December 2020

December’s meetings have been cancelled. Stash-to-Treasure will be the “program” for January’s meeting provided it is once again safe to meet.

Trinity Lutheran Church (where we have been meeting since fall weather pushed us out of the park) has informed us that they will be closing until at least December 15 in order to help curb the spread of Covid 19 through the community.

I hope everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving,

-Jen

The journey begins here for the fiber arts to learn, create and to share ideas.

The Butler Spinners and Weavers Guild was founded in September of 1982 when Mary Ann Geiger gathered a group of ten people at the Butler Public Library. These people desired to organize a Guild to promote interest in and to teach the art of spinning and weaving.

Over the years the Butler Spinners and Weavers Guild has grown to include approximately 50 members. While emphasis is placed on spinning and weaving, members of the Guild also knit, crochet, felt, and raise their own fiber-supplying animals, including sheep, alpacas, and goats. No fiber related art is off limits to try! Our members expertise vary from beginning spinners and weavers to nationally and internationally known experts!

The Butler Spinners and Weavers Guild has been active from the beginning in local and regional Sheep-to-Shawl contests, including those at the Pennsylvania Farm Show (Harrisburg) and Penn’s Colony (Saxonburg), bringing many awards with them back to Butler. Throughout the years members have also demonstrated the art of spinning and weaving at many local events, knitting shops, and schools.

To help support us, please consider using one of the following affiliate links. Thanks!

November, 2020

November’s meeting was held at Trinity Lutheran Church (120 Sunset drive in Butler) just past the Clearview Mall. Project day was there also.

The program was a zoom presentation by Pittsburgh fiber artist and author Deb Brandon. Her presentation is available for guild members to stream until November 27, if you did not receive a link in your email, please comment and I will get that to you ASAP.

We collected a table full of handmade items to donate to various local charities:

And a handful of members told of items they had already donated to charities of their choosing.

October, 2020

October’s meeting was held at Trinity Lutheran Church (120 Sunset drive in Butler) just past the Clearview Mall. Project day will be there also.

The program this month was about spinning wheels, with a focus on drive types (what does double drive mean?) and maintance.

This was also the final day for the 1oz angora challenge. Five contestants submitted projects:

Since we will be inside, I would like to encourage our membership to follow indoor gathering guidelines. From the CDC website: “In general, the more people you interact with, the more closely you interact with them, and the longer that interaction, the higher your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. Indoor spaces are more risky than outdoor spaces” and “Masks are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms”. I will have some disposable masks available if you need one.

August 2020

Following the current guidance and since we are still in “green”, August’s meeting Day (Wednesday August 5th from 10am-2pm) was held at Butler Memorial Park in the Optimist pavilion.

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See the Butler Parks status here: https://cityofbutler.org/departments/parks-recreation-and-public-property/

Current guidance recommends that we wear masks and practice the physical distancing. We were not able to have our traditional pot-luck.

The extension office is closed indefinitely following the Penn State University closure policy; found here: https://extension.psu.edu/coronavirus

August’s program wasnwas dyeing. Susan and Jen (Marilyn and Karen B too) brought a number of dyestocks. Logwood, indigo, avacado, marigold, henna, onion skin, orange jewelweed, and tumeric. We did some mordanting in the pot, but some dyes didn’t require it. The plan was to have fun and see what colors we obtain.

For July’s meeting, Judy presented the angora spinning program she had prepared, please contact her if you would like a sample of angora, or an opportunity to participate in a 1oz challenge.

Hope you all are well and have lots to keep busy at home with.

June 2020

Following the current guidance and provided we are still in “yellow” or better, June’s meeting (Wednesday June 3rd from 10am-2pm) will be held at Butler Memorial Park in the Miller pavilion.

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See the Butler Parks status here: https://cityofbutler.org/departments/parks-recreation-and-public-property/

Current guidance requires that we wear masks and practice the physical distancing. We will not be able to have our traditional pot-luck, and we will likely not be passing our items for show and tell.

Please stay home if you are sick or at risk, I know it feels like forever since we’ve met; but caution is rarely the wrong choice.

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Linda has decided that the Scandinavian star weaving that was planned for the early spring will be the program. We will be making the stars out of card stock. There will be 10+ colors to choose from.

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The extension office is closed until at least June 19 following the Penn State University closure policy; found here: https://extension.psu.edu/coronavirus

Here is a photo of a bunch of the finished stars:

January 8th 2020

Since the first Wednesday in January is also the 1st of January; we have decided to hold our first meeting of the year on Janary 8th. The program for the day will be “project day” please bring whatever you would like to work on.

Our cancellation policy can be found here. Please use your own judgment about whether the weather is too severe for you to travel. Cancellation updates will be added here as they are available.

Beginning Spinning Class 2019!

In April, the Butler Guild teamed up with the Depreciation lands Museum to teach a class spinning with a wheel.

This was the second year in a row that Marilyn was kind enough to act as lead instructor.  Each mentor was assigned two students and all students and mentors had spinning wheels and fiber to work with.

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Some mentors took their jobs very seriously!

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Every student was able to spin and ply their first yarn!

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Yarn Finishing Program

For our March 2019 program, we compared the effects of different finishing techniques on different yarns. Yarns from multiple members in a variety of fibers and preparations were divided into mini-skiens (about 10yds long), bundled together into crazy skeins (10 different yarns!), and finished by other members.

It was very interesting to see how subtle differences in the temperature, type of soap, or the type of water impacted different yarns so differently.  One conclusion we need to examine further is that the two “finishers” who used DAWN caused more felting than the other finishers.  Both of these crazy skeins had many yarns that bloomed and stuck together slightly.

Another surprising/ interesting observation was how close we were able to estimate the YPP (yards per pound) of a hand-spun yarn using a McMorran yarn balance.  We tested a piece of one yarn with the yarn balance and found it was between 6-1/2″ and 6-5/8″ this would put an estimate of the yards per pound between 650 and 662. The entire skein was 112yd and 77g which is exactly 659YPP!

Here is a detailed table of our observations and notes, and I will be editing it in the future as people use their yarns and report back on if they could tell any difference in hand while using, or in finished items.    At a glance, it seem like there could be differences similar to dye lot differences from some of the methods.