Monthly Archives: July 2016

Meeting Notes – July 2016

It was another wonderful sunny day at Emma Prusch Farm Park. We gathered in the shade under a tree a bit farther from the playground than usual.

Before the business part of the meeting convened, we had a bit of discussion about where to get tools, fiber, and advice now that Purlessence is closing. For buying stuff, there are still events such as Stitches West in February, CNCH in some years, Spinning at the Winery in June, the Monterey Fair Wool Auction on Labor Day, the Boonville California Wool & Fiber festival in September (corrected date now in our Calendar page), and Lambtown in October. For stores in the Bay Area, we still have Carolina Homespun up in San Francisco (check dates or order online — they go to lots of events). Robyn recommended The Woolery as a good online option.

Nancy Derham couldn’t attend this meeting so Lotus read from our latest bank statement for a treasurer’s report:  $514.02 is our current balance.

No one brought up any old or new business.

Sharing aka Show & Tell:

Kelly knitted her first sock — a child size blue learning project. The sock was knitted from the cuff down.

Kelly's first knitted sock

Kelly’s first knitted sock

Robyn was busy the last week skirting fleeces shorn from her alpaca earlier this year. (As explained in the meeting: skirting a fleece means separating the prime fiber from the poor stuff, e.g. short fiber on head and legs or poopy fiber at the rear). Robyn walked around with the bag of black alpaca from Kissa to let us feel how soft it is. Robyn raises alpaca for a living. Kissa’s skirted fleece weighs 1 pound 4 ounces. She is selling it for $4 an ounce.

Cheryl came with her current crocheting projects. She is working a stuffed bear. She came to the meeting with 2 legs and 2 arms. Over the course of the meeting, the legs came together and the torso grew.

Cheryl with legs and arms of her stuffed animal-in-progress

Cheryl with legs and arms of her stuffed animal-in-progress

Cheryl also has been working on a ripple afghan.

Cheryl's ripple afghan

Cheryl’s ripple afghan

Cookie has been spinning on various spindles in her collection of 3-D printed Turkish spindles. Each spindle consists of 3 pieces:  2 pieces that make up the cross bar whorl and 1 piece for the spindle. A very neat thing about Cookie’s spindles is that after you’ve built up your spinning, you can pull out the spindle then the cross bars, leaving you with a nice, center pull ball. Cookie showed us a handful of small balls of wool and a handful of balls of silk

Cookie's Turkish 3-D printed spindles and balls spun on them

Cookie’s Turkish 3-D printed spindles and balls spun on them

Cookie won 1st place for her yarn entry at the Alameda County Fair this year.

Cookie spent most of the meeting spinning silk on a small drop spindle made some years ago at a Serendipity meeting. The whorl was made from Fimo and features a face.

Ginger has been busy sorting / disposing / rehoming the stuff in her garage. She asked if anyone had need of plastic page protectors or 3 ring binders. Several people said they could really use page protectors so Ginger is going to try to remember to bring a bunch of those she culled from her garage sort. Ginger is still spinning coarse gray wool.

Patti has started to sew her granny squares together. She’s found that her stash of squares come in two sizes. The gold and white squares are distinctly smaller than the brown and heathery gold/brown squares. After consulting an expert and learning about different ways to join squares on YouTube, Patti bought some tightly spun many ply merino to use and is sewing her squares together.

Block of 4 of Patti's larger squares sewn together

Block of 4 of Patti’s larger squares sewn together

Update:  Patti wore a blouse made of very breathable, extra UV resistant fabric. Since many of us go to outdoor fairs and such, she thought others would like to see what’s available to buy for sun protection. She provided details on the blouse after the meeting. The brand was recommended by by dermatologist.  The site where she bought is

Carol brought in a box holding all of the yarn she’s plyed so far for the Lambtown Sheep-to-Shawl contest. The yardage at present is approximately 1800 yards. The yarn is 2 ply, with 1 ply spun by Ginger and 1 ply spun by various others on the team. Carol spun some of the singles too.

Yarn that Carol plyed for this year's Sheep to Shawl at Lambtown

Yarn that Carol plyed for this year’s Sheep to Shawl at Lambtown

Carol gave us a secondhand status report on spinning at the Scottish Highland Games in Pleasanton. The games are a yearly event at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. Lynn and Sue Duffield in the past pulled together a booth and spinners to demonstrate and provide hands-on experiences for children. This year, they needed a bit of a break and didn’t get paperwork in for a booth before the deadline. So while you can buy tickets and go on your own, perhaps showing off your drop spindle skills as you tour the event, it looks like there probably won’t be any organized demonstration this year.

If you are in to old style sailing ships:  Carol gave us a heads up that the Lady Washington will be back in the bay area in November.

Lotus is trying to whittle down her cloth and fiber stash. She has been busy sewing herself new clothes out of her fabric stash. The salmon colored dress she wore to the meeting was newly sewn from her stash. Lotus brought a well aged bag of fiber purchased many years ago from Barbara Benjamin in her stash to spin at the meeting.

Barbara Benjamin fiber from Lotus's stash; Lotus in dress she sewed from stash

Barbara Benjamin fiber from Lotus’s stash; Lotus in dress she sewed from stash

Lotus has also been working to reduce her yarn stash. She showed us a baby sweater and an in-progress baby dress knitted using a self-striping yarn from her stash.

Baby sweater and dress-in-progress knitted from Lotus's yarn stash

Baby sweater and dress-in-progress knitted from Lotus’s yarn stash

Meeting Notes – June 2016

The weather was beautiful, although only a few of us showed up. We didn’t really hold a formal meeting so this write-up is based on snippets of conversation and informal show & tell.

Lotus came with her family — her husband, her son & daughter-in-law, and her cute little granddaughter. Lotus gave Ginger a bank statement to pass on to our treasurer Nancy at the next meeting where both show up.

Ginger was spinning gray long wool — maybe a Lincoln cross, maybe some well aged Cotswold. Ginger just got shelving up in her craft room. She gathered her fiber related books and magazines. She downsized her collection to just what fit on the shelves. She brought the excess first to the Pleasanton senior center knitting group then to Serendipity.

Ginger's new shelving, partly filled

Ginger’s new shelving, partly filled

Ange showed us a skein of the gray Wensleydale x Romney yarn that she was spinning at the previous few meetings. As expected, the hand of the yarn is not suitable for anything worn next to the skin. Ange brought a wool/flax blend to the meeting and was wet spinning it.

Margaret has been knitting hedgehogs. She showed us one finished hedgehog and one that was knitted and ready to stuff. Margaret just came home from a trip to Ireland. She really enjoyed watching lambs gambol in the green fields.

Margaret's finished hedgehog

Margaret’s finished hedgehog

Cookie came with her friend Cheryl (spelling?). Both did an excellent job of picking through Ginger’s offerings and offering a good home to quite a few magazines.

Laura was spinning on her big (Navajo?) support spindle.

Book recommendation:  Laura Fry – The Efficient Weaver — lots of hints on how to warp and tension.

Meeting Notes – May 2016

Aviva called us to order around 11:20 am.

Treasurer’s Report:

Nancy Derham, our treasurer, reported that the March 31 bank statement reported a balance of $554.16. Her records of our treasury, not yet reconciled against later bank statements, show $533.92 in the treasury. She has received the new credit card that replaces the recent expired one. (This is a credit card in Lotus’s name that we use to pay for our website.)

New Business:

The day that we meet in September is Spin-In-Public Day. Ange has visited the website for the event and will investigate getting info about our September meeting added to that site’s list of places to go to see spinners.

Aviva got email confirming that the Monterey County Fair Wool Auction will indeed be held on Labor Day (Monday) this year.

The core group of Serendipity Spinners that are planning to participate in the Sheep-to-Shawl event Oct 1 at Lambtown will be meeting tomorrow. We polled those at the meeting who’d expressed interest to see who was more firmly interested. At this point, Ange will be helping Carol and Ginger spin singles for the warp. Aviva said she’d prefer to only be a backup.

The Scottish Games are coming up on the Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day weekend at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton. Lynn helped make arrangements for those that went to demonstrate spinning there last year. She and Carol attested that it is a fun event. It looks like we will probably be less organized for the event this year.

Show & Tell:

Aviva had to leave early. She shows us a towel that she was making. The stripe of darker color in the photo was dyed using Osage orange plus iron. The yarn is a merino/angora blend.

Aviva's project with Osage orange + iron stripe

Aviva’s project with Osage orange + iron stripe

Aviva with lighter and darker shades of Osage orange + iron dyed yarns

Aviva with lighter and darker shades of Osage orange + iron dyed yarns

Ange is continuing to spin gray Wensleydale X Romney fiber.

Patti finished spinning her brown merino. She is now spinning natural white wool purchased to spin at her church’s yearly Bethleham reenactment. Patti is also practicing her new skill of crocheting. She made quite a few more granny squares from her handspun gold and white yarns.

Patti's spun brown yarn, plus new gold and white granny squares

Patti’s spun brown yarn, plus new gold and white granny squares

Laura is spinning on her big support spindle some Suffolk fleece that she got as a freebie a couple of meetings ago and dyed brown (photo). Laura has also been weaving and spinning at home. She finished spinning a couple of balls of blue variegated “fat yarn”. At the meeting, she showed us a recent weaving project.

Laura spinning on her big spindle

Laura spinning on her big spindle

Laura's weaving project

Laura’s weaving project

Kelly picked up a bit too much fiber at Ginger’s fiber giveaway last fall. She brought the excess to the meeting to give away. Kelly showed off the blending board that she made from a cutting board, following the general blending board design that Cookie used to make her blending board. Kelly decorated her blending board with a sheep design, using wood burning.

Kelly with the blending board she made

Kelly with the blending board she made

Karla showed up for the first time at Serendipity. She is a new spinner. She is a new spinner that learned at a workshop in Arizona. At the meeting, she was spinning yarn on a large support spindle to add a bit more twist so that it work better for a weaving project that she has in mind.

Karla adding twist for a weaving yarn

Karla adding twist for a weaving yarn

Ginger has started in on decluttering her garage and so hasn’t had much time for spinning at home.

Nancy Derham has been busy because May is a birthday month in her family. Two daughters have May birthdays. Nancy showed us two pair of socks she finished knitting. Nancy has also started knitting a replacement pair of skippers for her Japanese son-in-law who lives in Pennsylvania. The pair Nancy gave him as a gift in January already has big holes.

Nancy with 2 pair newly finished socks

Nancy with 2 pair newly finished socks

While Nancy visited Pennsylvania in April, she found a hat knitted from very soft spun yarn or roving at a thrift store. Nancy bought it for $1 and dolled it up with a flower. Nancy is spinning some pretty but not very soft dark violet.

Carol is trying to spin through her “archives” in her garage. She is currently spinning from a box labelled 2004. She’s been watching Netflix as she spins. Her recent non-hand-spinning project is a knitting project working up some souvenir yarn Carol bought while visiting a friend in Liverpool.

Sharolene is spinning multi-color yarn from fiber she dyed. Sharolene thinks the fiber is probably a wool/silk blend dyed in a Nancy Finn class.

Sharolene spinning fiber dyed in a class awhile back

Sharolene spinning fiber dyed in a class awhile back

Sharolene and a friend took a warp dyeing class in Columbia a couple of years ago. They dyed bast fiber. Sharolene used the left over dye to dye cotton balls that had been soaked the night before in mordant.

Sharolene's dyed cotton balls (I think)

Sharolene’s dyed cotton balls (I think)

Sharolene has also been busy weaving. She made a tuck lace piece. She brought and showed us a sampler. She has multiple yards of that hand woven tuck lace at home. It is woven from yarn that she got at Jean Shoe’s estate sale.

Sharolene's tuck lace sampler

Sharolene’s tuck lace sampler