The Heart of Colorado FiberArts Guild’s 14th Annual Wearable Art Fashion Show proved as popular as ever, even with overlapping community events on the same Satuday. The popular show followed a proven format, opening and closing with a boutique in the SteamPlant Annex where guild members offered for sale handmade garments, bags, jewelry, purses, wall hangings, weavings – simply an amazing array of original creations. Shoppers crowded the boutique, poring over the unique creations as well as Marilyn King’s imported Irish yarns and original knitwear patterns.

King, a “knitter extraordinaire,” served as this year’s guest artist and speaker, showcasing her hand-knitted garments made from her own original designs, with a little help from fourteen guild members who served as models for the show.

Marylin King, guest artist and speaker at the 14th Annual Wearable Art Fashion Show, points to stitches she used in this cable-knit sweater to achieve its unique look. In addition to knitting, King designs patterns and imports Irish knitting yarns through her business, Black Water Abbey Yarns.

Marylin King, guest artist and speaker at the 14th Annual Wearable Art Fashion Show, points to stitches she used in this cable-knit sweater to achieve its unique look. In addition to knitting, King designs patterns and imports Irish knitting yarns through her business, Black Water Abbey Yarns.

King frequently pointed out how she had modified different designs during the process of knitting. She admits to being a bit obsessed with cable-knitting, which she employed in all of her garments at the show, incorporating various techniques to give each garment a unique look. (As a pointer for beginning knitters, she said she always knits from the top down “to make sure you get the right length.”) King teaches knitting classes around the country and owns Black Water Abbey Yarns, an importer of Irish knitting yarns, and if the fashion show is any indications, her knitting puts those yarns to good use!

In addition to King’s knitted creations, the  models showcased 50 garments designed and produced locally by guild members. Their garments ran the gamut from elegant dresses, shawls and cowls to cozy scarves, sweaters and ponchos made from a variety of natural and synthetic yarns, threads and fabrics. Notable garments using repurposed fabric included a tunic by “the queen of repurposing” Sue Keyes, a wool jacket by Penny Jackson and the Downton Abbey-inspired “Shabby Abbey” dress by Elizabeth Shelby.

Kyndra Johnson, the youngest member of the Heart of Colorado FiberArts Guild, models a shirtwaist dress she made from a men’s shirt. Her dress won grand champion for her age group at the Colorado 4-H competition (photo by Joe Stone).

Kyndra Johnson models a shirtwaist dress she made from a men’s shirt. Her dress won grand champion for her age group at the Colorado 4-H competition (photo by Joe Stone).

Kyndra Johnson, the guild’s youngest member modeled her owns garments, two of which won honors at the state 4-H competition – grand champion and third-place. A third item was a dress made from a psychedelic print with a white yoke that Johnson designed for her first day of school this fall. Delmar Smith modeled several scarves he wove with yarn spun from fiber produced by his own herd of alpacas and paco-vicunas.

Other highlights of the fashion show included Sandee Jaastad’s knitted and woven garments, Candace Weiss’ beautiful jackets, Ruthann Schoeffield’s sweaters and vests, Donna Childers’ batik cotton jacket, and Judy Curran’s shawl and poncho. But the variety of the garments and the creativity of our local fiber artists made it virtually impossible to pick a favorite. Every garment was a unique reflection of the deep pool of creative talent represented by Heart of the Rockies FiberArts Guild.

Shoppers peruse the unique handmade items for sale at the Heart of Colorado FiberArts Guild Boutique. The boutique coincides with the guild’s annual fashion show and features items made by guild members (photo by Joe Stone)

Shoppers peruse the unique handmade items for sale at the Heart of Colorado FiberArts Guild Boutique. The boutique coincides with the guild’s annual fashion show and features items made by guild members (photo by Joe Stone)