Monthly Meetings

The Valley Weavers & Spinners meetings are on the first Tuesday of the month. Social Hour starts at 6:00 pm and the meetings start at 7:00 pm. We meet at the Denkmann-Hauberg house at 1300 24th Street, Rock Island, IL 61201.

If you are a gps funster here are the coordinates:
41.4993, -90.567195

N41° 29.958', W090° 34.0317'(precision: address)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Book Review - Spinning Wool: Beyond the Basics Revised Edition by Anne Field

Spinning Wool: Beyond the Basics Revised Edition by Anne Field - 2010 Trafalgar Square Books
Price: $24.95
Author: Anne Field
Format: paperback
Pages: 160
Size: 7 1/2 x 9 1/2
ISBN: 978 1 57076 464 6

I am thrilled and honored to bring you my review of the book Spinning Wool: Beyond the Basics Revised Edition by Anne Field. Ms. Field is from New Zealand and has been spinning and weaving since 1962. She brings us a book that is bursting with tried and true techniques and enough photographs to ensure your ability to put the information into practice.

I was really excited about this book when I received it and quickly flipped through the pages. I dove in immediately and became fascinated with all of the information presented on fiber types, the newest wheels available, and the process to create exactly the type of wool for your needs. I have prior knowledge of the structure of the hair fiber and cuticle structure and she breaks it down and diagrams show you why wool behaves the way it does when processing and spinning.

Ms. Field recommends spinning each type of fiber according to the crimp total. A more crimpy fiber such as Merino would require more twists than a less crimpy fiber like Lincoln Longwool. I find this concept interesting. I would consider myself still a beginning spinner as I am still learning to draft evenly and keep from overspinning. I haven’t experimented with changing the setup of my wheel out of the fear of not knowing what I’m doing. The chapter on Understanding Your Wheel was the most helpful to me in this respect. Unfortunately, it made me want another wheel even more!

The chapters on Wool and the Care of Fleeces and Analysis of Wool are a wonderful resource to help you the next time you are at a fiber festival and you are looking through all the fleeces for sale. You will be able to examine and determine if a fleece is worth the cost and time to process for your needs.

Chapter four examines how important it is to take a sample of your yarn and measure the twists and make sure you are spinning correctly for the type of fiber you are using. This chapter explained a lot of things that I didn’t fully understand about getting a proper singles. I am excited to put into practice the techniques and tests that are described. The tools are minimal and the results will improve my skills and confidence.

Chapter five explains the difference between worsted and woolen spinning. Also included are semi-worsted and semi-woolen. I mistakenly thought the difference was in the direction of twist. I now know that I have been doing both worsted and woolen spinning without knowing what I was doing. No wonder my results have been inconsistent!

The projects chapter has many techniques to use your newly made yarn. There is plenty of variety to keep you busy. I was especially tempted by the Woven Fleece Rug using Lincoln locks instead of a spun weft. The instructions were clear and easy to follow.

The appendices of this book have useful charts and templates for using when you working on a project. These are not to take the relaxing aspect out of wool preparation and spinning, but to help you be able to reproduce a yarn and keep records of your work.

This book is a definite must have for your spinning library. If you are new to spinning it is a great book to help you improve. I believe even a master spinner would be able to use this book as well. It brings to mind the answer we were taught to give in martial arts class when your sensei asks how your karate is not matter if you are a white belt or black belt . “I am still learning.”

Saturday, October 16, 2010

October Meeting Show and Tell Video

I forgot to bring my digital camera to the last meeting. I did, however, have my little video camera so I made a movie of show and tell! Enjoy!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

October Guild Meeting

Valley Weavers & Spinners Meeting
Tuesday, October 5th - Hauberg Civic Center
6:00 Fiber Hour - 7:00 Meeting

Techniques From the Past

Waulking is a traditional method of fulling or shrinking woven wool cloth by pounding so that it is weather-tight and warm. As the process is labor intensive, people came together to pound and full the wool. In Scotland, the waulking was accompanied by songs and traditions to make the work go easier. Originally, the wool was soaked in stale urine to set the vegetable dyes that were used. Not a pleasant smelling process but since your very life would depend on the good wool fabric, one did what was needed!

Here is a waulking song for you to enjoy.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Worldwide Spin In Public Day

Saturday September 18, 2010 was Worldwide Spin In Public Day and some of our members decided to converge on the Davenport Farmers Market and the Annual Celtic Fest to show off some skills!

In my internet surfing I came across a store in Portland, Oregon that has an interesting idea.  They custom ply yarns for their customers and sell by the pound.  The store is called Yarnia and their website is

They have a video that shows how they work with the customer and keep husbands from complaining.  This could be interesting for guild projects needing just the right combo.  I hope you enjoy perusing their site.

Friday, August 27, 2010

September Meeting and Upcoming Events

Valley Weavers and Spinners Meeting
Tuesday, September 7th
6:00 Fiber Hour - 7:00 Meeting

Upcoming Events:

*September 11-12 Wisconsin Sheep and Wool

*September 18 Celtic Festival and Highland Games, Davenport

*September 18 National Spin-In-Public Day... Spinning a.m. at Davenport Farmer's Mkt.

*September 24-26 Driftless Area Fibre Arts Faire - Mineral Point, Wisconsin (# 10 of the 26 events listed for the 18th Annual Cornish Festival)

*October 9 Fall Iowa Federation Meeting
*October 9th & 10th, 11am to 6pm FOUR KINGDOMS RENAISSANCE & PIRATE FEST Camelot Campgrounds, Milan

*October 16 Bishop Hill Spin-In

*November 5-7 Wool Gatherers Retreat at The Barn on the Bluff, Elkader, Iowa.

Monday, August 23, 2010

August Show and Tell

Here are the pictures from the August meeting show and tell.

 Felted Vessel

Resist Felted Bag 

 Or A Hat!

 Beautiful Nuno Felted Scarf

Scarf Detail 

Woven Runner 

 Runner Detail

 Sunday Knits Yarn and Free Patterns!

Viking Wirework Bracelet

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Dye Workshop Photos!

Here are the pics from the dye workshop.  Beautiful colors on a beautiful day!


Mid Warp

More Warp!

Golden Moon

Before and After

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Reviewing The Weaver's Studio: Doubleweave by Jennifer Moore

When I look at fabrics that catch my eye you will always see me do the same thing. Turn it over and look at the back. It’s an automatic thing with me. I always look at the wrong side. Imagine looking at a woven fabric that has no wrong side. That’s the beauty of Doubleweave. You get two gorgeous fabrics in one.

The Weavers Studio: Doubleweave by Jennifer Moore takes you through the history, construction and possibilities of creating this wonder of weaving. I am still very new to weaving and I’ll admit that thinking about weaving two layers of fabric at once is confusing. Ms. Moore takes you through the process in such a way that you understand and start thinking of your own designs quickly. I can weave a fabric twice the width of the loom, at one time? Awesome. I can draw out my own pattern on graph paper and weave it? Incredible.

There is a wonderful amount of color photographs and illustrations to help you understand the concept. The only thing missing is the tactile pleasure of running the fabric through your own fingers. You will have to complete your first project for that. The projects range in size and progress in techniques in logical steps. Also supplied is a list of materials used in each project and sources used by the author.

If you are an advance weaver you will enjoy the history of the technique and the chapter on working with color. Doubleweave can be done on four, eight, or any multiple of four shafts. Imagine what you could do with a sixteen shaft loom!

It dawned on me when I was looking at the instructions for weaving a slit in the fabric was that you could make a tubular body for a dress with no side seams. The slits could be placed where the armhole would be. Using an eight shaft loom you could even weave the dress to be reversible.

The author, Jennifer Moore, a weaver for over 20 years, is well known for her work. You can discover more about her at her website .

Doubleweave is available through Interweave Press (, through your local retailer, or

The Weaver’s Studio: Doubleweave

Jennifer Moore

Interweave, August 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-59668-179-8

Retail Price $26.95

Sunday, July 25, 2010

August Meeting Info

Valley Weavers and Spinners

Tuesday - August 3rd - 7:00
6:00 Fiber Hour

"Show and Tell" from recent fiber experiences: Dye Workshop, Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Fair, and ...

Clay and Fiber Festival:
Members will carpool to attend the festival on Saturday, August 14th.

Upcoming Dates:

*August 14- 15 Bishop Hill Clay and Fiber Festival

*September 11-12 Wisconsin Sheep and Wool

*September 18 Celtic Festival and Highland Games, Davenport

*September 18 National Spin-In-Public Day... Spinning a.m. at Davenport Farmer's Mkt.

*October 9 Fall Iowa Federation Meeting at Waterloo Center for the Arts

*October 9th & 10th, 11am to 6pm FOUR KINGDOMS RENAISSANCE & PIRATE FEST Camelot Campgrounds, Milan

*October 16 Bishop Hill Spin-In

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Pictures From July Meeting

Nuno Scarves

Loom Finds

Woven Scarves

Knit Scarves
Short Row Knit Scarf

Rainbow Lace

Spun Fibers
Silk Blend

Mohair Locks


Spinning Tools

Drop Spindle

Kick Spindle