Aerospace engineer leads De Anza members from sheep to scarf

Aerospace engineer and designer of remote sensing satellites and image processing systems Beth Jurecki, now retired, demonstrated the techniques used in the transformation of raw wool into a finished garment for members of the De Anza Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution at their monthly luncheon held Jan. 5 at Lomas Santa Fe Country Club.

“Evidence of weaving fabric exists from almost 30,000 years ago,” Jurecki said. “Spindles came into existence as soon as humans learned they could make fabric from animal and vegetable matter.”

Jurecki spun wool for the group using a replica of a 5,000-year-old bead whorl spindle found in a Troy archeological site. Along with discussing the history of spinning and weaving, she took attendees through the process of washing, carding, spinning, warping, and finally weaving. Knitters and weavers were advised to avoid winding yarn into a tight ball as the fibers could be stretched.

Jurecki is a certified San Diego Master Gardener and Master Composter and volunteers into those programs. She has a habit of wearing pearls even when gardening. An active member of the De Anza DAR chapter, she won first place in the 2012 California American Heritage Contest for a weaving entry she showed during her demonstration at the meeting.

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in 1890. Its members are descended from the patriots who won American independence during the Revolutionary War. With more than 165,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters worldwide, DAR is one of the world’s largest and most active service organizations. For more information, call Laurel Lemarié, 858-756-2835 or visit