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Skagit Spinners is a group of handspinning enthusiasts. Our members incorporate handspinning in a wide variety of fiber arts including knitting, weaving, rug-making, felting, crochet and many others. Our members spin a variety of fibers including wool, mohair, alpaca, silk, cotton, ramie, angora, camel, cashmere, flax and dog hair. Our members sometimes volunteer to demonstrate spinning at local events.
"We host three spinning sessions a month, one morning and two evening sessions. Please contact the coordinator for more information.
Meetings include the exchange of expertise, information on members' projects, informal
spinning, and sometimes a short program. Periodically, we sponsor workshops conducted by
members and guest instructors.
All meetings are free and open to the public. We welcome both new and experienced spinners.
Skagit Valley Weavers' Guild membership is required only if you want to check out library
books or equipment.
For more information or to be added to the low-volume email list, please email
Contact Us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
compiled/edited Dec. 2015 by Vivian Mizuta
Contributors: Megan (Merritt) Jones, Jean Lohman, Sarah Hayduk, Gloria Williams, Nancy
Hansen, Vivian Mizuta, Kim McKinnon, Sue Perry, Kathy Crone
The Skagit county area has had a long spinning tradition and at no time was any of the
organized part of that affiliated with the NorthWest Regional Spinnerʼs Association. There
was never even a thought of trying to create a region “between Snohomish and
Bellingham”, as we were always perfectly happy with no dues, no officers, no potlucks, no
raffles, no bylaws and mostly no business meetings or hierarchy. We have always been
just a group of spinners. And we were pretty much exclusively socially spinning in the early
and mid periods. When the group re-formed (c.2007) after the demise of The Tuesday
Spinners, there became a much larger focus on holding workshops and having mini-classes,
watching DVDs and having demos or Show & Tell at the monthly spinning sessions. This
was partially a response to the many very beginning spinners at that time, and also due to
an explosion of new equipment (both wheels and carders) and commercially prepared
fibers available, along with the always-wonderful SpinOff Magazine and now PLY
magazine focusing on rare breeds and new techniques. Most recently there are many
DVDs by spinning teachers featuring art yarns and work with color, as well as perfecting
older draw techniques and yarn styles.
Pre-history period 1970s(?) to mid-1980s
Anacortes area had an evening spinning group. Megan took a spinning class in 1985 at
Coupeville Spinning & Weaving Shop and started going to those meetings, also attended
by regulars Gloria Williams, Helen Nichols, Vera Stuber, Dora Coffelt, Mary Lou Morgan,
Fran Park. Gloria adds names of Herta Kerp, Kiltie Ross and she thought it was late 70s or
early 80s; she & Vera learned to spin at the Coupeville shop also.
History c.1985 unofficial spin-off study group of Skagit Valley
Weaverʼs Guild: The Tuesday Spinners
In the early 1980s, the “mainland” Skagit spinners began meeting in homes, with the first
Spin formed by Sarah Hayduk at Anna Mae Kinkade′s home in Mount Vernon. Jean
Lohman recalls it being evening, and winter as there was a fire in her basement rec room.
That group was nameless for a few years and even met on Thursdays. In a short time they
began to meet daytimes, in member homes, and became The Tuesday Spinners. This
group met weekly from 10 to 2, with members bringing sack lunches and hostess providing
a dessert and coffee/tea. There are fond memories of friendships from this frequent group,
whose names include:
1986 (from Vivian) Vivian Mizuta, Betty Fellion, Ann VanDenBurg, Sandy Shin, Jean
Lohman, Penny Good, Lori Biss, Anna Mae Kinkade.
1988 (from Vivian, now attending weekly) the above, plus Alice Hendricks (87), her
mother JoAnn, Pat Skelton (88), Florence Scott (Nancy Scottʼs MIL), Nancy Scott,Patricia
McDonald, Dixie Snow.
Jean Lohman writes: I′m not sure of the date but our first Mt. Vernon spin was in the
basement of Anna Maeʼs house. It was in the evening and winter, because I remember it
being dark. Anna Mae had a fire going in the insert that was probably never used again;
she was nervous. It was not long before we began to meet during the day, and at each
other′s homes. We were nameless for quite a few years, and also used to meet on
Thursdays. As time passed, we grew in number; some came and some left, some of us
stayed forever. The breakup was, I think, mainly due to age, the core group always was a
group of mainly Weaver′s Guild members (a lot of guild business was conducted on
Tuesday mornings) and we all just got older. It seems to me that we tried meeting every
other Tuesday, then it was swapped to evenings to make it more available. I have fond
memories of those days - the summer potlucks on the lawns, the dye days in our milk
house, Loriʼs baby shower on our side lawn, the “special lunch” days when one of us
suffered the loss of family, and we just sat together and spun, and somehow, being
together seemed to ease the hurt. I remember Pat Skelton′ʼs 60th birthday - we gave her a
surprise birthday party at her house, taking everything with us from the cake and candles,
paper plates and plastic cutlery, and of course the potluck lunch. She thought she was
hosting the group for the day, and was she surprised! We were more than a group of
women who like to spin yarn; we were a support group, we were true friends.
Vivian Mizuta writes: I learned to spin in 1985, possibly Oct 23 - for sure at the home of,
and from,Anna Mae Kinkade and with fellow student/friend Anna Mead. We had both
borrowed Ashford Traditional wheels (mine from Mt.Vernon resident Anita McGraw) and
went to a Fleece Sale at Penny Goodʼs westside MV farm on Dec 15, 1985. In those
early years, the only fiber to spin was local raw whole fleeces; take them home, skirt them,
wash them, drum-card them and spin it! Sarah Hayduk was also selling fleeces from her Fir
Island home about that time and some members raised sheep; Pat had over 100 llamas.
Vivian started going to, and frequently hosting, the weekly spinners in Mt. Vernon in 86/87.
Vivian recalls the early 80s in downtown Mt. Vernon, when she was weaving but not yet
spinning. It seemed like the entire weaving guild was on a spinning craze and they were
organizing wheel purchases in bulk. Ashford was selling kits of Traditional wheels in
shipments of 10 from New Zealand. Rita Koetje had a small yarn shop on the south end of
the main street in Mt. Vernon and one lower shelf of weaving yarns (c. 1976/77) and may
have been involved in these wheel shipments. (aside: Current yarn shop very close to
that location, Wild Fibers, is owned by a niece of Rita′s). At some time later but prior to ʻ85
there was a small co-op selling venue for local fiber arts, at Pine Square nearby Ritaʼs Yarn
Shop and I know that Debbie Crowley was involved with that. Vivian met Debbie in 1980
and thinks she was a spinner, but Debbie didnʼt join the weekly group.
1991 - the first dates that Vivian has for Tuesday spinners being hosted in Anacortes, by Megan and by Gloria, although it is possible that the groups merged prior to that date.
1990-95 Continuing to meet as Tuesday spinners, add names of Karen, Mary Margaret
Eighme, Penny Brown, Nancy Hansen, Sylvia Trask, Kathryn Alexander, Arlene Summers,
Bev Sundean, Mary Lou Morgan, Jean Nelson, Jean Ferguson, Indrid Shellenberger,
Renee Delight LaTorre, Gwyn Jackson, Barb, Laura.
Still meeting weekly in 1998. This is a social group; chat and spin. There was only one
workshop (Diane Varney on Designer Yarns) that comes to mind, and that was for spinners
but sponsored by the weaverʼs guild. The spinners met weekly except in summer months
(though there may be a special occasion picnic) and none in late December.
This core group met thru most of 1999 until it seemed that age took it′s toll. The founding
members when Vivian learned to spin at age 38 were mostly 10 years older than that and
by the mid 1990s these women were busy with grandkids or back to working daytimes.
The group eventually tried to meet every other Tuesday and swapped to evenings to
make it more available.
2000--- blank for spinning, but a LOT of weaving guild activity with monthly meetings, board meetings, numerous workshops and study groups, attending Convergence and conferences, the Skagit Fair 2nd week of August
2002, 2003, 2004 (all beginners) 2005 (add intermeds) and 2008 , 2009 Vivian gets a
grant for 6 table looms with the Anacortes Senior Center and starts teaching beginning
weaving there. She did one month of weekly spinning lessons in 2011 but that did not
result in a long-term or revived group of spinners. Sheila Pritchett and a few other
experienced spinners assisted with that class.
Current/Recent reorganized group of “Skagit Spinners”