Monday, December 28, 2015

Starting the New Year

January.  The chairs are gone and the beach is deserted except for storm watchers.  Time to head to the studio and plan our next project.
January is a month of expectations and looking ahead.  The rush to finish items for guild sales and Christmas presents is over.  You can relax and let your creative force wander somewhat aimlessly without guilt.
January is the perfect time to surround yourself with the yarns or fibers in your stash and ask them what they want to be.  They may respond in a different way if you were recently given a new tool, book or exotic material.

  If we are looking for fresh ideas this January we might want to check some older ideas.  Simple clothing has been very popular this fall, just as it was in the 1980's.  While the designs are similar the materials are quite different.  The photo at the right  shows a simple top from the "chenille" period.  It is a rectangle with a neck slit.  The selvedges are joined near the ends of the cloth.  It could easily be reinterpreted with a light weight fabric with good drape or as a knitted piece.  This top drew a lot of attention at our guild meeting during the show and tell session.

section of guild library
If cold rain gets you down then try checking out a good book from the library.  Our guild library is a great resource for members.  Many of the books are out of print and very difficult to find.  Of course, you already know there are numerous on-line sites to visit.
For a new perspective look at publications designed for other fiber arts.  The motifs in the needle work photo could easily be translated into knitting or weaving.  The artisan who created the piece is accomplished at all 3.

double size quilt

You might also want to take some time to visit an exhibit.  The photo above is from an exhibition of quilts that took place in Oceanside.  This piece is a riot of colour with rectangular frames around different quilting motifs.  What a lovely sampler.

The guild is taking a short break over the holidays but we will be meeting again the fourth Monday in January.  Our study groups, More Than Four, Fun With Four and the Colour Study group will also be meeting in January.  Check the Guild Events list for times and places.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Christmas Shopping

shoppers looking for the perfect gift
This Christmas some lucky people will receive a hand crafted present that was made by one of the Qualicum weavers and spinners.  Our annual guild sale was held the last weekend in November and as a result many lovely items went off to new homes with all our love.  We hope where ever they go they will give as much pleasure to the recipient as we had in making them.  
shopper with an armful of treasures
Good weather, a hard working sale committee, a host of volunteers and many creative hands helped to make this year's event a success.  We also owe thanks to the organizers of the WinterFest Craft Fair for helping to publicize our event.  And we should never forget the husbands and partners who pack props into trucks, climb ladders, do the heavy lifting and bring tools to repair the unexpected.  

a selection of scarves for everyone
Our guild members have been very active this year so that we had a large variety of items and plenty of choice.  As usual the set up crew had to be very imaginative to show off all the items.

knit and woven scarves

tea towels on rack
Scarves and tea towels are always popular as gifts.  There are so many different ways to interpret a scarf or towel that they are never boring to make.  Shoppers had many different styles and colours to chose from.  Our new tea towel holder makes good use of vertical space and allows for easy viewing.  When a sale is as large as ours getting the most out of the space is important.  
simple tops
a warm ruana with hand worked trim

button front shawl
One of a kind tops are always popular and we love to experiment with hand woven cloth.  Styles ranged from these simple but elegant tops to sporty warm ruanas.  There were lacy knitted shawls in luxurious hand spun yarns.
If you preferred to knit yourself, we also had an abundance of  unique hand spun yarns.

triangular shawl in hand spun yarn
Household items included hand towels as displayed around the old basin, table runners and place mats, coasters, and felted tea cozies.  There were rugs, pillows blankets and even felted slippers to keep you warm in the coming winter. 
hand towels
selection of table runners

Pillows with inlaid details

felted slippers

 A lot of our visitors took the time to chat or watch the demonstrations.  As always we were happy to oblige.  We hope they left with an appreciation of what is involved in making these items and why we are so passionate about our yarn and fibres.

The sale is a major source of income for the guild.  In addition to supporting our studio/resource centre it offsets the costs of educational activities.  As a fund raising effort, we included a silent auction at the sale.  It generated a lot of interest, and brought out some competitive spirit.  The keen bidders returned at the close of the sale on Sunday for one last chance to make the winning bid.

silent auction table 

A merry Christmas tea towel
We are sorry if you missed the sale but remember there is always next year.  Check this site for more information in the fall.  In the meantime I wonder whose kitchen will be home to this very merry Christmas tea towel?