May 22, 2016


June 4, 2016

10 am to 4 pm
Retzlaff Winery, 1356 N. Livermore Ave. Livermore
$5 entry per person

Our 19th annual day of spinning and fun. See more info in previous blog. Following is the work schedule that Joan has been collecting volunteers for.

From Joan:
This will be your reminder of what you signed up for.  IF you didn't sign up but are coming, please email me at and tell me what you would like to do.  You can see there are some holes.  Remember what our guild reaps from this fundraiser.  It helps pay for workshops, speakers and has provided funds to purchase the electric carders, rigid heddle looms, DVDs and other tools that we can all use at no charge.

1. Reba
2. Linda Burton
3. Wendy Lacy
4. Carolyn Blumert

1.Pam Murdock
2. Carol Causey

Entry Fee/Greeters
9-10 Joan Setka
10-11 Cathi Till
11-12 Mary-Helen
12-1 Linnie
1-2 Greta

Parking Attendant (last year Retzlaff had parking attendants, not sure about this year)
9-10 Mary Bishop
10-11 Vilija

Food Table (9am until clean-up)  You do not need to be at the tables the whole time.
Lunch starts about 11:45 with vendors served.  Separate plates, set out and uncover food.  Clean up the area as needed.
Coordinator: Kathy Schwarz

Raffle Ticket Sales and Raffle Items Table
Help Kate set up items, attaching tags.  Vendors are to donate an item and there will be premade tags for each vendor so we know who has not donated.  Bring your items at this time.

Helpers for set-up for raffle items
9-10 Vilija
10-11 Sultana
11-12 Lisa Waterman
12-1 Carol Causey
1-2 Donna Schutt

Raffle Ticket Sales
1. Carolyn Blumert
2.Kathleen Wiley
1. Donna Schutt
2. Doris Bergman
1. Carol Gray
2. Sultana
1. Doris Bergman

Sales Table Bags 
1. Marianne Adams
1. Anne Degler
2. Linda VH
1. Pam
2. Roxayn
1. Jenny
1. Linnie
2. Rosemary Bennett

Thanks for your help.  I see some signed up for more than one shift.  Thank you, thank you!  We will all have fun, eat good food, shop well, drink good wine and visit with friends and oh yes, spin!

DYE DAY RECAP with Mary Finley and Roger Salter of Dreamy Goat Designs
Mary demonstrating what the first steps are to working with cochineal.

The dried scale insect called cochineal

 Red was the color of the day and we all went home with four different color samples of cochineal red. Although dyeing with cochineal is a 2 or 3 day process, Mary Finley had the scale insects already prepared and ready to accept fiber. There were two baths to begin with: one for fiber mordanted with tartaric acid and one without. The tartaric acid produced a vibrant red orange, while the one without produced a deep purple red. 

The first batch of cochineal without tartaric acid

After the first batches of wool [BFL] were taken out, another batch of wool was added to what color was left in the dyepots. The second batch with tartaric acid gave a lovely deep coral, while the other gave a very pale lavender. On this one the stove we were using gave out before the batch could rise to the 180 degrees to 200 degrees that the pot has to maintain for a full hour. So the color did not take as vividly as it should have. 

If we had time remaining, more wool could have been added to successive batches for ever lighter colors. We learned that cochineal gives lots and lots of color. No wonder it was so prized in the days before chemical dyes. 

We have no photos of the finished, dried wool yet because as per Mary's instructions we are to let it air dry, then store away from sunlight for about a month and then wash the fiber. Its not a requirement to let the fiber cure that long, but its Mary's recommendation. This gives the color a good "set" and will result in less color washing off. Another really important thing we learned about successful cochineal dyeing.

Roger working the carder.   Note to us:  don't let your fingers get that close to the drums!!! Roger knows what he is capable of doing here and can take leeways.

Roger Salter, Mary's husband, was on hand to demonstrate how he makes all the lovely batts of carded fiber Mary dyes. He had a Patrick Green carder with a pretty big drum on it with teeth that are much shorter than the teeth on the two Clemes & Clemes carders that the Guild has. 
A sample of some of the batts Roger was demoing.

His technique is all about how colors work together. He mostly approaches his carder as a blank canvas on which to play with how the fiber colors he chooses will interact.  It was interesting watching how he adds some fibers to the drum, rather on his own terms and not what everyone tells you is the right way to do it!
A particularly beautiful batt Roger made with natural colored yak and silk with some bits of pink mohair locks mixed in. [I think it was mohair locks, but I'm not really sure!]

Mary has a very important event which will take her out of California during our Spinning at the Winery, so we will miss them this year. They have offered to come again to our Guild next season for a Trunk Show. We will have to take them up on that. 

She is still running her on-line dye class with cochineal and madder root coming up June 1 through July 31. And indigo coming up Aug. 1 through Sept. 30. If you want more info, contact her thru:

Do you know the song "Soft Kitty" from Big Bang Theory? Here's a new version for us! Just in time to see the vendors at the Winery!

May 4, 2016

DYE DAY - MAY 21 2016

Call for Dye Day

Like Red? This is Your Day

There are still openings for the 2016 Dye Day to be held on May 21!! This is a special opportunity to learn from one of the best independent dyers in Northern California using natural dyes.

If you have ever had the pleasure of spinning the yummy fibers of Dreamy Goat Fibers, you will understand how special this day will be. Both Mary Finley and Roger Salter of Dreamy Goat Designs will be leading activities on this day.
 Mary will be teaching us to dye using cochineal bugs to get gorgeous reds in different shades and Roger will be demonstrating and leading you in color blending on a carder or blending board.  Two workshops run simultaneously!!

The guild is subsidizing about half the cost of this day (out of Winery proceeds) and there is a small registration fee of $25.

Sign up by contacting Pam Murdock at . You will receive further information once you register. This registration is limited to 30 participants, so don’t delay!!

Look at all the wonderful reds possible from Cochineal

We would like this to be exclusively for Treadles members, but if we still have openings by the end of next week, we will open this workshop up to non-members [at an increased fee]

Some great inspiration for using your cochineal yarns:

What beautiful socks with just a bit of different cochineal reds

A nice rustic runner to weave on a loom or rigid heddle

A riot of cochineal reds scarf

Cochineal combined with logwood purple in a knit hat


Save June 4th for our NINETEENTH ANNUAL day of fiber, wine and fun.

Retzlaff Winery in Livermore will once again host this terrific event put on by our Guild. Bring a friend, your wheel, your knitting, a lunch dish to share and get ready for relaxing among fiber friends from all over the Bay Area.

Vendors will be there as usual for our shopping pleasure to help stock up our stashes of fiber.

This is our major fund raiser for the year and it helps to fund our programs to make them as affordable as we can for members. This is the time of year we ask for something back. Think about what you can make as one of our raffle prizes. There have been lots of quality give-aways in the past year and we hope to equal that again.

Entry fees go to the winery as payment for the beautiful space. The proceeds from the raffle are what we get to keep for our Guild. So if you don't already have something made, please plan on making something by June 4th.

There is a sign-up sheet with jobs that need to be done on that day, so don't forget what you signed up for. "Many hands make light work" Still time for signing up an hour or two of work. Contact

June 4, 2016
10 am to 4 pm
Retzlaff Winery, 1356 N. Livermore Ave. Livermore

$5 entry per person


Alameda County Fair invited spinners to come and sit and Spin while people watch and ask questions. Location of the Alameda County Fairgrounds:  4501 Pleasanton Ave, Pleasanton, CA 94566
June 15th from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm Wed;
June 17th from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm Fri; and
June 21st from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm Tues.

If you can come at any of these times send a message to Cookie48 on Ravelry. Type in that name under "people" and you can then send her a message. They would like to keep track to make sure all time slots will be covered.

YES!  I AM going to weave something for the Winery Raffle!

April 13, 2016

NEXT MEETING: April, 26, 2016, 7 PM


The last of our Sheep Breed Studies:

Gotland Sheep by Pam M.
Wensleydale Sheep by Pat E.
Icelandic by Lisa W.
Norwegian by Mary Helen B.

Speaking of the sheep of Norway, there is an interesting article online that should be of interest to us spinners, No Wool No Vikings - The Fleece That Launched 1000 Ships by Claire Eamer

Today, boats such as this recreated Viking ship, sport linen sails
Photo by Claire Eamer from Hakai Magazine online
Claire recounts a recent trip aboard the Braute, a Viking style recreated ship. She talks not just about the cold, difficult day journey itself, but also what it took in ancient times to create the sails for the ships.

As recently as 200 years ago, the square sails of some of the Viking ships were most likely woolen - dense cloth of handspun wool, "woven on looms in their small dark cottages. . . Outfitting a single warship might have required the wool of 1000 sheep."

Read the full article at:

April is our last official meeting for this year. In May we have Dye Day, in June there is Spinning at the Winery. July sometimes has a get together, sometimes not. August is the first official meeting for our next year.

Think about taking on President and Program Chair. These are really the two most critical offices needing new people. With out a Program Chair or Program Committee, there will be no programs for the coming year. A committee is a good way to go if no one can take on the whole job. Not every month needs to have a specific guest speaker. There are some very good videos that we own that have not been viewed yet.

But, we need some one or some ones to do the planning.

  • Apr. 26, Treadles Meeting [date change - TUESDAY night]
  • May 21, Dye Day - With Dreamy Goat Design. Check the previous newsletter for more information.
  • June 4,  SPINNING AT THE WINERY, annual spinning day at Retzlaff Winery, Livermore
  • June 17 - 19,  Palouse Fiber Arts Festival, Moscow Idaho. To get info on this fun looking fest you will need to sign in to get their newsletter at:
  • June 24 - 26  Black Sheep Gathering, Eugene, Oregon. All the info you need is in the column to the right

CNCH 2016
posted by Vilija
A handwoven basketry flower cart for Modesto's theme:
From Field to Fiber

The conference in Modesto has come and gone, and as usual, it was fun for those who went. There were some interesting classes and interesting vendors. The committee that put on the conference worked hard, as there is always lots to do, plan, and execute. Two full years of work. A load of thanks to everyone: chairs, committees and volunteers who made it possible.

As Liaison for Treadles, I attended the Liaison meeting. It was announced that the registration for the conference was 224 people. This was fewer than expected and the budget will be tight. Actually, the whole CNCH budget is expected to have a shortfall for the next few years. In my mind, the question becomes, "Is the tremendous amount of work that it takes a group of volunteers to put together a conference that is only attended by a minority of the weavers of Northern California actually worth the effort?"

handwoven doll "mascot"

  • We all want it to be affordable, Modesto really tried to do that. 
  • We want convenience, such as having the hotel and classes or conference center connected. Modesto was like that, but the cost for such facilities is becoming over what CNCH is capable of supporting. This may be the last time we have that. 
  • We want lots of great vendors. But why should they keep coming when we only provide them with such a small audience. Its just too expensive and not worth it for them. There were comments from some that they can't do it any more. 

Part of the "Field to Fiber" gallery - hand spun

Without the monetary support of many participants, how can we continue to expect conferences to continue? Guilds across the board have a hard time getting its own participants to take on Guild office positions, let alone finding volunteers to put on a conference.

2017 will be held at Asilomar and is being put on by our area. There are still volunteers needed for that committee.
Part of a display of many different, unusual fibers in one booth.
This is Kudzu. Did you know it can be spun into a weave-able fiber?

The "Return to Sender" skeins, with the "Return of Return" crammed
onto the right side corner of the table. Not positive, but I think 5 of the 6 entries are Treadles'
Stephanie Gausted's hand spun, hand woven cotton blouse

Hand woven Yaks! Don't even ask how many shafts on a loom this takes.

BUACHAILLE  [pronounced "bough - shell", as far as I can tell]
Yes, we should be thinking exclusively of North American sheep and wool. But, its also a lot of fun to seek out fiber globally, especially when its from the British Isles. So this is not any kind of paid advertisement, just a fun song written for a wonderful knitwear designer, about her wool! 

Buachaille is the Scottish Gaelic term for herdsman or shepherd and is the name chosen by knitwear designer Kate Davies for her own line of Scottish wool. She has it available in 7 dyed colors and 3 natural fleece colors. Kate has her own fan club on Ravely and her Ravelry name is WAZZ. Her website is 

Her friend, Felicity Ford, wrote The Buachaille Song in which the refrain is:
Because Buachaille is amazing!
Oh it makes me want to weep;
from Kate Davies website

It's made of love it's made of mountains,
And it comes from proper sheep.

I thought anything that comes from "proper sheep" warranted a listen. You can find the whole song on Kate's website above. Search for the March 24, 2016 entry, or just The Buachaille Song.


March 16, 2016


Jen carrying a back full of dried peas

Jen is currently pursuing a Master's degree in textiles at UC Davis. One of her projects took her to the other side of the world to a women's group in the Himalayas. Her presentation will focus on the natural dye experiments they did there and the spinning and weaving traditions of the region.

No Sheep Breed presentation from our members this month.

Natural dyed wool drying in the Himalayas

  • Mar. 30, Treadles Meeting
  • April 8, 9, 10. CNCH Conference in Modesto [all info is on line at the link to the right] 
  • Apr. 26, Treadles Meeting [date change - TUESDAY night]
  •  May 21, Dye Day - With Dreamy Goat Design. Check the previous newsletter for more information.
  • June 4,  SPINNING AT THE WINERY, annual spinning day at Retzlaff Winery, Livermore
  • June 17 - 19,  Palouse Fiber Arts Festival, Moscow Idaho. To get info on this fun looking fest you will need to sign in to get their newsletter at:
  • June 24 - 26  Black Sheep Gathering, Eugene, Oregon. All the info you need is in the column to the right


From T2T member Sultana:
You can't click "here" [above] to go to the website. Go to 

From Lou Grantham:
Lou's shop, San Francisco Fiber, is open and waiting for your visit. Lots of us have had classes from her, and she continues now in her own space.

Shop Announcements:
SF Fiber now has over 30 colors of the Maysville 8/4 Carpet Warp and 34 colors of the Jason Collingwood Rug Yarn from Webs are on their way, along with the 8/5 linen warp.
With our new Webs (Valley Fibers) wholesale account we will be adding more cone cotton, tencel, bamboo, and Toika Loom products.
Looking for a used loom? I have a lovely 40” Classic 4 harness Cherry Norwood 40" with bench $1200, a Hammett 45" counter balance rug loom $500, and few more that I haven’t quite decided on yet.

Because of my travel schedule, I am still open by appointment. But appointments can be easy and spontaneous, as I live just 3 minutes walking from the shop.

I will have 3 booths at CNCH (April8-10). In addition to my regular supplies, I will be selling Borgs and other yarns from Unicorn Books (which is now out of business) and lots of used equipment at great discounts. *Kate Codwell will be joining my CNCH booth with her Mayan Hand products.

The link to my updated class list for San Francisco Fiber studio for March 2016.

If you are interested in taking a class, send me an email with the name of the class in the subject line and I will put you on the class list. If the dates do not work for you, let me know what does and we can created a pop-up class.

Meet The Sheep at Meridian Jacobs
Saturday, April 2
10:00 to 4:00
Visit with the sheep that provide the fiber we all love! Lambs, kids (goats), and bunnies to pet!  Farm Club members will be here to answer questions. Fiber arts demonstrations all day.

Meridian Jacobs Shop is Open
Fiber Confections (Colleen Simon) - Local Fiber
Julie Kuroki - Local Angora fiber products; ARBA show/4H/pet quality French Angoras
Sheep to Shop (Jackie Post) - Local Fiber  

Bring your lunch and a project and spend the day with us and our four-legged fiber friends. We'll be here rain or shine!  In the event of rain (we'll celebrate this year!) there will be plenty of space for spinning and visiting with animals in the barn. 

Website with info and directions:

Especially so in  many areas of the world where weavers often have to produce their own yarns from their local resources. Following are three terrifically interesting websites to visit not only if you are one of us who is "into" weaving, but should be of interest to us spinners also.

A video of some incredible back strap weaving using a complex set of supplementary heddle strings and rods.

A bloggers entry about a visit to a silk worm farm:

Laverne Waddington, raised in Australia but has been living in South America teaching English since 1993. "I have learned to weave on a backstrap loom and other simple looms with several indigenous women and men throughout the region…Peru, Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador… in both the highlands and lowlands, and further afield in Guatemala. I have also had the opportunity to study with Vietnamese and Burmese backstrap weavers in the USA".

A must see blog with references to all phases of backstop weaving.
Laverne's weaving

A gathering of weavers from the Andes and Lowlands in Santa Cruz, Bolivia
But first, the wool must be spun!
[both photos are from Laverne's website]

In honor of this month's PI DAY, , , hope you had some pie to go with pi!

February 11, 2016

NEXT MEETING: FEB 24, 2016 7pm

Black Welsh Mountain Sheep with Reba
Cotswold Sheep with Carol Grey
Finn Sheep with Kathy Dowel

Last month we had lots of info on four different breeds in our Sheep Breed Study that we never got around to showing Judith MacKenzie's video on The Evolution of Wool. So it has been postponed once again. We'll have it on hand and one of these month's there will be time to view it. Meanwhile, we continue with our very interesting studies of the breeds we have for this year long study.

Dates to remember:
  • March 5,  Early bird registration deadline
  • March 26,  Last day to cancel your registration
  • March 1,  Deadline for Fashion Show entry form
  • March 11,  Deadline for Gallery entry forms
  • March 18,  Last day to send in Return to Sender skein and entry form and $5
  • March 18,  Last day to send in Return of Return to Sender creation and entry form and $5 
  • April 8,   Gallery deliveries to conference site, 9am to 1 pm
Treadles members can bring in their skeins for Return to Sender and finished projects for Return of Return to Sender to the February meeting to all be sent in together. Treadles will pay the entry fee of $5 for each Return to Sender skein for all those that bring them to this meeting. Please bring a $5 entry fee for your Return of Return from the 2014 Return entry. If you don't have them at the meeting, you will be responsible to send in your own items and the entry fees. Joan will have extra entry forms for those who have lost theirs.

If you plan on sending in a Return of Return to Sender item, please notify Carol Marsh, by March 11 if you plan on entering this gallery. Also note if you want your entry judged.


T2T’s annual Dye Day will be Saturday, May 21 in Walnut Creek. From mid morning thru the afternoon.

Dreamy Goat Design [Mary and Roger] will be the leaders of this year’s dye day. Demos will include:
  • color blending and working with mixed fiber on an electric carder [we should all see this to work on T2T’s electric carders]
  • dyeing with cochineal and getting four different colors in the red range.
Participants will all end up with 2 oz. of the dyed wool [Blue Faced Leicester top] to take home. 1/2 oz of each color. There will be a nominal fee for this one day workshop which will be announced later.

  • Feb. 24, Treadles Meeting
  • Mar. 30, Treadles Meeting
  • March 23 - 25, Civic Arts class with Jason Collingwood, more info below
  • April 8, 9, 10. CNCH Conference in Modesto [all info is on line at the link to the right] If you were an early bird registrant right when they opened at 9 am Jan. 3rd, check your receipt to see if you are truly registered. If your receipt has the word "test", you are not registered and should re-register. Also let CNCH know about it. 
  • Apr. 26, Treadles Meeting [date change - TUESDAY night]
  •  May 21, Dye Day - With Dreamy Goat Design
  • June 4,  SPINNING AT THE WINERY, annual spinning day at Retzlaff Winery, Livermore
  • June 17 - 19,  Palouse Fiber Arts Festival, Moscow Idaho. To get info on this fun looking fest you will need to sign in to get their newsletter at:
  • June 24 - 26  Black Sheep Gathering, Eugene, Oregon. All the info you need is in the column to the right


Beginning April 1, Dreamy Goat Design Studio will be starting a series of online study groups focusing on one natural dyestuff at at time.  Each group will last two months.  You'll work at home and set your own schedule, but all the while you'll have ongoing help from me with my forty years of experience plus the interaction of all the other participants.

As planned now, there will be a total of five consecutive study groups throughout the year, each one independent and by invitation only.  If you’d like to know more details, please reply soon.  I will then forward to you an admittedly long-winded email that fills you in on the plan and hopefully answers all your questions.

I'm very excited about all of this--and hope you are too! I look forward to hearing from you. Contact Mary Finley at:


From the Civic Arts Weaving Studio: We’re excited to be hosting Jason Collingwood for another weaving workshop this year on March 23 – 25 from 9:00am – 4:00pm.  We hope you’ll join us by registering today!  You can either register by phone 925.943.5846 or online:

More about the workshop:
Weaving Workshop with Jason Collingwood
March 23 – 25, 2016, Studio H
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, 9:00am – 4:00pm
(from his website) Jason Collingwood has over 29 years of experience as a professional rug weaver and produced 1000’s of rugs for corporate and individual clients the world over.  In addition to designing and weaving, Jason spends 3-4 months each year teaching at various art schools in America, Australia, Canada and Europe.  This has led to Jason having his own brand of rug wool in America as well as instructional publications.

This Spring, Jason will be teaching a 2/2 twill workshop.  This course will include straight twill, broken twill and twill on opposites.  Within the above three structures, many two and three color sequences will be explored, each giving crossed wefts (parallel and contrary motion); and clasped wefts will be applied to 2/2 twill, further increasing the design possibilities.  Pick-up and 3/1 double faced twill will also be explored.  This class will also include some work with shaft switching, students learning how to adapt their own looms.


The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will open again on May 14 after a 3-year rebuilding project. One of the exhibits which should be a must see for all us spinners and felters will be an exhibit of the felt work of Claudy Jongstra [Studio Claudy Jongstra,]

The Dutch artist, Claudy, creates art
Claudy Jongstra
pieces and architectural installations from hand felted materials. "The beauty of nature, raw materials and the exploration of crafts such as spinning, carding and weaving constantly inspire Jongstra to bring a sense of beauty and belonging to public spaces." Her work and life are inspired by stewardship, the promotion of bio-diversity, and the preservation of a natural and cultural heritage. She and her studio team raise their own sheep, keep bees, cultivate a botanical garden and grow their own plants for dyes.

Some of her dyed  Drenthe Sheep wool

Her flock of sheep are the rare Drenthe Heath Sheep, Europe's oldest breed.  Go onto the web site and peruse all the beautiful photos not only of her studio's works, but also her flock of sheep, how they dye, and her gardens. Be sure to click on "next post" at the bottom of the pages to see more details.


photos from the Solitude website
A brand new vendor at the CNCH Conference this year will be Solitude Wool from Virginia. Solitude Wool creates small batch, breed specific wool yarns from fleeces they hand select and buy direct from small American Farms. They do their own dyeing with natural botanicals or weak acid dyes Breeds they work with include: Alpaca/Merino, Border Leicester, Coopworth, Cotswold, Clun Forest, Icelandic, Karakul, Montadale, North Country Cheviot, Romney, Targhee and Tunis. They also produce roving for spinners. Just another great reason to come to conference, if just for the day.


"Between 1996 and 2000, more than 26,000 sheep growers went out of business in the United States. . 'Ninety percent of wool in this country is sent overseas, and cleaned overseas, and brought back.'. . [Right now wool sells for] $0.50 per pound, which . . doesn't go very far when you consider that the costs associated with raising sheep, from animal feed to vet bills to paying the shearer, have all gone up. 'It just doesn't pay.'"

"Those who work in the wool industry , either as sheep growers, or wool producers, do so because they are passionate about it. It is a labor of love.. . Today, wool producers in North America are struggling. . .There are customers who appreciate and will pay extra to work with locally [American and Canadian]  sourced wools. . But are there enough of them to support the industry? Not yet."

". . .buying enough local wool for a large project might be too expensive for some people. . [Try] a small project using North American wool. 'No matter what our budgets, . . we have to support industries that we don't want to see disappear, to the degree that we can.'"

The above is excerpted from a very interesting article by Hypatia Francis, "How the West Was Wooled" in the Twist Collective. It is a series of 3 articles finishing in the latest issue. You can click onto the Twist Collective to the right.

When we support the North American vendors who come to our conferences, the local vendors who come to our Spinning at the Winery event, when we care enough to ask "Where was this wool grown and processed, and by-the-way, what Breed is it from?', we are beginning to do our part to help our passion survive. Some of us even know the name of the sheep that our wool came from! How great is that!

"Tribal Weavings of the Lesser Sunda Islands"
In Eastern Indonesia, the islands stretch eastward beyond Bali

From David and Sue Richardson:
We are pleased to announce the launch of a new website - Asian Textile Studies – designed for those with a serious interest in traditional hand-woven textiles.

We have been working on this material for the last few years and have just uploaded the first pages, which focus on the subject of natural dyeing. Much more content will be added over time. We hope this will be of interest to members of your group. Please take a look, and share this among the wider textile community.
Log onto the site below to explore this new website.

I looked and was mesmerized by the information they are logging on. The weavings from these island chains are incredible. There is information about cotton growing, spinning, dyeing and weaving.

They are also booking an amazing sail boat trip thru the area, 12 days of what are sure to be terrific experiences. Its $6500 per person, so get your lottery ticket now. Fun to look at anyway. Their website has been added to our blog info on the right so you can keep track if you are interested.

our 2015 sheep from the Christmas exchange
[all locally sourced]

January 12, 2016


PLEASE NOTE: The next meeting is on a Monday rather than our usual last Wednesday of the month. Every other night, except Friday, was booked that week at the library. Hope your schedule will fit in this change. Hard to complain since we get the room for free!

THE EVOLUTION OF WOOLUnderstanding Fleece from Mountain Goat to Merino
with Judith MacKenzie [sadly not in person, but in a great DVD Video]

We had to post-pone viewing this last October, so we will be viewing it this month. In addition, there will be more presentations from our members in the Sheep Breed Study. On tap this month is: Cheviot by Laura & Carolyn, Shetland Mooritt by Wendy, Manx Loughton by Carol C., and Masham by Donna Schutt. Anyone not present last time, pick up your samples from the last meeting at this meeting.

For anyone new, our breed study this year is of fairly rare breeds of sheep, most of whom are in need of some tender loving care to keep the breeds going. Look back over the past few blogs for more info about this. Its not about looking for the super softest wool, its about keep breed diversity alive and well.

If you'e like many of us, the new year brings on renewing and refreshing yourself, and that includes the ever growing stash of whatever it is you have. At this meeting we will have a couple tables set up for "FREE" and "CHEAP". If you need an impetus to cull out some stuff related to our craft, bring it in. Perhaps someone else can actually use it. And remember, there is no selling in the Library room, so any exchanges of actual money needs to be done between yourselves off the premises. 

MINUTES from our Secretary, Linda B.
NOVEMBER 19, 2015, 7:00 P.M. THURMAN CASEY LIBRARY, WALNUT CREEK, CA President Laura Hansen thanked Wendy for heading up the October meeting. 

CNCH liaison, Joan Anderson offered hard copies of the program and registration booklet for the CNCH 2016 conference in Modesto, CA, April 8-10. Registration will begin January 3, 2016, which is a Sunday. This is a departure from previous years’ timing. She asked us to book our hotel rooms NOW. Call the hotel to give the hotel code of CNC to make sure you get the correct price and block. Full registration for 9 hours of seminars is $280. Full registration scholarships for each of the 5 district have an application deadline of January 4, 2016. 

Linda reported a correction in the blog information notes of the year for CNCH registration as 2016, not 3016. She asked to be notified about needed corrections, so they can be added to the meeting notes as well. 

Lisa Waterman recommended a speaker who is available in March. This will be pursued for availability. 

Pam and Linda V.H. will participate in th Moraga Holiday Fair at Hacienda de las Flores on December 4-6, 2015. Maryann said demos of spinning and/or weaving would be welcomed there as well. 

Show and tell was followed by announcements. Alane S. has an 8 harness, hand made loom for sale. Joan reported on the Fiber Shed event in Pt Reyes Station with free stuff and lots of interesting people and presentations. Two people presented reports on our breed study of sheep. Joan reported on Falkland, referring to the Island area off South America, home to 500,000 sheep. Maryann told of the Swaledale breed from Yorkshire, England. They have a very kempy fleece and are best for hardwearing items like rugs or handbags. Samples of both fleeces and descriptive sheets were distributed to the paying participants of the guild breed study We adjourned at 8 p.m..
Dye Day this year will be in April with Mary Finley and Roger Salter. Fees for participation will be announced when we have firm dates and an idea of how many want to participate. Fees will include supplies and some fiber. 

CONFERENCE 2016, APRIL 8, 9, 10
A reminder to spin your Return to Sender fiber.  It needs to be done by March as it has to be sent in then.  More info to follow.  If you did Return to Sender in 2014, you can transform your yarn into something - woven, knit, crocheted.  There are other galleries as well as listed on the left on under the Modesto Conference.  You can enter even if not attending.  If it is knit or crocheted, it should be made from your handspun yarn.

Jan. 12 thru Mar. 15
Jan. 14 thru Mar. 17 Beginning weaving classes at Walnut Creek Civic Arts. One daytime class and two evening classes. for more info. A good place to learn to come over to the "dark side" - as we say in jest to all those we pull into our growing weaving population.

Jan. 25, Treadles Meeting [date change] this date is a MONDAY
Feb. 7,  Shearing Day at Meridian Jacobs.[info below]
Feb. 24, Treadles Meeting 
Mar. 30, Treadles Meeting 
April 8, 9, 10. CNCH Conference in Modesto [all info is on line at the link to the right   
Apr. 26, Treadles Meeting [date change - TUESDAY]April Dye Day - To be announced

Shearing Day At Meridian Jacobs - February 7, 2016

Join us on Shearing Day. Visitors can watch shearing, learn how to skirt a fleece, and choose a fleece to purchase as it comes off the sheep. We will start shearing at 9:00 and work until there are no more sheep to shear. My shearer is very fast so we may be finished around noon. Come in the morning to make sure you don't miss the shearing.

Bring your spinning wheel, a lunch, and spend the day if the weather is good. Kids are welcome at Shearing Day, but MUST be supervised by adults at all times. Please leave your dogs at home.

Parking is somewhat limited so carpooling is encouraged. Do not park on Meridian Road. Traffic is fast and, if it's been raining, you could get stuck in the mud. Come in the driveway and we'll help you park if it is crowded.

Shearing is rain or shine. It's too early to predict the weather.  You can get to the barn without stepping in mud, but if it's actively raining you may be stepping through big puddles. Boots are advisable.


Simon has spent most of 2015 making tiny needle felted cats called Mini Me-ow's for the cat caf├ęs of Edinburgh!

He lives along the Northumberland coast with his four Devon Rex cats surrounded by countless cups of cold tea! Simon loves the wildlife of Northumberland and is fascinated by British folklore, which has so many rich and fabulous stories that he tries to inject into his work. Simon creates stories that feature animals on imaginary journeys using found objects and beautiful textures.

Simon's Rabbit
His trip to Edinburgh was a spur of the moment detour up the Northumberland coast which led him to the Fenwick Gallery in Warkworth, which took his felting to a completely different direction. Encouraged by the gallery owner he was soon making hares and other British wildlife creatures embarking on imaginary journeys using incredibly textured wool and found objects such as old bottles, vintage wood planes, tiny crowns and even bristles from grubby brooms that have spanned over 3 generations.

''I believe the right wool can give my work added movement which is why I try to combine fibres from all over the world, from wiry Icelandic wool and incredibly textured herdwick to camel hair and soft cashmere from the Far East, which all helps result in a beautifully tactile piece.’’

For Simon, 2016 should see the addition of dogs and owls to his body of work as well as more sculptural pieces including leaping hares and running foxes and also ceramics being introduced to create even more texture to his pieces.

Simon’s website is  I could not find any photos of his cats and this is the only website that was in the "World of Wool" article all this info came from.

Simon's Border Collie

Kodi is a new kitten companion to Junior and Iso in our household. He has discovered handspun!