Friday, February 3, 2012

February Newsletter

February Newsletter (click the link and it will take you to the PDF version if you would like to print)

Caught the Weaving Bug!

 Learning about new things and techniques, especially in the fiber world, is one of my favorite things to do! I have a couple Rigid Heddle looms, that were a great place to start, but I knew I needed a “real loom” with shafts and treadles to be able to do the projects I have in mind!
When I received an email from Barbara about a few looms for sale I jumped at the chance to really learn how to weave! Jeanne had a couple looms she was interested in parting with, one was a 40” 4 shaft Gilmore X folding loom and the other is a 40” 8 shaft, 12 treadle custom made loom, (this loom was made for Edith Wolter by her   father). Well, I couldn’t just take one and leave the other out, so both came home with me. As you know looms are big and I have a TINY house… needless to say I had to even sell my couches so    that I would have room for my new weaving studio.
I am having so much fun learning how to weave and learning the different quirks each loom has. The Gilmore came with a cotton warp already on it so I started weaving on it just a few hours after we had it in the house!  I really wanted to clean and learn more about the looms construction so decided to “quickly” weave a t-shirt rug with some t-shirt yarn chains I had in my stash. What instant gratification!  After weaving to the end of the warp I cut off the rug and immediately started cleaning and oiling the loom.
Instead of putting a new warp on the Gilmore, we started putting together “CJ” (Custom Jack, as I’m calling him). Wow is it big!!! I really like “CJ” because I think he is a good loom to learn on because I won’t be immediately limited if I decide to make something with more than four shafts! After we had “CJ" all set up, I of course decide that I need to get him warped and decided to warp with cotton from the guild stash to practice on.  I had fun switching colors and trying different treadling orders and seeing what different designs I could come up with. By the end I had enough for two small towels and a table/sample runner and my gauge/sample pieces.

 I definitely need to work on my selvages (that will just take time and practice), instead of    buying a temple, it’s on my list of things to get, I was using a couple alligator clips with string and weights when my dad came, saw what I was doing and immediately produced a couple “electrical test lead alligator clips” to use as the temple clips. They are perfect! I have them attached to a string and am using fishing weights to weight them down. I had to also put a string from the warp beam the front beam for the temple string to lie on.
Last week, I wove two different scarves; the first (blue, teal and orange) with a worsted weight knitting yarn from my stash, the scarf is thick and soft. I played around with changing the direction of twill and ran out of yarn half way through so switched to another color. The second scarf (gray and blue) was actually already on one of my rigid heddle looms, it only had 8 inches woven so I cut it off and warped it and wove a plain twill with it. The gray and blue were from cones that Barbara let me use to play with weaving with actually weaving yarns, because they were different fibers they of course reacted differently when washed. The blue shrunk more than the gray causing the scarf to have wavy gray sections. It is also pretty dense because I beat it pretty good, I know better for next time: beat less and check twill angle.
Since I stated my fiber obsession with knitting I have boxes and boxes of yarn that I have decided to use up before getting too much more! With that in mind, I out my box of novelty yarns and gathered all the skeins and balls that were light creams and pinks. I have had this idea in my head for a while of weaving a shawl with all those yarns I wouldn't normally knit with, but that always seem to follow me home. I started winding the warp, keeping each ball separate and when I slayed the reed I randomly grabbed a color. It is so hard to be random, I like order and had to keep telling myself, “No planning, just do it!”
I was actually dreading having to weave with it because it looks funny and so messy unwoven and I didn't want it to look bad! I am using 8/2 alpaca as the weft. After weaving a few inches and getting over my “perfectionist tendencies” I stepped back and lo and behold the woven fabric is exactly what I had imagined and I am loving it! That is, after I attached my boat shuttle to a ski shuttle so that it wouldn't keep falling between the warp and also having to clear the shed of sticky yarn, aside from that its wonderful! I don't know if it will actually be a shawl, I may cut it in half and seam it together into a lacy blanket, that would definitely be different!
I am having so much fun reading old issues of Handwoven, looking through my yarn stash, drafting out plans and dreaming of future projects! If you have any suggestions or tips for me let me know! Also, since I’m know to this, what are is your favorite weaving tool? I would love to hear and learn from your experiences!
Thanks for letting me share my first weaving experiences with you!
Gynna B.


The Mystery of the Inca Maize Belts: The Da Vinci Code Without the Murders

Textile Arts Council presents Lynn Meisch, Professor of Anthropology, Saint Mary’s    College, who has done extensive field-work documenting the Inca weaving tradition of maize belts from northern Peru. She will share stories of her Andean adventures tracking these 700-year old motifs which link maize agriculture with female fertility.

Saturday, February 11, 2012 – 10 am
Koret Auditorium, de Young Museum
Free to TAC members, $5 students/Museum members, $10 general
Tickets at the door
415 750-3627

July 6th through July 29th 2012
A juried exhibit of structures created by the interlacing of warp and weft
Entries close May 1, 2012
The basic principle of weaving is the same today as it was in prehistoric times.  Woven goods, whether baskets of the ancients or textiles of the modern power loom, are made by interlacing lengthwise materials with crosswise materials. “Warps and Wefts” is about what can be created with this simple weaving structure.  This is not just a weaving exhibit.  
Artists are encouraged to adapt their media to meet the criteria of ‘warp and weft’.      
Opening Reception: Friday, July 6, 2012 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Information and entry form available at the Gualala Art Center or on the web at 
Call to Artists


The first meeting of the year was a blast! We spun, wove, knit and showed off our finished projects!

Our next meeting will be February 18, at 10 am. Bring your lunch or a snack to share and a project to work on!


Kathleen Brady is moving to the wilds of Northern California at the end of March  ( Igo, SW of Redding).

Available now:
Gilmore Loom -  40" ,4H  X-frame in good condition $500.  
Tapestry loom - $500
Several treadle sewing machines -  make any offer.
..and a big china cabinet.

Call Kathleen in St. Helena ASAP.
There will also be a sale in Napa later as Kathleen sorts out her collection of all things spinning and weaving related now in storage.
The Guild is adopting her Structo table loom(s) for demonstrations and workshops.

Monday, December 5, 2011

December Newsletter!

December Newsletter (click the link and it will take you to the PDF version if you would like to print)


Weaving, spinning, felting, knitting… KNITTING?! Those of us who spin and use the results for knitting are so grateful for the inclusive and generous spirit that guides the Handweavers' Guild. Especially as I recently got the bright idea that a knit-along focusing on the neck-down AKA top-down construction mode seemed an interesting project for these winter months. I  proposed the idea to my friend Gwyneth who expressed enthusiasm and suggested a few people to contact, and I thought some of my  fellow Guild members would be interested in joining us. YOU WERE! Yay! 

When Gynna suggested I bring some of my top-down sweaters to the November meeting at The Pink House, I was surprised by how many I had made, and how  varied they were. Not only varied in style or look, often also quite different from what any pattern I used had stipulated. A wise person said, "The pattern is only a  suggestion." 

Being able to significantly change construction details, add embellishments, try-on as you go, these are each qualities that attract me to top-down construction. Not that I need much of a push to make a sweater and especially a cardigan. I am gaga for sweaters. Speaking of construction; top-down construction is most often raglan styling. However, with a bit of   fiddling, saddle or epaulet shoulder styles can be accomplished top-down, as can square or   angled armhole garments. For our knit-a-long you need only basic knitting skills - you need to know how to cast-on, knit, purl, bind-off and pick-up stitches. My hope is that we use the knit-a-long to share information on those little refinements that make for more accomplished and handsome work. Sharing info on making nice edges, or favorite buttonholes, adding cables to a pattern - we all have skills and information useful to those with less experience. 

Golly, leave it to knitters to figure out how to put knitting in the center of the Season of Sharing.

Yours, Judy du Monde

Maker’s notes: Most of the sweaters are actually derived from the same Knitting Pure and Simple Pattern - a scoop neck T-top with short sleeves.
The first, in a self-patterning cotton blend was knit straight from the pattern, no substantive changes. (1)
The next, in a nylon-wrapped gray yarn finer than the stipulated gauge, had lengthened sleeves and a slightly altered neckline, open-work raglan seams. Knitted in a larger size got me the size I needed at my gauge. (2)
The orange-red alpaca, wool and linen blend pull with contrasting hems and high ribbed neck was the third. (3)
The pattern was truly fudged when I made the bright olive pull as the neckline is a modified boat-neck, decorative ribbing and LONGER. (4)
The sweater that changed the most from its original pattern, is the silk-blend chocolate brown tweed cardigan. The pattern was designed as an open-knit (thick and thin cotton on too-large needles) with 3/4 sleeves, cropped. The front band carries around the back and is quite deep, worked in reverse stockinette. I didn’t do any of those things. The pattern, truly, was a suggestion. I worked the gauge to make a good stockinette, lengthened the sleeves and body of the sweater adding increases to the lower body for fit. That wrap-around band was worked in stockinette stitch, with masses of short-row work so that the lower part flares toward the center of the garment and provides an overlap. Great sweater, just perfect for fall!

BTW, should anyone wish to knit a little top-down baby sweater, I have one that calls for self-striping sock yarn that is a sweetie. Yours for the asking! jdu


 Interconnections: Tapestry Weavers West
Sharon Crary has a tapestry on display!
Mills Building, 220 Montgomery Street (at Bush), San Francisco, CA 94104
Lobby hours: Monday through Friday 8-6
Work for this exhibition was selected by Kerri Hurtado of Artsource Consulting and Deborah Corsini from submissions by Tapestry Weavers West members to February 3, 2012.

“Invisible Lineage”  San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles
The “Invisible Lineage” exhibit at the San Jose Museum of Wuilts and Textiles should be of interest to many members.
“Invisible Lineage showcases the work of four influential mid-twentieth century fiber artists -  Mary Buskirk, Lydia Van Gelder, Mary Walker Phillips, Katherine Westphal -  alongside works of four late century artists, Pat Abrahamian, Pam Moore, Karen Hampton, and Janice Sullivan.”
Here’s a chance to see knitting by Mary Walker Phillips and a knitted ikat by Lydia Van Gelder. Other names members will recognize are Karen Hampton and Janice Sullivan who have both talked to us about their work.
The exhibit runs through February 15. Fieldtrip anyone?


November was a good month all around! We had our guild meeting on the 19th. Judy du Monde brought her sweaters and notebook to display and talked about the different modifications she made. It was truly inspiring to see all those cozy sweaters! ( I was tempted to “borrow” one to keep warm this holiday season!) We also knitted, spun and chatted up a storm! I do believe it was the perfect end to this years guild meetings!

Happy Holiday’s to all! I hope you have time to create this month! 

If you have a yummy recipe, any tips or suggestions or stories you would like to share please send them my way!

Our next meeting will be January 21, at 10 am. Bring your lunch or a snack to share and a project to work on!


By Anne Gomes
I recently read a great book that was reviewed in Handwoven Magazine. “A Carpet Ride to Khiva; Seven Years on the Silk Road,” by Christopher Aslan Alexander.
Here is a quote from the back cover of the book; “Chris Alexander originally travelled to Khiva, a remote walled city in Uzbekistan on the route of ancient Silk Road, to write a guidebook. But he stayed, mesmerized by a world of silk and forgotten 15th century carpet designs– discovering indigo blue, madder red, pomegranate gold and the subtle shades of life in a desert oasis.”
Chris Alexander stayed for seven years and helped revive the traditional silk dying and rug weaving workshops in the city where he lived. He also made strong friendships among the weavers. I found the book interesting and totally engrossing.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November Newsletter

November Newsletter (click the link and it will take you to the PDF version if you would like to print) 

CNCH 2012

Registration opened November 1, 2011, for CNCH 2012. Since this will be my first time attending and taking classes I wanted to make sure to register early to ensure that I get the classes that I want and to also reserve a hotel room. I did both so now I get to look forward to taking classes,  shopping, attending the fashion show and banquet and meeting new people!

Located at the newly renovated Oakland Marriott Hotel and Convention Center, the classrooms will be roomy, the marketplace and galleries will be uniquely set up and the hotel rooms are quite nice! 
Rooms are $119 a night with the group discount, just mention CNCH 2012. Parking will be $15 a day (normally $24). If anyone is interested in sharing a room and carpooling we will be talking about it more as the time nears. I know I will be   looking for a roommate to help lower costs.

Galleries displaying creative works of art will include:
Tradition/Innovation Gallery 
Baskets, Vessels, and Sculpture Gallery 
Yardage Gallery
Fashion Gallery 
Teachers Gallery 
Return to Sender Gallery 
Return of Return to Sender Gallery

I know you are all creative and would love to see your pieces on display, so get on it and decide which piece you will include.

There will be 16 wonderful instructors with many different topics. The list of instructors include: Jacey Boggs, Carin Engen, Stephenie Gaustad, Kay Harradine, Sara Lamb, Daryl Lancaster, Judith MacKenzie, Syne Mitchell, John Mullarkey, Peggy Osterkamp, Nancy Roberts, Joan Ruane, Robyn Spady, Jannie Taylor, Nancy Weber and Judy Zugish.

Be sure to check out the CNCH website for all this information and more!

 The above collage shows the future marketplace for CNCH 2012, bedrooms: king size beds and full size beds, the hallway and the view from one of the  guest rooms!


 I love to hear what people have been up to and what projects they are working on. If you have any projects you have worked on, visited someplace that you would like to tell us about, gave a talk, or just about anything, please send it to me and we will feature you!

Barbara Stafford

 On October 5, I gave a presentation to the Redwood Empire Guild on Rug Weaving. It happened to be the day they celebrated Lydia Van Gelder’s 100th birthday.       Yes, there was cake.

I wove scarves for a show at the Rutherford Grange, October 15,16. No sales, but I met a lot of lovely people.


This month, November 21, I will be making a presentation to the Golden Gate Weavers Guild. Monday, November 21 at 10:30 a.m. at the North Berkeley Senior Center (in the Health Room) 1901 Hearst Avenue (at Martin Luther King), Berkeley              

Sharon Crary

Going Through the Motions was accepted into the juried American Tapestry Alliance Small Tapestry International 2. The theme was Passages. The show has traveled to    Weaving Southwest in Taos, New Mexico; Handforth Gallery in Tacoma, Washington and to the Cultural Arts Center in Glen Allen, Virginia. It has traveled more than me!

Arcs will show in SF sponsored by Tapestry Weavers West. The theme is Interconnections.  Tapestries will be on display at the Mills Building, 220 Montgomery Street (at Bush) from November 14 to February 3, 2012. There is a reception on Thursday, November 17 from 5-7 p.m.. Y’all are invited!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

October Newsletter


The Process
The Finished Shawls

Lambtown Fiber Festival was yesterday.
Many of our Guild members attended for shopping, classes, and the Sheep to Shawl competition.
The Silverado Spinsters (Barbara, Cat, Cathi, Debra, Elske, Gynna and Kathleen) competed and took First place in the Sheep to Shawl Competition! 


September 17 found us once again  gathered in the little house at the senior center. We had a lovely time spinning, weaving and knitting.
In attendance at this meeting were:  Cathi, Debra, Elske, D, Gynna, Joyce, Judy, Kathleen and Kim.

Our next meeting will be October 15, at 10 am.
Bring your lunch or a snack to share and a project to work on!


by Jeanne Gibson

A Treasury of Towels, Handwoven’s Design Collection, 18, Interweave Press 2002, Good Basic Information
The Prairie Wool Companion, Issue 8, Overshot, Linen Hand Towels
Handwoven, Vol. 7, No. 3, May/June 1986, Summer and Winter Towels
Handwoven, Issue 106, Sept/Oct 2001, Huck Christmas Towels
 Handwoven, Issue 109, Mar/Apr 2002, Linen Huck Towels, Ripsmatta Towels, Huck Lace Towels (cottolin)
Handwoven, Issue 114, Mar/Apr 2003, Striped Dishtowels, Striped Patterns, Plaids
Handwoven, Issue 115, May/June 2003, Huck Linen Towels
Handwoven, Issue 116, Sept/Oct 2003, Summer and Winter Towels in Cotton
Handwoven, Issue 128, Jan/Feb 2006, Size, Huck Lace, Swedish Lace, Linen Huck Lace, Twill, M’s & O’s


I held my first Napa Valley Open Studios this year. As Barbara Stafford commented later, we were “shuttling” people back and forth between us. Either they were coming from her studio or going from mine to hers.
First of all, so many of my neighbors stopped in to see what was going on. Most of those I had never met before so it was exciting to touch base with them and talk about the neighborhood.
Secondly, quite a few visitors voiced a desire to learn to weave so the guild might have some new members. I must have given one fellow a list of 5-6 books he should get to get him started in his weaving fun.
I had many favorable comments about my rugs, scarves and tapestries and many people appeared genuinely interested in how the loom works, how you get a woven cloth, how you get your colors, how you learned to weave, what got you started, etc.
All in all it was a great time. Oh, and if you want to see what it looked like yourself, go to the Napa Valley Open Studios Facebook Page, Gynna came around and took many pictures and posted them there.

By Sharon Crary
Sharon’s Website:

With great weather— except for a shower on Sunday morning—interesting visitors, and a satisfying number of scarf sales made this a good and enjoyable event this year.
Over the two weekends we welcomed about 30 people each day with 60 on the last Sunday. An article about me in the Register boosted the number of visitors on the last weekend. Several were interested in learning more about weaving—look for them at future guild meetings. With Sharon also on the tour we had quite a fiber shuttle going on.
This year the set-up was to have the looms and fiber processing equipment on display in the studio and patio where I demonstrated the steps in making my rugs. All the finished work was displayed in the house– just as well since it rained. Kate Benner ran the salesroom consisting of a “Gallery” of rugs hung in the Front Parlor and a very successful Scarf Boutique in the dining room.
Now I am busy weaving more scarves for a Sale at a Show at the Rutherford Grange on October 14/15.
And a first, photos of us were up online spreading the news within an  hour of opening. Our internet guru and ace photographer Gynna B was on the job. Thanks Gynna!
PS. The rug loom is fixed. It is warped with 8/5 linen rug warp of poor quality that I was to take off and toss. So if anyone has use for it let me know. There are 18 sections of 12 ends each about 17-20 yards long.

By Barbara Stafford
Barbara’s Website:

Follow the links to find photos on Facebook and at Gynna B's Photography Page


CNCH 2012 is May 18-20, 2012
Registration begins  Nov. 1 at 9am!
The theme  is Tradition/Innovation.
Featuring a Market Place, Galleries, Fashion Show, Banquet and Classes

Check out the CNCH website  for more information or pick up a booklet at our next guild meeting.

Guild Secretary Needed
We are in need of a Guild Secretary. If you are interested or know someone who would be  willing to do the job please contact  our president, D Marlowe

Annual Dues                    
If you haven’t already done so, please send your Dues to Kim Farmer. Annual Dues are$25.00 for the period of July through June of the next year. 
News Letter Submissions
Articles, sale items, workshop/event information should be sent to Gynna by the 25th of each month to be included in the Newsletter.

Loom for Sale
45" LeClerc "Nilus" folding 4 shaft 6 treadle/ jack loom friction brake /  all in working order $375. Call 
  or email Jan Langdon.

Jan teaches weaving at the Richmond Art Center and they need to make room for an 8 shaft.

PDF of the October Newsletter can be found here.

September Newsletter

September 2011 Newsletter can be found here.