Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Twenty-fifth Anniversary Challenge

This year the Qualicum Weavers and Spinners Guild will celebrate it's twenty-fifth anniversary.  The guild was established by 8 newly minted weavers who began their fibre adventures by taking a class from noted tapestry weaver Elaine Duncan.   Elaine suggested that they form a guild and so continue to develop their common interest together.  At first, the group met at members' homes but after several moves the guild settled into the old Via Train Station Loft in the town of Qualicum Beach.  Today there are 50 guild members

In May we will celebrate our anniversary with a show and a tea.  The theme of the show is of course our 25th anniversary and in keeping with that theme guild members were challenged to spin some "glitzy" yarn or weave something with a silver threads.  Participating in a challenge is a great way to break out of your usual routine.  So we all reviewed our stash to determine if we had the necessary supplies.  Finally, an excuse to use up that cone of glittery yarn that has been sitting on the back shelf crying from neglect!

What to make?  The term "glitz" conjures up images of clothing with sequins and rhinestones, jewellery, beaded purses and wraps .  It also suggests romance, celebration, parties and decoration.  That eliminates knitted socks or tea towels for most of us although glittering knee socks might be a fashion trend waiting to be discovered.
The photo below is a glitz challenge table runner.  The pale green areas are a mix of light green and silver while the dark is mat green. The runner is woven using a tied weave structure.

You will have to check back in May to see the other challenge pieces.


Monday, March 14, 2016

Mucking About with Felt and Fabric

batt of fleece
mucking in with soapy water
February can be such a dreary month that we decided we needed to have some fun rather than our usual guild business meeting.
 So, we brought supplies for Nuno Felting and gathered in our resource centre to mucked about with soapy water, fleece and fabric.  It reminded me a bit of making mud pies except everyone had exceptionally clean hands after working the fleece.

The first step in the process was to make a sandwich with fleece and yarn in different colours.  The red and black bat of fleece looks quite thick but it will seem to disappear once it is wetted down like the green and blue sample.

table set for work
The wet fleece is carefully hand worked until it barely holds together.
rolling the felt
 Once the fleece is at a pre-felt stage the pink rolls and bubble wrap come into play and the real work begins.  The fleece sandwich is rolled back and forth with pressure to fix the fiber to the cloth. Heat, water and agitation will shrink the wool fibers just like your favourite wool sweater.
Then wash and dry and presto you have a unique and often surprising combination of fiber and fabric.

Who knows what creations this mini workshop will inspire!!

finished sample, fleece and yarn attached to fabric