Category Archives: Fly fishing

Using Tinsel in Fiber Arts

So I will first apologize for being woefully overdue with posts. It has been insane – I’ll spare you the details. Nevertheless, I have some great topics so I hope you’ll come back and give them a read.

French tinsel
Beautiful vintage tinsel

As some of you know, in addition to being a fiber fanatic, I am also a fly tyer and angler. My husband and I are blessed to have the opportunity to participate in different tying events in the northeast. For those of you who aren’t familiar, fly tying materials are just great to combine with your fiber craft. One of the great materials is tinsel.

At the recent Fly Tying Symposium, I had the opportunity to see a vendor I had not seen in several years Her name is Marcia and she is the owner of Tinsel Trading Co. on Lexington Avenue in New York City. The last time I saw her a fly tying show I picked up tinsel for not just tying, but to mix with my crochet. I was very happy to see her again and, of course, had to stock up!

Such beautiful metal tinsel!
What wonderful colors!

In 1933, Arch Bergoffen bought the Old French Tinsel Company,

located in the Garment Center of NYC. He was a serious collector by the time of death, 55 years later, he had amassed a fantastic collection of antique thread, trim, tassels, and ribbon, all made out of metal tinsel. Most of the stock was from France and Germany from the 1900s. When he passed away, his granddaughter, Marcia, took over the business and continues to provide these fine materials to designers, fiber artists, and anyone who appreciates the quality of these materials.

Vintage French tinsel
It was hard to pick my favorites!

Marcia and I were able to chat for awhile and I could just feel her passion for this business and how much she loved sharing such beautiful tinsel.

I left the show with several spools of different colors and textures. I plan to use them in my crochet and my spinning, as well as my fly tying. I know they will make my work even more unique! I hope you will check out Marcia’s amazing collection for sale. The next time I head into NYC I am going to stop into her shop and see herĀ entire collection. I also liked her Facebook page so I can keep up to date on all she has available. I hope you will too!

Somerset Fly Fishing Show: The Ultimate in Creativity!

fly fishing showThis weekend is the annual Fly Fishing Show in Somerset, NJ . Now, why would I bring this up on a fiber-arts blog? Well, a few different reasons.

First, as many of you know, I am an avid fly angler. My husband and I are the owners of Reel Simple Fly Fishing . We attend the show each year to demonstrate fly tying techniques, lecture about fly fishing for still water species and sell our book, Ten Flies, Simple Ties.

OK, so if you aren’t into fly fishing, you may be asking why would you want to go? Well, many of the materials used in fly tying can be directly applied to fiber arts! For example, Glenn and I use wool, alpaca, various yarns and more in fly tying. So, a fly fishing show is a great place to stretch your creativity!

If you decide to check out the Fly Fishing Show this weekend, please stop by and say hi. I promise you will not be disappointed!

Somerset Fly Fishing Show this Weekend

This weekend if the Fly Fishing Show in Somerset, NJ. Why should you care? Well, two reasons…

First, if you have never been to a fly shop, a lot of the fly tying materials provide wonderful inspiration for crochet, knitting and weaving. The materials are simply amazing! You won’t believe your eyes!

Second, Glenn and I will be at the show this weekend providing tying demonstrations, giving lectures and selling our book, Ten Flies, Simple Ties, which contains my crochet rock worm. Yes, that’s crochet!

If you have time, I highly recommend stopping in. If you do, make sure to stop past our table and say hi!

Crochet and Fly Tying…Perfect Together

So what does crochet and fly tying have in common? Tying a crochet rock worm of course!

I will be demonstrating the crochet rock worm, along with a number of different flies along with Glenn at the International Fly Tying Symposium this weekend at the Double Tree Hotel in Somerset, NJ.

The show is a great place to pick up lots of neat stuff you can use to spin, crochet and knit. Glenn and I regularly use my wool for spinning as dubbing for flies!

The more fly tying and crocheting I do, the more similar I realize they are. They are both incredibly creative and a great way to both socialize and enjoy time with your craft.

If you have time this weekend, I highly recommend attending the show for awhile. If you do, please stop by and say hello!

Results From the New Jersey State Fair

Wow! What a busy weekend! Glenn and I were at the New Jersey State Fair all weekend in the Richard’s Building doing fly tying demonstrations. If you are going to attend the fair next weekend, be sure to stop by and see us next weekend when we do more fly tying demonstrations.

I will say as soon as I got to the fair I went to the Home Ec section to see how I did with my entries. I first found my needle felted doll, which received a blue ribbon! Next, I found my coral reef. I must say I was disappointed to see it received only an Honorable Mention. I am very curious to see the comment card when I pick it up at the end of the fair next weekend. Next I found my hand-spun alpaca yarn received a thrid place ribbon. Last, but not least, I found my wet felted purse, which received a blue ribbon.

Overall, I would say I am  happy with my results, except for the coral reef. I am hoping that there are some comments on the cards that are given to artisans and crafters when you pick up your submissions.

One funny moment was when I was taking my photos last night. I was adjusting my doll to take photos and one of the home ec sitters came over and asked me to not touch the submissions. I explained it was my doll and that I was just trying to get a photo. She was so apologetic, it was kind of funny! I told her no apology needed; that I was happy someone was making sure the displays are kept nice and neat. She then told me she really loved the doll and asked me all about it. She was very nice.

If you attend the fair, I hope you go in to the Richard’s Building and see all the great creations!

A Great Fly Fishing Honor!

You all already know, crochet is one of my great loves. Well, you may not know that my other great love is fly fishing. There is a zen quality I feel when fly casting and standing in the water, listening to the water move downstream.

The Catskill Fly Fishing Museum and Center has a great exhibit on the evolution of women in fly fishing. During the fall last year, while speaking with the Executive Director, I told him about a jacket I embellished with a trout scene. He immediately wanted to see it. I shipped it to him and he just loved it. I am proud to say that it is now part of the exhibit!

On Sunday, I had the opportunity to see the exhibit and my jacket was prominently displayed! I was just walking on air! Glenn took several photos of me standing in front of the display with my jacket. I am both excited and honored to have something I created that combines both my love for crochet and my love for fly fishing displayed in such an important place in the sport. Words just can’t describe…