Chilliwack Fair 2018

The Chilliwack Fair was held on the weekend of August 10-12 2018. Although it is not a Guild event, as such, many of our members volunteer their time to organize, and demonstrate at the Spinning and Weaving booth. The Wednesday and Thursday preceding the Fair were incredibly hot and many thanks tot he volunteers who  were at the  booth to received and arrange the  items for judging. Thankfully the weather did  cool a wee bit for the Fair.  Our members demonstrated spinning  during the course of the event and on Sunday  a mini-Sheep to Scarf was undertaken. IMG_1109

This is the scarf as it came off the loom. It has been  properly finished now and I’ll include a photo shortly.

Yes sir, yes sir, two bags full!

At the Chilliwack Spinners and Weavers Guild, we often receive fleece from local farmers who would rather see it go to good use instead of buried, burned, or composted. Most of the sheep in the Fraser Valley are raised for meat and the fleeces aren’t usually high quality. When bags of fresh fleece arrive in the Guild room, they are free for the taking. Most members are of the been-there-done-that frame of mind and are fully willing to let the more adventurous members handle the good.

Guild Secretary, Jordan N., is still new enough to spinning to take the challenge, often bringing home several bags at a time when available. The fleece is usually really dirty. It’s always smelly. It’s often coarse and short. But sometimes you luck out and it’s soft and long.

The newest arrivals at the Guild room contained six bags each containing two fleeces. If you can look past the smell, dirt and bits of grass and… other things, you can see potential. Jordan took home two bags and immediately took advantage of the hot weather and free fibre.

After sorting through her score, she discovered some incredibly long locks. Having very little equipment at home aside from her Louet S71 spinning wheel, Jordan is always looking for creative ways to process fibre. The long locks lent themselves well to a simple soak and rinse for easy combing with a dollar store pet comb. Restaurant bussing trays are a perfect size and depth for keeping long locks in tact while they soak over night. The hot sun is perfect for drying during the day—and trying a bit of solar dyeing as well!

 

It may take all summer for Jordan to work her way through her freebies, but that’s okay. The wonderful thing about the fact that this fleece is free is that local farmers can feel good that their sheep fibre has gone on to be worked and appreciated and we spinners have the opportunity to play without having to worry about the possibility of ruining expensive fibre.

Stay tuned to see how Jordan’s experiments go!

Spring Scarves!

The little Spring Elves have been busy! The  varied and colourful  towels have been taken down from our walls and the most amazing  display of  scarves and has taken it’s place! Louise O and her  minions have been tireless in their efforts to  show off our favorite scarves. Well done Ladies – yes that is a Capital “L”!!

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Guild Milestone!

It is a great feeling to announce that all our floor looms are currently warped! Even the tapestry loom is warped. Ladies, you are all amazing!

It’s remarkable, sometimes, how what seems like a disaster can end up being a blessing instead. In the spring of 2015 our guild found itself in the unfortunate position of having to find a new home. The rest of the spring and early summer were spent searching for a place to settle and a number of emergency meetings to keep our members informed of the progress. Luckily for us a seniors center had recently moved their pool tables to another area of the center and what was once a fairly spacious pool room was now available for rent. It was perfect – well, almost. Renovations were needed and the day the flooring company had to strip and sand the floor will stay in my mind for a very long time. In the end, after many hours of volunteer sweat equity and some professional skill, our guild room was ready. We were able to move in at the beginning of December and our lovely bookshelves were installed on Christmas Eve day.

I am happy to report that our group has adopted our new home wholeheartedly and has come to thrive. To our delight were we able to leave our looms up and working and still have a meeting in the space at the other end of the room. Each of our seven floor looms have been busy throughout the time since we moved in but this week we finally achieved a milestone moment. Every one of our floor looms and our tapestry loom is warped and has a project on the go. Our Swedish loom is warped for a rag rug, the 60-inch with a blanket warped with hand spun by Hannelore L . The Mecco has a scarf, the Fanny, a spring colour tea towel. The second stage of a twice woven rug graces one of our counter balance looms and the Artisat is sporting a bright colour gam tea towel. The 8-shaft Woolhouse loom has a wonderful sheep themed tea towel in progress.

With phone in hand I climbed up on a step ladder to capture the looms, using the pano setting so the angle is a bit odd, but the photos are ones I have been anxiously waiting to take. I want to thank our projects committee for all their hard work and our members for their enthusiasm and persistence. This did not happen out of the blue and it is a proud moment for us all.

 

If the  bottom 2 images are a bit off, I was standing on a ladder and used the pano setting on my cell phone. IMG_0829

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Here is the lovely blanket finally off the loom!

 

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3-Crayon Colour Challenge – Louise O. – Part 2

Louise O. managed to pull some pretty fantastic colours from the crayon bag and after weaving several scarves, took to a needle and thread.

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Temari is a centuries-old fibre art from Japan where threads are embroidered onto a tightly wound thread ball in very specific patterns. Part of the draw (and difficulty) of temari is it’s symmetry.

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Stitches can go in any direction because of the random wrapped thread surface of the ball. They are not limited to up and down, side to side and diagonally as with traditional stitchery.

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