QWSG at the Qualicum Beach Family Day Celebration

by | Jun 15, 2023 | Family Days, Fibre Arts, Knitting, Spinning, Weaving

Family Day Qualicum Beach

We ended May with one of our favourite out door events, The Qualicum Beach Family Day Celebration.  Our booth with demonstrations is popular with children and adults.  This year we gave participants a choice of trying their hand at spinning, weaving and braiding.

The small rigid heddle looms in the photo are ideal for this type of event.  They are easy for small hands to manipulate and clearly illustrate the basic principles of weaving.  Rigid heddle looms are not a new invention but they have become very popular in the last 10 years.  They can be quite narrow, almost toy like, as seen above, or they can be wide enough to make a tea towel or shawl.

rigid heddle scarf

Rigid heddle looms are very versatile.  You can weave elaborate interlacements with one heddle and a pick up stick.  Add a second heddle and you have more flexibility than a 4 harness loom.  Rigid heddle looms are real looms not toys.

They are easier on an aging body.  Dressing the loom does not require you to bend in unnatural positions and climb under the shafts.  The loom can also be angled on a stand to reduce bending while throwing the shuttle.

Plus these looms are portable so you can weave in an RV, on the beach or at a guild meeting (like those knitters in the back row).

ribbon scarf

Many items woven on a rigid heddle feature, texture and colour rather than pattern.  The warping system is perfect for creating a mixed warp that blends different yarns, fibers and colours.  The design challenge is coming up with yarns and colours that play well together.  For an interesting detail you can add weft stripes at the beginning and end of a piece or possibly include a section of hand manipulated lace.

variegated yarn and weft stripes

The studio is busy with interest groups, a pair of studio projects, and a blanket in progress on our big Fanny loom.  We have just finished our latest weaving workshop and the mentored spinning sessions are coming to an end.

recipe workshop

In lieu of a general meeting in June we are planning a pot luck lunch and member to member stash sale on June 24th.

After that we will have a break from general meetings for July and August but interest groups and open studio days will continue.  Check out ” guild events” for more information.

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