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"The HUB" Vol. XXI, No. 3
Bimonthly newsletter of May-June 2000


June 3, 2000, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Christ Episcopal Church, Meadville, PA
The June meeting will be held at Christ Episcopal Church, Diamond Park, Meadville, PA - NOT IN EDINBORO!


Janet Smouse will teach a workshop on making miniature purses that can be used as jewelry or to hold a thimble or a treasure. Waxed lined thread will be provided. Please bring a large, blunt-ended tapestry needle. If you have extra thread in colors you like or beads that you would like to use for decoration, bring them along, but the tapestry needle is the only essential.


Board Meeting, all welcome 9:00
Coffee, conversation 9:30
General Meeting 10:00



Friends - I have edited the Hub for seven years now, and as my recent chronic lateness in getting it out reveals, I have been having a more and more difficult time juggling professional and personal obligations. Besides, you all must be getting tired of my odd sense of humor by now. So, it's time for someone else to take over. The whole thing is done in Microsoft Word - you just need to edit the text each month. If it still sounds like too much, perhaps you could find a partner and have two co-editors, as some other guilds do (one of the perks of the editor's job is that you get to read the newsletters from all the area guilds).

There will be a call for volunteers at the June meeting. Please seriously consider taking this on. Thanks.

-Ann Sheffield


At the April meeting, we voted to award Elaine Fertig the Guild Service Award. Congratulations, Elaine, and thank you for all your hard work coming up with so many great programs and always being willing to help wherever needed!

The slate of candidates for the upcoming Guild election was announced at the April meeting, and elections will be held at the June meeting. The nominees are:

President: Karen Fry
Co-Vice-Presidents/Program Chairs: Kate Arkwright and Cheryl Geist-Brozell
Secretary: Barb Lodge
Treasurer: Bonnie Crytzer

The Guild Website has moved! The new address is: Our Webmistress is still Susan Fenton. To send in news or materials for the Website, email Susan at her new email address:


Our August meeting will be the now-traditional picnic at Sue and Larry Spencer's place ("The Woods"). The program will be on fleece from different sheep breeds and will be taught by Judy Mackenroth. Judy will supply samples from 16 different breeds, and Nancy Washok will bring several samples, also. More details about the program will appear in the next Hub; for now, keep an eye out for interesting/unusual fleeces to bring to the meeting - Judy will help us study the fibers.


Treasurer's report:

Checking balance: $2244.83
Savings balance: $1639.93


Sue Spencer thanked Elaine Fertig and Barb Lodge for their work on the Bobbie Irwin workshop and Linda Steinbuhler and Dorothy Maynard for supplying the goodies. She also thanked Roz Rospert and Elaine for demonstrating spinning recently and her entire board for their help during her term as President.

Sue reported on her trip to a show in Akron on Japanese surface design technique. She purchased a video, Basho: Spun Steel, for the Guild library.

Sigrid Piroch reported that Schacht has come out with a new portable loom, the Baby Wolf Pup - contact Sig for more information. Sigrid also displayed a coverlet hand-woven by Helen Jarvis from one of Michael Weaver's patterns. It was made in three panels, but they are so carefully joined that it looks seamless. The coverlet is being auctioned at Convergence to benefit the Michael Weaver project; the minimum bid is $800.

Fiberfest 2000 will be held at Lake Farmpark in Ohio on June 17-18.

We need a representative to attend the MAFA meeting at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. Bonnie Crytzer volunteered.

Ann Sheffield spoke about meeting Dorothy Miller, author of Indigo from Seed to Dye, at a recent conference. A workshop on traditional techniques of indigo and cochineal dyeing is being held in Mexico June 5-9; contact Ann for information.

We will again do a fleece-to-shawl demonstration at the annual Edinboro Highland Games on May 20. Ilene Elliston will handle the shawl raffle and booth sales; ten percent of booth sales go to the Guild. Drake's Well would like spinners to demonstrate in 19th-century costume on August 26-27. Kate Arkwright reported on a new craft show in the Edinboro area, the "Bar None American Festival", to be held the weekends of July 22-23 and 29-30. The fee for a 10'x12' area is $295; we agreed that the Guild would not get a booth, but that individuals who have things to sell could get together and rent an area. Elaine noted that the Crawford County Fair, which begins August 19, would like spinners to demonstrate in the new, spacious Home Economics building. We discussed the feasibility of this, and it seemed that some spinners would be able to demonstrate on some evenings during the fair.

The Forest Fiber Fest is set for September 8-9 at Two Mile Run. There will be classes on warping a loom with Ruth Schnell; core-ply spinning (taught by the Mercer Guild); and Basic Spinning with Nancy Griffin. There will be a llama flock, sheep-shearing, story-telling with Mary Lib Whitney, and a triangular loom demonstration. On the Friday afternoon before the festival, Joyce Rose will teach Rainbow Dyeing at the Farmhouse. We will have a potluck dinner afterwards (all welcome), and Larry Spencer will be encouraged to bring his dulcimer group again.

Sandy Volpe reported on the Erie Library display. We will set up on May 8-9. We have a secure 10x3 space for the display. Also, we will do a live demonstration on May 21 from 2-4 p.m.

Sue Spencer reported that Nancy Steward, the new HGA representative, is trying to create a listing of everyone who sells fiber-related products in Pennsylvania. Sue has forms for anyone interested in being on the list.

Janet Smouse described the program for the upcoming June meeting, where she will teach us to make treasure pouches. The only required equipment is a tapestry needle, though people can bring beads and embellishments if they wish. Elections of new officers will also be held at the June meeting.

There was a request for this year's membership list to be sent out in the next Hub, and for phone numbers and email addresses to be included.

Karen Fry asked if there was a policy regarding loom rental - is the renter responsible for returning the loom to the loom-keeper? We agreed that this would be a reasonable policy, that we should check the bylaws to see if a policy currently exists, and that we should create a rental agreement form.

The annual rent is due at the Edinboro Borough Building, and the perennial question of whether to stay in Edinboro or move to a new location was raised. After much discussion, we voted to change our meeting place to Christ Episcopal Church in Meadville, effective immediately.

We voted on the Guild Service Award, and the deserving victor was Elaine Fertig.

Finally, for Show-and-Tell, Ann Sheffield showed her woad-dyed drinking horn. We then heard Bobbie Irwin's wonderful talk, "An Ode to Woad."

[Thanks to Barb Lodge for her notes on the meeting. Ed.]

Knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crises. - the late, great Elizabeth Zimmerman


Our workshop with Bobbie Irwin was very successful. Bobbie lost her voice, but never her patience. Since she had to write out all her answers, her words were carefully chosen, which gave us neat, concise directions. Twenty-one people participated. Most ended up with at least three samples, and many with five or six.

Now it is time to think about a workshop for 2001. The grant application should be submitted by June 30. Any ideas?

-Barb Lodge


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 will be on June 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.


The Cats Cradle Handspinning Guild is sponsoring a Wool Day at the Troy Fair (in Bradford County) on Wednesday, July 26. There will be an Angora rabbit show, a fleece-to-shawl contest, and contests for drop-spindle spinning, "fill-a-bobbib", handspun skeins, and handspun projects. Fleece-to-shawl teams are asked to preregister, but for the other contests you can just "bring your entries and take them home again with you." People are also invited to come and sit and spin and visit; the hosts want this to be a "no fees, fun day".

For more information, email the Cats Cradle president, Eve Herrington, at


It's close, it's soon, it's fun, and Guild members can get a $1.00 discount coupon. It's Fiberfest 2000 at Lake Farmpark in Kirtland, Ohio (east of Cleveland). From Thursday, June 15 through Sunday, June 18, there will be a "Forum" consisting of various half-day and one-day classes on spinning, weaving, knitting, dyeing, felting, and raising fiber animals. There are some great instructors, and, if you take a class, you get into the Festival free. Your humble Editor is taking a class on spinning longwools and another on dyeing camelid fibers, and there are many more exciting classes to choose from.

The Festival itself will be held Saturday, June 17 and Sunday, June 18. It features competitions for handmade fiber items in a number of categories; a display of fiber art by northwestern Ohio artists; a "sheep swap" for breeders whose sheep (and goats) are "wading in the shallow end of the gene pool"*; a wool fleece show and sale, and displays of llamas, alpacas, and Angora rabbits.

Brochures describing all classes and events, as well as the coveted discount coupons, will be available at the June Guild meeting or visit their Website at You can register for classes by email (

*Despite the lighthearted description, the Festival has stringent health-certification regulations to ensure that all animals present are disease-free, so don't just show up with a sheep!


The Silverbrook Shoppe in Marchand, PA, is offering a number of basic and advanced fiber arts classes through the summer and fall. Examples include: Weave a Mohair Scarf; Spinning Flax; Australian Locker Hooking; and Introduction to Machine Knitting. A complete schedule can be obtained from Silverbrook; other classes can be arranged upon request. To contact the shop, write to Silverbrook Shoppe, 16040 US Hwy Rt 119 N, Marchand, PA 15758-0133, or call 724-286-3317.


Among the items I was dropping off for dry cleaning were some wool place mats that my wife and I had bought in Great Britain. The young woman behind the counter looked at them suspiciously. "I don't clean place mats. You wash them," she said.

"No," I replied. "They need to be dry-cleaned. They're wool. They come from Wales."

A look of consternation crept over the woman's face before she said, "I didn't know you could get wool from whales."

-John Gabrielson; submitted by Ruth Walker-Daniels

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