August 31, 2020

NEXT MEETING (ONLINE): WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30th, 6 p.m.

 UPCOMING 2020/2021 MEETING DATES

Online meetings start at 6 p.m.  Zoom link is open around 5:30 p.m.  The link will be sent to guild members within a few days of the meeting.

September 30 - Carolyn Greenwood of Greenwood Fibers.  Coincidentally, a package happened to arrive at my house a couple of days ago ... so beautiful!  I'm planning to spend many happy hours perusing patterns on Ravelry.




















October 29 - Janine Bajus - Berkeley local who does Fair Isle knitting and leads fiber tours of Italy and the Shetland Islands

November 18 - Jillian Moreno, "Why I Knit With Handspun"

November 21-22 - 4 hour Zoom workshop with Jillian Moreno (Saturday 2 hrs, Sunday 2 hrs), "How to Work With Painted Braids", $80

December 16 - Zoom Party / Mini workshop?

January 27 - Deb Robson

February - Maggie Casey?

YEARLY DUES

Send a check to treasurer Pam M. before October 15 so we can publish a new roster and so Pam doesn't have to follow up on all of us!  Individual membership, $25.  Family membership, $30.  Pam's address can be found in the roster that was sent to guild members for the 2019-2020 year.

MEETING MINUTES (Linda B.)

TREADLES TO THREADS GUILD MEETING

Via Zoom

Wednesday, August 26, 2020 

President Wendy welcomed all to the meeting room. There were 24 in attendance. Wendy thanked those who responded to her e-mail survey about using Zoom.

Board members for the T2T guild this up coming year include: (R) indicates returning)

President R Wendy L.

Treasurer R Pam M.

CNCH liaison R Joan A.

CNCH Advisory Council R Reba S.

Blog/newsletter R Lisa W.

Program committee R Wendy L., Amy B., Carolyn B.; 

Guild equipment managers R Carol C., Pam M; 

Video library: Tina; 

Secretary R Linda B.

Member Name-tags R Reba S.

Monday Spinning Zoom Contact:  Pam M.

Shows/Festivals A variety of virtual shows and festivals were discussed, from Lambtown, October 2-4 here locally, to Rhinebeck, NY October 17-18.  Reba S., Brenda S. and Robin L. are on the Meridian Jacobs team as part of Lambtown’s virtual Sheep to Shawl.

Member News Robin L. shared that Mary S., Jackie P., Dona S. are all OK after the Vacaville fire. (editor's note - Dona is located south of Sacramento). Please check the Pleasants Valley Vacaville Ag Association website for more info (link below in the Articles/Links section). Megan C. has multiple processed fleeces for sale. Contact her for information.

CNCH liaison Joan A. is on the 2022 Conference program committee. She is looking for new/different teachers in spinning and fiber. She has tentatively volunteered T2T to do on-site registration if the site is local. If the site is not local, she may withdraw the offer.  Reba S. is on the CNCH Advisory Council.

Programs: Wendy is following the theme “By the Book”. She has contacted nationally known speakers who are Zoom compatible. Usually, the topics follow books that the person has authored and have available for purchase. Our guild meetings will open at 5:30 pm if anyone needs help on Zoom rooms. The speaker will be first on the agenda at 6:00 pm. Sheila P. will act as monitor/IT help. Wendy will send out the meeting information which will not be made public. When the recurring meeting is ready, she will let all members know how to access.

See Upcoming Meeting Dates section above for scheduled speakers, workshops, and dates.  Linda Cortright from Maine is being contacted also.

Dues; Send dues of $25/pp or $30/family by mail to Pam M. She will send out an updated list of members.

Show and Tell; Nine people shared their “shelter” projects. Please send pictures to Wendy L. who will put them in the presentation deck so we can all see the wonderful details while you narrate. She can accept pictures up to 24 hours ahead. We never turn down a great project, though.

The meeting ended at 8:18 pm.

Linda B.


LAMBTOWN VIRTUAL SHEEP TO SHAWL

Members of our guild are participating in what is likely the first ever virtual Sheep To Shawl competition.  There are 9 teams registered to date.  All hours are tracked by using spreadsheets and by having all of the work documented live on Zoom for all to watch.  Read about it and access the calendar and weekend live broadcasts on the Lambtown web site.

I took a screenshot from the Zoom coverage on Aug 30 - if there is more than one team working, they all show up on the same screen, and Roy Clemes joins in every 15 minutes or so to pass along questions and check in with team progress.

Spinning, carding, fiber prep:

Here's a screenshot I took of the Meridian Jacobs team a few weeks ago:

Lisa

LAMBTOWN VIRTUAL WORKSHOPS

Check out online workshop opportunities and register at the Lambtown web site.

BAFF - Bay Area Fiber Fair

It's not too late to join the Bay Area Fiber Fair Challenge.  Find all the information on the Bay Area Fiber Fair web site.  



INTERESTING ARTICLES / LINKS

Pleasants Valley Agriculture Association - information, donate to fire victims, and volunteer to help.

Botanical Colors Feedback Friday - video archive and information on upcoming presentations.  The recent John Marshall and A Verb For Keeping Warm presentations were excellent if you're interested in textiles, indigo, and other natural dyes - link from Lisa W.

CLOTH#20 - Scotland - link from Vickie M.

The Invention of Trousers - link from Rosemary B.

A New Way to Dye Fabric - link from Rosemary B.

Spindle Types in Different Countries - link from Rosemary B.

A Story About Silk - link from Mary B.

Article from Vickie M.:



UPCOMING FIBER EVENTS & NEWSLETTERS



Twist Virtual Party

Perth Festival Of Yarn (Perth, Scotland - not Perth, Australia!)





Handspinning News - Shiela Dixon's monthly blog, includes events

Mielke's Fiber Arts Newsletter - news for fiber artists

FiberEvents - a calendar of wool festivals, fiber festivals, knitting, crocheting & craft gatherings/events in the U.S. and the world

Clara Parkes' Knitter's Review - knitting and fiber events

ITEMS FOR SALE

Megan C. has processed fleeces for sale, including Shetland, BFL, Alpaca, Polworth, etc.  Contact Megan directly for more information. 

ONGOING FIBER-RELATED CLASSES & WORKSHOPS

Contact the business to find out their current situation due to COVID-19.

Black Rock Ranch (Stinson Beach)

Crockett Fiber Arts Studio (Crockett)

Fibershed (various locations)

Fiber Circle Studio (Cotati)

Meridian Jacobs (Vacaville)

West County Fiber Arts (Sebastopol)

Windrush Farm (Petaluma)

June 23, 2020

JUNE, 2020 - Summer Newsletter

UPCOMING 2020 MEETING DATES

Ongoing - Monday Spinning via Zoom. Contact Pam M. for information.


NEWSLETTER

This will be the last newsletter until ?  Hold onto articles and links for the future, or you can send them directly to the guild using the guild membership list that Pam M. distributed last fall.

Lisa W.

GUILD MEMBER NEWS


From Carol C.: 
 
My grandmother Claire needlepointed this bench top and I have had it for years; the bench itself existed but is broken. The dog Weasel gnawed the corner some years ago and I have often wondered how it could be fixed. You can learn anything on YouTube...almost. Could not find actual directions but enough info that I think I can do it with the right size of needlepoint canvas and matching yarn. I have a bag of random needlepoint yarn...some I bought, some I have no idea of its history, .... and a card of leftover yarn from this project....probably 100 years later. Still in the same household as the bench. Not used for something random or tossed. I didn’t even know it existed, but that’s what it is!  

Never throw anything out!

Carol

From Doris B., writing about the fleeces she bought at Meridian Jacobs shearing day in February:

I finished washing up my fleece from shearing day. Half of Peyton‘s and Ears' (did her fleece in March).



I especially love the BFL and 3/4. They are bigger and eat more, but they do make beautiful fiber ... just sayin’ I’m so glad I bought Peyton's fleece, I’ll be fighting for it next year! I was out of Power Scour so I used Mane and Tail shampoo I use on Mia and it worked well. Very soft and bright.

I hope everyone stays well. See you in cyber space for now.

Doris

From Sheila P.:

I was inspired to do something with the yarn we dyed at our most recent lichen dye day. Here is a knitted zippered bag, the pattern inspired by Paint Pan Socks on Ravelry.  I used 14 of the colors, with a black background.




 Sheila P.


Mary B’s Sewing Slog

First of all, there’s something everyone needs to understand.

I do NOT like to sew!

Not sure exactly why and I used to sew quite a bit but nothing seemed to turn out the way my limited ability to visualize said it would. So, I quit sewing on a regular basis quite a few years ago. One reason is that I pretty much lose the use of my office/yarn/fiber room when I set up the machine on its table and get the ironing board in place.


As a result, anything that needed sewing but wasn’t urgent landed in a pile on the counter in my office/yarn/fiber room.
In March I finally acknowledged that I needed to make masks. Pam was great in helping me find patterns she liked and hints and sites that would help me get through. I knew I had some fabric I had purchased three or four years ago to make a summer robe and pulled it out to see if I had anything else to use for masks. I did and had everything I needed to make nine masks (three of which didn’t work).


After staring at the pile of accumulated items that needed sewing in one form or another, I decided to just follow Nike’s advice and “just do it.”

I had made rice bags to use as ice packs before my surgery last winter and they needed to be made smaller. Done.

My at home preference for summer clothing is light weight cotton pajama bottoms and a tee shirt. Pajama bottoms don’t have pockets and I finally found “lounge pants” on Amazon. Evidently the difference between pajama bottoms and lounge pants is the pockets. I bought several pairs but they needed hemming. Done.

Then came the tee shirts. This was the big project that had been languishing for years and the pile kept getting bigger. It all started with a tee shirt that my sister bought for me at Wisconsin Sheep and Wool. She had called to ask what size and I told her extra-large thinking I would remake it with Pamela’s Pattern. As you can see, this is a wonderful tee shirt and I didn’t want to mess it up.



I wasn’t about to follow Nike’s advice in this case as I wanted to practice on something but, at the time I received it, I didn’t have a shirt to practice with. Fast forward to a couple of years ago when we did ice dying for Dye Day. I dyed three extra-large shirts. They joined the pile for when I got around to sewing. Joining them were the shirt from Ann, a shirt for the Timber Rattlers baseball team and my A’s shirt.

Ice dye shirt number one was too big in the shoulders but ok in the body but maybe a bit large.

I decided to try small shoulders and body for shirt number two but messed up the sleeve size so it came out too small overall.

Now I was heading into the Three Bears scenario. Shirt number three was good in the shoulders and ok in the body so that was what I was going with. Didn’t really reach the “just right” stage but close enough. May retry effort number two again if the opportunity presents itself.

Did the two baseball related shirts.


And then went for the shirt from Ann. Now, the first thing you do is cut of the sleeves. Scissors in hand I stopped. Maybe I should lay the pattern on the shirt to be sure it’s going to work. Just because it did with the others that doesn’t mean it will again. Glad I did. The sleeves on the shirt are too short to give me what I need to fit into the armhole (yes, I know there’s a real word for armhole. Something like armseye but I didn’t want to broadcast my spelling ignorance.)

If one of you has a fix for the problem, I’d love to hear it! Set it aside to start a new sewing pile.

Okay, it’s time to tackle the bathrobe. I had everything I needed.

But wait, there’s more. I remembered that I had bought a package of large size men’s’ cotton tee shirts last year to wear around the house (see lounge pants above) and to the gym. Various colors. I was pretty sure the fit was ok considering their purpose but tried one on. Too long. I then put the knits’ needle back in the machine and hemmed them.

Now, here’s another reason sewing isn’t my favorite activity. To cut anything out that is more than relatively small I have to pull the dining room table out and extend both leaves. The bird has no idea what it going on but that doesn’t stop him from chewing his food while flying around. Clean the food off the fabric.

Fortunately, the robe went together well. I had wanted to longer than the pattern and actually managed to add the same amount to the front, back, and piece. And, wonder of wonders, I actually matched the pockets to the fronts!



The only thing left is a piece of 40x60 cotton that would make a nice simple blouse. It’s an odd size and I have no idea where I got it. Since I haven’t found an easy pattern for it, I put it on the new pile started by the tee shirt.

When all was done the machine had a spa visit at the Sewing Machine Shop and is, once again, safely on the floor of a closet.

I sincerely hope that’s the last of the sewing for months because this lasted month. If I mention to anyone that I’m thinking about sewing something (other than rice bags or hemming) please roll your eyes and say, “Really?”

Mary B.

INTERESTING ARTICLES & VIDEOS

Runic Spindle Whorl Recently Found in Orkney - shared by Rosemary B.

In Search of Forgotten Colors - shared by Rosemary B.

FIBER-RELATED ITEMS FOR SALE

Contact the seller directly.  No exchange of $$ at the library is allowed.

Nothing for sale at this time

SOME UPCOMING FIBER EVENTS

Remember to contact vendors, organizers, and venues due to closures and cancellations.

Spinning At The Winery, Retzlaff Winery, Livermore, May 23, 2020 - Cancelled

Black Sheep Gathering, Albany, OR, June 26-28, 2020.  - Cancelled

HGA Convergence 2020, Knoxville, TN, July 23 - 30, 2020 - HGA Convergence has postponed until 2022:  The HGA Board has determined the safest course of action is to postpone the Convergence® conference we had planned for July 2020 until July 15-21, 2022. It is HGA’s intent to offer the same program in 2022 as we had scheduled for 2020. This includes sessions, tours, special events and more. We will also have twice as many exhibits. Artists who were juried into the 2020 exhibits will be invited to show their work alongside the 2022 exhibiting artists. We hope you will make plans to join HGA for Convergence® in 2022.

FiberEvents - a calendar of wool festivals, fiber festivals, knitting, crocheting & craft gatherings/events in the U.S. and the world

Clara Parkes' Knitter's Review - knitting and fiber events

ONGOING FIBER-RELATED CLASSES & WORKSHOPS

Remember to contact vendors, organizers, and venues due to closures and cancellations.

Black Rock Ranch (Stinson Beach)

Crockett Fiber Arts Studio (Crockett)

Fibershed (various locations)

Fiber Circle Studio (Cotati)

Meridian Jacobs (Vacaville)

West County Fiber Arts (Sebastopol)

Windrush Farm (Petaluma)

May 16, 2020

MAY, 2020

UPCOMING 2020 MEETING DATES

May 23 (Saturday) - Spinning at the Winery - cancelled.

Ongoing - Monday Spinning via Zoom.  Contact Pam M. for information.

SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

With the cancellations of shows and classes, don't forget to support our small fiber businesses and farms.  Email info to me for any businesses you'd like to highlight here, and look for shopping opportunities in previous blog entries, in the links in the "Ongoing Fiber-Related Classes & Workshops' section & columns to the right in the newsletter.

Lisa W.

GUILD MEMBER NEWS

From Donna S.:

This is my grandmother who was a nurse during the flu epidemic in Philadelphia about 100 years ago. The other photo is of her Red Cross knitting bag she carried at the time. She met her husband while nursing his grandchildren thru the Spanish flu. A few years later - my mother Anne was born . Some good things come from an epidemic. And now, just as then, we have knitting to feed our soul.





From Dawn J.:

Here's a picture of what happens when you buy flax seeds from Chico Flax at a guild meeting. The flax was planted on November 17, and harvested on May 1. It's currently drying under cover on my upstairs porch.



From Amy B.: 

5000+ yards in the first 35 of #the100dayproject. Have another 8oz bobbin almost filled. That's what I have been doing in the evenings.



A TALE OF IKAT AND MASKS - Doris B.


Hello everyone. Vilija, it was nice getting an update on life in the heartland and to see the process of getting settled. 

So I last left you with me starting a re-weave challenge on a piece of cotton ikat cloth with a flaw in the warp. In hindsight it seems so long ago, and so much has happened in the world, it feels tiny, but it’s a bit of focus that kept -keeps my interest. Zen, perhaps? I wondered if I could do what my grandmother used to do repairing fine suit cloth. Knowing my grandpa (aka Gramps) she probably had no shortage of work. They fixed and repaired things in their generation. I think there was no fast fashion and no debate about it.

I clipped, pulled and sorted out all the threads that involved the flaw, and I did managed to weave a few threads. 










Then the call to action was made across the nation for people to sew face masks for medical first responders. 

I answered.

I rummaged my small fabric stash and sacrificed my fun Monaluna cottons and large scraps of cotton to start. By chance I shared with my employer and clients what I was doing with my time stuck at home and out of work. A few days later my boss asked for masks for his nuclear family. With one child returning home from the Peace Corp in Europe and another being sent home from college closures (and with an asymptomatic case of Covid-19), they were in medical quarantine. A day later a text asking if I was interested in work sewing for the bread company his brother owns, helping make mask for their employees. I figured it was a win-win since the food chain was important to help protect too. They wanted reusable/sustainable mask to free up relying on the single-use ones needed for the pandemic response, and it would provide me with some much needed income. I accepted and began after I finished my current batch. Fortunately, Steve‘s wife had the foresight to order and provide for me the elastic that was in scarce supply everywhere. 

About 160 masks later,  I was back making colorful mask for friends, family, and medical donation. John Muir medical was requesting mask be made of fabric with 700 thread count. Hmm, am I supposed to go to Restoration Hardware to buy and cut up a set of sheets? Kaiser took awhile to reply to my email and was meh over what I had already sewn stating they’d take mine this time, but referred their own design with ties and please go here  for download (No link, just me illustrating). I sent masks to my brother, sister, niece and her spouse that are all in the medical field. Others went to NorthBay Medical center staff in the north Bay Area, and to some vulnerable friends I know with autoimmune issues. My son specifically requested a splashy rainbow unicorn for a little fun irony. After sewing items in production line quantities, strung together like little Tibetan prayer flags,  I’ve come away in lockdown with a great respect for garment workers around the world. Oh, and pay attention to the width when buying a bolt of fabric. I have all the cotton muslin I’ll ever need in the foreseeable future.




















Finished pressing pre-pinned pleats!  (try saying that really fast 3 times)

Ready for more pleating.


































I figured out a few hacks on my last batch of masks. I used Hanes girls leggings (L,M)cut in 1” cross sections when I ran out of elastic. Stretch then cut the rings and they roll up into a perfect length strip. To make the mask ear strap design adjustable, instead of sewing the ends of the elastic into the corners of the mask, I sew in the top end as normal and sew in a loop on the bottom corners to feed the strap through. The wearer can pull the strap and knot to desired fit.  

As for the reweave? I had Stonemountain and that ikat fabric item saved on my browser just in case. I’m still picking along, but bought a few replacement yards anyway. And Grandma, you are legend!

I hope you are all well.  Cheers.

Doris B.

FORBIDDEN INDIGO - Linda B.

We often travel to Coos Bay, OR, where good friends have a vacation home and invite the whole card group to a week of cards and food there. Several of us travel and stay in RV’s and the rest fill the vacation house and spill over into VRBO spaces. Most of our days are spent exploring the South Oregon coast. One day we were out looking for blueberry bushes to plant at the vacation home. We looked at several box stores and found a couple small local nurseries. One nursery looked like a “hobby” business, filled with small pots of numerous varieties. There was no particular rhyme to the placement, so we looked through each pot to see what was growing there for sale. Near the front gate was a 6 inch pot with a small green plant, labeled Indigofera tinctoria. I picked it up and asked the proprietor if indeed this was a correct label. By now, she know our group was from California. She said it was correct, but she didn’t think it was allowed in California, maybe a noxious weed? Hmmm. Do I leave it there, unappreciated for what it could become? Do I risk losing it at the California border and have it destroyed? Decisions, decisions! I decided that, if needed, I would fabricate a tale for the California border patrol. We usually came home down I-5 and have yet to be searched after asking if we have contraband. Knock on wood, we squeaked through.

The plant found a home in my front yard. It is planted in it’s pot with the sides of the pot split. The weather in the north side of my yard near the eaves of the house is nothing like the south Asia continent where Indigofera lives, so my little plant has limped along for a number of years. Each year, it bravely puts out some spindly stems and drapes them with lovely oval leaves and light magenta clusters of flowers that look like pea flowers. One year, I tried harvesting a few leaves and putting them to “ferment” in a glass jar. There was just a smudge in the bottom after months, so I just let my plant be a non-productive decoration. A couple of years ago, it sent out a runner, probably looking for the sun. I cautiously turned a blind eye, hoping for more leaves to harvest. The runner has been the only one so far, but the plant must have felt safe, as it has lots more leaves this year. I carefully plucked leaves from most stems, starting near the bottom to let the new leaves mature and multiply.

I had looked through my books on natural dying that covered techniques and recipes. None had any more information or instruction that the monograph from Handeye Magazine.com, written by Michele Wipplinger of Earthues. She says to pick mature leaves and pound them, then let them”ferment” covered in alkaline water. My little plant offered a quart of leaves! Putting them in a flat bottomed plastic disposable bowl, I found a heavy, flat bottomed liquor jug and squashed away. When most leaves looked bruised, I filled a quart canning jar half full of water and put two tablespoons of lye crystals in to dissolve. When the liquid cooled a bit, I carefully spooned the bruised leaves into the jar and filled it to the neck with more water. Covering the mouth with plastic wrap secured with a rubber band, the jar is relegated to the back patio table. It has been there for two weeks so far and the liquid is quite dark, appearing to be a dark green. I have been very careful handling the jar without gloves. The hot weather surely has helped the fermentation process, but I have no idea when to stop it! The next step is to vigorously paddle the colored water to incorporate lots of air. I have seen YouTube scenes of men in India standing knee deep in the blue water, sloshing the mix to a froth, surely they are not in lye water! What pH do I adjust the water to aerate? There are some major holes in the technique’s description. For now, I am just letting the leaves ferment and hope I can find some info on the pH. Let me know if any of you have such information.

After aeration, the water is carefully siphoned off and the sediment on the bottom is the dye pigment to scoop up and dry. I would be thrilled if my forbidden plant could give me a teaspoon of indigo! I will settle for a few seeds.


Linda B.

BOOK REVIEW - Sheila P.


In March 2020, the last Saturday that the Contra Costa Libraries were open (it happened that the libraries unexpectedly closed before the shelter in place was declared), I was standing in front of the New Books section at the Martinez Library with a friend who is the best person to run into at the library. She reads everything. She also liberally recommends books. She reached up to the shelf and said “You will probably like this one.”

I checked it out, and several days later, the libraries closed, and all due dates were pushed forward to June 1st. For the record, I had eleven other books checked out at the time.

The book I write about today is The Golden Thread: How Fabric Changed History, by Kassia St. Clair. It was copyrighted in 2018, but first American publication was just last year, 2019. As an aside, the author also wrote one of my favorite books, The Secret Lives of Colors. Check that book out if you are interested in the origin of common pigments.

St. Clair writes about fabric from prehistory through the present and discusses in detail the production and historical context for various fabrics and fibers. She also notes that our history tends to be the history of men’s activities, so the eras that are called the Age of Iron, or the Age of Bronze, from the point of view of women might be called the Age of Spindle or the Age of Loom.

Much of women’s work is fiber-related, and fiber is notoriously short-lived, therefore there are few examples of fiber or fabric more than a few hundred years old, and fabrics five hundred years old or a thousand years old are nonexistent. However, with more modern technology, archeologists and researchers can find wisps of fibers and impressions of fabrics that cannot be seen by the naked eye. Example: fine beads found in the Indus Valley dating back to the 6th millennium BC, when examined under microscopes, were found to have shreds of the cotton thread that they were strung on.

The author covers linen, wool, silk, cotton, and modern threads and textiles. Almost all of the earliest known manmade fibers were made using flax. Wild flax originated in the Mediterranean, Iran and Iraq, and presumably, prior to the domestication of sheep, was easier to gather and process than wool.

Let me tell you a few things that caught my interest, culled from various chapters in the book.

In England, in 1750, the most common paid employment for women was spinning. An unmarried woman could spin six pounds of wool a week. A married woman (who apparently was kept busy in other ways) could spin two pounds of wool a week.

King Tut’s shroud was made of 100 to 200 count linen. When the pharoah’s tomb was discovered, absolutely no care was taken in removing the linen wrappings from the mummy. Interest was in gold, of course, and not in the fabric. Later excavations took some measurements of the linen shrouds. Queen Hatnofer’s shroud was 1.7 yards wide, 5.5 yards long, but weighed only 5 ozs. Now THAT is fine fabric!! Also, paintings on tomb walls circa 2649-2150 BC show the blue flax fields of Egypt.

From paintings and pottery, it seems that distaffs did not appear until Roman times. Egyptian Middle Kingdom representations show women spinning with flax roves wound into balls, and placed in pots. The spinners would draw the thread from the pots, and spin with spindles in both hands. Another interesting note: Egyptians consistently spun an S-twist, presumably in both hands. [Perhaps we could try double handed spindle spinning in a future guild meeting. ]

Egyptians used horizontal ground looms until around 1500BC. In later years there is evidence of upright looms using warp weights, which were apparently in use until sometime in the European Middle Ages.

Then there are the chapters about the Vikings. Did you know (and forgive me if I was the last to learn) that the Viking sails were made from wool? A Norse spinner could spin 30 to 50 meters of wool per hour using spindle and distaff. A single sail was 90 square meters, which would take 2 ½ modern working years (assuming 40 hours per week?) to weave! Entire villages would work spinning and weaving to provide sails. Wool thread production would have been vastly increased through the use of spinning wheels, which seem to have arrived in Europe sometime between 1000 and 1200.

The author suggests that the Vikings began exploring (and pillaging) Europe and England, to find more sheep, since they needed so much wool to run the ships.

There were multiple chapters about silk and cotton, the medieval wool trade, and lacemaking., emphasizing the work of women and the impact fabrics had on economies.

I highly recommend for those of us interested in the fiber arts.

The Golden Thread How Fabric Changed History, by Kassia St. Clair

292 pages, with glossary, bibliography, notes and index.

Sheila P. 

INTERESTING ARTICLES & VIDEOS

Hidden Powers of a Sheep - shared by Rosemary B.

Colour Your Own Sheep

FIBER-RELATED ITEMS FOR SALE

Contact the seller directly.  No exchange of $$ at the library is allowed.

---------------

SOLD - 25" Schacht Tapestry Loom and A-Frame Stand, $125 for both.  Still in original packages.  Total retail $197 + tax.  


Selling together for $125.  No-contact pick up from my porch in San Ramon.  Payment by cash, check or Venmo.  Contact Lisa W.

----------------

SOME UPCOMING FIBER EVENTS

For any events that aren't listed as 'Cancelled', please check with the organizer or venue.

Spinning At The Winery, Retzlaff Winery, Livermore, May 23, 2020 - Cancelled

Black Sheep Gathering, Albany, OR, June 26-28, 2020.  - Cancelled

HGA Convergence 2020, Knoxville, TN, July 23 - 30, 2020 - HGA Convergence has postponed until 2022:  The HGA Board has determined the safest course of action is to postpone the Convergence® conference we had planned for July 2020 until July 15-21, 2022. It is HGA’s intent to offer the same program in 2022 as we had scheduled for 2020. This includes sessions, tours, special events and more. We will also have twice as many exhibits. Artists who were juried into the 2020 exhibits will be invited to show their work alongside the 2022 exhibiting artists. We hope you will make plans to join HGA for Convergence® in 2022.

FiberEvents - a calendar of wool festivals, fiber festivals, knitting, crocheting & craft gatherings/events in the U.S. and the world

Clara Parkes' Knitter's Review - knitting and fiber events


ONGOING FIBER-RELATED CLASSES & WORKSHOPS

Black Rock Ranch (Stinson Beach)

Crockett Fiber Arts Studio (Crockett)

Fibershed (various locations)

Fiber Circle Studio (Cotati)

Meridian Jacobs (Vacaville)

West County Fiber Arts (Sebastopol)

Windrush Farm (Petaluma)

April 20, 2020

APRIL, 2020

UPCOMING 2020 MEETING DATES

April 30 (Thursday) - cancelled

May 23 (Saturday) - Spinning at the Winery - cancelled.  See announcement below.

Ongoing - Monday Spinning via Zoom.  Contact Pam M. for information.

SPINNING AT THE WINERY 2020 ANNOUNCEMENT

 From T2T President, Wendy L.:

We have made the decision to cancel Spinning at the Winery this year. This was a very hard choice to make and it was not taken lightly. As you know, Spinning at the Winery is the crowning event of the year for our guild. Over the years we have gotten together to celebrate all we have in common and enjoy friends, food and lots and lots of fiber.

In view of our current situation and the unknown risks that lie ahead in the next few months when our shelter in place orders will be slowly lifted (somehow), we decided it is not worth the risk to have a large gathering that might contribute to the problem or potentially put one of us or our loved ones at risk of getting sick.

We would like to thank Retzlaff Winery for hosting the event for over twenty years and Will and Kate for being our shining light. We also want to thank the many volunteers that make the event possible every year. We look forward to getting together again in the future.

Since there are many fiber related events planned in the fall, we have decided not to postpone the event.  We ask instead that you support our vendors directly and allow them to fuel your fiber passion via delivery straight to your home.

Wendy L.

MEETING MINUTES (Linda B.)

No meeting in March.

UPDATE FROM VILIJA IN INDIANA

THINGS TO DO AND NOT DO DURING A QUARANTINE
                [especially after a cross-country move]

I’ll do some spinning when I find some more of my fiber.


I’ll do some weaving when I can get to the loom [and find my yarns]


Maybe scheduling new flooring to be put in so soon was not the best idea. Hence the living room full of bedroom and office furniture. But who knew there would be a lock-down!

Don’t order a $7.99 box of yellow corn meal thru Amazon if its not an “Amazon Prime" delivery. Shipping cost was $10!!! But it was midnight when I ordered and I really wanted to make some corn bread.

Do order some non GMO, organically grown, BLUE cornmeal from the Homestead Gristmill in Waco, Texas. www.homesteadgristmill.com  No shipping cost thru Amazon and its the best cornbread I ever made, plus the blue color is delightful during this stay-at-home time, perfect for us indigo lovers. No, there is no actual indigo in there. My recipe: not really mine, I just found it here, but its better than “Mine".
Parke County Indiana Cornbread
6T. melted butter [safflower oil works also]
1 egg
 1 cup milk
1 ¼ cup blue cornmeal
1 cup flour
3T. sugar
1T. baking powder
½ t. salt
Preheat oven to 400. Grease an 8-inch square pan. Mix dry ingredients together. Whisk egg and milk in a separate bowl. Stir in the dry ingredients till about half mixed, then stir in the butter or oil gently. Mix will still look lumpy and thick, but no dry ingredients showing. Pour into pan, spread evenly, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Test with a toothpick to make sure it's baked completely.

Do take a walk and look for Spring wildflowers. Right now there are at least 6 or 7 or more different ones coming up in our area. One of the interesting ones is Bloodroot, with a large white flower. The roots have been used to make red, pink and orange dyes. All parts of the plant are considered poisonous however, so I’m not inclined to dig it up.

Everyone is doing jig-saw puzzles. This is a very cool one for us. Found it on, what else, Amazon.

Stay safe everyone.

Vilija

*note from Lisa, now wearing her chef's hat as food editor and taste tester:  amazon was sold out of the cornmeal when I checked, but it is still available at Homestead Gristmill's web site, which Vilija mentions in her update.  Mine shipped quickly and has already arrived - I think I'll whip up some cornbread later today!

Continuing on, as it is now 'later today'.  I loved reading about the mill in the pamphlet that was sent with my blue cornmeal - ends up it's part of a 'craft village'.  Check this section out: 


And here is my cornbread - it is truly lovely and extremely tasty!  Thanks, Vilija, from one indigo lover to another.



SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

With all of the cancellations of shows and classes, we need to support our small fiber businesses and farms.  Here is some info on a couple of our favorites:

Shaggy Bear Farms - most of us know Wendy, the shepherdess and dyer at Shaggy Bear Farms.  Many of the sheep in her flock are rescues, and they still need to be fed!  Wendy says, "People can send emails,  texts, or can call me to get fiber or yarn.  I can potentially video meet to display yarns or can text photos."  Wendy's email address is candwhanson@hotmail.com.



Greenwood Fiberworks - We see Carolyn every year at Black Sheep Gathering, Lambtown, Stitches West, and other events - plus she has met with our guild and taught workshops.  She wrote a special message to T2T:

"Hello T2T friends!  I hope you are all well and enjoying a little more time for the fiber arts during this remarkable time.  We here at Greenwood Fiberworks have found ourselves grounded for the time being.  We are normally on the road to fiber shows all springtime, but now we are home.  The good news is that we have been able to get a lot of dyeing done and best of all, we have been working steadily on the new website.  If you have a moment, please go to www.greenwoodfiberworks.com and check it out.  We have most all of our fibers and yarns listed.  We even have some of our kits, too.

I hope you are having fun with all the ways you can spin painted rovings.  I enjoyed coming to teach that class a couple years ago.  Keep on spinning those wonderful luxury fibers, too!  Most of all, please stay well.  I hope to see you at Lambtown if we are able to meet this fall.

Warmly,
Carolyn
Greenwood Fiberworks"




Meridian Jacobs - Robin is a member of our guild - and is also a farmer, weaver, spinner, natural dyer and much more.  Besides selling beautiful Jacob fiber and locally-sourced yarns in her farm shop, she also carries Lunatic Fringe, Ashford and Schacht products, and others.  The 'best of' individual named fleeces from the 2020 shearing are going up for sale in 1 pound lots, but sell out fast.  You can even buy a sheep - the perfect conversation starter and yard decoration!  Find her online shop here, or contact her via the contact info on her web site to arrange a solo in-person socially distanced shopping experience at the farm in Vacaville, or to schedule a video call to view and shop for products.

 

Lisa W.

"CHANGE THE SHED" with Rebecca Mezoff

Rebecca Mezoff, weaver, has been broadcasting live over the internet from her studio every morning for nearly a month.  She writes, "I've gotten so many lovely notes about how much having this daily check-in and weave-together means. I'll keep showing up. Colorado's stay-at-home order has been extended through the 27th and I'd guess that my county will keep extending beyond that."

"I have done a live YouTube broadcast from my studio every morning for the last three weeks. It has been fun to connect with all of you in real time. My goal in doing it is just to get all of us to do a little weaving or at least to connect around tapestry. It can be hard for some of us to actually make ourselves create something when times get tough and that is absolutely okay. If you feel like weaving, do it. It does become a habit and I think it makes the tougher times easier."

Join her on YouTube at 10:30 Mountain (Denver, CO) weekdays. The replays are HERE. The live feed is HERE.

More information about the #changetheshed project is on her website HERE.

Lisa W.


GUILD MEMBER NEWS

From Megan C.:

I’m working on a FairIsle hat called Walnut Tam by Marie Wallin.

 Also working on a shawl called the Cozy Winter By Melanie Mielinger. I chose a yarn by Berroco Ultra Wool 100% Superwash Wool colorway Driftwood  The pattern is on Ravelry. 

I’m also spinning up a bunch of yarn from a fiber named White Birch.

2020:  THE STRUGGLE IS REAL

When President Wendy suggested our guild display at CNCH 2020 should feature the twenty four (24!) “Colors of the World” skeins from the dye day a couple of years ago, I thought participating in this world be one way to thank and honor Wendy, Amy, Carolyn, Reba, Carol, et.al., for that amazingly organized and productive day. There were several knitting projects going on following a pattern Wendy suggested . I remembered how long it took me to knit a small cowl when we did a guild project from our “grab and spin fiber”. Then Pam brought her beautiful woven scarf with all those color peaking out. Weaving! I could do that! Never mind that Pam has a huge 8 shaft floor loom and mine is 12" wide with two shafts, most recently used by a fifth grader 40 years ago (probably). It was a thrift store find 20 years ago and usually lives in the garage rafters. When I shared my vision with Pam, she tried to suppress an eye roll, but kindly suggested the Blue Brick web site with a color shifting scarf. Those instructions seemed to be exactly what I was imagining. The requirements for yarn and construction looked within my skill range. Score!

I pulled out Hubby’s left handed inkle loom and set it up as my warping board. I decided on the color sequence for the warp. All the remaining yardage from the warp skeins will be included in the weft colors. Now, on to the loom. I don’t have anything else that one might use with a loom. I do have a Tunisian crochet hook that went through the string heddles nicely but was too thick to go through the reed. I have a needle threader with a hook on one end large enough to grip the yarn, so I scotch taped it to a bookmark and used it for the slaying hook on the reed. It was too short to go all the way through the heddles as well. By using both implements, the warp was threaded on. I made the mistake of asking Hubby to stand by while I made surgical knots and tensioned the warp. His first sentence was “I wouldn’t have done it that way”. That set the tone for the next two days. The warp did get tightened eventually. Now, what to use for shuttles? Hubby’s tablet weaving shuttles were too short for me to use easily. A broken yard stick got cut into more pieces and V’s cut in the ends. One foot long and thin enough to go through the miniature shed. Score!

Work started on my eleven inch wide warp. After going through two color changes, it became apparent that my scarf was going to be a large dish cloth with a lot of fringe. This discovery required a two day recuperation and a margarita. Thankfully, unceasing plain weave went pretty well. All my surgical knots came undone I wrapped the warp threads back in their color order. Using the information from this debacle, I calculated (again) what I would need to get a scarf out of my colored skeins. It will now be eight inches wide and use NO colors in the warp. The left over non-dyed skeins from our recent lichen dye day provided the right size yarn but only 2/3 of what was needed for the warp. Looking for that other 1/3 yardage of white sock yarn, I came across a guild project from 2015. Back then, we spun a two ply yarn from a chunk of white fleece after preparing it three ways. The skein spun from flicked locks provided the closest match and was enough for that last third for the warp. Score!

Back to the left handed inkle loom, more warp threads were cut and the loom dressed (with Hubby helping “his way”). Two commercial warp threads, then one hand spun, all the way across the 8 inch spread. I’m starting to weave again and working through the colors in numerical order. It looks like I might end up with something more scarf length. We will see if the product is a scarf or a table runner after finishing the fabric. At least, it is a fun project for Monday spinners during the Zoom meetings Thanks, Pam for setting these up and to the guild for providing the three hour access per meeting. It is great to see everyone!

Linda B.

Update from the editor - I don't know about the rest of you, but I want to see photos in the next newsletter!

INTERESTING ARTICLES & VIDEOS

Reconstruction of Norway's Oldest Garment - shared by Rosemary B.

FIBER-RELATED ITEMS FOR SALE

Contact the seller directly.  No exchange of $$ at the library is allowed. 

25" Schacht Tapestry Loom and A-Frame Stand.  Both still in original package.  Total retail $197 + tax.  Selling for $125.


Selling together for $125.  No-contact pick up from my porch in San Ramon.  Payment by cash or check.  Contact Lisa W.



 

 

 

 

SOME UPCOMING FIBER EVENTS

For any events that aren't listed as 'Cancelled', please check with the organizer or venue.

Sheep Shearing Day at Forest Home Farms, San Ramon, April 25, 2020 - Cancelled

Introduction to Flax Processing, May 9, 2020

Spinning At The Winery, Retzlaff Winery, Livermore, May 23, 2020 - Cancelled

Black Sheep Gathering, Albany, OR, June 26-28, 2020.  - Cancelled

HGA Convergence 2020, Knoxville, TN, July 23 - 30, 2020.

FiberEvents - a calendar of wool festivals, fiber festivals, knitting, crocheting & craft gatherings/events in the U.S. and the world

Clara Parkes' Knitter's Review - knitting and fiber events


ONGOING FIBER-RELATED CLASSES & WORKSHOPS

Black Rock Ranch (Stinson Beach)

Crockett Fiber Arts Studio (Crockett)

Fibershed (various locations)

Fiber Circle Studio (Cotati)

Meridian Jacobs (Vacaville)

West County Fiber Arts (Sebastopol)

Windrush Farm (Petaluma)