Member Update: Marlene R.

Several weeks ago, Helen sent out an update email asking a few questions to our members. A few have been kind enough to respond and Marlene has agreed to let us share her answers.

What have you been doing these past months or recently? 

In the past few months, I’ve been sewing—A LOT of sewing! I’ve been on a healthier eating regime since October 1st of last year and as a result I have lost over 40 pounds. None of my former wardrobe fits! The side benefit is that I get to sew/buy a new one. 

For the past month or more I have been designing and knitting VERY tiny clothing for a micro doll. This is using size 000-000 knitting needles and one single strand from 6 strand embroidery floss. Most of the work is now done in preparation for releasing an e-book pattern set. The target market will be very limited, but the patterns are eagerly awaited by that group. 

Very recently I received the long awaited EEW6, a newly designed e-spinner and I’m having great fun with that. The sewing that needs to be done is gobbling up much of my time though. Once the sewing is complete then there shall be more spinning. 

Would you be willing to share via guild email, Facebook, guild web page?

I’m willing to share any guild related projects via email, the little Facebook group, or the guild webpage, but I get busy and forget. I do have my own blog where I post most of my creative endeavours, but they are not all spinning and weaving related. 

What have you missed about the Guild or not missed?

I’ve really missed the Christmas Craft Fair, not for the selling so much, but for the mental/emotional kick off to the Christmas season and the opportunity to visit other creative type booths. It’s also good to have a place/time to unload some of our past projects to clear the way for new ones! Without this two things are bound to happen. Either we end up buried in our own projects leaving no room to actually create, or we stop creating altogether lacking enthusiasm and space. 

I miss Show and Tell. I love seeing the work of our guild members, those new, and those well-seasoned, for always one good idea seems to spawn another. I love seeing the enthusiasm that accompanies a project that turned out well. When projects are “fails”, or less than lovely, I even like hearing about how they went wrong, lessons learned, and hearing suggestions on how to overcome or avoid them in future projects. Strangely enough, I most loved seeing the non-spinning and weaving off-shoots of some of our members. So much talent!

I miss the yearly Spin-in. The opportunity to meet with fellow spinners from all over, to shop for more fibre/tools, and the fun Silent Auction. 

I miss the opportunity to pop in to the guild’s weekly spinning afternoons and to see Jude’s fibre and have an opportunity to pick up more fodder for the wheel.

I miss the art shows we have participated in in the past. What a great opportunity to showcase the art behind spinning and weaving. 

The one thing I do not miss is the strained relationships between some members of the guild. I’m very much an introvert and have empathic tendencies. Contention, both out in the open and the not-so-subtle background whisperings, causes me great anxiety, whether or not I am the target. We need to build each other up, not tear each other down.

Do you find social media helpful? i.e. Facebook, or our guild webpage? If not how might we come together again or at least connect with you? 

I use social media a great deal, just not as much in association with the guild. I am a moderator on a Saori weaving forum on Ravelry and as such must check in daily there. I also participate in the EEW group (Electric Eel Wheel) on Ravelry and on Facebook. I belong to numerous sewing groups and doll groups on Facebook as well. It keeps me busy and about as connected as an introvert needs. 

And if you find social media helpful how can we as a guild expand or make more use of that?

If more members were signed up to the Facebook group, where interaction is easy, it would be more successful. We could have photo-post Show and Tell there. But I know that not everyone is comfortable with Facebook or Ravelry, so I don’t know what the solution is.

We could use the Facebook group and/or the guild webpage to post links to helpful videos or tutorials. 

I’m very happy to have visitors to my blog—especially if they take the time to comment since that’s the only way I know that they’ve been there! Some of our guild members visit via the link I post on my Facebook page and then comment on Facebook rather than the blog—that’s welcome too!

Any other comments or suggestions?

Kudos to our presidency for their efforts to keep us “together while apart” in these difficult times!

Kindly,

Marlene Randall

Let’s have a chat and some show and tell!

It’s been pretty quiet out there with us not being able to gather. We know some of you have continued to connect with each other. In lieu of being able to meet, Jordan set up a Facebook group for any of you who may want to share what you’ve been working on and to see what others have been doing while cooped up. Just search “Chilliwack Spinners and Weavers” on Facebook and a group should show up for you. Join us and let us know what you’ve been up to! We can’t wait to see what you’ve accomplished.

Cleaning out 2020

This isn’t what you think. Although most of us can agree that 2020 has not seen the best of us, there have been some positives. More time to spin and weave being one of them!

Jenny O. just sent in one of her recent projects—a gorgeous set of tea towels for a new bride. Jenny warped for four towels and wove each with a different colour weft (shown by the cone above). Each towel is different and together they’re nothing shy of lovely.

If you’ve been busy working through your stash, don’t forget to send Jordan a photo so we can feature it here on our blog or on Instagram @chilliwackspinnersandweavers.

Making a point

With weaving, the possibilities really are endless. Whether it’s discovering new methods on a rigid heddle or testing out the complications of a 12-shaft loom, your imagination is the only limitation.

For those, like Jordan who would rather avoid the challenge of a complicated pattern, a simple 4-shaft twill is plenty challenging. This point draft is based on a simple repeat in both the threading and the weaving. Simple can still make a statement, though.

Stay tuned for the finished product.

It all comes out in the wash.

For some, having a large floor loom is not an option, but that doesn’t mean large projects are not. Jordan has a 32″ Leclerc Iris that suits just about any project. This week she made a first attempt at a multi-panel blanket.

This Roughrider fan dream-come-true was was woven in two separate panels, counting each warp shot so that the stripes could be matched up. There was a moment of panic when the two pieces weren’t exactly the same length, but once an additional warp thread was stitched through a selvedge on each side and the piece was washed and dried, one would never know without looking closely.

The finished piece.
Is this going to work?
On the loom.

Insta-what?

We have Instagram! For many members, social media isn’t something we spend a lot of time with, but we understand that in times when people are unable to come to us to see our work, we have to find ways to go out and promote our craft.

Behold, Instagram!

Follow us @chilliwackspinnersandweavers and if you’re a member, send photos of your projects to Jordan to have your work posted.

Dye Another Day

The weather cooperated perfectly for our annual Dye Day hosted by Louise H. A rainbow could be found in the dye pots and the ladies with their wheels found under the shade of a big maple tree.

Jude, of Ewesful Creations, was kind enough to bring a pile of her custom dyed fibre for the rest of us to pick through and purchase.
What’s a beautiful day without treats to go with it?
Who doesn’t want to just roll around in this pile of gorgeous fibre?

Chunky to Chunky

To the spinning purist, it may seem a sacrilege to spin anything other than natural fibres. But to new spinners or those who may not have access to quality prepared fibres, the advent of super chunky yarn has opened up new avenues of hand spinning.

This yarn is made from 90% acrylic/10% wool super chunky roving. The wool content makes it easy to spin and the acrylic makes it machine washable.

From super chunky yarn to a super chunky plaid, this little baby blanket should see a lot of use both because of its design as well as the fibre it’s made with.