It's Hip To Sew: Fiber Arts Not Just For Grandma

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TOPEKA, Kansas (WIBW) -- Knitting and crocheting isn't just for grandma anymore. According to a group of fanatics, the hobby is becoming more popular in northeast Kansas.

The term is fiber arts, and it includes knitting, crocheting, weaving, felting and spinning, usually using natural fibers from sheep, llamas, goats and even plants.

The Potwin Fiber Artisans group hosted its annual Twisted Fiber Arts Festival at Highland Park United Methodist Church on Saturday. It featured vendors from Kansas and out-of-state. They showed off their homemade fiber art., which ranged from home-spun yarn, clothing items, blankets, rugs, knick-knacks and felted dolls. Some sell wheels and looms as well as drop spindles.

Fiber art from local artists were on display for the art show, and a silent auction was set up in the back.

President of the Potwin Fiber Artisans group Meg Wickham said the festival brings the fiber community together each year and is a good way for possible customers to see and feel what they'd be buying from a vendor online.

"A lot of the heritage arts are coming back. People are getting back into grassroots and learning," Wickham said. "They want to make their own yarn out of sheep fiber or alpaca fiber, and we have so many great resources here in northeast Kansas."

Artists held demos for those wanting to learn new skills.

Wickham said the Potwin Fiber Artisans was started because there was a collective need for a group in Topeka for the growing hobby.

"A lot of people, you think of your grandmother's knitting guild when everyone's sitting around in their little rocking chairs, just a-knittin' away. But it's gotten to be more than that, it's gotten to be a real movement."

The Potwin Fiber Artisans gets together every last Wednesday of every month at the Potwin Presbyterian Church from 6 - 9 p.m. Wickham said anyone is welcome.