Saturday, March 19, 2011


This was sent in by Carolyn  "I came across these two little stories about spinners and thought they were cute and funny."

Woman spinning flax using a drop spindle and distaff.
MS Fr. 599, f. 40, Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris
15th c. France

Excerpt from a book entitled The Faeryland Companion by Beatrice Phillpotts 1999 Barnes & Nobel Books

Spinners and Shoemakers

  The Faeries had a great reputation for various skills.  Faery women were famous as spinners and dyers, while the Leprechaun was a celebrated shoemaker.

                Magical dyes were concocted from lichen, roots, bark, leaves and fruit.  A faery pool near Loch Lomond in Scotland, where the water was of a peculiar shade of green, was believed to be the site of a faery dying factory.  It was abandoned however, when their mortal neighbours came to investigate.  The faeries did not have time to remove their equipment and were forced to leave it at the bottom of the pool – hence its strange colour.

                The Scots had a faery patron of spinning called Habetrot.  In “The Three Spinners” by William Henderson in Folk-Lore of the Northern Counties, he describes how Habetrot helped a beautiful but lazy peasant girl to win the local laird for a husband by spinning for her.

                The girl was ordered by her mother to spin, but could produce only “a few feet of lumpy, uneven thread”.  She came across an old woman, who was the skilled spinner Habetrot.  She offered to spin the lint for the girl and promptly vanished.  But the girl spied her in an underground faery hall:  “…she saw a great cavern, with a number of queer old wives sitting spinning in it, each on a white marble stone.”

                The local laird rode past the girl’s cottage the following morning and was so impressed by the “smoothness and evenness of the skeins that the faeries had spun, that he proposed marriage to her on the spot.  She accepted but knew there would be trouble, because he “kept talking of all the fine yarn she would be spinning for him after the wedding.”  She asked Habetrot for help, and she invited them both into her faery cavern.  The laird asked why the spinners all had long lips and spoke with a stutter.  When Habetrot told him that his new wife would be just like them soon, because she loved spinning so much, he lost all his enthusiasm for fine yarns and forbade her to do any more spinning.

  Some faeries preferred using man-made wheels to their own and would steal into cottages at night to do their spinning.  Residents of the Isle of Man tried to prevent them from doing this, but usually failed, as in the following story from Sophia Morrison’s Manx Fairy Tales:

                “Some time in the night my brother wakened me with a:  “Shish!  Listen boy, and look at the big light in the kitchen!”

                “Listen!” I said, “it must be the Little Ones that’s agate of the wheel!”

                And both of us got very frightened.  In the morning we told what we had seen.

                “Aw, like enough, like enough,” my Father said, looking at the wheel.  “It seems your mother forgot to take the band off last night, a thing people should be careful about, for it’s givin’ Themselves power over the wheel.””

Sunday, March 6, 2011

February 2011 Minutes

Meeting was brought to order by our president Virva.
Secretary Doris gave her report. We have 29 paid members and she will pay the insurance due in March.
Connie Vann has excepted the V.P. position.
Fair Report by Amy: The fair is in dire need of funds this year. It is not sure yet if there will be a State Fair this year in August. It was mentioned that if possible we will donate some money to help the fair this year. We should know more by the March meeting. We also talked about other venues for the guild to participate in this year. Should look into Wooster Highs "reskilling" day. There is a conflict with doing the Celtic Fair this year. It will be in September on the same weekend as the Retreat.
Sharie is collecting pictures of members and the projects they do. Please send her pictures of you with your fiber animals or spinning and knitting to collect for the fair displays.
Fair Challenge: Everyone is working with their fiber, black Alpaca.
Would anyone like to be in charge of "Hospitality"? If not Virva will keep the coffee pot and the rest of us please bring your own dish and eating utensils at all pot luck lunches. Plus we all need to help Virva clean up after each meeting.
Heidi reported that she has our brochure for all events we attend ready to print. 
New Business: The guild received a LeClerc Loom complete with shuttles. We will talk about an auction to sell  everything as a fund raiser for the guild.
It was brought up that on August 19th and 20th, from 12 noon to 5 that is a Friday and Saturday this year there will be a Cowboy Poetry get together. We are invited to spin and sell our hand made products. This would be a great venue to bring some fiber animals. Will try and see if Toni and Jeannette would bring their llamas and alpacas and maybe a few sheep. Virva will check to see if we need a business license to sell.
Raffle: Barbara needs stuff to raffle at the monthly meetings. All fiber related stuff please bring to the meetings. Sharon donated a pair of hand knit socks this month!
The Learning Tree was Q&A. We talked about blocking knitted items.
Show and Tell: Marilyn brought a skein of her black Alpaca fiber challenge fiber mixed with silk and wool and spun with beads added.
Melanie: showed us her pouch made with a medal ruler used as a closure, her new interchangeable knitting needles and her valentine yarn vase with crochet hooks. 
Heidi: hand spun woven scarf, and her alpaca/angora/silk noil
Mim: four felt scarves from fiber purchased at Black Sheep last year.
Barbara G: beautiful yarn dyed with food colors
Sharie: hand dye yarn, and first pair of hand knit socks, and first Navajo plied yarn
Sharon: had her hand spun hand knit shrug
Barbara H: had her "Stephine" scarf made with sock yarn
Connie: had a shrug also knit by her friend
Malinda: brought her first pair of knit socks
Mim Bullard, Sharon Campbell,Sharie L. Jones,Nancy Grundy,Janet Drozd,Barbara Greene, Barbara Hunt,Melanie Carr,Perry Louie,Doris Woloszyn,Marilyn Clarke,Virva Porcelli,Carol Lopez,Connie Vann'Amy Shannon Heidi Ericson,Judy Wells,Malinda Parks, Karen Starr
Our March meeting will be held at:
South Valleys Library:  will be held in the multi-purpose room.  Driving directions:  Exit onto Mt Rose Hwy from Hwy 395 and proceed west to the first stop light, which is Wedge Parkway.  Turn right and continue about a mile.  Turn right on Whites Creek Ln.  The library is bright yellow and quite visible. 
Brown bag and we will be watching the last half of our DVD " The Gentle Art of Plying"