THE NEWSLETTER OF THE NASHOBA VALLEY WEAVERS� GUILD by mattarmstrong

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                          THE NEWSLETTER OF THE NASHOBA VALLEY WEAVERS’ GUILD




                                                      November 2008

                           Nashoba Valley Weavers’ Guild ~ PO Box 50 ~ Harvard MA ~ 01451
                                                               Lacroix
                                                               March 24, 20008: Weaving ecological totes with Dawn
                                                               Forde
                                                               April 28, 20008: Lois Hardy on dolls and pin weaving
                                                               May 26, 20008: Barbara Herbster, weaving with bamboo
                                                               June 23, 20008: Potluck supper, annual meeting, and
Next Year’s Theme: The theme for this year (2008-09)           guild challenge; place – TBA.
is ―Green is the new Black." This topic will allow
exploration in a multitude of ways, such as weaving with
thrums, weaving with natural fibers, dyeing with natural
fibers, and spinning with blended fibers.
Guild Challenge: Use a traditional weaving draft, or
modify a traditional weaving draft, and weave something        The New England Weavers Seminar (NEWS) will be
―green‖. Green is how you define it.                           held on July 9-12, 2009 at Smith College in
                                                               Northampton. Save the date—there are lots of good
                                                               courses. A brochure describing offerings will be mailed
Next Program: December 2, 20008: Jill Horton-Lyons             in January. Scholarships are available, both full
from Winterberry Farm on ―Weaving with Flax‖. The              scholarships for tuition plus room and board, and tuition-
evening will include hands-on- activities for everyone to      only scholarships. Information will be in the brochure.
try. Jill will discuss the growing and processing of flax
and also a bit about its history - particularly in New         Our guild’s responsibility for this NEWS is to coordinate
England. She will bring quite a few things to share,           volunteers. NEWS participants are asked to volunteer in
including:                                                     various ways, mainly as teachers’ assistants and as
                                                               show sitters, but also other jobs. This year people who
                                                               watch the rooms where the shows are displayed (the
        Cured flax plants (and some seeds)
                                                               guild show, the faculty show, the Gallery Show, the
                                                               Fashion Show) will be offered a vendor voucher.
        Flax break, scutching board & sword
                                                               Each guild is encouraged to display work of its members
        Hetchel                                                in the Guild Exhibit. We are planning to do so; details
                                                               will be forthcoming.
        Wheel & distaff
                                                               NEWS awards prizes to handwovens in various
        Commercially prepared fiber                            categories in the Fashion Show and the Gallery Show.
                                                               The prizes will be listed on the NEWS website. One of
                                                               them is for items woven in rosepath, which just happens
        Spinning hooks so each person can make her
                                                               to be the threading for our guild challenge this year. The
        own sample to keep
                                                               last few times NEWS was held, there were no entries
                                                               woven in rosepath, so the prize was not awarded.
        Loom (small) with linen warp for people to try         Here’s an opportunity! As you think about weaving
                                                               something for the guild challenge, consider entering it in
        Books & samples and Handouts with                      NEWS.
        bibliography and key info
                                                               NEWS Swaps is an exchange of weaving samples.
                                                               People weave 20 samples and send them with sample
Here are the other programs for the year as they               sheets (available on the NEWS website) to Patricia
currently stand:                                               Morton. When she accumulates samples of 20 fabrics,
                                                               she sends one of each to every participant, and keeps a
                                                               copy for NEWS. The current swap has been going on
January 27, 20008: Temari Ornaments with Verena                for several years, and will be closed at NEWS. However
Wieloch; and discussion of the guild challenge:                many samples there are at that point will be distributed.
Reinterpreting traditional Drafts                              Any left over will be donated to the beginning weaving
February 24, 20008: Weaving with natural dyes – Penny          class as a graduation present for their inspiration.
NEWS Swaps is a great opportunity to get samples of               (i.e., the hand weaving division, not all Creative Arts  2
interesting fabrics, and it’s easy to participate. Consider       crafts).
adding a little extra to your next project, and send some             Loom for sale: For sale by owner a 32" Hammett
samples to Patricia!                                              Counter-Balanced Loom in very good condition. It is
                                                                  currently disassembled and stored in a basement. It is a
NEWS Samples: Our guild will also be responsible for              four-harness loom with metal heddles. The heddles
the samples that will go out with the NEWS Newsletter in          should be replaced or thoroughly cleaned so as not to
Spring 2009. We will be setting up the guild loom later           damage or soil the warp. The reed also should be
this year and would like to invite all members to help            cleaned. Otherwise the loom just needs to be assembled
weave it off. We need about 335 samples 3-4‖ square,              and is ready to go. It comes with a detailed booklet from
or about 6-7 yards on the guild loom. Dorothy is about            J. L. Hammet (very hard to find) on assembly and
to make some mug rugs using complementary plain                   warping. Included are shuttles, lease sticks, and
weave.                                                            threading hook. There are also a couple of books--one
                                                                  especially good one is "Warping the Loom Alone" by
Bits and Pieces                                                   Folts and Mathieson. Asking $300.00 for all. This loom
    Weaving Demonstrations at Fruitlands                          needs to be used and loved! Buyer must arrange pick-
Eleven guild members participated in demonstrations of            up in Maynard, MA. All questions gladly answered via e-
weaving and spinning on six different days at Fruitlands          mail at: GreenSong@aol.com or phone (978)-461-
this summer and fall. Using yarn owned by the guild or            0738. Ask for Nancy.
donated by guild members, we wove fabric for a 3-                     For sale by owner: Harrisville maple loom. 40"
panelled blanket. It is off the loom and in the process of        weaving width. Includes stool and reed. $400. Located
being finished. When it is ready, it will be sent to              in Lowell. Contact Marcia at 978-452-0318.
Soldiers’ Angels                                                      For sale: A beautiful used Cranbrook floor loom which
(http://soldiersangels.org/index.php?page=blankets-of-            has an overhead spool rack, hardwood bench, floor
hope) to be given to a wounded soldier. Many thanks               swift, hand tools. If interested contact Louise Yakush.
to all who took part in the demonstrations.
                                                                      The NY Guild of Handweavers and the Weavers Guild
    Susan Targove (one of our members) won six awards             of Springfield sent us copies of their newsletters. They
on three hand-woven items in the weaving section at               are posted on the NVWG Yahoo group. They are nice
―The Big E‖ – the Eastern States Exposition in Westfield          newsletters - worth a peek. The NY guild has a Silk
in September. Susan is working on her Apprentice                  Fusion workshop with Karen Selk coming up in March.
Rating for the Weavers Guild of Boston, and the pieces
she submitted were part of her work toward that                   To get to the file, sign into Yahoo groups and go to
rating. You can see a picture of her work on the NVWG             http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nvwg/. Then click on
website- http://www.nvwg.org/gallery.html. Her kitchen            FILES on the left hand side. Anyone who is a member
linens entry was the overshot placemat and matching               can post files here to share with the rest of the guild. If
napkin, the ones in sage green with the fuchsia, purple           you are not a member of the Guild’s website, you can
and burgundy pattern weft. That won a 2nd place                   join through the NVWG website.
ribbon. The beige, gray and red plaid 2/2 twill throw won
                                                                      Website links: If you have a fiber-related website
a 1st place ribbon and the Harrisville Designs special
                                                                  and would like to be linked to the NVWG website, please
award for best use of wool and color, which got her a gift
                                                                  email your website address to Jboutotte@charter.net
certificate. The dark green twill blocks silk shawl won a
                                                                  and it will get added to our website.
1st place ribbon, the HGA special award for one entry in
weaving, spinning or basketry, and the best of division
                                                                  Happy Weaving!
                                                                  Janice

Board Members for next year (08 – 09):
Co-Chairs     Laura Busky       (978) 838-7391          NEWS Reps              Dorothy Solbrig (978) 772 9245
              Penny Lacroix     (978) 692 5198                                 Eileen Fitzgerald (978) 352 7325
Treasurer     Lynn Ferrillo     (978) 772 1898          Historian              Dorothy Solbrig (978) 772 9245
Librarian     Kathy Tappan      (978) 263-7346          Newsletter Editor      Janice Boutotte (978) 433-5687
Hospitality   Sandy Martinez (978) 692-6058             Webmaster              Janice Boutotte (978) 433-5687
Publicist     Josephine Rivers (978) 833-1402           At Large               Reba Maisel (978) 456-8797
Secretary     Dorothy Solbrig (978) 772 9245            Program Director       Eileen Fitzgerald (978) 352-7325

Determining the quality of cotton yarn: It is very hard to know the quality of a yarn, but you might ask some questions
when you are buying cotton yarn. The main thing to ask about is the staple length of the fiber. A longer staple length gives
the cotton thread more strength, more luster, and a smoother feel. Egyptian cotton and the US Pima cotton have the extra
long staple, sometimes written as ELS. Upland cotton, which is 97% of the cotton in the US, is cheaper to produce and gin
cotton, has shorter fibers. Swedish thread is made from Egyptian cotton. It is extremely hard to break with your hands
compared to other cotton threads, which is due partly to longer staple length.
                                                                                                                              3

There are other factors related to staple length. Combed cotton has the short fibers and other debris combed out of the
cotton, so that the remaining fibers are the longer ones. This increases the quality of the upland cotton. Karded cotton is
the term used when the short fibers are left in. And the lowest quality would be what is made from that which is combed
out.

The longer fibers are used to spin the finer threads and the short fibers are used to spin the thicker threads. One way to
increase your chances of getting a higher quality fiber is to order the finer threads and then double them.

The spinning and plying are done based on what the thread will be used for. One US supply of American cotton from mills
will call a tightly spun or plied thread "warp spun." So, if you find a cotton thread that does not have very many plies per
inch, perhaps it was not made for warp. 8/2, 10/2 and 16/2 cottons are made for knitting garments. It is not very tightly
plied, perhaps to make it feel more soft or lofty. You can look at the thread and count the twists per inch to compare
threads. 10/2 cotton used for garments may begin to pill after a number of washings. The tightly spun and plied threads
will wear longer and are less likely to pill. They will feel soft if they are combed cotton, or the best quality, Pima or
Egyptian cotton. Some threads, such as Swedish threads have a sheen and therefore, may look mercerized. However,
the sheen comes from the long fibers and is not mercerized.

								
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