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"The HUB" Vol. XXVII, No.1
Bimonthly newsletter of January - February 2006


Saturday, February 4, 2006, from 10:00 a.m. to 2 pm
Christ Episcopal Church, Diamond Park, Meadville, PA

January Program

For the January program we are going to do a Joyous Hands Spinning Group meeting. What that means is bring whatever you are working on or need help with. That includes spinning, weaving, knitting, and anything else. The more we have there the more skills we will have to share.

February Program

For the February program we will cover processing fibers. In the last Hub we had an article on buying fiber. This will pick up there. We’ll cover washing the different fibers, then go to picking, carding, and combing. Roz will help us understand getting silk ready to spin. We will cover alpaca, llama, and others. If you have a fiber and are not sure what or how to work with it bring it along. Bring your wheel so you can see how the different processes effect the spun fiber. This will be a learning experience for everyone.

Calendar of Events

January 7th - NWPSWG Program Meeting at Christ Church 2:00p.m.

January 20th - NWPSWG Tuesday Spinning at Christ Church

February 4th - NWPSWG Business/Program Meeting at Christ Church 2:00p.m.

February 21st - NWPSWG Tuesday Spinning at Christ Church 10:00a.m. to 2:00p.m.

Minutes of the December Meeting

Minutes of the guild meeting held on December 3, 2005:

Bonnie Crytzer reported that Donna Wellman is in Intensive Care. No details were yet available. Pat Retchloff chaired the meeting in Donna’s absence.

Treasurer’s Report:

Total funds on hand $2903.91
General funds $1163.01
HMM Scholarship funds $1740.90

No changes were made to the minutes of the October meeting.

Bonnie announced that the deadline for the next Hub is Dec. 25.

We discussed whether we should continue to pay the $50 annual fee to the Mid-Atlantic Fiber Association. MAFA membership includes benefits such as scholarships and rental of resources, but our members have not been taking advantage of them. Bonnie reported that Barb Lodge suggested joining for one more year and making an effort to publicize MAFA resources within our guild. This suggestion was approved by vote. Pat volunteered to make a presentation about MAFA benefits at a future meeting.

Bonnie received a letter from the American Red Cross thanking us for our donation (the proceeds of our October meeting).

Bonnie received a letter from Sigrid Piroch describing Hummer Country magazine. They cover alpacas and llamas and are looking for advertisers. More information is available at

Dues are due! Please send yours to Susan Fenton. Remember that they have increased to $15 per family.

Bonnie presented information about Waterside Woolen Mills near Bedford. They have thousands of quills loaded with yarn and are looking for people to remove the yarn and return the quills. Volunteers may keep all the yarn they remove. Bonnie showed several balls of yarn that she had made by stripping quills. She asked if the guild would like to take this on as a project. We decided against it, but Mary Donaldson and Elaine Fertig expressed interest in getting involved as individuals.

Ann Sheffield had received Celia Quinn’s workshop offerings for next year. Sue Spencer will consider coordinating one, possibly in conjunction with her evolving involvement with Autumn House farm and B&B.

Bonnie reported that Barb will do a workshop on chenille for us in 2006.

Sue Spencer attended Chad Alice Hagan’s felting workshop at the Eastern Great Lakes fiber conference. Sue bought a copy of Hagan’s book, Fabulous Felt Hats, for the guild library.

Susan Fenton mentioned that books by Alice Starmore are currently fetching high prices on the Internet.

We discussed what to do with the proceeds of this meeting’s Chinese auction. At Pat’s suggestion, we agreed to give it to a group that provides gifts to sailors serving in the Navy.

Show&Tell: Ann showed a shawl she has been working on from a class at Kindred Spirits Yarn Studio in Franklin. The shawl is knit on size 15 needles and incorporates multiple yarns and textures. Roz Macken showed her “seed stash,” a small bag of shocking yellow mohair that she got from Ruth Walker-Daniels at her first Tuesday spin. Roz’ stash has grown and grown in the years since, but that first little bit of “starter” fiber is still with her. Mabel Cable took everyone’s breath away with two afghans she had knit from handspun Merino (one from a pattern of her own design). She also showed a vest she had knit from some dirty New Zealand Romney that Barb had helped her clean up to spin. Karen Fry had converted her prize from the October meeting into 1_ socks. Sue Spencer showed her “spiky hat” from the felting class at Eastern Great Lakes and examples of “sari silk”; she mentioned that Harriet at Autumn House is blending the chopped silk with wool. Sue also passed around photos of the EGL class, the felted mitten workshop that Roz did for the guild, and a felters’ retreat at Autumn House. Joanna McDermot showed her “everlasting and forever” shawl (knit from a pattern in Folk Shawls with yarn Joanna bought in Ireland). It is creeping towards completion, one endless, complex row at a time.

Respectfully submitted,
Ann Sheffield

Our December Program & Christmas Party

We all enjoyed our Christmas program and had it to take home with us. Pat prepared bags of material for all of us and gave us directions and with a pair of scissors we made a wool angel for our Christmas tree. So we didn’t get our angel messed up we ate first. We were treated to a very nice lunch. There was chicken noodle soup and potato soup made by Pat and Elaine. This was accompanied by crackers and cheese with a raspberry dessert. It was delicious and hit the spot for our annual Christmas Party. After we were energized, we made our wool angels and then held the Chinese auction. Every one brought something Christmas or fiber related. We took turns running up to get our prizes as the numbers were drawn. I hope everyone enjoyed themselves.


Classified Section

I have a 36" LeClerc Artistat loom that I would like to sell. If you know of anyone that would be interested could you please have them contact me at

From: JoEllen Cannedy
My husband and I live in Falling Waters, WV and have been raising llamas for four years. We have some beautiful llama roving that is blended with 20% sheep wool and I wanted to contact persons of interest. Our rovings come in white, chestnut and a rich black and is truly a spinner's delight and is priced at $3.00/oz plus shipping and handling. We can be contacted at for any further information and for persons interested in purchasing from us. Thank You, JoEllen Cannedy

Remember When and Who

At Two Mile Run

At Christ Episcopal Church

Some thoughts on Dyeing

I know there is snow on the ground but now is the time to think about your dye plants for this summer.

From the Garden: Coneflowers, coreopsis, cosmos, daisies, marigold, tansy, zinnias, and yarrow just to name a few. Gather your dead flower heads or dry them and store in a mesh bag till you have enough for a dye bath.

From the Wild: Black Walnuts-brown, dandelions- yellows and greens, elderberries-purple to blues, pinks to beiges, elderberry bark-black, blackberries and polkberries-pinks to lavender shades, dock-golds to browns, cranberries-rose, goldenrod, mullein, grape, milkweed, bindweed, and mustard-shades of yellow to greens.

From the Kitchen: onion skins-golds to browns, mint-greens, spinach-green.

The color of all dye material can be changed by the mordants (chemicals that allow the dye to bind with the wool). This is where playing with different combinations is fun. You don’t know what to expect and can be surprised. Lots of the berries make beautiful colors but fade easily.

While the snow is here you can dye white wool the color of white you want. First off you need to wash a handful of wool to see what color it really is. It’s not what you expected?

For the whitest white: Put non-chlorine bleach in the wash water during the soak.

For that natural lanolin look or antique white put in old fashion chlorine bleach in the wash water to soak.

For that special antique shop look save your left over coffee or tea. Allow the fiber to set in the dye bath till it is the color you want, even overnight. Coffee will give a warm beige. Tea will give you a cool beige. Green tea will give you a taupe. Remember this is a color fast stain.

We’ll be doing fiber processing in February and fiber can be dyed prior to this processing or after. The important thing is dye and have fun doing it. It is also important to write things down so you can repeat the good colors.

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