Monday, June 8, 2015

Fun in the Sun

Family Days is a local event that takes place annually towards the end of May.  It is the first of many outdoor events that bring together various community groups.  It is an opportunity for groups to tell their story to the general public and perhaps spark an interest or attract a new member.  Since we are always keen to tell our story our guild set up a booth with samples, looms and spinning wheels.  As usual we attracted a group of children who were keen to try their hand at the wheels and the looms.

The boy in this picture might be a bit young to recruit as a new guild member just yet.  Who knows, maybe this encounter with a weaver and a loom has sparked a life long interest in fibre arts.  Will he design the next generation of looms or will his work be featured in art galleries across the globe?
The art of spinning also attracted its share of potential fibre artists.  The young lady with the lovely stripped leggings is trying her hand at creating wool yarn on a portable wheel.  Will she become a sheep farmer, or will she become a knitter famous for her stripped socks and garments?  Whatever she does it will no doubt be colourful.

demo in progress
As usual our booth was busy, attracting older children and adults as well.  Occasionally during a lull in the traffic there was time for spinning and contemplating.  But, most of the time we were kept busy explaining, demonstrating, visiting and enjoying the energy of the crowds that came to see our display
time for relaxing
serious weaving going on
inkle weaving
Hopefully our audience came away from our booth with a better appreciation of how fibre is transformed into yarn and how yarn is transformed into cloth.

that's wool?

If you missed us at Family Days and want to try your hand at the loom or spinning wheel then look for us at the ART IN ACTION event in down town Qualicum Beach on July 26th.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

May Activities

May has been glorious here on Vancouver Island as evidenced by this ornamental crab apple tree.  It has been difficult to stay focused and in the studio when the weather is so enticing.  Nevertheless we have finished our guild projects, met with our study groups and even found some time to throw fiber into a dye pot (although that was an outdoor activity that took advantage of the sunshine).

colour gamp in neutrals

At our May guild meeting members were given a chance to see what the Colour Study Group and the More Than Four Study Group had been doing.
The colour group have been working on neutral colours.  First they had to identify what made a colour "neutral".  Then they considered how these colours react when woven in different structures.  As part of the learning process the members of the group wove samples.
log cabin colour gamp
They learned that a wide range of colours can be considered neutral under the right circumstance and that browns and greys are complex.  They also explored the concept of weight as applied to colour.

The More Than Four Group gave a brief report about their exploration into 3 dimensional surface effects. (More details can be found in the March 15, 2015 post.)  Sampling has been very important for this study topic as the effects depend upon many factors especially the materials and the finishing techniques.  Most recent efforts include experimenting with "dimity" as illustrated in the photo of the scarf.  Dimity creates raised stripes against a plain background.

double weave
The shawl in the photo on the right is an example of patterned double weave with wool and cotton.  After machine washing and drying the wool shrinks and the cotton puffs up to create ridges that follow the waves of pattern.  Double weave is a very versatile weave structure for exploring differential shrinkage.

To celebrate the good weather a group of guild members decided to hold a "dye day".  They fired up those old camp stoves and brought out their fleece and yarn.  The theme appears to be, try anything, sprinkle the dye on top of the fleece, dip dye or create variegated yarn.  Who knows what the result will be and that is part of the fun.  No doubt we will be seeing the finished products later in the year.

If all this activity were not enough to tire us out guild members have also been working on projects in the guild studio.  Look for the next post to see how the projects have turned out.