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"The HUB" Vol. XXI, No. 5
Bimonthly newsletter of September - October 2000


October 14, 2000, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m., Venango Valley Inn


On October 14, we will celebrate the Guild's 20th Anniversary with a luncheon at the Venango Valley Inn.

The program is us! We're asking all members to bring stories, stuff, and ideas based on your years of experience with the Guild:

Maidens have been with the Guild for five years or less. Bring your new ideas, your dreams for the future, your visions for Guild projects and programs!

Mothers have been members for five to fifteen years. Our job (yes, I'm a Mother, in this sense anyway! -Ed.) is to bring your favorite Show-and-Tell of all time - the work you're proudest of, or a project that has a special meaning for you, or a reminder of a special trip or extraordinary fiber experience.

Crones are the old-timers who have been with the Guild for fifteen years or more. We want to hear your stories - of the first days of the Guild, of members who have moved away or crossed over, of how the fiber world has changed in two decades.

The Venango Valley Inn is located on Route 19 in Venango; if you need directions, call the Inn at 814-398-4330. We have a room reserved from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; lunch will be served at noon. There is a choice of lasagna ($8.50), vegetarian stir-fry ($8.50), or chicken breast salad ($7.50). Please call Sue Spencer (at Christ Church, Meadville) to make your selection and let us know you're coming!


The Crawford County Fair was a lot of fun this year. Hand spinners were at the Home Building and at the Sheep Barn off and on all week. On Wednesday, the Guild judges, Sue Spencer, Ellen Gracie, and Donna Wellman, took a look at the fleeces from commercial entries and found one very nice dark brown fleece that was of hand spinner's quality. The fleece was entered by Frank and Betty Davis from Slippery Rock, who will be receiving a $10.00 cash award and a one-year guild membership. Hopefully, we can get started a little earlier next year and get the Hand Spinners Choice Fleece Award category back into the Fair book.

Rob Brown chaired the Sheep Division this year and did an excellent job. He has some good ideas for future fairs. Also on Wednesday, Rob presented a sheep shearing demonstration with Guild members spinning in the background. It was wonderful. He did a great job shearing a "new" breed of sheep - an Arcott (more about Arcott's later - we all loved that fleece!), and with spinners on hand many of his comments were directed our way. His wife got the whole thing on video; we might want to see it some day.

Thank you to everyone who participated throughout the week.

-Sue Spencer


On March 16-18, the Guild will host a workshop with Nadine Sanders, "Weaving That Sings: the Triple Play." The class will cover the Theo Moorman technique. Bring a 4-harness (or more) loom, 12-24" wide, with a 12-dent reed. Amy Albrecht is coordinating the workshop and will have more information soon.


Treasurer's report:

Checking balance: $659.93
Savings balance: $2904.76

The dues structure was discussed. Dues apply to the current calendar year, January - December. If someone joins halfway through the year, they pay only $5 for the remainder of that year. If someone joins near the end of the year, the dues are applied to the upcoming year. An explanation of the policy will be posted on the Guild Website.

Elaine Fertig announced that the Guild will demonstrate spinning at the Crawford County Fair at 2 p.m. Wednesday in the new Home Ec. Building. Sue Spencer added that Rob Brown had called her and requested spinners to demonstrate in the wool barn; Sue will ask for six Fair passes for volunteers. Rob also asked if the Guild would sponsor a Handspinners' Choice Fleece Award this year. After much discussion, we agreed that we would give a prize of $10 plus a one-year Guild membership and restrict entries to one fleece per farm. Shepherds must register by August 23 to be considered for the award. Sue Spencer, Donna Wellman, and Ellen Gracie volunteered to judge.

Christ Church's annual goods and services auction will be held in February, 2001. The Guild is invited to participate in the auction. We discussed whether we should provide a program before the church dinner. Ideas suggested were: setting up a display; selling finished items; taking commissions; and donated something to be auctioned.

At the October meeting, we will celebrate the Guild's 20th anniversary. Sue announced that a luncheon was planned. After some discussion, we settled on a date of October 14. The luncheon will be held at an area restaurant.

The Erie Library sent us a nice thank-you for the display we did and invited us to do it again some day.

Nancy Marts volunteered to bring the Guild scrapbook up to date.

Bonnie Crytzer reported on the upcoming Fiber Festival at Two Mile Run. Five vendors have signed up. Barb Lodge will be responsible for the coffee/cookie table. Sue, Ilene Elliston, and Ruth Walker-Daniels will run the Guild sale table (the Guild gets 10% of sales). Karen Fry will run the longest thread contest, and Elaine will take care of the Popular Choice exhibit. The Mercer Guild will demonstrate natural dyeing in the pavilion. Ruth Schnell will teach a class on warping a loom, and Nancy Griffin's workshop on core-ply spinning will be taught from 1-3 on Saturday afternoon. On Friday, the farmhouse will be available at 10 a.m., and the rainbow dyeing class will start at 4 p.m. Dinner is potluck, and there will again be dulcimer music. Barb will send an announcement to the Butler, Erie, and Meadville newspapers, and Bonnie will do the same for Oil City.

Amy Albrecht reported on the Nadine Sanders workshop, "Weaving That Sings: Triple Play," to be held March 16-18, 2001. Weavers will need a loom with at least four harnesses, 12-24" wide, with a 12-dent reed. Warp and warping directions will be provided. The cost will be between $50 and $100, depending on whether we get the grant Amy applied for.


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 September 19. 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.

On October 17, the Tuesday spinners will meet at the home of Donna Wellman. We will be doing natural dyeing. Bring campstoves, enamel pots (NOT used for cooking!), mordants, and wool to dye. Lunch is potluck - bring a dish to share and a table service. For directions or more information, contact Donna by email at


  1. What did Rumplestiltskin do that was noteworthy?
  2. Which came first, spinning or weaving?
  3. When did silk originate, and where?
  4. Of what was Joseph's "coat of many colors" woven?
  5. What guided Theseus out of the Labyrinth?
  6. What did Anthrax used to be called?


[From the newsletter of the Cuyahoga Weavers Guild; further editing by Ann Sheffield. -Ed.]


  1. If anything can go wrong with the warp, it will.
  2. No matter what the draft is. There is always someone eager to misinterpret it.
  3. Even if it is impossible to come up with a wrong threading, still a way will be found to do it.
  4. Any error will not show up until 8 picks are thrown.
  5. No matter what the design is, it will be out of fashion as soon as the fringe is tied.
  6. No matter what the tie-up is, there will always be a better one.
  7. When the fell smiles, the weaver does not.
  8. There are never too many treadles or bobbins.
  9. Only your best shuttle will hit the floor.
  10. In any set of notes, the parts that are obviously correct, beyond all need of checking, are the mistake.

[From Bill Koepp of the Rugweavers email list, via the Philadelphia Guild of Handweavers Gazette. -Ed.]


On October 7, Cherry Ridge Alpacas of Creekside, PA, will host a workshop on spinning alpaca with Fae Evans. This one-day workshop will "acquaint spinners with the preparation, spinning, and plying of alpaca alone and blended with other fibers, including silk and merino wool." Participants will also get to meet Rosie, Kasimir, and Perseus, all of whom graciously contributed some of their fiber for this workshop. Patricia Craven of Cherry Ridge adds, "Fae has won numerous awards for her spinning and weaving. She has competed in Sheep to Shawl Events in three states, including the Ohio State Fair for 10 years. I first met Fae when I took part on the alpaca spinning workshop she taught at the Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association meeting in Lexington, Kentucky, this past spring. In addition to spinning and weaving, she enjoys knitting, crocheting, tatting, bobbin lace, needlepoint, and embroidery." The $20 workshop fee includes all materials and lunch. For more information, contact Patricia and Bryan Craven of Cherry Ridge Alpacas at, Web site

From August 31-September 28, Slippery Rock University will host Atavistic Threads: Fiberworks by Catherine Joslyn, Akiko Kotani, and Anne Wolfe. Akiko has been a long-time Guild member and is on the faculty at Slippery Rock. Catherine Joslyn is with the art department at Clarion University. Her work "synthesizes ancient traditions within comtemporary concerns. In a feminist strain of her philosophy of art, the use of the stitched line of the needlearts honors the significance of women's work over time. In a multicultural strain, her incorporation of African and Andean motifs honors the expressive achievement of our ancestors as she sets these achievements in a new light." The Martha Gault Gallery at Slippery Rock is open MWF 3-7 p.m., Tuesday 1-5 p.m., and Thursday 5-9 p.m.

Clarion University is hosting two lectures and a workshop by Gail Silverman, an anthropologist who has spent over 20 years working with indigenous weavers in the high Andes. On the evening of Thursday, October 5, Gail will talk about the economic development project she has pursued with the weavers. On Friday evening, October 6, she will speak on textile motifs in Andean textiles and their cultural meanings. During the day on Friday, she will teach a workshop on traditional body-loom techniques. Dr. Silverman's knowledge of Peruvian culture profound; she is the only non-Peruvian author ever to have been published by the Central Reserve Bank of Peru, her work has been supported by a Fulbright scholarship, and she has taught at numerous Peruvian universities. The work produced by the weavers she works with in village development projects have been called "the best weaving being produced in Peru". For more information about Dr. Silverman's visit, contact Catherine Joslyn at


This is absolutely, positively my last issue of the Hub. Really. By November, the Frys' computer troubles should be sorted, and Laura will be your full-time Editor. Thanks to everyone who's ever let me know they enjoyed something in the newsletter - it made doing this job worthwhile.

See you at the next Guild meeting!


Once you have a hank of self-spun clean soft yarn, you will feel that it was worth all the effort of learning to spin.

-the late Mabel Ross, The Essentials of Handspinning

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