Monday, June 10, 2024

Where Did May Go To???


Bird's nest early May

May arrived with the promise of things to come and some how those eggs hatched and the fledglings learned to fly and in the wink of an eye (or so it seemed) May had turned into June. 

May was a busy month for the Qualicum Weavers and Spinners.  We finished off our spring beginner weaver lessons and moved on to trying something new.  Many of our members live a distance from the guild's studio which means in-person activities are not always possible.  In order to keep members involved and improve access to resources we have been working on a project called "Loom to Zoom". 

Ginny's fancy twill scarf in tencil

Personal interactions and the opportunity to see and touch works are both terribly important in the fibre arts. (Ginny's scarf drapes beautifully,)  It is difficult to capture the spirit of guild interactions when we only had on-line meetings.  So, we decided to work towards "blended" events where we could have simultaneoius in-studio and on-line activities.  As part of that project we piloted a blended workshop called "From 4 to 8 Without Tears".  We plan on more blended workshops in the future.

Kellie spinning ?dog? hair

Mary demonstrating the drop spindle

We have also been out and about at the Qualicum Beach Family Day event as well as a visit to a local school.  We have a great team that love putting on events for the public.  It's never difficult to get volunteers and the kids reward our efforts in so many ways.

CGW samples on loom

Members have been busy with projects.  We are doing the samples for the Canadian Guild of Weavers Bulletin for 2025.  That means weaving 400 rectangles for each of 4 samples in the set.  We have chosen to do a set that illustrates how to blend two drafts into one.

detail M's & O's

Linda has been exploring M's and O's and lace with a series of towels.  At the same time she is working on reducing some of the yarns in her stash.

Evelin is playing with stripes in this tea towel in an unusual application of the structure "Bedford Cord".
Evelin's stripes

We are planning a summer "dye day".  Members are busy putting together their warps to be dyed when the weather cooperates as this is an outdoor activity.  We are also planning a pot luck combined with a stash sale later in the month.  Some how we all plan to downsize our stash at these events but some how we always seem to find something we need (really, for sure need) to buy to add to the stash.  After that we are on holidays for July and most of August.

Monday, April 29, 2024

We've been busy this past month with formal and informal learning activities.  Our workshop committee organized a number of  hands-on activities and in lieu of a business meeting we had a short tutorials to help us brush up on skills.  So what did we learn?

wet felting in progress
Darrel expanded our experience with wet felting by showing us how to "paint with wool".  Participants in this workshop started with some basic wet felting techniques to create a base.  Note the bamboo placemat in the photo is used in the felting process. 

A picture, a garden in this case, is created by the placing of coloured fleece to simulate a sky and ground then more fleece and texture yarns can be felted into the piece to represent individual plants.  Once the "painting" is completed the whole is carefully felted to avoid distrubing the scene.  After drying the picture can be embellished with embroidery.

Finished garden 

Easter Baskets

 Vera taught us how to make reed baskets and encouraged experimentation that resulted in some interesting handles and finishing touches.  The easter eggs just seemed to fit especially with the basket in the foreground that reminds one of a nest.

One workshop participants went a bit further and created a small container with a lid.

reed container with lid


Carol gave us an introduction to natural dyes including local plants that can be used and where to find them.  Her collection of samples demonstrates the array of colours you can achieve with the use of mordants.  
sample of natural dye colours

We also tried out hand at some simple braiding using thrums and old cardboard boxes cut into Kumihimo discs.  This is a great way to use up small amounts of left over yarns to make braids that can be turned into ties for fasteners, friendship bracelets, drawstring cords or trim.  It's also a great way to keep the kids entertained using repurposed materials.

Simple Cardboard Kumihimo Disk