Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Roc Day: Yoga with Carolyn

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Hope you all have a happy, healthy New Year! 

Carolyn Zimmerman from Synergistic Yoga will be heading up our program this year. As gratifying and relaxing as sitting at our wheels for a few hours may be, it may not be the best thing for our bodies. Carolyn will show us some stretches and exercises to counteract this lack of momentum. Bring your wheels, exercises will be done in the chair or standing up. If you find you have particular achy spots when you spin, be sure to let her know.

Carolyn has be doing yoga since the 70's. From her website: 

Synergsitc a blend of traditional hatha yoga stretches, deep breathing, moving meditations and relaxation techniques to quiet the mind, relax, stretch and tone the body while awakening the spirit.

We will also have open spin, and if you have something for show & tell, please bring it. Margaret N. will be doing February's program on ratios, March is our annual auction. For those of you going to the retreat in March, don't forget to bring your $50 deposit, Becky will be collecting. And remember your dues if you haven't already paid them.

January 7
St. Distaff’s Day
By Robert Herrick (1591–1674)
Called St. Distaff’s Day (or Roc Day) because after the Christmas
holidays ending on Twelfth Night the women proposed to resume
their distaffs. The ploughmen would make it their sport to set fire
to the flax in requital for which prank the maids would souse the
men from the water pails.

PARTLY work and partly play 

  You must on St. Distaff’s Day: 
From the plough soon free your team; 
  Then come home and fother them; 
If the maids a-spinning go, 
  Burn the flax and fire the tow. 
Bring in pails of water then, 
  Let the maids bewash the men. 
Give St. Distaff all the right; 
  Then bid Christmas sport good night, 
And next morrow every one 
  To his own vocation.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Holiday Potluck

Sunday December 11

Time for our Annual Holiday Potluck! Bring a dish, and if you're so inclined, a plate and utensils. We will have open spin and show & tell, too. If you have made some toys for our outreach, please bring those too.

We have a yoga instructor lined up for Roc Days!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Is it wool? cotton? rayon? silk? nylon?

The Mystery Fiber. 
Sunday, November 9

"I'm not sure what it is, but I real-l-l-ly liked it!" We find a great deal, love the color, lose the tag. We want to know what we have. One simple, economical, and fairly accurate way to determine fiber content is with a Burn Test.

Daryl (rhymes with Carl) from Daft Dames Handcrafts will show us how to identify our mystery fibers. Each fiber has a distinctive flame, burn and/or ash.  She will help us tell the differences between them. I've seen her give this talk before and it's very informative. Feel free to bring in your own mystery fibers and see if we can identify it.

Daft Dames Handcrafts Stocks all sorts of fibers, geared primarily to weavers, but much of what they stock can be used for knitting. They also have various rovings for sale, as well as spinning wheels, looms, and books. The coned yarns are very reasonable, with a selection that you would never find at your LYS. 

They are located at 
  • 13384 Main Rd (Rt. 5)
  • Akron, New York 14001
  • (716) 542-4235
No Website.

December meeting is our annual holiday party pot luck, open spin, and show and tell.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Man-Made Fibers with Erica

As spinners, we work with lots of natural fibers, and may think of "synthetic" as a dirty word, but did you know there is a third fiber  category?  Man made fibers come from a single source in nature, like corn or bamboo, but go through both physical and chemical processes to become a spinnable fiber. Some of these fibers are brand new, but the first was created in the nineteenth century.  Erica Fire will talk about six man made fibers:  rayon, bamboo, ingeo, soy silk, milk silk (or silk latte), and seaCell.  She'll discuss their history, what they're made of, how they're made and also some of their "green" claims.  If you have made anything from one of these fibers, please bring it in to show as part of show and tell.  Please feel free to bring spinning or anything else you'd like to work on during the talk.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Eco Dyeing #2 Sunday 9/14

The silk scarves are in, those who purchased them will get an email as to how much they are. A few revisions for what to bring this Sunday as far as plant material. Bring fresh plant material, don't press the leaves (sorry if you've already done this) but fresher seems to work better. If leaves curl, soaking them in water or vinegar (I will bring vinegar) for a few minutes flattens them out again. If you pick a day or two beforehand, put plant material in a bucket with some water, as you would a bouquet of flowers. Where I'm not sure about this, leaves that are just turning may give of more color.

Metal can be encouraged to rust by soaking it in vinegar, and you can patina copper this way. Put vinegar in a jar, and add the metal, let it sit for a few days, give it a shake periodically. Use separate jars for each metal. Remaining vinegar bath can then be used as an after mordant when dyeing with natural dyes. I would recommend small pieces of metal like washers, pennies, flexible wire. Chicken wire can give a nice effect if it's rolled up either with the scarf or around the scarf, try spraying some vinegar on it to encourage it to rust.

Image above: red/pink–sumac berries, purple–elderberries (I will bring some of these), leaf in upper right–purple beech, bright green in lower left–sumac leaves.

Please check back here Saturday in case there are any last minute additions.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Eco-dyeing Sunday September 14

If you’re planning on doing the eco dyeing Sunday Sept 14 and want me to order silk scarves I need to know soon. I will be ordering Tuesday 9/2 evening. 11x60 are $3.79, 14x72 are $4.95, plus shipping and maybe tax. I’ve heard from are Bonnie C, Bonnie M, Megan, Amanda, Petra, Joann and Kathy R. Email me directly You can bring your own cotton, rayon or linen, you will need to mordant it.
Mordanting cellulose fibers (cotton, linen, rayon): 
1 pound–Pre-wash fabric before mordanting! 
2 tspn alum (spice aisle or Hyatt’s) 
1 tspn washing soda (grocery store-laundry) 
Dissolve each separately in cup of hot water and add to 
2 gallons of water 
Add cloth and simmer for one hour. Let sit overnight, spin out excess water. Can dry or use damp.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Longmeadow Farm NEXT SUNDAY, July 20 1-4 pm

photo by Sandy Long

This is a friendly reminder that our next guild meeting is NOT tomorrow! We are meeting NEXT SUNDAY, July 20 from 1-4 pm at Sandy Long's farm: Longmeadow Farm, 11110 Sandbank Rd., Freedom, NY 14065.

Immediately following the meeting, we'll have a board meeting at the Tim Hortons in Arcade.

Also, for those of you that joined us at the SPCA and haven't yet gotten your plied yarn to me, could you please bring it to the meeting, or catch up with me to arrange a drop off?

Also, Mary Fisher and Doreen Kelly are having an exhibit called Works In Fiber at the Burchfield Nature and Art Center from August 3 to August 31, 2014  It's an exhibit of two and three dimensional expressions of art, blending mixed media with natural fibers. A free public reception will be on Friday August 8th from 7-9:00 pm. For more information or to request a postcard, contact Mary Fisher at or Doreen Kelly at  

Hope to see many of you at the meeting next week!