1 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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