Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas Carols and Cookies

We have put down our tools and donned our Christmas sweaters for the holiday season.  You will find us in the kitchen baking, out and about shopping, or over eating as the season demands.

 While we do not like to admit it, some of us are madly trying to finish those hand made presents.  If only we had not sold all those scarves at the November sale we would be finished by now.

Earlier this month, we celebrated the past year of friendship and creative efforts with a pot luck lunch.  Great food and good companionship along with the cheques from the sale made it a very festive event indeed.

As we have been busy with other activities this month, I thought it might be fun to review some previous works that have a red and green theme.  So, the following is a collection of old photographs.  Some of the photos are from previous winter sales including the felted sheep on the wreath and the tree.  They went to good homes in 2012.

felted sheep on a vine wreath Nov 2012
Christmas ornaments

Rep weave place mats
set of towels
study group, block weaves
study group, undulating twill yardage

Some of the works were done as part of a study by the More Than Four study group as they worked their way through different subjects.  Twills and block design are two examples

denting and cramming scarf
wool scarf in twill

There are many different ways to interpret a scarf from light and airy,almost decorative, to dense, warm and functional.  Like tea towels, scarves are excellent projects for learning new techniques.  They are fun to weave or knit and a welcome gift.  The scarves pictured here are very different.

hand spun yarn in two distinct styles, a lacy scarf and a cozy hat

table runner diversified plain weave
pin loom snowman

tied weave runner
detail of wool scarf with diamonds in twill
Snowmen are a popular theme at this time of year.
a crowed of felted snow people
 Red and green can be a difficult combination to work with especially with weaving as crossing the two colours will create a muddy brown.  That probably accounts for the small number of pieces that have both colours as often a more advanced technique is required to keep the colours separated.  Hope you enjoyed our holiday retrospective.

We will either be taking in the sun on a warm beach or back in the studio in January.  In the meantime, enjoy the Christmas carols and the cookies.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Elegant Threads 2014

On Friday morning (November 21) the sale committee and a host of helpers began the process of setting up for our show at the Rotary Hall in Qualicum Beach.  Our show was one of many events taking place in the Oceanside area the same weekend and we wanted it to be something people would remember.  As usual members came up with some unique and beautiful creations (like sari silk place mats) and as usual the set up crew wondered how they could possibly display everything.  As always they managed to find a place for everything.

The weather was terrible that morning but in spite of it, there were people knocking on the door before we had finished the display.  Over the years our show has developed a good reputation that brings people back year after year.  We create a relaxed atmosphere and encourage visitors to interact with our members.  The demonstrations of spinning and weaving always draw a crowd.  One visitor remarked that she liked to hear the story behind the piece she was buying.  Others like to meet the maker of the items they have purchased.  It helps to distinguish the items we make from mass produced items.

This year we had a multitude of scarves in different yarns and styles.  There were bold patterned wool scarves designed for cold weather.  Others were long and colourful with a youthful look in easy care cotton.  Still others were sophisticated designs that would complement a plain top.  Many were based on a painted warp, no doubt inspired by our painted warp workshops.
There was a similar variety of shawls and blankets to choose from.

 Our silent auction table was popular.  The items for the silent auction were either donated or created as part of a workshop or demonstration.  Members were very generous donating items or their time to make items.  The money raised from the auction goes towards guild activities and resources.
There were a number of tops for visitors to choose from.  Garments with simple lines can be created on relatively narrow looms with a bit of ingenuity.  It is amazing what you can create out of a rectangle.  These are one of a kind items so you will never see your "twin" wearing the same outfit.  Here are 3 different interpretations of a hand woven top.

There was an excellent selection of knitted items.  The large shawl is made of hand spun yarn in natural colours.  The colourful set of gauntlets and cowl is also made of hand spun yarn.  For the knitters that do not spin, we had lovely hand spun yarns.  You can see an example in the last picture.

These booties have been knitted and then felted.  They are quite thick and will keep those feet warm on a cold winter day. If you needed more insulation we also had felted insoles, hats, bags and tea cozies.

House hold items included rugs.  The ones shown here are made from old jeans that have been cut up to make weft material.  Hand woven tea towels were as popular as ever as were hand woven hand towels.  These small items make excellent hostess gifts.  Weavers use them to explore colour and pattern variations.  The set of hand towels pictured here were woven on the same warp.  

We had a great time visiting with the folks that came to our show.  Based on the sales, they must have had a great time shopping.  There was strong interest in the silent auction too.  Thank you to everyone who participated and to all the visitors that stopped by.  If you missed us this time then there is always next year.  Mark your calendar for November 2015 and watch this blog for announcements of the next Elegant Threads Show.