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"The HUB" Vol. XXI, No. 2
Bimonthly newsletter of March-April 2000


April 15, 2000, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., Christ Episcopal Church, Meadville, PA


Renowned fiber artist Bobbie Irwin will give a talk on the history and techniques of using one of the world's oldest dyeplants and the first commercial source of indigo in the West. She will show samples of the many shades of blue, plus a virtual spectrum of other colors obtainable from this versatile plant with only alum as a mordant. The program is open to everyone, not just people taking the workshop. Don't miss this colorful presentation!

***Note: this meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. on April 15 at Christ Episcopal Church, Meadville!!!***

This change from our usual date, and time, and location is to coordinate with the Bobbie Irwin workshop. If you need directions, call the church at 814-724-7389 (chances are that your call will be answered by our own Sue Spencer!).


Guild Meeting, all welcome 7:00 pm
Program: Ode to Wode 8:00 pm



On April 13 (the Thursday right before our workshop), Bobbie Irwin is teaching a spinning workshop on "Listening to Your Fiber" for the Weavers Guild of Buffalo. "Learn to use most of your senses to evaluate fiber qualities before you spin, so you can use them to their best advantage. You will examine numerous samples and analyze and spin a mystery fiber. Bring your wheel and drop spindle." The workshop is open to non-members, and there are several openings. Tuition is $20, and the materials fee is $5. To register, contact Sara Rosiek.


For our December program this year, Elaine Fertig has reserved the slide show and swatch collection from Spin-Off's "Save the Sheep" contest, which several of our members entered. Thanks to Elaine for moving quickly to reserved this for us and to Susan Fenton for alerting her to the possibility.


The Nominating Committee has come with the following slate of candidates for the upcoming guild elections:

President: Karen Fry
First Vice-President: Kate Arkwright
Second Vice-President: Cheryl Geist-Brozell
Secretary: Barb Lodge
Treasurer: Bonnie Crytzer

Elections will be held at the June guild meeting. (Since our current Vice President, Elaine Fertig, has already arranged the programs for this year, the new Vice Presidents will be responsible for the programs in 2001-2.)


At the April meeting, we will vote on the recipient of the Guild Service Award. The award is intended to recognize a Guild member who has made an outstanding contribution to the Guild in the past year. Please think about who you would like to see recognized and bring your nominations to the April meeting.


Treasurer's report:

Checking balance: $1171.57
Savings balance: $1503.46
Total funds: $2675.03


Bonnie Crytzer gave the Treasurer's Report and reminded everyone that dues are due. She reported on the response to the survey on the Fiber Festival and said that people liked the Two Mile Run park location. We decided on Saturday, September 9, as the date for this year's Festival. Bonnie will reserve the site for that date and also rent the Farmhouse for the preceding Friday. There was a request for better directions in the brochure; Bonnie will work on this. Finally, Bonnie mentioned that a new book, Meg Swansen's Knitting, has arrived and can be checked out from the Guild library.

Sue Spencer reported that Ruth Walker-Daniels is recovering well from her recent knee surgery. She added that Ann Sheffield had recently lost her grandfather and noted that the Guild has sent a card. Finally, she told us that Ilene Elliston had just come out of the hospital; we circulated a card Ilene for everyone to sign.

Sue noted that a bus has been organized to transport people to convergence. It leaves Rochester, NY, on Wednesday, June 21, and returns on Sunday, June 25. It will stop in Buffalo and Westfield, NY, and people can get on there if it's more convenient. Sue has the details; contact her if interested.

Sue reminded us that we elect new officers at the June meeting. Ruth Walker-Daniels volunteered to constitute a nominating committee. The slate of candidates will be published in the newsletter before the election.

This year is the Guild's 20th anniversary! Ann Sheffield and Sue Spencer volunteered to organize a celebration for October of this year.

Elaine Fertig announced that the Bobbie Irwin workshop has filled and has a waiting list. She reminded people that the tuition balance is due April 1 and that our April Guild meeting will be held on the evening of Saturday, April 15, at Christ Episcopal Church, Meadville; the program will be a talk by Bobbie Irwin entitled "An Ode to Woad".

Joanna McDermot told us that Sofie Dorfi recently died at the age of 90. Sofie's traditional spinning technique had been featured in an article Sigrid Piroch wrote for Spin-Off, and Sigrid and Connie Davis had both apprenticed to Sofie so that her skills would be passed on.

We learned that the Butler Guild took 3rd place in the Sheep to Shawl contest at the State Farm Show in Harrisburg.

Sue reported on several textile exhibits in the area. She saw a video on Morrocan wedding textiles at the Cleveland Museum of Art and noted that the video is available. The Meadville Council of the Arts is hosting an exhibit called "Mapped Facets", which features collages of maps and embroidery. Finally, the Akron Art Museum has a show on contemporary Japanese textiles that runs through February 20. Susan Helm added that the Chatauqua Guild is sponsoring a show at the Portage Hill Gallery in Westfield, NY.

Sandy Volpe reported that she has reserved space for a Guild display at the Erie library for the month of May. We can probably get in to set up after Easter. There is also a back room where we can do demonstrations.

Kate Arkwright described a program that she, Sandy, and Jill Rouke did for the Women's Round Table, a local organization of professional women. The program focussed on feminist aspects of fiber arts and included a display of fibers and demonstrations of spinning and weaving. Kate noted that the presentation was well-received and attracted the attention of an Erie journalist, whom we might want to invite to review the upcoming Guild show at the library.

Sue reported that she, Elaine, Maggie Fry, and Maggie's daughter Linea presented a spinning demonstration to 150 kids at the Meadville Junior High School. Despite their worries at the time about holding the attention of so many young people at once, they received 130 thank-you notes afterwards!

Dorothy Maynard told us that Nancy Washok has been asked by a Meadville teacher about demonstrators for a "Country Fair" program some evening in early April - volunteers are needed.

Sharon Reiland introduced two guests. Kelly Person has a loom and wants to learn how to use it. Donna Wellman took up spinning only three months ago, but has already made herself wool combs and a spinning wheel and has almost finished knitting a sweater from her first (spindle-spun) yarn. Cheryl Geist-Brozell introduced us to her daughter Mollie.

Show-and-Tell: Karen Fry had completed a "farm Noah" quilt. Susan Fenton was working some Fair Isle gloves using Alice Starmore yarn leftover from knitting her sweater. Ann Sheffield showed some lamb's wool/blue fox yarn that she had spun on a drop spindle. Sue Spencer showed a table runner that was originally intended to be a shawl, but spent two years on the loom before she decided to finish something. Sue also showed some mudcloth that her stepdaughter bought in Timbuktu. Blanch Hall showed a beautiful piece woven in blooming leaf overshot double-weave - it has no floats! Donna Wellman showed us the sweater she was knitting from her handspun. Ruth Walker-Daniels showed a hat she had made from her handspun and also reported that Sue Spencer and Dick and Joanna McDermot had presented her with a unique gift after her knee surgery - a broom for transportation until she could drive again! Finally, Donna Long told us the strange but true fact that it is illegal to spin dog hair in the state of New Jersey - the law apparently originated in a well-intentioned desire to prevent dogs abroad being killed for fiber or fur.


The Tuesday Spinning group continues to meet the third Tuesday of the month at Christ Episcopal Church on Diamond Park in Meadville, 10 am - 2 pm. The next meetings will be on March 21 and April 18. As always, all are welcome to attend, with beginners especially encouraged. Bring a project, a wheel or handspindle, and a bag lunch. Beverages are provided; bring a treat to share if you wish.


Professional anthropologist and archaeologist Elizabeth Barber is the author of the books Women's Work: The First 20,000 Years and Prehistoric Textiles. On April 7 at 7:30 p.m., she will give a presentation on "Textiles of the Mummies of Urumchi (China)" at the Bristol Valley Theater in Naples, NY (near Rochester). The Urumchi mummies are among the oldest ever discovered, and Dr. Barber's talk should provide a unique insight into ancient textiles and their production. Advance purchase of tickets is recommended; a check for $5 per ticket and a self-addresses, stamped envelope should be sent to: NFAG, P.O. Box 426, Naples, NY 14512.

On Saturday, April 8, the Black Swamp Spinners Guild is hosting a Market Day and Fiber Fair at the Center Township Fire Station, 9986 Bowling Green Rd. East, Bowling Green, OH. The fair is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature demonstrations, live animals, a bake sale, and vendors selling spinning wheels, fiber, dye, books, handspun yarn, and other handcrafted items. Admission is free and open to all.

The Cuyahoga Weavers guild is sponsoring "Woven Reflections", an exhibit of handwoven art, at the Cleveland Botanical Garden from April 1 through April 16. The exhibition is open Mon. - Sat. from 9 to 5 and Sunday from 1 to 5. There will also be demonstrations each Saturday and Sunday that the exhibit is on display.

The annual Great Lakes Fiber Show will be held May 27 & 28 in Wooster, Ohio, at the Wayne County Fairgrounds. There will be vendors selling raw fiber, spinning and knitting supplies, fiber-related crafts, and finished items. Free demonstrations will be presented. Several workshops will also be offered; these require pre-registration and charge a fee. The Great Lakes Sheep and Wool Show & Sale is held in conjunction with the Fiber Show. Wool breeds of sheep will be judged and then auctioned off to the highest bidder. Wool fleeces will be judged and then sold at prices set by the exhibitor. The Fiber Show runs from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is free, and food is on sale at the fairgrounds. For more information and to register for workshops, contact: Linda Reichert, email


Noted fiber artist Deborah Chandler is now living half-time in Guatemala and is hosting small groups of visitors who come to spend time with Guatemalan weavers in their workshops. Limited to 4 people per trip, the first of these "Weaver-to-Weaver Encounters" are being offered on April 7-16, April 24-May 3, and May 5-14, 2000. The cost is $675 person if four people are registered, $825 for three, and $1000 for two. (There are already at least two registrants for each trip, so the maximum cost for one of these first three sessions would be $825.) The fee does not include airfare to Guatemala, but it does cover food, lodging, travel, museum entry, tuition, etc. Because of Deborah's full schedule of teaching and other commitments, these will probably be the only trips until 2001.

Each trip last ten days total. Two days are for travel to and from Guatemala. Three days are spent working closely with Guatemalan weavers and dyers, including Rosaria Poncio de Garcia and her husband Daniel Ismael Garcia, both of whom are teaching at Convergence this year. The remaining five days will spend "doing Guatemala"; potential activities include: a visit to Maseo Ixchel, a "mind-blowing" textile museum; a tour of Antigua, the capital of Guatemala in antiquity; shopping at Panajachel, "the largest textile market in Central America"; visits to several co-ops of local artisans; and many other possibilities. Since there "isn't time to do it all", each group will choose the sites they want to visit.

To register, contact Deborah as soon as possible. She will be in the U.S. until March 30 and can be reached here at To reserve a space, a 50% down payment is required with the next 25% due 30 days before tour trip starts and the final 25% due when you reach Guatemala. Make checks payable to Weaving Futures in U.S. funds.


Bill Koepp in California came up with a new idea for counting warp. When he wanted to break a large cone of warp down to several smaller cones of a known size, he needed a warp yardage counter… so he used a fishing line counter, which does the exact same thing and costs very little. Any large fishing supply store should have them. Bill suggests the "Shakespeare Line Counter", which counts up to 999 feet and is inexpensive.

[From Fleece Facts, newsletter of the Canton guild.]


Eva Hurliman from Beaverton, PA, writes: "I am looking for a ride to Convergence 2000 arriving in Cincinnati on Sunday, June 18th. I live about 50 miles north of Harrisburg, near Lewisburg, PA. I would be happy to drive to meet you and to pay for the ride. It will be easier to get a ride home the following Sunday." Eva can be reached at


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