February 11, 2018

NEXT MEETING: FEB. 28, 2018, 7 PM

As mentioned in last month's blog, Treadles has no Program Chair this year. Hence, no one has come up with a program for this month. We will still meet and have Show & Tell, bring your wheel to sample a surprise fiber and watch a video yet to be determined! You could also bring your swap fibers and get in a good hour of spinning on your shawl project. If something better pops up, you'll see it at the meeting!

Megan's already spun combo
Participating members had lots of fun at the last meeting selecting from the numerous one ounce balls of fiber. We had great participation and are certainly looking forward to the finished product at some point in the future. Don't worry, its not next month, lots of time to spin and knit or weave or crochet!

If you were not able to participate in the actual swap, you can still do your own thing by collecting 8 ounces of fiber from your own stash of braids. If you're not quite sure how this all works, take a look at the podcast ww watched at at the meeting:  On youtube look up "PassioKnit Spinner - Bonus episode 2 - Mixing fiber for a sweater combo spin"

 MINUTES:   JANUARY 31, 2018      7:00 P.M.

by Linda Burton
President Reba Siero called the meeting to order with 24 members present. There were no visitors or guests. 
Member’s announcements: Will Taylor distributed flyers for the Sacramento Weavers and Spinners Guild Open House and Sale, February 10-11, 2018, at the Shepard Garden and Arts Center, Sacramento, CA. Hours are 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Linda Van Heertum has fabric covered notebooks for free in the back. Pat Eisner has small portions of white fibers for free as well. Vilija had yarn to donate.
Treasurer: Pam Murdock announced the treasury has $7800 approximately.  Please recommend speakers or equipment or something else that could benefit the guild members. This is the intention of our treasury. Pam reported she had sent our membership list in to CNCH after our last formal meeting in November, 2017 along with a check.
CNCH Liaison: Joan Anderson reported on the H.A. Convergence in Reno, NV, July 6-12, 2018.
There are some classes open still. Our guild’s addition to the H.A. goodie bags will be the tube of lip lubricant. Vilija has designed the label and it will be printed and attached to the tubes by a commercial company. It was mentioned that T2T has not formulated and entered a Sheep to Shawl team, yet. Joan said that  the 2019 venue for the CNCH conference has been secured. It will be at the Sonoma State Campus near Rohnert Park, CA. Housing and meals, free parking, etc. make for an attractive site. This will be Joan’s major contribution to the 2019 planning. Joan will attend the upcoming liaison meetings. 
Annual Dye Day needs to be pulled together. We usually had a May date. This may be moved to an early June date.
Spinning at the Winery, 21st Anniversary: Will Taylor shared that Retzlaff Winery’s event coordinator, Salome, has reservations about our use of facilities the first weekend of June. Will and Kate conferred with her and it became apparent that the winery lost income due to our event instead of a June wedding reservation. Will offered more money by increasing the facility fee from $5/person to $10. Salome hinted that an increase would not be necessary if we would move the date, with an open date of May 19, being mentioned. Discussion followed and the date seemed acceptable. Vendors and CNCH web site will be notified so people get this change information early. Don’t forget the T-shirt challenge (Vilija has more, if needed) and the great raffle donations that bring so much into T2T’s treasury.
Future Meetings: We are lucky to have our last Wednesday of the month here, February, March and April, unless something changes unexpectedly.

Program: Participating members each brought 6 individual one ounce nests of wool that were placed in a single layer on a table. Participants made a circle and moved around the table continuously, taking 2 nests at a time until each had the number of nests equaling what they brought. Much laughing ensued. We watched a 30 minute podcast, passioknit spinner podcast, bonus episode 2, for instructions on how to mix our nests into spinnable colorways.

An update for the coming 21st Annual Spinning at the Winery:  Date change from the usual first Saturday of June to Saturday, May 19. Everything else remains the same. Put it on your calendar and try to get the word out about the date change.

Remember, this is our big event of the year, make something great for the raffle, volunteer to work at one of the jobs for the day, and still lots of time to create something great from last year's T-Shirts. Lots were ice-dyed, but any kind of "decor" or repurposing is encouraged. Three $50 prizes will be awarded. No criteria, do whatever.

Within the right hand column of this blog, are two new resources for us: California local, Valley Oak Wool & Fiber Mill. New, enthusiastic owner of the past  Yolo Wool Mill. She will not only clean and card a fleece, but also spin it into either a single or 2-ply if you have a minimum of 10 lbs. to give her.

Also, Gist Yarn & Fiber. A small online shop for well sourced yarns geared toward weavers. The owner buys from smaller mills, sometimes family owned businesses that produce quality yarns, including 8/2  unmercerized cotton grown and spun in the U.S.

If you have a resource you like, let me know about it!
Also, events for the Calendar below!

  • Feb. 28, Treadles Meeting at the Library
  • Mar. 28, Treadles Meeting at the Library
  • April 25, Treadles Meeting at the Library
  • May 19, 21st Annual Spinning at the Winery
  • Dye Day, date and theme [if any] still to be determined. Any input on this?

PAST MEMBER KARRIE is selling her Lendrum Wheel
 I am asking $700 for the wheel, all the heads, bands, bobbins and such. Additionally I’m including all the roving, fleece I have. 
Thank you so much for helping me. 

Unless you are one who goes up to the mountains for some snow, most of us Californians don't have much need for mittens. But in cold country they are a necessity, and who says they have to be totally utilitarian. So maybe not as useful to us as hand knit socks, mittens are fun to knit and decorate. [Don't correct me for spellings - this is a British magazine!]

Traditional mittens from Sweden; an excerpt from the Selvage "Hibernate" issue, no. 08
by Cia Wedin, images Anna Kern

Sweden is a cold country and from October to April the inhabitants wrap themselves in cosy wool. Young and old both prefer a nice pair of mittens to the modern glove. There are very few Swedes who are unacquainted with the good feeling of putting their hands into a pair of well fitted Lovikka mittens: they´re warm, soft, perhaps a bit clumsy but perfect for squeezing snowballs.

The Lovikka mitten originates from the Lovikka village in the valley of the Torne river, 100km
Lovikka Mitten
north of the Arctic Circle. Given the climate we trust the inhabitants to make a really warm mitten. The Lovikka mitten is usually white or grey and decorated with gorgeous rustique tufts. All Lovikka (a type of wool) products are manufactured in the region. The owners of the trade mark and the protection of design rests with, as it says on the label: 'we who work in Lovikka.'

Another beautiful mitten to be seen in Sweden is the traditional mitten of Sorunda; an area located in Södertörn, 50 km south of Stockholm. It’s crafted in a simple sleek design in white or black wool crowned with a single embroidered red or green flower. This special design has been passed down for centuries by women in Sorunda yet this sober, sparsely decorated mitten feels surprisingly contemporary. Today the survival of the Sorunda mitten is a major concern of The National Swedish Handicraft Council. Between 1981 and 1986 a crafts inventory was performed and as a result more than 2,000 handcrafted objects were documented in the households of the village, among them several antique Sorunda mittens. 
Sorunda mitten
Nalbinding - knotless netting

The Sorunda mitten is made using a technique of knotless netting especially suitable for rounded forms, like mittens and socks. Using a 10cm-long brass needle, the maker starts with the wrist, making loops upwards until the desired length is reached, concluding with the thumb. The mitten is made much too big, then shrunk in lukewarm water with lots of såpa; a soft soap made from pine trees. When rubbed against a washboard, the surface begins to felt. In Sweden this process is called 'valka' and as a result, the mitten can be formed on the hand. The yarn has to be made of 100% pure wool for this to happen and once felted, wool resists water well. Even if it gets wet it will still keep your hands warm, and the mittens will withstand many years of daily use. The Sorunda mitten is modest but with its superb fit and simple decoration, it has the natural elegance of a well made, functional item.

The stunning landscape of Värmland is known for its beautiful lakes and deep woods. Situated on the northwest border, next door to Norway, Värmland is where to find the Dalby mitten. Dalby mittens are rich with embroidery, each maker creating her own personal pattern. A collector can easily detect from which valley in Dalby a mitten originates, and sometimes can even tell who crafted it. A Dalby embroidery always includes roses, violets and forget-me-nots, and more than 100 different patterns have been documented. The thumb is decorated with an embroidered rosebud and the edge of the mitten has a crochet ending. 


Can I have four Dalby mittens to match my hat?

January 16, 2018


8 oz. Combo Shawl Swap

We need a fun guild project to get the New Year started, and this is a good one! Thanks Donna, for the idea.
  1. Pick out 2-4oz braids of fiber OR 8 oz total fiber. The fiber will be broken into 1oz bits, so it won’t really matter if you have whole braids to pull apart, or partial braids. (should be at least 50% wool and of good quality, please)
  1. Pull the fiber apart into 8-1oz bits. Set aside 2-1oz bits for yourself. Make little “nests” of each of the 6 1 oz bits bring them to the January Guild meeting.
  1. At the meeting we will put all the “nests” on a big table and take turns picking them one at a time until all are gone.  We should each have 6 oz of fiber to take home.
  1. Spin the bits anyway you want to – add to it if you like.
  1. Finished yarn and/or knitted (or woven) objects to be shared at a future guild meeting.
If you don't have a scale, there will be some available at the next two Monday Spins, and if all else fails, we will have some at the meeting for you to measure out one oz. pieces. [If you can bring a scale to the meeting, that would be helpful]

    There have been questions about this challenge. "Believe Me" this will be a fun project! 

  • colored or multi colored braid mixes are much more fun and add to the quirkiness of the finished piece. It won't be weird, it will all blend together in the end
  • that being said, adding in some solid colors, whether into the "mix" or on your own as a stripe when knitting or weaving can help to visually coordinate all the multi colors
  • each of your one oz. pieces will be divided up by you into several sections when you have all your full 8 ounces, and then randomly spun. It DOES all work out in the end. 
  • So, the object is NOT to spin the one oz. sections one after the other. but to mix them up into smaller sections
  • We will have a podcast that we will watch at the meeting which very clearly explains the whole concept. 
  • this is an amazing way to use up the 4 oz. braids you have picked up along the way with no idea of what to do with 4 oz. Six, seven or eight braids can be combined in this manner to spin enough yarn for a sweater. But Treadles is sticking to enough to create a good sized shawl. 
  • This is not difficult, so look thru your stash and participate in our challenge


  • Jan. 31, Treadles Meeting at the Library
  • Feb. 28, Treadles Meeting at the Library
  • Mar. 28, Treadles Meeting at the Library
  • April 25, Treadles Meeting at the Library

As you may or may not know, we don't have an official Program Chair for Treadles this year. Your input and assistance in getting something interesting for each meeting would be greatly appreciated. 

Treadles' Sheep Herd for 2017
If you begin your's now for 2018, you'll have plenty of time!

By Popular Demand
Doris had a luscious corn spoon bread at the holiday party which pleased all of us. She is kindly sharing her recipe:

1 box Jiffy corn bread mix
3 eggs
I stick butter (melted)
I can creamed corn
1 can corn (half drained)
2 small cans 4 oz. of diced green chilies like Ortega brand. I like using one mild, one hot.
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese ( I like 3)
8oz of sour cream
One small onion diced 

Brown onions with chilies. Mix everything in a bowl and bake in a 9 x13 Pyrex for 1 hour at 350°
This can be tweaked with add-ins like ham or bacon, serve with salsa, maybe mushrooms or bell peppers browned with onions...

4 Harness Gilmore Loom for Sale
For more detailed information, contact Ann and Ed Arnold at 209-526-2518.  



November 15, 2017

NEXT MEETING: NOV. 29, 2017, 7 PM


Stephany Wilkes (info about Stephany at http://westbymidwest.me/?page_id=2)

Sheep Shearing Stories

This topic focuses on sheep themselves, the shearing (wool removal) process, and what happens immediately after a shearing (how the wool is handled and where it goes next). Major points include differences in sheep breeds, appropriate climate, and the fibers they produce; sheep health, basic sheep care and well being; a walk through of a humane shearing process and why it’s designed the way it is; basic sheep handling and anatomy; presentation of shearing tools and proper attire; and funny stories from the farm (including sheep escapes and more). Raw wool samples from a variety of breeds are included.


  • Nov. 29. Treadles meeting "Stephany Wilkes, Sheep Shearing Stories"
  • Various Fibershed events and classes this fall http://www.fibershed.com/events/list/
  • Dec. 9 Treadles' Annual Holiday Luncheon. 11 am. Vilija's house. Hand made lamb ornament exchange. Bring a dish to share for lunch.
  • Jan. 31. Treadles meeting at the Library

CNCHnet Winter 2017 had the history of Treadles printed. Since I wrote it, I feel free to include it here in our blog for anyone who never goes to the CNCH website!


A chance meeting in 1990 between a spinner, Patrick McGinnis, and a member of Diablo Weavers, Naomi Holt, began the legacy of what became our guild — Treadles to Threads. Just a few spinners at first, meeting at each others homes occasionally, to share spinning knowledge, wool, and trying out each others’ wheels, was soon organized into monthly meetings to have “Show & Tell”, continued shared expertise, invited guests and speakers and teaching others their craft.

By February of 1991, we published our first newsletter and began to make plans to join CNCH. This very casual group then needed to develop By-Laws and to actually have “officers”. We came up with the following officers list: Shepherd [president], Sheep Dog [Vice President], Shearer [Treasurer], Little Bo Peep [Hostess], Rumplestilskin [Programs and Special Events Chair].

Dues were only enough to pay for the newsletter, and if a paid speaker was invited, those who attended that particular meeting shared the cost. Officers were to hold their position till they no longer wanted it. Ah, those were the days!

Today, a bit more organized, the Guild is still a very inclusive and casual group. Treadles is still primarily a group of spinners with spinning related programs. One by one, however, many of our members have also been drawn over to the “Dark Side” by becoming weavers with actual looms. All the better to use up all that hand spun.

Through the years the Guild has often been invited to participate at public fiber arts demonstrations, to local schools to teach the children about spinning, and to various local museums. The Contra Costa County Fair was always a great place to put up a yearly booth and sit and demonstrate our craft to visitors. 

Special projects over time have included;
Web Slingers West Sheep to Shawl team, 2002
  • Spinning at the Winery at Retzlaff Winery in Livermore. 2017 was the 20th anniversary of this popular event.
  • Seminars and workshops on Hemp even before it became popular
  • Wool studies of many breeds of sheep with the latest being a year long study of “Rare and Endangered Breeds of Sheep”
  • Annual Dye Days held in SPRING after we finally realized that no matter what summer day we picked it always turned out to be the hottest day of summer.
  • Sheep to Shawl competitions with our team “Web Slingers West”
  • Handmade sheep ornament exchange every December
  • Hand-spun Flax to Linen Towel, a project we’ve now done twice. The first time one weaver wove all the participants linen into towels [14 of them} The second time each spinner wove their own on a loom set up at Walnut Creek’s Civic Arts Weaving Studio.
  • Monday Spinning. Anyone who can, comes every Monday to spin, talk, drink tea and teach newbies to spin.
  • The Will & Kate Project. Almost every member donated hand spun to weave a thank-you afghan for Will and Kate Taylor for being our “Shepherds” for many years.

The most vast and rewarding project was the Guild’s participation in the “Knitting Project for Victims of War in Former Yugoslavia” in 1995. All yarn collected on a National basis throughout the U.S.A. was distributed by the International Rescue Committee to women’s groups in refugee camps and collective centers. 

It was hoped the knitting could help ease the frustration of the long, idle hours many were enduring during the war. Withe a shortage of yarn, it was said women would un-ravel what they had knit the day before just to have something to do.

Treadles collected over 600 pounds of donated yarn. Only full, new skeins could be sent, so members spent many hours skeining good yarns and adding new labels so that it looked brand new. 

150 pounds of that yarn was shipped by the Croatian Catholic Church of San Jose to the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women located in Massachusetts. The rest was the responsibility of Treadles’ treasury. Glimakra Looms/Unicorn Books graciously offered to ship through their shipping agent which would save us 45%. The Guild did make a plea for donations and the local community responded.
600 pounds of yarn set to go. 1995.
JoAnn Bronzan, second from left, 
organised the project.
The donated yarn could be used by the women for personal use or for knitted goods to sell. During a visit by a volunteer from the Women’s Commission to a refugee site, one of the women there said she had knitted 30 pair of socks in the past week, from some of the donated yarn, to sell. When asked how she could knit so many, she replied matter-of-factly, “My daughter needs new shoes.”
CNCH Conference  Monterey1995.
Conference isn't just for seminars and workshops!

Several of our charter members and early members are still active in the Guild which speaks to the casual and helpful nature of the people in this group. We really like what we do, and we really like each other as people.

Diablo Weavers has an exhibit on display at the Orinda Library in Orinda for the month of November. There are several members of Treadles who belong to both our spinner's guild and to the weaver's guild. If you're in the area, stop in and take a look at the weavings on display.


This tea cozy would be nice made in the natural colors of some of the samples of our handspun wool from the Endangered Sheep project from last year. Or actually any small bits of yarn you have laying around. It would make a terrific Christmas Gift for someone, or even for yourself. The pattern is a free download from Lion Brand Yarns.


 20 sts + 26 rows = about 4 in. (10 cm) over Garter Rib.
Match your yarns to whatever needle size you need. 


kfb (knit into front and then back)

An increase worked as follows:
1. Knit the next st through the front loop, but do not remove the st from your left hand needle.
2. Knit the same st once more, this time inserting your needle through the back loop of the st. You will have created 2 loops (sts) on your right hand needle.
3. Drop the st from your left hand needle – you have increased 1 st.

M1 (make 1) An increase worked by lifting horizontal thread lying between needles and placing it onto left needle. Knit this new stitch through the back loop – 1 st increased.

sk2p (slip­k2tog­pass slipped st over) 

A double decrease worked as follows:
1. Insert right needle as if to knit, and slip the next st from the left needle to the right needle.
2. Knit the next 2 sts together.
3. With tip of left needle, lift the slipped st (the 2nd st on right needle) up and over the k2tog (first st on right needle) and off the needle – you have decreased 2 sts.

French Knot Thread needle and bring from back to front through knitted piece. Wrap yarn around needle 3 times, insert needle back into knitted piece close to where it emerged. Tighten knot.


Garter Rib (worked over a multiple of 4 sts + 2 additional sts) Row 1 (RS): Knit.
Row 2: *P2, k2; rep from * to last 2 sts, p2.
Rep Rows 1 and 2 for Garter Rib.

K2, p2 Rib (worked over a multiple of 4 sts + 2 additional sts) Row 1: K2, *p2, k2; rep from * to end of row.
Row 2: K the knit sts and p the purl sts.
Rep Row 2 for K2, p2 Rib.

1. Two pieces are worked in simple stitches to create a stretchy Cozy. 
2. Pieces are seamed, leaving openings for tea spout and handle.
3. Flowers and Leaves are made separately, then sewed to top of Cozy.

COZY (make 2)
Cast on 38 sts.
Work in K2, p2 Rib for 6 rows.
Change to Garter Rib and work until piece measures about 5 in. (13 cm) from beg, end with a WS row as the last row you work.
Work in K2, p2 Rib for 2 rows.
Shape Top
Next Row Decrease (RS): *K2, p2tog; rep from * to last 2 sts, k2 – at the end of this row you will have 29 sts.
Next 3 Rows: K the knit sts and p the purl sts.
Next Row Decrease (RS): *K2tog, p1; rep from * to last 2 sts, k2tog ­ 19 sts.
Next Row: K the knit sts and p the purl sts.
Rep last row until piece measures about 7 in. (18 cm) from beg.
Cut yarn, leaving a long yarn tail.
Thread tail through remaining sts and pull to gather.
Knot securely.

LEAVES (make 6 )
Cast on 9 sts.
Rows 1, 3 and 5 (RS): K3, sk2p, k3 – you will have 7 sts at the end of this row. Rows 2 and 4: K1, M1, k2, p1, k2, M1, k1 – 9 sts.
Row 6: K3, p1, k3.
Row 7: K2, sk2p, k2 – 5 sts.
Row 8: K2, p1, k2.
Row 9: K1, sk2p, k1 – 3 sts.
Row 10: K1, p1, k1.
Row 11: Sk2p.
Fasten off rem st.

FLOWERS (make 7,  
Cast on 6 sts.
Row 1 (RS): Knit.
Row 2 and all WS Rows: Purl.
Rows 3, 5 and 7: Kfb across – at the end of Row 7, you will have 48 sts.
Bind off and cut yarn, leaving a long tail.
Twist piece to form a spiral flower shape. Thread yarn tail into blunt needle, then sew a few sts to secure the spiral, knot securely.

Sew the 2 Cozy pieces together at one side, beginning at lower edge and sewing for about 1 1/2 in. (4 cm). Leave next 3 1/2 in. (9 cm) unsewn, then sew remainder of side closed. 
Rep on opposite side.

Sew Flowers to top of Cozy by embroidering 3 French knots with contrast color yarn on each Flower, working through center of Flower and through top of Cozy.
Sew Leaves as desired around Flowers.
Weave in ends.

k = knit
k2tog = knit 2 together
p = purl
p2tog = purl 2 together
rep = repeat(s)(ing)
st(s) = stitch(es)