Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Needle Felting with Mary F.

Mary will be demonstrating how to needle felt and then there will be a chance  to try it on your own. Bring wool or roving in colors suitable for your project. You can either bring your own needle felting tools or purchase some from Jeanne from Thistle Creek Alpaca.  You need to let her know ASAP, so she has time to put the kits together.

From Mary:  Hello Common Threads members,

It was so nice to see a few Common Threads members at the Ugly Duckling performance today, Sunday. For those who missed it, I will bring a few of the characters to the meeting as samples of 3-D wool sculpting. The songs and action portion will be hard to reproduce there but maybe you will catch a performance at some later date.

You will need a few items if you are interested in participating in the process that I will be demonstrating at the April meeting, such as:
  • a dense foam pad( cushion foam works well or a fine auto washing sponge works too. What ever you use should be at least 2" thick 
  • felting needles of one or more sizes
  • clean odds and ends carded wool fleece in of  a variety of colors -  coarse wools work best but any will do- I like to use a natural wool for the base then lay the colors over it for the finished product
  • a picture of an animal or object that you may want to create a resemblance of or just wing it from memory. More of Mary's pieces, little birds and big bird.

Or order a kit from Jeanne M. Here's what she sent to me for you all to take advantage of.
  • Foam/3 needles in a gallon freezer bag will be the best value for the group.  
  • They can choose whether to put it in a box or not. 
  • Dyed alpaca fiber available for those who are interested.  
  • Kits will be $10 or less. 
  • Fiber can be bought seperately.
There are enough needles to make 20-30 kits. Also, needles can be packaged separately.  The amount of additional needles will be dependent upon how many kits we need. 

Contact me via email. Thistlecreekalpaca@gmail.comI accept payment via Paypal or pay  me at the meeting.  


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

3rd Annual Auction

March 9, 2014

The meeting is our 3rd Annual Chinese Auction! This is another reminder to bring treasures that you'd like to pass along to your fellow spinners. Items that were brought in the past include: yarn, fiber, fiber/dyeing/weaving tools, decorations, candles, wine, books (any kind), etc. Time to let go of those perfectly good projects and purchases that you thought you would be happy with, but didn't quite work out that way.

Thanks to all of you, these auctions have been successful and have stabilized our finances. And we get to go away with cool stuff!!

Tickets will be sold at the meeting. Please also note that due to sales tax limitations, this is a member's-only event. You must be a member in good standing to participate in the auction. 

I was hoping to show you some snow (ice) dyeing I did, but my pictures won't download for some reason. If you like surprises, this is a lot of fun. Here is a link, I used snow instead of ice, you can use liquid or powder acid dyes, and I let mine drain. And another. I dyed roving, silk hankies and silk scarves which I soaked in water and vinegar (or citric acid). Use maybe 3" of snow, otherwise it may take forever to melt. So when life gives you too much snow…dye!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

No Batts are Bad…Just Misunderstood!

Sunday February 9, 2014

Have you ever looked at a beautiful batt and wondered what kind of yarn it would make? 

Have you ever purchased a batt, started spinning and were surprised at the results?

Our own Amanda from Willow Glen Farm will discuss various types of batts and what kinds of yarn they can (or can't) produce. This is a HUGE topic that can be affected by add-ins, equipment used and a batt-maker's style (just to name a few!), so this month's discussion will be a broad overview with some examples to discuss. Basically, she wants to get everyone thinking about what goes into batt making in order to make better-informed purchases. If you have a particularly beautiful/interesting/frustrating batt (that you've made, or that you've purchased), please feel free to bring it in to share. No batts are bad, just misunderstood.

Don't forget!

March's program will be our annual Chinese auction, and we're currently seeking donations. Anything in good working order that you feel a fellow spinner would enjoy is encouraged. Past items have included: fiber, fleece, yarn, spinning tools, sheep/spinning decor, candles, wine. Tickets will be available for purchase on the day of the event. Members only meeting.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Roc Day: Try Spinning This! 
Sunday, January 12, 2014

Happy New Year, everyone!

Running out of fiber?! Here are some other things to try your hand at. Bring what you can, and anything else you can think of to spin. Suggestions:

Newspaper, don’t forget the comics and ads for some color
Pattern paper (This will be supplied, there is plenty)
wrapping paper
tissue paper
Easter straw
Plastic bags
Japanese paper
Thread and/or fine yarns to ply with

Shred or cut papers in direction they tear most easily.
Water spray bottles to lightly mist paper, a towel to wrap them in.
Scissors, rotary cutter, straight edge, cutting boards.


Newspaper, pattern paper, magazines and wrapping paper: to spin with one strip, it should be aprox. ¾” –  1 ¼” wide, depending on how heavy you want the yarn.  Twist an end and add that to your leader. Begin spinning to add twist. When there is about 3” left, overlap ends and continue spinning, and so on. Misting paper very lightly may help.

You might also try cutting thinner strips with the paper shredder and try spinning it more like roving.

Plastic bags can be cut in strips ½” – 1”+. Cut off bottoms and tops of bags and discard them. Cut strips across bag so you have loops of plastic. Put your hand through a bunch of these loops, pull one off at a time and chain them together until you have desired length, and spin. Ply if desired, either with itself or with another material. I would use the thinner strips if you plan to ply it with itself. You can try shredding the plastic and feeding that like roving, too. 

Fabric can be cut in thin strips, Easter basket straw and tinsel–try spinning it like roving. Mix things together.

Japanese paper: If you would like to try this, washi paper, made from bark, is recommended. I believe it can be bought locally at Hyatt’s, craft store may carry it, too. Rather thin strips can be cut, links on how to do this can be found in files in the guild’s ravelry group. This process is rather complicated, but I think it could be somewhat simplified if anyone would like to try using this type of paper.

As it turns out, I am unable to join you for this. Amanda has graciously agreed to run the meeting. Hope you all have fun, wish I could be there. Liz

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Spinning Cotton with Erica!

It's that time of the month again!

Photo by Erica of her 20 lb. bale of cotton

Sunday's (Nov 10) guild meeting will include a presentation and workshop on spinning cotton, led by member Erica F. Erica loves to spin cotton, check out some of the beautiful things she's made from her hand spun cotton here: Erica's blog and here

Don't forget to modify your bobbin!!

There will be a materials fee of $3-$5 for anyone who would like to participate in the hands-on workshop.  We'll be trying out at least 3 different varieties of cotton in roving form, as well as learning how to make cotton punis on handcards.  We may also have cotton bolls to spin from thanks to Amanda, and a demo of punis on the drum carder thanks to Donna.  Thanks to Dennis for supplying some of the cotton!  

Please bring your wheel set to spin at your fastest ratios and a fat core bobbin (if you have one) or a half full bobbin, or an empty bobbin with something wrapped around it, like a chunk of pipe insulation as pictured on page 14 of this document:

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Spinning with Drop Spindles

Sunday October 13, 2013

This month's program will focus on spinning with a drop spindle. Linda C. will cover the basics, plying, and she will also show you how to get some variety in your yarns. Anne P. will talk about some of the different types of spindles. And for those of you already quite adept at drop spindling, please bring in some of your spindles and tell us a bit about them, what they're good for, and to let others try them. If anyone has problems with a spindle they have, bring it in and see if someone can help you with it. 

Once the presentations are done, if those of you that are good at this would let others try your spindles and help out any others that may need it. Wool will be provided, both Linda and Sue P. will have spindles available for sale. If you have a specific fiber you would like to try and/or find the best spindle for, bring it in to try on other's spindles.

I've been thinking about next year's spinning challenge and thought maybe we should try a challenge with a drop spindle, for a change. So here is your opportunity to find out how to do it!