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!