coat Cozy".  We can use the saved dollars to buy gas! 

First Place:
Maggie P.
Second Place:
Natalie C., Judith T.
Third Place:
Carol F., Anne D., Sally W.

Here is a photo of every entry!

Click here > Challenge 2012 to see more challenge photos from Judy H.                





Judith Towers,
Apr 13, 2014, 5:33 PM