Thursday, May 13, 2010

May 9th 2010 Meeting Minutes

The meeting was called to order at 9:30 am by Heidi Ericson, as Virva Porcelli was unable to attend. Heidi distributed advanced copies of the handspun portion of the Nevada State Fair handbook. The fair handbook is also available on the Nevada State Fair website.

Only 2 more weeks until the spindle retreat! No raffle was held today due to the increased visitor traffic for Planting Day at the park.
Do you have any input regarding the scholarship fund? If so, please contact Amy or Allison.

Old Business: The guild library is now located at Heidi’s house in Reno. There is a list on the blog site of library contents. Heidi is planning on storing the books in some sort of order, and will be bringing selections from the library to meetings so members are better able to peruse the media for something to take home and look at.

Please remember the Multicultural Festival is being held next Saturday at the community college in Carson City.

New guild business cards are available! Please see Heidi for them.

Mary asked if the guild has a policy in place to assist with guild dues if a member is unable to pay. It was discussed with Doris, and decided that if you know of a person who is financially unable to pay their dues, it should be brought to Doris’ attention privately, so assistance could be provided.

Treasurer Report: Two more dues were accepted, one spindle kit was sold, $50 was made off the last raffle, and one vendor donated $6 at the last meeting resulting in a balance of $ 2231.04. We now have a total of 36 paid members. Doris gave a breakdown of guild monies for 2009 as follows:
53 members: $1300
Raffle: $ 291.50
Workshop: $ 60.00
Weaving study group: $ 40
Fiber donation proceeds: $ 544
Demo donation: $ 50
Vendor donations: $ 17
Spindle kits: $ 102
For 2010 breakdown as follows:
36 members: $ 900
Raffle: $ 171
Study group: $4
Vendor donations: $19
Spindle kits: $ 25
Workshop: $ 75
Less $519 for insurance, and $350 for the Davis Creek Retreat. (deposit refundable)

Eileen suggested we make some of the raffle money available to buy new releases for our guild library. Many of the books and videos are old, and new items may bring more interest. As always, donations of money or new books or videos to build up the library are greatly welcome. If you can think of ways to update the library please bring your ideas to a meeting.

Weaving study group meeting will be held Saturday May 15th at Toni Strassburg’s house. The address is 93898 State Hwy 70 in Chilcoot CA. Please email Toni at for directions. Group meets from 10 am to 2 pm.

Show and Tell
Heidi: Respect the Spindle book review with a skein of yarn plied using instruction from the book.
Libby: Beautiful beaded scarf
Mary: Lovely green scarf and shawl made from Knitpicks yarn in Grasshopper.
Nancy P: Tie-dyed baby shirts, 2 harness woven sample.
Eileen: Fold-able wagon from Costco.

A demonstration of easy yarn beading was given by Libby after the meeting - Thank you Libby!
Next meeting will be June 12th at Mimi Bullard’s house in Red Rock.

Those in attendance this month were: Eileen Jacobs, Toni Strassburg, Barbara Hunt, Libby Hejny, Sharie L. Jones, Mary B., Estes Ward, Connie Vann, Nancy Pryor, Heidi Ericson, Doris Woloszyn, Sue Gottsacker.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Whorled News, May 2010

The May 9th meeting is at Bartley Ranch school house and is a brown bag lunch. This is also their special Ag day event day at the park from 10:00-2:00. The meeting has been moved up to 9:00 to be concluded by the time the public starts arriving. Guild members who are able are encouraged to stay after the meeting and demonstrate.

Driving Directions: Drive .8 mile west from the intersection of McCarran Blvd and Hwy 395. Turn left (south) on Lakeside Drive and continue .4 mile. Bartley Ranch is at the north base of Windy Hill. Turn left on Bartley Ranch Road and continue several hundred feet to the main parking lot. Cross the covered bridge and turn right into the parking lot for the School House.

The June 12th meeting is at Mim Bullard's Desert Peach Ranch and is also brown bag. A demonstration on how skirt fleeces will be after lunch.

Driving Directions to Rancho Haven: From Reno, drive north on Hwy 395 to the first Red Rock exit, after the Stead Blvd exit. Drive 20 miles to the Sierra Ranchos Valley, and take the first left (after Jeanette Miller’s alpaca ranch ) onto Arabian. It’s a dirt road but has a county sign. Drive up into the valley and turn left on Rancho, then continue several hundred yards and turn right on Thoroughbred. Mim is about two miles up and on the right – 455 Thoroughbred Circle. If you are coming in from California, the north Red Rock exit is 13 miles past the exit for Hwy 70 at Hallelujah Junction and only turns right. Continue four miles from the State line, past the volunteer fire house and turn right on Rancho, at mailbox central. There is a cell signal at the mail boxes. Mim's number is (775-969-3249). You must use 775. Drive about two miles and turn right on Rancho (straight becomes Arabian), then continue several hundred yards and turn right on Thoroughbred. Mim is about two miles up and on the right – 455 Thoroughbred Circle.


Karen Starr: Here’s a New York story and a New Mexico story that came home to Nevada.

From 1998 until 2002 I worked as an assistant director for the Southeastern New York Library Resources Council. I was there for 9/11. My boss was at Fordham University in the Bronx on that day along with the other eight 3R council executive directors. They all came home. The husband of the Poughkeepsie (NY) mayor did not. There were many cars at the Metro North train stops up the Hudson River that weren’t claimed. There were many people who didn’t make it out of the Towers. New Yorkers have an understanding of that day that truly is not shared by anyone else in the country. The news we knew wasn’t broadcast elsewhere. I held a cordless phone up to New York City television broadcast for my sibling to listen to on the West Coast and what he was hearing wasn’t being broadcast outside of New York.

One of my staff members grew up in Berlin. She was a young girl in the middle of WWII and her mother taught her how to survive in Nazi Germany. I had a finished throw I had knitted and gave it to her the next day on 9/12. I still remember sitting at the picnic table in the sunshine outside the office as she took it to her car. It had an error in it. Months later she finally spotted it when she was looking at the throw from across the living room in her home in Highland, NY. She got the message. No art project can be created that is “perfect.” All of them must have at least one error in them, somewhere.

In 2002, I moved on to a job in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Just before doing so, I had an urge to teach myself how to crochet. I had picked up knitting after a 30 year hiatus and found Amazing Threads in Lake Katrine, NY, which is featured in the book “Knitter’s Stash; Favorite Patterns from America’s Yarn Shops.” The store ( became a habit and to this day I can still contact staff and have yarn shipped if I need to do so. At this point I can’t remember the project that gave me some left over yarn. I had some and started crocheting. I ran out of the Plymouth yarn and bought more because I couldn’t put the project down for some reason.

The colors in the afghan represent fall colors in New York. There is a reason why there is a school of Hudson River painters. One Saturday I hiked up a “hill” south of Newburgh, NY, with a friend from the New York New Jersey Trail Conference whom I first met as a librarian colleague. We stopped for lunch on the top. There was a football game going on at West Point. We could see all the fall colors to the south. The trees are so dense that you can’t see the population in the Hudson Valley. The sun was shining on the Tappan Zee Bridge . Along the horizon we could see the skyscrapers of Manhattan. As we hiked down the mountain we walked into a glade where the white birch were golden in the sunlight. The floor was covered by those same golden leaves. The white bark of the trees glowed along with the golden leaves in the sunlight.

As I moved across the country to Santa Fe, my hands had a physical itch in them that meant I had to pick up the hook and the yarn and put some more rows on it, even on those nights on the road driving the moving van and then again driving my car through all the states between New York and New Mexico. In the motels I would pick up the project and crochet so the itch would go away.

My first night in New Mexico in Tucumcari as I stood in the motel parking lot talking to my youngest niece on my cell phone I listened to the wind blow and the freight trucks head down Route 66 one right after the other within minutes of each other in the dark on the horizon. That would be the same route that a Nevada colleague worked north of in the late 1950s when she had my to become job at the New Mexico State Library. I started the throw in New York and finished it in New Mexico. The afghan became a tribute to those New York fall colors and the sunsets of New Mexico. New Mexico is a state where people pull over the side of the road to watch the sun go down and I had the luxury of watching it out of a west view living room window in Santa Fe. I wish I had my camera in New York. That didn’t happen. I created the afghan instead.
When I knit I don’t keep the outcome. I give it away to people. Friends and colleagues don’t get much from me in material goods. They do receive hand knitted and crocheted products that come with a history and in yarns that don’t fit the norm of a “craft.” So, when I needed to find a home for that afghan I remembered what a kind person in my home town did for my mother when she was in her declining years. She died in 1997 at age 87. That person gave her a crocheted afghan which I still have. My mother taught me fiber arts beginning at age 5 years. She took me through 4-H competition at the county fair and state fair in Oregon in the 1960s. Her last year outside her home was spent in an assisted care unit and in a nursing home. When I go to a floral shop in that home town to buy some flowers for my parents’ grave at the local cemetery, the staff still know who my parents were, and the impact they had on that small town in southern Oregon. It is a strange experience to watch them tear up.

So…..I sent an email to one of my staff in New York whose mother was in a nursing home. I asked her if she knew of anyone in the nursing home that never had a visitor. She said yes. She visited that person when her mother fell asleep and gave the woman some conversation no one else gave her because no one came to see her. I asked my staff member if she would give the afghan to the lady. She said yes. I asked another staff member if she would bless the afghan. She said yes. So the staff member whose mother was in the home took the afghan with her one day after it had been blessed and gave it to the lady who never had a visitor. The condition was that she was not to know who crocheted it.

What I remember is that the dear lady found the Plymouth yarn to be so soft. The colors must have struck a cord for her as a New Yorker. And, that someone she didn’t know gave her something bright and soft for her bed in that room in the nursing home in Kingston, NY, that no one came to visit. What goes around comes around. Someone gave to my mother. I gave to someone else’s mother.

There is reason why Georgia O’Keefe moved from New York to New Mexico. It is all about light and color as a friend who came to visit and took in the Albuquerque Balloon Festival once said. I don’t know what happened to that afghan. Someday I may find out. If not, it is blessed and it will find a way through its life keeping someone warm and giving someone the fall colors of New York that are world renown. It is all about fiber in its many permutations and it is all about color. And it is about passing it on to someone else in life.

So, here’s to spinning, weaving, knitting and crocheting and what the fiber arts can truly mean to all of us. Thanks to all of you in the Carson Sierra Spinners & Weavers for all you do.

Linda Loken: Weaving Projects
This project became a project as I was waiting for my house to sell and had the time to start working on weaving some of my stash. I had made this warp last fall (I think...can't remember) to weave a couple of scarves with some handspun silk singles. I had bought some 60/2 silk for a scarf pattern in the Interweave Handwoven Scarves book which actually calls for 30/2 silk...don't know what I was thinking, or should I say not thinking.

Wish it was 30/2 silk, but it's not. I'm pretty sure I must have been thinking that when I wound the warp too, but I don't know because I can't find the original page where I planned it all out. Now you must be starting to put together the reason why I call it a project! Here I am months later, digging around for the planning page trying to remember what the heck I had in mind and then realizing that I was going to have to sort of just figure out something with what I do know.

I knew it was 60/2 silk which is the same size as most sewing threads. I had no idea how many ends were in the warp or how long I had made the warp, but I did know that I should sley the reed at 64 ends per inch for a twill pattern. So I beamed the warp noting that it was really long, though I didn't think to measure it until after I beamed it - I know - it's a wonder I can drive a car let alone work a loom.

I looked through Marguerite Davison's A Handweaver's Pattern Book for a twill pattern and decided to go with a goose-eye pattern. I sleyed the 12 dent reed at 5 ends per dent except for every third dent had 6 ends. I tied on and started weaving with the handspun-hand dyed singles only to find it was stiff as a board and the change in colors in the weft weren't really looking as cool as I thought they would. So I wove enough for a little purse.
Then I decided to see how the silk looked with this really cool teal rayon thread I had in my sewing drawer. That was soft and flexible, but dang I ran out of thread before I knew it and figured I might have enough to make two bags out of that piece. The goose-eye pattern really looked cool with the rayon thread, but I found I had to be very consistent in my weaving so that I didn't beat the weft too hard or too loose. That meant I had to not advance the warp too far or wait too long to advance it.

You can see in the picture with the teal thread that it caused variations in the pattern that looked like mistakes...guess they were, except this was an experiment by now, so there are no mistakes, only unexpected outcomes and learning experiences!

So now that I was comfortable weaving with thread, I felt good about whipping out the white silk that I bought at the same time as the black and making good use of the rest of the warp. Even though it wove up at only 4.5 inches wide, I thought it would make a cool scarf. I would just weave until I ran out of warp…8 feet later! The finished product is a beautiful fine looking scarf that I can wear with my professional accounting attire, though chances are no one will guess that I wove it myself!

Sharon Campbell
: Experimenting with Socks Blanks

The last Sunday in April, I drove over to Grass Valley to participate in the Foothill Fiber Guild's spring dye day. Sue Flynn has hosted and Sara Lamb has facilitated this as a guild fundraiser for about the past five years. Amy and I were supposed to go together, but she succumbed to influenza and was stuck in bed. We are also members of their guild at the urgings of Wes and Brenda Pound, for those of you who remember them from way back when.

I was ending my session and cleaning up when Lindsey Cleveland pulled sock blanks from her soak water and said here - go for it. Without fore-planning, I chose gold, turquoise and red violet from the dye solutions and applied my colors with a stencil brush.
After I got home I rinsed the blanks and when dry, unraveled them to get this entertaining colorful fiber spaghetti. I know some people knit right from the blank, but I wanted to soak and tame the yarn.
I'm sure I wouldn't have had any problem with the kinks while knitting, but I'm much happier working from center-pull balls.

I will say that all this abuse shows wear on the yarn.
My grandmother used to say, "The proof is in the pudding." Here's the pudding and I have to say that I did an awfully good job at guessing the placement of my blogs of dye. It looks like a pair of socks to me.

Linda Lindsey: Rug Weaving Project

This is a picture from a project I just finished. A friend wanted a couple of small rugs to match a Navajo rug he had, and he asked if I could do it. He bought the yarn, and paid (!) me to weave it.

I had enough warp that I rearranged it a bit and I'm using the rug yarn that was left over to do a small table runner/wall hanging. It should be finished this weekend, but not in time to bring it to the meeting. Yes, the sizes of the motif on the 2 small rugs are different, but the friend was okay with that. I can sure tell that I need more practice on doing the vertical color joins on the small wall hanging, they were a bit too rough. This is a great idea, and this time I actually had a picture of something done I could send!

Allison Judge: The Year of the Entrelac

2009 was the Year of Entrelac for me. When I first tried this technique many years ago, it certainly wasn't anything I enjoyed very much. After finishing 2 of Kathryn Alexander's designs, a hat & and tunic vest I started to come around, designing an Entrelac hat worked in the round. While sewing in ends, I looked at it as it was upside down and a felted basket and bag were the result. I've taught several mini-workshops on the technique and hopefully there are knitters out there now who enjoy it as much as I do. One thing I really enjoyed in the process was getting the "knitting and purling back-backwards" thing down so I don't have to be constantly turning the work!

Pictures are of Kathryn's hat and mine, modeled by my daughter.

Mim Bullard: Lamb 101

To make these lambs I used two Shetland Sheep. My technique was to put my ewe's in with the ram about the first of November. Since this takes five months to finish, I choose November 1st in order to get early spring lambs. I was very happy with the results but wish one were a ewe lamb. Bella had two ram lambs born Easter Sunday morning. If I would change things I think next time I would like to use a spotted ram to get more color in the lambs.

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Instructions: Learn to spin! Private and semi-private lessons available in Reno and can be arranged at a convenient time for you. Lessons are 2 hours long and include fiber. Spinning wheel rental is also offered for those students completing a lesson. Contact Allison Judge,

Loom for Sale: For Sale like new, Kromski Rigid Heddle Loom 24 inches $200.00 firm. Call Vivian Olds, 575-5516 (7/09)

Loom for Sale: 8 Harness Gilmore 42" Loom. Includes Bench, Removable top tray, shuttles, raddle & clamp and 12 yard warping board. I purchased this loom new, a few years ago from Gilmore. It is beautiful and in excellent condition. Original cost was $2187.00 not including the bench and other accessories. Need to sell, will consider all reasonable offers. You can reach me via Email. Nancy Donohue (7/09)

Spinning Wheel: Ashford Traditional spinning wheel for sale. Spins perfectly. Single treadle, single drive, scotch tension. $250. Contact Allison Judge,

Wheel and Loom for Sale: Single treadle Ashford Traditional with Jumbo flyer, $250. Eight-harness Gilmore floor loom with extras, like premeasured warps and plenty of shuttles, $450. Contact Gina Caudillo

Loom for Sale: Herald, 60" Jack floor loom, in excellent condition, with all supplies and at least 200 pounds of yarns, mostly rayon chenille and cotton. Back problems force me to part with this loom. Centrally located in Reno. Pictures available. Price is $600.00 for everything. Call Barbara at 775 825-7101 or email me at

Spinning Wheel: Double-treadle Kronski Minstrel, asking $300. Contact Marilyn Clarke,, 786-1709.