Monday, February 24, 2014

Mid-winter in the Studio

Mid-winter on the coast means grey skies, occasional flurries mixed with the rain and short days.  One could go into a sulk like the two bald eagles sitting on the fishing boat in the picture.  Not interested in soaring majestically these two were just squawking their discontent to anyone on the wharf who was willing to listen.

Lucky for us we can chase away those mid-winter blues in our studios.  We can substitute bright coloured materials for those grey skies, take comfort in the rhythm of the spinning wheel and look forward to brighter days.

Mabel's silk & Samoyed yarn
We have many accomplished spinners in our group as well as a lot of folks new to the art of spinning.  There are a number of small holdings in our area. Many of them are home to animals that produce material for spinning which is one reason why spinning is a popular past time locally.  We are lucky to have some excellent spinning teachers in our guild.  They provide workshops for both novice spinners and advanced spinners.  They also keep the guild equipment working and are a bank of knowledge for guild members.  A weaving guild's most valuable assets are the members with expertise who are willing to share it.

February is shaping up to be a month for spinning.  Beginner spinning lessons are under way at our studio space in the Train Station.  For the more advanced, we had a demonstration of using a blending board to mix fibres prior to spinning them.
In the first photo, Sharon has laid a series of coloured hanks across a blending board then she combs them in order to blend the different colours.  While the demonstration involves the same material dyed different colours you could use the same process to blend different materials such as the silk and dog hair that makes up Mabel's yarn.
The photo below shows how a blended fibre would look when spun then knitted.
examples of blended fibres, yarns and knitted items
As always our meeting include an opportunity to for members to show their works and share information.  This month we had a variety of items on display.
Margie's netting
Sylvia's rug
They include a light net-like piece and a dense rug which demonstrate the great range of items that all started out as yarn.