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 CNCH.org 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. www.walnutcreekrec.org 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 www.fenwickgallery.co.uk  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!