Returning to School

by | Oct 7, 2018 | Uncategorized

fall flowers

We are literally back to school after our summer break and by that I mean we are busy at our studio in Qualicum Commons.  The latter was once an elementary school in the heart of downtown Qualicum Beach.

 The building is home to a variety of organizations including a day care, a dance studio, a social agency, and recreational and health oriented groups.  In September we joined with some of our neighbours in the Commons to celebrate, Active Aging Week.  This program is organized by our regional district  government and is designed to introduce seniors to the recreational activities available in the district.  We participated by holding a day long open house at our studio.

workstation for pin-loom weaving

We decided to showcase several areas of interest and to encourage a hands-on approach.  The photo illustrates one activity, pin-loom weaving.  These little looms are very popular.  They produce small squares of textile that can be joined in imaginative ways to create everything from Christmas ornaments to shawls.

visitors to our studio

Visitors were also able to see weaving in action, try their hand making yarn with a drop spindle, or try making a band with an inkle loom.

The show and tell portion of our September meeting provided a glimpse into what may appear at our November sale, Elegant Threads.  For example, you may see more woven bands as stand alone items or as embellishments.

card woven bands

A number of members with an interest in tablet or card weaving have formed a new group.  Some examples of tablet weaving are illustrated in the photo above.  They make decorative straps, wonderful belts, and custom edging for clothing.  The technique is ancient.

textured yarn shawls

We were treated to a display of shawls at the meeting.  The shawl on the right has a bold graphic pattern that comes to a point in the middle back area.  Other shawls, such as the two pictured on the left showcase the yarns without pattern.

diversified plain weave shawl

hand spun yarn

You can expect to find a good selection of hand spun yarns at Elegant Threads,  The wool yarns shown have been dyed with natural materials to produce a range of lovely fall colours.

Some fleece are just not suitable for spinning or even felting. Even the most heroic efforts won’t turn mutton into silk.  Composting might be the best option.  However, if you’ve been gifted with a fleece and can’t bring yourself to discard it, the example below might be of interest.  The weaver has used the washed fleece as weft fill in a woven rug.  The detail looks like a sheep-skin intact but it is actually a deep pile rug that is so luxurious you’d sigh as your feet sink into it.

Through October we will be busy getting ready for our sale.  Elegant Threads takes place November 23 and 24th.  In previous years we have held the sale in a rented building, Rotary House, but this year we will be hosting the sale at Qualicum Commons in the old library area.  This will allow us to open up our studio space during the sale making it a more interesting event.  With our increased and diverse membership you can expect to see new styles and items but the same quality hand crafted items.

merganser feathers

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