The following people have paid their dues and are members for 1999:
||Jessie R. Hamilton
||Linda B. Steinbuhler
|Karen and Laura Fry
||Nancy and Mary Washok
There is still time to pay your dues for 1999, still a bargain at $10.00
per family. Dues are now handled by our membership coordinator, Susan Fenton,
who will make sure that your address, etc., are up to date. If there are any
changes to your address, phone number, or email address, let Susan know when
you send her your dues check (payable to the Northwest Pennsylvania Spinners
and Weavers Guild). Also, if you are on email, please let Susan know whether
it's OK to list your email address on the Guild's Web page.
LETTER FROM THE MCCARTNEYS
Earlier this year, we mourned the passing of long-time member Helen McCartney.
Ronald McCartney sent this note to the Guild:
"You gave Mom such enjoyment through the guild. You gave us support at her
passing and we thank you."
-The McCartney Family
MINUTES OF THE FEBRUARY MEETING
The meeting began with Show&Tell. Your humble editor was running around
setting up for the program, so my notes on the Show&Tell are regrettably
sketchy. Fortunately, I did hear Joanna McDermot's moving description of her
ordination and her pleasure and surprise at receiving the stole that Barb
Lodge designed and wove using yarn spun by many guild members.
Several announcements were made. Sigrid Piroch described the workshops and
presentations she will be doing on historic coverlets for the Washington County
and Butler Guilds in March, and she provided information about registration
and course details. Joyce Rose announced the teachers and classes for this
year's Eastern Great Lakes Conference scheduled for October [details appear
elsewhere in the Hub]. Susan Breckenridge requested that a weaver in
the guild take over as keeper of the Guild loom; Karen Fry volunteered.
Ann Sheffield talked about plans for the upcoming Rita Buchanan workshop.
We agreed to begin our April meeting at 6:30 p.m. on April 9 and to schedule
Rita's talk for 7:30. Linda Gross volunteered to drive Rita from Butler to
Cochranton on Thursday evening, and Susan Fenton offered to drive her to the
airport on Sunday evening. Susan also agreed to coordinate refreshments for
Ann also urged people to consider committing themselves to Spin-Off's
"Save the Sheep" contest, and she offered to share information about
rare breeds and their wool and to help people find sources of fiber. Ann,
Cheryl Geist-Brozell, Joanna McDermot, and Joyce Rose all agreed to make something
for the contest.
Bonnie Crytzer presented the results of her research into possible sites
for this year's Fiber Festival. After extensive discussion of costs, amenities,
accessibility, and other features of the sites, we decided to hold the event
at Two Mile Run Park. We also agreed to make the festival a one-day event
this year. Bonnie will pursue reserving the site for a Saturday in September.
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 meeting is on April 20. 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.
GREAT LAKES FIBER SHOW
The annual Great Lakes Fibers Show will be held May 29&30 at the Wayne County
Fairgrounds in Wooster, Ohio. The event will feature a marketplace of fiber
and fiber-related items, demonstrations of spinning, weaving, and related
crafts, workshops, and sheep and wool shows and sales. For more information,
contact Linda Reichert, email Don47lind@aol.com.
SAVE THE SHEEP UPDATE
Four Guild members - Cheryl Geist-Brozell, Joanna McDermot, Joyce Rose, and
Ann Sheffield - have committed themselves to entering the Spin-Off
"Save the Sheep" contest. Guidelines for the contest can be obtained
from Interweave Press (1-800-645-3675). Basically, a "significant portion"
of the item "must be made from the handspun yarn of an endangered breed."
There is also a swatch category. The deadline for the contest is November
15, 1999, so there's still time to take this on! As for why you might want
to do this, consider the following excerpt from Rare Wools from Rare Sheep
2. Why endangered sheep matter to spinners by Deborah Robson (Spin-Off,
"Here are a few examples of what spinners stand to lose if rare breeds
are abandoned to extinction.
"Consider color. With a few exceptions, the rare breeds carry the genes
for colored wool. Color in fleece is determined by the interplay of genes
at several locations. White is strongly dominant and black is readily overruled
in most cases. The genetics required to produce brown involve a complex dance
of other genes stepping out of the way; it's a wonder we have any brown wool
at all, much less the shades some breeds are known for. Certain rare breeds
produce most of our colored fleeces because their genetic make-up is replete
with the necessary - and notably recessive - genes.
"Consider texture. Traditionally, the wide variety of wools has supported
a broad array of craft techniques and art forms. Some wools felt well, while
others do not. The finest wools can be used for underwear, the coarsest for
rugs and camel trappings and cords. The loss of rare breeds means the loss
of these extremes of wool texture, and of the wools which are superior
for particular uses, not just adequate or acceptable.
"Consider spinning. Unless handspinners speak to the qualities of the fiber
and support a small but steady market for it, only the machines' needs will
be considered in the types of wool that are produced. We owe it to ourselves
- now, while we can - to teach our fingers the ways of working with wools
outside out comfort zone and expertise. Our informed decisions now about wool
from endangered sheep can assure that the fiber is still around when we discover
that we need it after all."
SPACES AVAILABLE IN RITA BUCHANAN'S BUTLER WORKSHOP
There are several spaces left in the Rita Buchanan workshop on "Spinning
Cotton". This one-day class is sponsored by the Butler Guild and will
be held on Thursday, April 8 (the day before our workshop begins). The cost
will be $23-29 per person (includes materials). For more information, contact
Amy Guggenheimer. To hold a space, send a $20 deposit to Amy.
Course description: "Everyone loves the comfort and easy care of cotton
fabrics. Cotton cloth is even nicer if you start with handspun yarn. Spinning
cotton isn't difficult, but it feels very different from spinning longer fibers
or wool. It calls for a very gentle touch and relaxed movement. This is a
useful skill to master, because the techniques for spinning cotton also work
well for cashmere, camel down, and other short, fine fibers. Learn how to
adjust your wheel, how to shop for cotton, how to hold and draft the fiber,
and how to make cotton yarns suitable for knitting or for weaving."
EASTERN GREAT LAKES FIBER CONFERENCE
The schedule for the annual Eastern Great Lakes Fiber Conference has been
announced. The gathering will be held on October 9-11 at the Center of Renewal
in Stella Niagara, and the theme is "Sett a Spell, Weave a Spell".
Registration information is available from Pattie Lamb, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The conference workshops are described below.
Shaker Rugs with Mary Elva Erf. During this three-day workshop, students
will make a sample Shaker "rug" approximately 16" x 22",
and one braid to be used around the selvedges of the rug. The completed rug
will be a usable size for a table runner or wall hanging. The rugs will be
worked on an 8/4 cotton warp and use a combination of wool fabrics and wool
yarns for weft. Prior to the workshop, fabrics will be dyed by the instructor,
using the original Shaker colors. The first two days of the workshop will
be spent preparing materials, observing a dye demonstration, and weaving.
The third day will be spent finishing the rugs. Space is limited to 12 participants.
Fabrics That Go Bump with Madelyn van der Hoogt. Discover how to weave
fantastic fabrics that are not flat - on purpose!: pleated weaves, waffle
weaves, cords, seersuckers, honeycombs, deflected double weaves, and more.
Each student chooses one of these weaves to explore. At the end of the first
day, samples are removed from the loom, washed, and critiques on class. On
the second day, looms are exchanged for a library of samples.
Fabric Decoration and Design with Catherine Joslyn. Explore a traditional
method of cloth decoration with unlimited contemporary applications. You will
see slides and examples of international textiles from the instructor's collection
and published articles. After examining motifs from traditional textiles,
such as African adinkra, use stamps and fabric paints to experiment with modern
materials and colors. This technique is excellent for decorating cloth for
embroidery, garments, household fabrics, and expressive works and for decorating
paper and other surfaces. It can also be used as a resist with dyes for more
stunning effects. The instructor will furnish cloth for the samples the class
will make. You may bring plain handwoven fabric, blank note cards, t-shirts
and other items for experimental painting.
Felted Boot and Mitten Workshop with Beth Beede. This is a two-day
felting workshop that explores various methods of making boots, slippers and
mittens. You will learn how to form, shape, and fit these objects using an
endless array of colors and designs. Participants can expect to take home
one or more pairs of these items, depending on the complexity of the projects.
Space is limited to 10 participants.
Introduction to Complex Weaves with Madelyn van der Hoogt. Familiar
4-shaft structures gain exciting new design potential when extended to more
shafts - and they are often easier to thread and weave. Be free from recipe-weaving
forever: learn to use your own original designs with the pattern weaves of
your choice. Instruction emphasizes the use of block profile drafts with unit
Simple Secrets of Great Designing for All Textile Arts with Catherine
Joslyn. Secrets that give dramatic power, sparkle, and depth to weaving and
other design projects. Myriad possibilities through simple techniques, as
practices by artists and artisans throughout the world. "Foolproof"
ways to design aesthetically satisfying work. By studying the elements and
organizational principles of design and the ways different cultures use color,
artists can reexamine assumptions about how colors "should" be used
and recharge their work. Learn to generate original designs and how to critique
your own work. You will see illustrations from the instructor's published
articles. Participants will produce several designs using different methods,
for future use on projects, and may bring previously completed projects for
Brimless Hats Around a Ball with Beth Beede. In this workshop you
will learn to felt a hat using a bouncing rubber ball in a day that us sure
to be fun and educational. Participants leave with a finished hat that can
be chosen from a variety of styles from cloche to beret to cap. They might
also include flaps, ruffles and rolls, as well as decorations such as mohair
locks and glitter in the felt itself. Space is limited to 15 participants.
Of sheep in the Chiapas culture of Mexico: "They live physically
close to the sheep and treat them as we would pets, giving the sheep names
a few days after they are born
They believe sheep can be happy or sad,
and sadness in sheep, as in humans, can cause sickness. They believe their
sheep have souls. Chiapas sheep are sacred members of the everyday sacred
patterns of Chiapas life." -Donna Muller in Spin-Off, Spring 1999.