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, marsh@att.net 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: www.palousefiberfestival.wordpress.com
  • 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: dreamygoatdesign@yahoo.com


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: http://ezreg.walnutcreekrec.org/Activities/ActivitiesDetails.asp?ProcessWait=N&aid=1979.

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,   www.claudyjongstra.com]

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]