Monday, November 25, 2013

Fiber Field Trip: Minneapolis Textile Center

This past weekend I journeyed to the Twin Cities in Minnesota. Not only is this sprawling metropolis home to the Mall of America, but it also boasts (according to knitmap.com) no less than fourteen local yarn shops. Fourteen!! Being the fiber nerd that I am, I make a point to visit some spifftacular yarneries in every city I visit. So naturally, before arriving in Minneapolis, I fired up the google machine and plotted an adventure. This adventure centered around the Textile Center.

The Textile Center is an all-encompassing fiber arts facility. It is home to the Minnesota Weavers Guild, has gallery space, offers classes, and hosts guest artist lectures. The Textile Center is located in the heart of the University of Minnesota's campus, this little gem is a great stop for anybody even remotely crafty.

You can see the library off to the left, and some of the art on the walls.
The building may have looked small, but it was jam-packed full of wonderful fiber art. There normally is a large gallery in the front of the building when you first walk in, but they are using it currently to house their Holiday Gift Shop. The gift shop features work from the Textile Center's members as well as kits, books, and supplies for various fiber-y arts. When I got there, one of their members was doing a spinning demo. Too cool!

Every available wall space is used to display beautiful works of art. Last weekend, a variety of wool works were hanging. There was a beautiful red and black wool coat (super haute couture), a couple rugs, and three stunning blankets. The blankets featured depictions of traditional Nordic mythological symbols. Odin's ravens, Thor's hammer, and runestones. Beautiful. I just wanted to bundle up in the art. (I couldn't get a decent picture of Odin's ravens; it was very high on the wall.) The blankets were designed by Laurie Jacobi, and made by Pendleton.

Runestone Blanket. Love those greens.

Thor's Hammer. Note the lightning bolts in the red border.
Close up of the detailed woolwork.
Yummy wooly goodness.
There are several classrooms and lecture halls at the Textile Center as well. The weavers guild was working in the weaving lab on Saturday when I was there, and there was a kids fieldtrip learning about basket making. A group of adult basket weavers were practicing their craft in another classroom. My personal favorite room was the Dye Lab.

That's right, Dye Lab.


Those glorious colors!!
Big table, lots of sinks....do want.

I wanted to go get some raw wool and make all the colors. It looked so gloriously inspiring.


If you are feeling more studious, there is even a library of all things fiber. They have everything from modern patterns to magazines to historical documents to academic analyses of the cultural importance of fiber arts. I. Was. In. Heaven. I wish I could have had more time to peruse/take notes/cry tears of joy!!

They were selling used books and magazines, so of course I forced my adventuring buddy to suffer through my perusing of every book for sale. (She is not a fiber artist herself, but was veryvery patient. She wins all the "putting up with Carolyn's nerdiness" awards for Saturday). The magazines were $0.10 a piece!!! So, naturally, I had to buy some.

I've already started putting post-its on the patterns I want t try!
Got some reading ahead of me!

And at the check out, there were some adorable nerdy buttons I could not resist. Come on! Nerdy, crafty, puns? I'm all about nerdy crafty puns. It's a lifestyle I choose. Or...did it choose me?

Knit Long and Prosper
It's funny because I like wool and I have dietary issues. Heh. Funny. Yis.

I left a few dollars poorer (really breaking the bank with my $3.15 purchase) but so much more happy! One happy fiber nerd I am. I definitely recommend visiting Textile Center if you are ever near enough to Minneapolis. I promise, it's awesome!!

Later Taters! I've got a fair amount of Christmas crafting to work on...and Arlo needs to be snuggled.

Yours faithfully,
Carolyn Michelle

Gratuitous Arlo picture