Sunday, December 15, 2019

Christmas is Coming and We are Getting Fat

3 sheep on a vine wreath
  We are busy baking and eating our way through the holidays (thus the reference to getting fat).

 We started the festivities with a pot luck lunch where the proceeds from our recent sale were handed out.  The sale was a great success and we'd like to thank the folks that came to it.  We know you have many choices and hope you enjoyed our event and will be back next year.

We are taking a short break until the new year but January is shaping up as a busy month with mini-workshops for members plus the usual study and drop in groups.  Our yarn manager is getting ready to put in an order so there will be plenty of yarns to chose from come January.  Until then we wish everyone a grand holiday season.

Enjoy the seasonal photos of our members works.

shawl detail

Xmas tea towel

Xmas tea towel

wool scarf with diamonds

felted santas

warm wool hat

cedar reindeer

Xmas place mat

trees runner

summer & winter diamond

Xmas runner

Xmas trees

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Our Fall Sale

a collection of elegant shawls

November is craft sale month.  It is a busy month for all of the local artisan groups including the Qualicum Weavers and Spinners.  This past weekend we held our annual Elegant Threads show and sale.  

finished sorting the items
tea towels on a pant hanger
We have over 60 members with diverse interests and talents so one never knows exactly what is going to be submitted for the sale.  Luckily we have a talented group that always manages to create order out of chaos.  Their displays are always appealing and often an imaginative use of props and spaces.

The entire guild is involved in putting on the fall sale.  It is one activity that brings the group together whether they are volunteering on the sale dates, making items for the sale or involved in the organization and the promotion of the event. 

hand spun yarns
The sale is a fund raiser for the guild, a benefit for members who need an sales outlet for their works and an opportunity to show the public what we do.  The entire guild benefits when the sale is a success.

detail of sweater
  Craft sales are so common now a days that we strive to make ours stand out as an event where you will find high quality hand crafted items that are uncommon.  For example our knitted items are unique in that they are made with  hand spun yarns that have often been hand dyed. 

cozy hand woven blankets

felted wall hanging
As our membership has expanded so has the scope of our interests.  A number of our members are interested in working directly with raw fibres such as wool or silk to create fabric.  As a result we had a number of high quality felted items in this years sale.

Scarves are likely the most popular item (next to tea towels) for weavers to create.  Our wall of scarves was a rainbow of colour.  We also worked on our sewing skills this year with study groups and workshops.  This is reflected in the number of structured tops that were on display.
colourful scarves
lined caplet
After a week of intense activity we are taking a bit of a rest and getting ready for our next big event.  It is one that involves merriment and food.  Our pot luck lunch takes place on December 9th in our studio.  Lunch starts at 11:00 with nibbles and continues until we either get too full to eat anymore or we run out of things to chat about.  We never run out of food.

If you missed our fall sale then you will have to wait until 2020.  If you saw something at the sale and now wish you had bought it then email us and we'll try to put you in touch with the member who made it.


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Fun in the Fall

fall colours
We've had a busy October starting with Active Aging Week.

During this week various recreational and creative groups invite seniors to drop in on their activities.  It is an opportunity for individuals to explore groups they might like to join.  The Qualicum Weavers and Spinners opened up our studio.  We set up some simple crafts that visitors could try.  Members brought items they were working on and spent the day visiting with new and old friends.

spinning lesson

In mid October,  Sharon Eliason inspired us to think of clothing made from hand woven fabrics.  Sharon started our journey with a one day workshop on sewing handwoven fabric.  She provided the participants with a binder of handwoven fabric samples and then led us through various tips and techniques.
seam finishes

It was difficult to imagine how she forced herself to cut all those lovely fabrics into 4 inch pieces but it was appreciated.  It gave us the confidence that these techniques were possible on our own hand woven cloth.

simple vest

dressy top
Our sewing adventure was followed by a fashion show where we got to see the results of those sewing techniques.  The items ranged from simple tops and vests to fitted jackets and coats.  The clothes were fashioned from a variety of fabrics made with mixed warps, rags, thick wool and fine yarns. 
Over the next two days we got to explore weaving fashion fabrics on our own looms.  Maybe we will see the results of those experiments at a future show & tell event.

coloured squares

the inside scoop

As we head into November guild members are busy getting ready for our annual winter show and sale.  The sale committee is busy organizing the event while the rest of us are busy knitting, weaving, felting, spinning and sewing.  There are tea towels to hem, fringes to twist, yarns to wash and weigh, knitted hats to finish and so on.

Look for our posters and save the dates November 22 and 23rd.  We will be holding the sale at the Commons (744 Primrose).  There will be a silent auction, loads of high quality items to purchase, demonstrations and our studio will be open.


Friday, September 27, 2019

Back to Business Again

Clusters of mushrooms is a sure sign of fall here on the wet coast and that means back to school or back to business.  After a very busy summer the Qualicum Weavers and Spinners have resumed our normal schedule.
We have finally finished with yarn and garage sales and have cleared enough space in our studio so that we can resume studio activities.  Our project committee is anxious to start using  our new studio looms while the workshop group are gearing up for a variety of lessons.  You can check the side bar under workshop series to see if there is something you'd be interested in attending.

It is always interesting to see and hear what members have been doing during the summer months.  Its not unlike the first week of school in the fall when you had to write that essay on "what I did on my summer vacation".  But for us it is what I made during my summer vacation.

twill blocks in fine yarns
towels from knitting cotton

Some of our members took advantage of our recent yarn bonanza to try weaving with knitting yarns as illustrated in the photo above.  The lacy scarf below shows an unusual use of linen which we usually think of in terms of a stiff cloth fine cloth.  The scarf on the right is a combination of very fine mercerized cotton and fine bamboo rayon.  It has a lovely drape and feels like silk.
lacy scarf in linen blend

twill bag with card weaving


Several of our members have an interest in card or tablet weaving.  The strap on the wool bag lifts the design to a higher plane.  The bag itself has a subtle diamond pattern that gives it a textured look.

 This towel illustrates a number of colour interactions to make an overall pleasing colour design while the shawl below resembles the current colour scheme that Mother Nature has on display.

knitted shawl in autumn colours

This coming week we will be holding an open studio (now that it has been cleaned up) as part of a region wide event called Active Ageing.  It is an opportunity for the community to try out different recreational activities and learn about groups they may want to join.  Guests will have a chance try various fibre related crafts and see demonstrations.  The event takes place on October 2nd from 10 am to 4 pm.  There are a number of other free activities taking place at the Commons where our studio is located.

After that we will be busy working towards our annual fall sale ELEGANT THREADS.

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.