Monday, September 2, 2019

QWSG at the Fair

blue ribbon pickles
The Qualicum Weavers and Spinners went to the Lighthouse Country Fall Fair and brought home ribbons, visited with old friends and made some new ones.  We also ate pie, bought yarn, watched the kloggers dance and pretended to be kids at Fred Penner's concert.

We always put on a large display as well as demonstrations at this event.  This year our theme was "starting with wool".  The items displayed all involved wool in some form. 

We are often asked how long it takes to produce a skein of yarn and of course the answer varies depending on where you start in the process.  The beautiful hand dyed roving in the photograph started life as something less appealing and there is considerable time and effort involved long before the wool arrives at the wheel (or spindle).

from raw wool to finished textile

We decided to tell the background story in our display which includes fleece "in the grease", washed fleece, dyed fleece, roving and hand spun yarns.  Hopefully visitors came away with a better understand of the back story to a beautiful skein of yarn.  Our demonstrations including carding and blending of wool fibres.

blending silk and wool fibres

We also wanted to illustrated various ways of using wool to create a textile so we included examples of weaving, knitting and felting.  We are lucky to have some creative felters among our members.  The examples included knitted and felted items, wet felted items and needle felted items. 

wool felting examples

lace scarf wool/silk
handspinning category
The Lighthouse Country Fall Fair includes competitions for various handicrafts including a textile category.  This year our members participated in some of the competitions and came home with ribbons.  Check the Member's Works section to see more prize winners.

handwoven clothing

Now we are focused on getting ready for our GIGANTIC YARNS & MORE SALE.  We hope to see you at Qualicum Commons, 744 Primrose St in downtown Qualicum Beach on  September 20 and 21st doors open at 10 am.  We have a huge selection of knitting & weaving yarns, weaving equipment and books and we are what they call "motivated sellers".  We want to get back to working in our studio and so these items MUST GO!!!!


Monday, August 26, 2019

QWSG at the Museum

what is going on here?
Our latest outing was organized by the Qualicum Beach Museum.  Each summer they put on a program for children that gives them a taste of what life was like in the early 1900's.  At our booth they get to see how fibre was turned into yarn and how yarn was turned into cloth.

The photo at the left shows the weaving display with multiple looms and step stools to accommodate shorter weavers.  Don't you just love the pink accessories on the running shoes?

No matter how many times we set up this displace we always find an enthusiastic audience that is eager to try their hand.  We hope they leave us with a better appreciation of the process and thought that went into the cloth they wear, use, sit on or sleep under. 

busy weaver on the Dorothy loom
the weaving lesson

The mechanics of the loom seem very attractive to young boys who are often quite eager to work the harnesses and the beater and pass the shuttle back and forth.  We often think of weaving as a feminine activity these days.  It is a shame more men don't take up weaving as a hobby or cottage industry. 

We are lucky to have members who enjoy working with young people and who have the patience to teach them. 

The spinners were also kept busy demonstrating and explaining the process of creating yarn.  If you look carefully at the photograph below you will see two different approaches to the portable spinning wheel.  One works entirely by foot power while the other is an electric version.  You will also see a pair of socks in progress by an old familiar method.

making yarn and more

Our next outing will be at the Lighthouse Fall Fair in Bowser.  We will be putting on a large display with the theme, "Starting With Wool".  The Fair takes place at the Bow Horne Bay Community Centre on Saturday August 31st.  See events for more information.

PLUS you don't want to miss our GIGANTIC YARNS AND MORE SALE.  See the poster below for more information.