April, 2024 President’s Message

Hello my weaving friends!  

April brings us spring breaks, flowers, showers, and colorful inspiration.   Color is all around us, and this spring we will get to play a bit with color at the May warp dye workshop, and again we hope at the end-of-year picnic if Pam is able to lead us with another indigo pot.  Some guilds have a color theme chosen, and I remember TWG suggesting an orange challenge the first year I joined the Guild.   I don’t recall what Pantone color predictions are for the future, but by the time I got something going for a color trend, that ship would have sailed.  Some weavers declare that what you make should always fit you, and be colors you like, just in case it does not sell or isn’t a gift.   During and after Covid, I have appreciated some of the stash buster projects that use up dribs and drabs from cones and bobbins, or odd colors that need accompaniment to make them work.  One of my favorite towels I wove at Towelapalooza several years ago was just such a stash buster, and is very clever and frugal.  

Our speaker this month is Sarah Resnick, from GIST Yarns, talking about sourcing cotton, trends, and accessing weaving materials.   Just this week there was an article in the Seattle Times about how many US cotton mills are closing, and how that affects industry and producers. I believe the statistic was 600 mills some years ago, down to 100 now.   I once took a workshop from Mary Berend on weaving with cotton, and a number of yarns that were once plentiful are no longer being produced.  

Let us keep weaving, keep ordering from our suppliers, and continue to create demand for the raw materials that weavers need.  

Linda Stryker

TWG President’s Message — March 2024

As we barrel through the wonky weather patterns, trying to nurture our confused garden plants, it is still  in-season to knit, spin, and weave warm clothing.  Or, weave for the upcoming events that can showcase your work, or weave for a special something for a baby, bride, or birthday.  

There are lots of spring events just around the corner:  

March 7-10    RAGS Wearable Art show in Fife.  

                       This is the final time for this show/sale.  www.ragswearableart.org.

March 21-23   Spin-in retreat at Camp Burton on Vashon

April 6-7           Shepherd’s Extravaganza moved and separated from Spring Fair

Enumclaw Expo Center  www.shepherds-exravaganza.com

June 1-2           Fiber Fusion, Monroe Fairgrounds.  

If entering weaving competitions isn’t your thing, you can still visit exhibits, buy from vendors, and be a volunteer for the above mentioned events.  Check on their websites.

Nominations – Think about your gifts and strengths, and what you can do to take turn at supporting the Tacoma Weavers Guild.   We have one nominating committee member but need two more to help develop our slate of officers for a May election.  

I look forward to seeing you all, either in the room on Friday, or on Zoom.  The Rosette workshop will NOT be zoomed, so we will turn off zoom after the morning speaker.  

Linda

TWG President’s note – February 2024

Well, Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow so we are theoretically destined for an early spring. And a busy and exciting spring it will be – at least in the Tacoma Weavers Guild, and in the Pacific Northwest.

There have been lots of small group meetings going on this winter – Program committee planning for next guild year, Library committee improving their library, Bylaws committee, a membership/communication meeting to bring Karen Radcliff up to speed as the new membership chair, a parish liaison meeting with the new Pastor of St. Andrews, and of course, our TWG members who are helping with planning the ANWG 2025 conference – Bette, Mimi, Linda, Kathy, and more. For each of these efforts, I thank you, on behalf of the membership.

We have lots of great topics coming up in our programs this spring (see program article), and it is also time to start planning for a change of officers that will serve TWG next year. We are such a small guild that I know several of you have served in many positions – but we still need your wisdom and experience, so we will spread the jobs out again. Many hands make light work.

I felt bad after cancelling the in-person portion of our January meeting – as it turned out to be a sunny dry day, albeit cold. The virtual meeting went well, and you were all gracious in understanding why we had been intimidated by the weather reports of doom coming our way.

I look forward to seeing you February 9th

Linda Stryker, President

President’s Message – December 2023

I love this group! I was really struck at last month’s meeting about how our Guild is so welcoming to every ability, and how our abilities range from newcomers to weaving, all the way to “famous” weavers who get on the covers of magazines and sweep the prizes. And they are all my friends now! Whether you weave for your family, or for income, or for competition, all are welcome here, and all are challenged to learn, mentor, and volunteer to further our passion of weaving. From complex weaving, to simple weaving with lots of textures, technical looms, to simple looms, there is a place here to speak our language, be proud of whichever style we practice, and further our learning.

As the holidays might nudge us to dig out our family secret holiday cookies, let us continue to share freely our knowledge and skills, and not be territorial about what we know or have experience with.

Merry Christmas, and may you have hours of uninterrupted loom time.

Linda Stryker

November 2023 President’s Message

Turned the calendar page today, and felt a whoosh of holiday anticipation – most of it good, and freely chosen yet some of it stressful and obligatory. It is GOOD to gather with friends and loved ones, and GOOD to maintain and uphold traditions – whether food, games, parties, or travel. Some of our fall activities are completed (State Fair, Guild sales, etc) and we have renewed permission to put our gardens to bed and pursue more indoor activities – like WEAVING!

This month in the Tacoma Weavers’ Guild will host some traditions –many members indicated they wanted to continue the holiday card exchange. That means they should get busy creating their card of choice, and let me know their interest by phone call, email, or sign up at the November Guild meeting. I will notify you of the recipient of your card, and these should go in the mail by the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Some of our more distant members haven’t gotten theirs in time to share at the December holiday party meeting.

Not many responded that they wished to have a gift exchange at our December meeting. If you wish to continue this tradition, please bring a wrapped gift that is homemade, handmade, or weaving-appreciated.

There was a resounding support for the idea of creating garments for winter weather to donate – either through St. Andrew’s efforts or other local charity – this could include hats, scarves, mittens, shawls, etc. Those items would be due at the December meeting, and could be part of the show and tell as well.

If anyone has any holiday-related games that we can share at our December party, please let me know. Last year we filled out that grid of drawings illustrating holiday songs. Perhaps one of us can play a few holiday tunes at the piano, and have a sing-along? It has been a while since I did that! Oh, and remember our holiday potluck is more of a lunch than a coffee break.

Longer range planning – I am happy to relinquish the task of Membership Chair and looking for a replacement. We also could use some input from newer members on what topics they would like to see in our workshop offerings? What new authors, teachers, artists, or similar would they like to hear more from? Carol Thompson is building up her tech team, and is looking for additional people. Debbie Frank could use more help in hospitality and set up before the meetings.

Please share feedback with any board members about any ideas, critique, gap in information, etc.

See you at the November 10th meeting.

Linda Stryker, President

President’s Message, September, 2023

Here we go…….On the rollercoaster of our guild year. Imagine the summer was maintenance on the roller coaster ride, and now we are loading into our little cars, and climbing the first incline with the clacking and the nerves, and then WHOOOOSH – our Guild year starts the exciting ride, with twists, turns, and exhilaration. (OK, maybe I am thinking too much about the Washington State Fair with this metaphor), but I certainly do think that a vigorous kick off to our new Guild year is just ahead.

BOARD ACTIVITY: The Board and committee chairs met virtually on Tuesday, August 29th, and here are some of their discussion notes:

GUILD BUDGET – Carol Thompson is pleased about two things – our audit of last years’ books was completed and things are in good shape. She also presented to the board the proposed budget for this Guild year, and it was endorsed by the board, and will be presented to the members at the meeting.

BYLAWS CHANGES: The State of Washington is asking each 501©3 nonprofit to make some changes in their governance, and I will be asking for a small group to evaluate this in an ad hoc fashion. If any of our membership is related to a lawyer who could polish things up for us, we would most appreciate it. Please submit your names to me. I don’t do legalese very well, but we have some nice input from a neighbor Guild.

JOB CARR FIBER FEST – On Saturday, September 30th, we will host a booth at the Job Carr event, to promote the Tacoma Weavers’ Guild. I will have an awning, and we can demo anything we want that would promote our Guild. It can be a participatory demo or solo, up to the weaver’s choice. I plan to staff the booth from 10:00 – 2:00 and would love some company. Karen Haas will be there in her storyteller historian role.

WASHINGTON STATE FAIR – Marilyn Crosetto is once again our coordinator for both the Sheep to Shawl on September 11th, and the 4 X 4 day on September 21st. She has mailed parking and admission materials to her participants on record. Please contact her if any questions.

PRINTED DIRECTORY RETURNS! We have been encouraging all renewing members to get their information and dues current in order to be included in our printed directory. We did not make one during Covid, and thankfully dear Mimi Anderson is diligently proofing and getting it ready to print ASAP. If you know of email changes, you moved, or you have changed phone numbers or dropped your landline, please get that information to Mimi immediately. In addition to contact info, the Directory lists upcoming programs and events, Guild officers, and other important information for our members.

President’s Message – June, 2023

As the Guild year wraps up, I am thinking about travel. All I can do is think about it, because right now we are caring for an elderly relative and cannot travel. But I thoroughly enjoy hearing about the travels of others, and I especially enjoy stories about fiber arts in far off lands. My sister just returned from a trip to Ireland and was happy to announce she got to see a fabric mill, and her first look at a flying shuttle. Another friend went to the Ivory Coast and saw brightly striped woven garments. I also was pleased to attend the IKAT exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum, whose collection on display was based on the donor’s travels around the world. Seeing how others accomplish weaving, dying, preparing fibers, learning of their cultural role….. all of that feels like travel to another place or time.

Others acquire souvenirs from their travel, which in my world would mean woven shawls, skeins of yarn, sweaters, yardage, and even raw wool.

I am going to be able to travel to the ANWG conference in Bend, OR, and am eagerly awaiting experiencing cloth and fiber arts from around our northwest quadrant of the US and Canada. That is the travel that will feed my soul at this time.

Our end of year picnic is a week earlier this year, June 2nd, at Janet Stanley’s home, beginning at 11:00 a.m. We will raffle the sheep to shawl project, share our newest creations, eat, and sell our Dog Daze spares to each other. We will also be doing a little needle felting craft for those who wish.

Happy Weaving.

Linda Stryker

May 2023 TWG President’s Message

What is your research style? As we gain ever-increasing access to library materials, on-line forums, virtual classes, and our treasure trove of classic weaving books, I was curious about how each of you prefer to dig deeply while researching a weaving pattern or issue?

Do you dash over to the Guild library on its open day or at our regular meeting? Do you turn to the county Library to place a book on hold? Do you subscribe to Handweaving.Net to explore their vast collection of books with public access? Do you check out You-Tube for a specific subject video? Do you have Handwoven/Spin-Off magazines back to their origin, and look things up in their index? And then there is a University in Arizona that has open access to a large amount of historical weaving books.

My weaving hoarding instinct is to try to own a lot of reference and instruction books – as if the knowledge they contain would just transmit to my brain through the act of owning the book. I tell my family there will be one heck of a dead weavers’ sale when I am gone – of course after our Guild library gets first dibs.

But seriously, as I prepare for the classes I will take at ANWG, our TWG library contained two HUGE books that are on the bibliography. They are so HUGE that I would never have owned them, yet they are packed with inspiration and history, and reviewing them makes me even more eager for my class.

Some like paper versions, some like computer based…….there is a place and a method for each of us in our Guild to increase our knowledge and skill level, and to share resources as well. If you are in need of information on a particular topic, reach out to our membership for their ideas on sources.

And thank you to libraries everywhere.

Linda

TWG President’s Note, April, 2023

Our Guild is a bustling beehive of activities IF you join into the hive! We have committees and Guild tasks aplenty, and so many ways to connect your skill set to further our goals. Of course we have active weavers and spinners, but we also have accountants, educators, researchers, marketers, secretaries, and historians. In addition, we have cooks, painters, sewists, social media/AV technicians, librarians, and business people. All of these talents contribute to our Guild humming along, providing quality programming, stimulating education, friendships and mentoring.

There are a few Guild jobs open for the ’23-’24 Guild year – including Secretary, CAMEL, program committee, and hospitality/welcoming. Think about what gifts and skills you can share.

I am really looking forward to ANWG, as well as the many springtime opportunities to shop, learn, and hang around with my peeps – those who speak our language. I hope you will each have opportunities to join some of the weaving/fiber opportunities around us.

NOTE: The June picnic will take place at Janet Stanley’s, a week earlier than our normal meeting, on June 2nd, 11:00-2:00. Please mark your calendars – the picnic gathering will include Dog Daze rummage sale, the raffle of the Fair Shawl, and needle felting using cookie cutters. If you have fleece, needles, cookie cutters, or foam blocks to share, we welcome those supplies.

Happy Spring to you all!

Linda Stryker

Presidents Message, March 2023

I just returned from a short jaunt up to Vancouver, B.C. with my husband, Ted. We explored wood carving and indigenous art for his interests, and weaving, dying, and silk production for my interests. One of our stops was the Maiwa storefront on Granville Island.

I had heard the founder of Maiwa speak at the ANWG conference held in Victoria many years ago, and was very impressed with their efforts to keep creativity and industry going in foreign cultures through crop science, dye science, fair trade pay, enhanced marketing, and in general valuing slow cloth in all of its forms and applications. I know it sounds silly, but I enjoyed just being near all of those cool jars of dried dyestuffs, mordants, and color theory books. I am not much of a home dyer, but my friends are, and I liked the variety and quality of the dye products in their store. I also picked up the latest version of their marketing booklet – each years’ edition is a little bit like a tour book or National Geographic, and I try to collect them. During Covid, many of their classes have moved to on-line, and I know local people who have taken some of their classes and liked them.

Another program I viewed this week was from the Washington Humanities Office, and was about how indigenous people continue their story telling and recording – from a look at the old way (painted on animal hide, for example) to modern ways through wall art and recorded story telling. One of the artists featured was Lily Hope, an Alaskan Tlingit weaver who did several modern projects that tell a story in our time. One was called Protector Masks, where she used the Chilkat style of weaving to create face masks like we all wore during the pandemic. The other was a class where she taught weavers to create small versions of Chilkat dancing blankets, and then recently had them “danced” by children to bring them alive. She is keeping this artform going through education and modern technology.

Travel gives us opportunities to see things from a different perspective – from the artist, the materials available, and the value placed on them. I hope each of you can experience new places and new sources of inspiration for your weaving.