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Volume XXXII, No 5                                                                                                                                                  September - October 2011
Bimonthly newsletter of
    Hub Editor:  Bonnie Crytzer            Hub Publisher:  Jim Crytzer


Calendar of Events

September 3rd NPSWG Program Meeting at Christ Church

September 10th Erie's Heritage Festival at Liberty Park. Spinning and Weaving demonstration 12:00 Noon to 9:00p.m.

September 20th NPSWG Tuesday Spinning at Christ Church 2:00p.m.

October 1st NPSWG Business/Program Meeting at Christ Church

October 18th NPSWG Tuesday Spinning at Christ Church 2:00p.m.

September Program

Our September meeting will be basket weaving with willow. This is a first for me so we will learn together. Dave Bell grew many types of willow. Patty (his wife) was generous to give the reed to us. It will be wrapped in wet towels, after soaking for a week. If you can please bring:  spring clothespin, a shoestring, and   heavy scissors or pruning shears. Come and enjoy. Bonnie

Hosting this meeting are Sindi Collard and Bonnie Crytzer

October Program

Oct is the fall pin that Janet Smouse is teaching us how to make.  Janet is supplying everything.

Hosting this meeting are Elaine Fertig and Sue Ververka

Words from our President

We did it!  I know there were many who didn’t think we could pull it off, but we proved to all of them that if we put our mind to it and work together, we can do anything!  Yehuda Rothner is a great visionary and a man who is truly living his dream.  I am thrilled that he came along when he did and showed us that we too can “make it happen”.   I am exceedingly proud of our being able to help him fulfill one of those dreams this summer, and of everyone who participated in Camp Stone.  I am so impressed with of all of your dedication to seeing this very ambitious challenge through to completion. 

My deepest appreciation goes to Sue Spencer, Karen Fry, and Jennifer Phillips, who were the three who originally stepped forward, and got us moving forth.

Karen, who never missed a day, and led the weaving area to a grand finale of 622 campers going home with completely finished projects.  Our first session campers all went home with completed chessboards, chess pieces, bound by their inkle straps.  The second session campers brought home telescopes carried over their shoulders with their woven inkle strap.  The main assistant in weaving was Libby Culbertson, a brand new member, who brought along one of her students, Amanda.  Amanda blew me away with her new-found warping skills on an inklette and her maturity in sharing her weaving skills with campers.  You are a welcome addition to our guild, Libby!  My sincere gratitude to my fellow Chautauqua Guild member, Linda Bartholomew, for joining us in the weaving area, along with her vast background and experience in teaching weaving to young people.  Linda brought along her two ‘experienced’ weaving granddaughters, Taylor and Emily.  I had asked the girls to bring along samples of their weaving, and they truly wowed the campers who got to experience their presence and experience.  What an impression you both made!  Taylor and Emily are also both members of the Chautauqua Guild. 

To Sue…what can I say!  Your friendship, constant assurance, and affirmation are unmatched.  I hope our almost daily conversations continue forever.  Who else could come up with the term “religious undergarments” when the decision to tie-dye T-shirts presented itself?  Bonnie and Jim, you two are amazing!  Your unflagging dedication to this project made it that much more special.  Jim brought a new camper to Camp Stone for Bonnie and some of the girls to be able to stay overnight on occasion, and I mustn’t forget to mention all the lunch-time sodas Jim provided.  Drinks for you are on us from now on, Jim.  Bonnie, you are always a great inspiration to me and I look forward to your sharing your basketry skills with us this month.  Sue, Bonnie, and Jim are now our guild “dye masters extraordinaire”. 

Jennifer was able to bob and weave with all that came her way.  The sheep never arrived in the village, but she was able to shear them in the petting area where they spent the summer.  Over 60 campers were able to watch her and her son Mitch round them up one of our last days at camp and shear.  The campers were pretty amazed by the experience, and I’m glad we were able to get that accomplished while they were still there.  Jennifer had the wonderful experience of Elaine Fertig and Sindi Collard to fill in when she wasn’t there.  Thank you all for sharing a skill I have never accomplished! 

I also want to thank those who were there to help us along the way.  Marje Koehlert, who used a week of her vacation to come and help us in all three areas during this last session, and who worked in all three areas in her week with us Camp Stoners.  I am grateful for your enthusiasm, knowledge, and dedication to this guild, as well as being a very competent secretary and a great support to me.  Our sincere gratitude to Chris Houser, Lynn Meyers, Bonnie Orr, Jessie Rainey, Joyce Rose, Mary Catherine Stack, Kay Stewart, Judy Van Guilder, Maddie (a friend of Emily’s), Sarah Margherio, and Carole Voisin.  All of our non-guild member helpers and a couple of members, who have fallen from our rolls, have been given gratis memberships for this year.  We hope you will all continue to join this guild in our endeavors and please know that we will cherish your help forever. 

Not only did all campers go home with completed projects from our area, but we were able to present Yehuda with several yards of woven fabric that was spun and dyed by the campers to be used as a Torah covering.  I think there is enough there to cover all four of their Torahs.  Libby warped one of the small floor looms with a wider band, and we have several yards from that loom that the campers wove as well.  Karen designed a name draft weaving from Camp Stone 2001, which will be used as a wall hanging at camp.  I would say we made quite an impact this summer at camp, as well as helping to build our guild coffers. 

We learned tolerance of each other, as well as other cultures, this summer.  The campers and counselors we met from so many parts of the country, as well as other countries (Belgium, Canada, England, France, and Israel), was a phenomenal experience for us all. 

I know I can be a taskmaster, but I just want everything to be the best experience and accomplishment for all involved.  Thank you for putting up with all of my idiosyncrasies.  I think we all have a more thorough understanding of getting along, and that our main goal is to educate all we can in our crafts.  I think we made a pretty good “dent” this summer.  I’m looking forward to this guild continuing to do education projects in the future, just not quite this challenging too soon. 

Your very proud and grateful President, Sharon

Minutes of the August 2011 NPSWG Meeting

Old Business:  Sharon Hoban called the meeting to order at Sue Spencer’s house where we were gathered for our annual Dye Day and picnic.  Members of three guilds in addition to our own (Wooly Wonders, Fiber Storm and the Stampers) were introduced and welcomed.  The minutes from the June meeting were approved. Sharon announced that Camp Stone was a great success and thanked all who participated.  It was announced that the board has decided to grant a year of free membership to eight people from outside the guild who volunteered with us at camp, and to grant a year of free dues to the current guild members who were daily participants.  This was met with general approval.  Sue Spencer updated us that the checking account is at $1521.44, of which $600 will be deducted shortly - $500 for the annual rental of the church and $100 for a scholarship to the Eastern Great Lakes conference.  The savings account now stands at $9608.32 which includes the money from the first session of Camp Stone.  Plans for the Camp Stone money will be discussed at the September meeting.

New Business:  With the Erie Heritage Days event coming up on September 10 it was suggested that Fiber Storm might want to take over the event.  The Fiber Storm people recommended discussion with a leader who was not available, but generally seemed to feel that it was not in alignment with the purpose of their guild.  We are able to set up as early as 10 a.m. that day, but we are only needed to demonstrate from 12-3.  For those participating in the Crawford County Fair event, our demonstration time is Wednesday from 1-3.  We were updated that the Sue Bates auction went well with some people getting very good deals, including a 12-harness loom and bench that went for $700, well below market value.

Show and Tell:  A number of people showed tee-shirts and aprons tie-dyed at Camp Stone.  A new knitter showed a striped blue-green sweater she is making for her grandson.  Judy Shields from the Wooly Wonders showed a scarf she is knitting from Sue Spencer’s hand spun, and she showed her first felted bag, knitted in a sparkly tan and gray yarn.  She has already started a second bag in the same yarn.  Judy also showed one of her works in progress, a blue-green mesh shopping bag.  Sharon revealed a large two-tone gray felted bag and presented it to Sue.  It turns out the bag was made from a lopi sweater Sue had started in 1970 and never finished – a sweater that once won her the “oldest unfinished project” award!

 Respectfully submitted,

Marje Koehlert, Secretary

Camp Stone

Article by Linda Bartholomew

Spinners and weavers belonging to the Northwest Pennsylvania Spinners and Weavers Guild spent much of their summer helping a local camp in learning about and experiencing first-hand ancient skills of sheep shearing, wool spinning, dyeing and weaving.  This Guild is a group of about 48 members from northwest Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio and southwest New York dedicated to the promotion of, education and interest in the arts of spinning, dyeing, weaving and fiber related techniques. 

Camp Stone is an Orthodox Jewish summer camp located in Northwestern Pennsylvania, which serves over 300 campers each of two months of the summer.   The Director, Yehuda Rothner, has a vision of camp with education being the primary goal and so created the program this year for two groups of campers to learn about the medieval and renaissance periods of history.    Before the first session he had constructed a “village” of seven houses or shelters, each for one of the crafts.  As the children studied the craft with local spinners, dyers, weavers and other craftsmen they learned about its medieval development and its Judaic application from their counselors. 

The Northwest Pennsylvania Spinners and Weavers Guild helped campers to card and spin wool from shorn sheep with a spinning wheel or drop spindle, to dye the wool and learn about natural dyes.  Local Amish woodworkers constructed one special loom and shuttle for each camper to use as they learned to weave a band or strap.  The strap was then used to wrap around a chessboard and box of ceramic chess pieces made by each camper.  A later group made a small telescope and tied the strap around it for carrying over their shoulders.  Campers also had an opportunity to weave on larger floor looms with the wool they had spun and dyed. 680 campers were able to take home the woven bands and other samples of the crafts.   

Sharon Hoban, President of the Northwest Pennsylvania Spinners and Weavers Guild, coordinated the summer project with Jennifer Phillips in charge of spinning, Sue Spencer helped each camper with dyeing and Karen Fry led the weaving group.  The Guild meets regularly in Meadville. 

Other crafts available to the campers in the village included glass blowing demonstrations with each camper making their own glass paperweight, calligraphy, observation of a blacksmith at work and listening to wandering musicians. The craft times in the village were supplemented by sports and swimming, camping trips and other history and cultural lessons.



Erie Heritage Festival

The Erie Heritage Festival is on Saturday, September 10 in Liberty Park at the Burger King Amphitheatre.  The festival runs from noon to 9 pm.  We can begin to set up at 10 am.  Karen Fry has 2 VIP parking passes available for members to park close by.  The guild is demonstrating spinning from noon to 7 pm.  We will have a table for selling our handmade items with 10% of sales going to the guild as usual.  There will be many demonstrations and activities, as well as a free concert by the Erie Philharmonic at 7 pm.  Admission and parking are free.  Bring your wheel or a small loom and join us for a day of fun.  We will be located in tent #1 nearest to the bay front.


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Thank you! Email: or or call 419-443-8486

Is anyone from the guild interested in doing a demo/display with an opportunity to sell your stuff also at:  Cumberland Woods Village in Allison Park, PA Sunday, Sept. 25, from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. for a Fiber Art exhibit, demo and market. Handmade garments and artwork will include: knitting, crochet, spinning, weaving, rug hooking, beading, felting and more. Refreshments, a cookie bar and music are included, and admission is free.  UPMC is advertising this to the greater N. Hills community as well as residents and their families. Please contact Barb Grossman if interested in doing a demo, display or sales: 412.963.7030 or


GUILD EQUIPMENT AVAILABLE:  The guild now owns a good set of spinning and weaving equipment which is available for rent by guild members.  Included are a Baby Wolf 8-H loom; two 18 inch Leclerc Dorothy 4 shaft table looms; a rigid heddle loom; an Inkle Loom; an Ashford traditional spinning wheel; a drum carder; a wool picker; English wool combs and Russian paddle combs.  The guild Fleece-to-Shawl team has first priority on the Baby Wolf loom, but will not hold it unnecessarily (all monies generated by the team goes to the guild treasury to help with guild expenses).  Contact Marje Koehlert for rental information.


The deadline for submissions to be included in the next Hub is 25 October 2011

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