Saturday, September 23, 2023

Fall Workshops

beginning weaving workshop

 This fall we have a busy workshop schedule with classes in weaving, felting, and basketry taking place in our studio in Qualicum Beach. 

We started off with our very popular beginning weaving workshop.  This course covers the basics from, what is a heddle (?) and other odd terms to actually making cloth.  It is a close encounter with a floor loom in the company of a fun group of fibre enthusiasts.  Each student has their own loom and loads of support. 

class mug rugs
 Once  the basics are out of the way students get to try their hand at playing with yarns and designing a set of mug rugs.  It is always interesting to see how the final designs vary.  Below is a special mug rug that is the result of a the beginning weaving and a previous workshop, beginning spinning.  The weft material is the student's hand-spun wool.

hand-spun wool weft

For a change, this month we are taking our classes into the woods to forage for mushrooms.  The mushroom dyeing workshop starts with how to identify and harvest Phaeolus schweinitzii.  It is often found on conifers, including Douglas Fir which is common in our area.  Students will then learn how to use this "dyers polypore" as a dyeing agent to create beautiful muted colours.

Not chantrelles

bags in "natural" colours

In October we will be making a Market Basket, while learning some basic basketry techniques.  See the section under Workshops for more details.


Then there is Beginning Weaving Level II.  In this class, weavers will learn the basics of designing and planning a simple project then they will set up their looms and watch their design become a reality.

felted slippers

In November we will be wet felting with Darrell Giraldeau.  With cooler weather in mind we will be working on felted wool scarves and cozy slippers.  For more information on these classes see the section under Workshops.

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Showing Our Stuff


Children's day at QB museum

The past month we've been out and about showing off our craft and meeting with our community.  We always have a great time at these public events, greeting old friends and making new ones.

Children's Day at the Qualicum Beach Museum is one of our favourite events.  Children love to make things they can take home so in addition to our spinning wheels and looms this year we made simple devices for making kumihimo braids that can become friendship bracelets.  From the photo is seems our group was just as fascinated with them as the children.

display of natural dyes 
We also took part in the Lighthouse Fall Fair with demonstrations and displays of everything from baskets to natural dyes. 
Rita and her rugs

Vera's basket
Like many traditional fairs the Lighthouse Fair encourages excellence in arts and crafts, the domestic arts and of course gardening/farming by sponsoring contests. 

While we didn't win anything in the rude vegetable or largest zucchini category our members did dominate the needlework section. 

 Linda took first prize with a top in handwoven yardage that mixes two different patterns in the same colours and threads.  The panels are reversed on the back.  It is often difficult to match patterns exactly with handwoven yardage and this design eliminates that problem.

Linda's blue ribbon vest

The Qualicum Weavers and Spinners sponsors a special prize for a hand woven shawl.  Below are the first and second place winners in this years contest.  The blue shawl is highly textured with glittering threads and random bead-like nubs.  The blue ribbon shawl was woven with a painted warp and textured threads so colours shift and move throughout the piece.   

Special Contest 

Our monthly meetings will resume on Monday September 25th.  The meeting is from 10 to noon at our studio.  Visitors are always welcome so come along if you would like to check us out.

We are busy with classes in September and October.  Check out the sidebar under workshops to see what is happening.  We will report on our beginner weaving classes in the next post.