Sunday, September 13, 2015

We Went to the Fair

We went to the Lighthouse Fall Fair where we met this lovely scare crow.  She was stationed with a pair of well dressed hippies (notice the ban the bomb necklace in the background).

This is an annual event that we have been part of for many years.  We usually put on a large display with demonstrations but this year we also sponsored a special prize for a woven shawl.
This new prize augmented the existing categories in weaving, felting, spinning and knitting.

This is our sign stuck to the wall with half a roll of painters tape and placed as high as a tall husband could reach.  Sometimes you have to work with what is available.  We may be a bit crooked and haphazard but I think the red green and white combination works against the cream background.  At least you won't miss it.

This year we went with an old fashion theme with emphasis on the home.  The washday scenario made us all thankful for permanent press fabrics and a more relaxed attitude to wrinkles.

The iron in the photograph must weight 5 pounds and while it was excellent at pressing linen one needed substantial muscles and good joints to use it.  No wonder our mothers and grandmothers did not need to go to the gym to lift weights to stay in shape.

The display included a colourful collection of tea towels and table linens paired with old china (some depression glass) and kitchen wares.

Scatter rugs were something my grandmother had in abundance to cover the wooden floors in the farm house.  They added a bit of colour and warmth. In our example we have included two rag rugs made from denim strips.  The metal device with them is a manual rug beater used to remove loose dirt by whacking the rug as it hung on a line.  Often this was a job for a child.  It makes one appreciate the built in vacuum system.

The Lighthouse Fall Fair has a large variety of prize categories that celebrate traditional skills and  some non-traditional skills.  If you like to bake, preserve, ferment or brew, there is a category for your tasty products.  Likewise if you are a gardener you can try for the biggest squash, the weirdest potato or the best of produce in different vegetables groups.  Apples were popular this year.

 There are categories for various fiber arts including spinning, knitting, felting and weaving. A number of our guild members went home with ribbons and not just for fiber arts proving that they can cook too.

The two shawls illustrated were worthy of blue ribbons in the wearables and the general weaving categories.

The needle felted animals and the little girl's hat were also blue ribbon winners.

Congratulations to Pat M, Linda W, Sylvia and Jude.

The prize winner for the special weaving category for a hand woven shawl is pictured below.  It is based on a patterned double weave technique and woven in fine wool.  Congratulations to Pat C

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Preserving the Past

This month our guild participated in the Qualicum Beach Museum's children's day event. Like museums in many small towns, ours focuses on the local history, the people who built the community, local industry and historic buildings.  In addition to the usual displays the museum has an extensive fossil collection.
Since one of our goals is to keep the art of hand spinning and hand weaving alive we have an interest in common with our local museums.  Events of this type are a great way to connect with people who appreciate the work involved in hand crafts.
For the children's day event some of the more portable exhibits were put into use.  Children were given a taste of what life would have been like at the turn of the century. They got to make whirly-gigs and other toys, try their hand at splitting wood with a wedge (more watching than doing), scrub socks on a wash board, identify artefacts and of course spin and weave.

As always spinning wool into yarn was a big hit with the young ones.  This time we brought along drop spindles to demonstrate how simple tools would have been used and how fine a yarn can be produced using this method.

Our 2 harness demonstration loom got a work out.  Some of the children could hardly reach the levers but that did not dampen their enthusiasm for trying.  Most were quick to get into the rhythm of passing the shuttle through the shed, changing the shed and beating.  Some were very enthusiastic beaters.  That weft was sure packed tight.   

 For those that wanted more complexity we had a 4 harness loom set up for mug rugs.  This narrow loom may not look like a typical harness loom but it functions in the same manner.  The black metal rods are the "heddles" in 4 rows.  Each row is controlled separately just as you would raise or lower a harness.  This loom has produced many scarves over the years.

Next month we will be attending the Lighthouse Community Fall Fair in Bowser.  We will have a large indoor display as well as demonstrations.
For more information on the fair check
lighthouse fall fair