February 15, 2020



February 27 (Thursday) - Hemp “Spin In”

  • Bring your wheel or drop spindle to the meeting to spin hemp fibers provided by the guild. 
  • Hemp processing and sustainability will be discussed. 
  • We will also see why many farmers are turning to growing hemp instead of tobacco. 

March 26 (Thursday) - Hemp Mini-Workshop (basket, bag, bracelet?) - cancelled due to Contra Costa County COVID-19 library meeting room closures

April 30 (Thursday) - ???

May 23 (Saturday) - Spinning at the Winery


Treadles to Threads Guild Meeting
January 23, 2020 Thursday, 7:00 p.m.
Thurman Casey Library, Walnut Creek, CA

As members arrived, they placed on a table individual cards in the form of the sheep that Vilija D. had designed for the guild to use on various t-shirts, other items and guild displays through the years. Wendy provided the paper stock and printed and cut out the sheep forms. It was up to the member to decorate the sheep in a unique way. These will be the flock of guild members who will accompany Vilija to her new home in Indiana next month. Much kvetching about the move followed.

Wendy called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. There were 32 in attendance.

CNCH report: Joan noted she has the Return to Sender samples. Please pick them up. They are prepared by Morro Bay’s Sherri. The sample may be augmented with an additional two ounces of other fiber. There will also be a Return of Return to Sender using the sample done in 2016, as 2018 was deferred due to Convergence in Reno. Joan reminded us to prepare our item from last year’s dye day for the guild display. She wants them in March so the display can be prepared. There is also a call for donations for a guild wide gift basket to be raffled to provide monies for the CNCH scholarships. The tickets are to be sold at $20 per ticket. There was a bit of discussion about this price. The donations should be a valuable item to go with the price of the tickets.

Wendy called for help with all aspects of Spinning at the Winery. (Again, kvetching about Vilija leaving a big hole in our guild.) Joan offered to keep the list of volunteers who sign up for the various jobs. We also need great donations for the raffle done at the winery as this is the major way we have money to provide great programs for the guild. We have always been fortunate that our members are generous. The winery weekend will be the holiday weekend, May 23, 2020. Will Taylor reminded us that the parking fees go directly to the winery. He will contact the winery about the event. Please remember we will have vendors to support there as well. The previous year’s income was $2K.

Upcoming events are Shearing Day at Meridian Jacobs will be February 1, for guild members only this year. Sacramento Weavers and Spinners show and sale will be February 8-9. Stitches West in Santa Clara is February 20-23. CNCH Conference is April 3-5, in Burlingame. Forest Hill Farms shearing day and public day is April 25. Chico Flax project will have an intensive seminar about all aspects of their project on May 9.

Our next guild meeting is February 27, Thursday, at the library.We will be doing hemp as a spin in so bring your wheel, or other twisting implements. Fiber will be provided. March 26 is also a Thursday and we will be working with the hemp from February. We need a program for April 25.

Saturday, January 25, is the dye day at Wendy’s. Please bring your yarn prepared as directed in 24 separate 20 yard skeins for the lichen, bark wood and seeds dyes prepared by Wendy, Doris, Amy and Lisa. Time is 11:00 to 3, for guild members only. Cost is $30.

We took a brief break to indulge in a ginger cake provided by Cathy. Other goodies and drinks abounded. This was a special evening as it was our charter member, Vilija’s, last guild meeting. She left some of her original paperwork with the secretary, Linda B. another founding member.

Our speaker this evening is Jes Coyle, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biology at St. Mary’s College of California. Titled “What do We Know About Lichens?”, we learned the major descriptions, and basic structures of lichens. The algae and/or cyanobacteria who preform photosynthesis and the fungus who provide the structure plus some other yeast and things combine to make lichens. There are over 350 chemicals found in lichens, but our dyes are from secondary metabolites. Our state lichen is called Old Man’s Beard. Lichens have sex and love clean air. What a great evening. There were examples of lichens right on the branches and hand lenses to view them up close. Professor Coyle explained one of her lichen research projects with help from an intern. It is within driving distance of the Bay area. We all were ready to sign up to audit one of Professor Coyle’s classes.

The meeting ended at 8:45 p.m.

Linda B.


Return to Sender, Return of Return to Sender and Guild Challenge Display Info

All gallery entries must have an entry form about your entry.  It must be postmarked by March 4 and entry fee must accompany it.  Entries do not need to be turned in until the conference.  Each person is limited to three entries.

T2T will pay the $5 per entry fee if you get the entry form to me by March 2.  I will send in forms and check.  I will have forms at the meeting on Feb 27.  You don't have to have completed the project but should know approx. dimensions, techniques, fiber, if you would like it judged, intended use (or Return to Sender).  

We are doing a Guild Challenge (from our 24 dyed colors of the world), Return to Sender and Return of Return to Sender (from RTS Modesto).  You can give me your items if not attending the conference at the March meeting and I can also bring them home on Sunday, April 5.

You can also send the entry form and $5 check individually.  Go to CNCH.org, look at current conference under galleries and you will see entry form download.  The guild will not pay the $5 if you do this.

Joan A.


Thanks so much to Wendy for hosting our first dye day of 2020.  It was a busy and very fruitful day, with lots of learning!  Amy B. and Carolyn B. helped Wendy with the planning (a huge job for a day like this).

Thanks also to those of you who sent photos for the blog, and to Doris B., Linda B. and me :-) for providing lichen dye materials (responsibly harvested, of course).  Special shout out to Doris B., who created and maintained the lichen/ammonia extractions over the past few months.  And, thanks to Laura H. for celebrating her birthday that very day, so we all got to eat cake!

Lisa W.


That is the scientific name of the mushroom that I brought to dye day.  It's also known as Western Jack O'Lantern.  You can read more about it here.  It glows in the dark when fresh!  It makes beautiful gray, purple, or green dye depending on how it's processed in the dyepot!  It's currently running in the hotly contested race for California State Mushroom (note that this poll has closed, results are being tabulated from all votes by Mycological Society of San Francisco)!  It's featured for about 10 seconds in the marvelous documentary, Fantastic Fungi (although it's not given credit)! And, it has the dubious distinction of being among my 2 favorite dye mushrooms.

I know that at least 2 of you have been actively looking for your own OO since dye day.  Make sure to look in an area that has oaks because you will most likely find it on dead or dying oak.  Our weather has been very dry, but I found some in the Contra Costa County hills yesterday, 2/13/20, and some in the Solano County hills today, 2/14/20.  So, keep looking!
In the trunk of oak tree, Jan. 24, 2020
Same mushroom flush, Feb. 13, 2020

Somewhat fresh specimen on left side of trunk, getting pretty dry on the right!  Feb. 13, 2020
An example of OO growing further up on a tree
Various handspun wool dyed with OO
Lisa W.


Be sure to visit the Canon Hand Dyes and Greenwood Fiberworks booths to see beautiful samples handknit by talented guild members Mary S. (at Canon Hand Dyes) and Roxayn K. (at Greenwood Fiberworks)

Here is a $7 off Stitches West coupon for the Marketplace, good for Friday or Saturday, provided by Carolyn Greenwood and submitted to the blog by Amy B.

Blocking the shawl knit by Mary S. for the Canon Hand Dyes booth at Stitches West
Lisa W.


Spinning on a Portuguese spindle and distaff (and I love her spinning wheel sweater!)

Substituting Handspun in Knitting Patterns

Directionality in Commercially Prepared Rovings

Shaun The Sheep - Supernatural Wool (just for fun)


Impact:  Climate Change.  Contemporary Tapestry from Tapestry Weavers West and Tapestry Weavers in New England.  San Francisco, December 16 - March 13, 2020

Stitches West, Santa Clara, February 20 - 23, 2020

Fiber and Dye at UC Berkeley Botanical Garden, Berkeley, March 14 - 31, 2020.  Details of workshops etc. - scroll down to March information.  Judi Pettite, who spoke to the guild a couple of months ago, is teaching one of the workshops. CANCELLED - UC Berkeley Botanical Garden temporarily closed due to COVID-19 as of 3/17/2020.

CNCH 2020 "Finding The Artist Within", Burlingame.  April 3-5, 2020. - cancelled

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

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

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


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)