Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Lesson's Learned

samples of saori weaving

 This past year has been a bumper year for educational activities.  Covid forced many of us to turn to on-line activities including attending workshops in the comfort of our own homes.  Our workshop committee rose to the challenge and organised a number of on-line weaving workshops, from "linen and lace" with our own Linda Wilson to the "double rainbow" with Jennifer Moore.

As the Covid crisis waned we were finally able to return to having in-studio events.  There are some things you just can't learn without getting your hands dirty? wet? or otherwise engaged. 

Some of us took our first step into beginning weaving and beyond with the Beginner Weaving workshops.

We tried our hands at basket weaving and will continue with that popular subject with Vera's "cat's head" basket session in January.

We learned how to turn fleece into a bowl, learned the fundamentals of knitting and made Fair Isle hats. 

felted fleece containing resist

laying out the fleece
More recently we turned fleece into bags for wine bottles, vases or just into lovely bags.  The photo shows laying out the fleece with a resist between layers.  The resist is then encased in fleece and wet felted.

After felting has taken place the piece is cut, the resist removed and the edges and final shaping are completed

a bevy of bags

one done and one to go
Knitted socks are a symbol of  a cozy, casual style that values practical arts.  But they can also express individualism and even a bit of a rebellious nature without being frivolous.  This fall our knitters learned to look at socks from a different angle by knitting from the toe up.  Mary Jennings was the workshop leader.

retro spinning wheel
finished heel


Our last workshop for the year was about beginning something new.  Linda Raven introduced a group of yarn enthusiasts to spinning using a foot powered spinning wheel.  Participants started with the basics about sheep breeds and the properties of their fleece and ended up with bobbins full of their own hand-spun yarn.

straw into gold? check the socks


With Covid restrictions lifted some members even ventured to other places to take in-person workshops.  The samples in the first photo are from a saori weaving course attended by a member.  Like all true fibre enthusiasts she generously shared her learning and samples with other members of the guild.

So, whatever your passion keep on learning and keep on sharing.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Closing out the year

Christmas lights

 We have moved into that time of year when getting ready for family visits and celebrations is at the top of the "to do" list.  

hand kit toque

If you happened to have done your Christmas shopping at our sale, Elegant Threads, then maybe you are busy wrapping up this lovely toque.  If not you might be busy finishing off a special project of your own.  Hopefully you are not still wondering what to give that special person who needs nothing.   

There is something special about hand made gifts especially if the giver is also the maker.  The gift becomes more than a "thing" because it has a bit of the maker in it.  Every artisan puts their vision, their love of craft, their style or even their sense of humour into the pieces they produce.


Here is to the season or red and green! It is a time to use up all that red yarn you've been accumulating or to explore one of best known complementary colour schemes.  Seems our group had a lot more red yarn than green.

tea towel gradient

plaid blanket
red and white cowl


mug rug

We can work in different colours and if you love to decorate a seasonal tree with funky baubles take a look at these colourful dryer balls.  They do double duty as unbreakable tree ornaments that are very kid friendly.

felted dryer balls/tree ornaments

gift basket
And finally, we like to give presents too.  Here is a photo of one of the gift baskets we've put together for our dear neighbour, The Qualicum Beach School of Dance.  We love them all from the tiny tots to the budding beauties.  We wish them all the best for their upcoming concert and fund raiser at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre.