Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Showing Up and Showing Off

I did something on Tuesday I haven't done all winter long. I went to my local guild meeting! I'm a member of the Tzouhalem Spinners and Weavers Guild (pronounced zoo-hay-lem ). There is a large mountain here named Tzouhalem after one of the early settlers. The guild's main catchment area seems to be as far as Nanaimo in the north and Mill Bay in the south, all on the southern half of Vancouver Island, BC. and we occasionally get guests from the Gulf Islands. Its an active guild and they organize many events all year long: a spinning day  for Distaff Day, learn to spin classes, weave study sessions with a guild loom making the rounds and recently even started a spinning study group. They have a month long sale every November which takes a considerable effort to set up, man daily and keep track of sales. In the guild there are active knitters, felters, dyers (mostly natural dyes), spinners (both wheel and drop spindles), and weavers. They are a well rounded bunch!

I wasn't able to attend meetings due to my cranky back and simply not able to sit in old wooden hall chairs without  pain for 2 + hours. This month I felt I could manage the time and it was nice to see everyone!  Just me showing up was my main 'show and tell'.

I wasn't planning on taking pictures but the appointed 'photographer' had her camera battery die on her so she asked me to snap some with my phone. I have forgotten some of the names of who did what but it was great to see that most all bring something along they have been working on to share. The summer and winter tea towels shown above were woven by Gudrun and the little pin cushions were a collaboration between her husband and herself. She said it can be done with small sample pieces of handwoven and that's another reason to add extra inches to your projects!

So what else was there?
A new weavers second project of a scarf made using two types of sock yarns!

Barbara's silk skeins and all were spun up and plied using a drop spindle.

Valerie's fun and unique bathrobe! The flowers are crocheted onto the fabric.

Sandy, who organised the spinning study group, brought along her samples.

Annaliese brought along her dyed swatches and the colours were lovely!

Jan our librarian talked about the new acquisitions to the library, including two videos on spinning and plying. I personally like the Vav magazine but find it expensive to subscribe to. Being a guild member means you get to borrow them and enjoy. Membership also has other benefits in our community too! Local yarn stores give members a discount on their purchases which is very nice indeed!

Jan was also wearing this lovely knit little capelet (not sure what to call it besides gorgeous!) Her daughter  knit it for her and it looked wonderful all draped around her neck.  It would have better to see it modeled by Jan herself (oops!)

Lastly, I took along my twelve guest towels for show and tell. (Its been a long dry winter here weaving wise!)

Last April 2010, I took a three day workshop with Alison Irwin on double weave pick up, Finnweave and mock satin damask. This spring she is offering a workshop on kumihimo in April and inkle looming in May and I signed up for both! She's an amazing instructor and I have no doubts it will be fun and well detailed.  I had applied for a scholarship with the Guild of Canadian Weavers on the basis of the class last spring with Alison and was granted a scholarship! This means that class was covered and I can also attend these two classes with the proceeds. I'm just thrilled! I have had to write an article for the GCW Bulletin about the three day workshop experience, which I have submitted and will be published, with pictures, sometime in the spring or summer issue.

And another reason to go to guild meetings? Its nice to simply be with like minded people!


ladyoftheloom said...

I wish I had joined our local guild YEARS ago when I was beginning my fiber adventures. Like minded people are so refreshing and inspiring.

Glad your back permitted you to go!

dorothylochmaben said...

Hi there - how nice to get the 'feel' of how inspiring a Guild can be. Your pictures of the various projects are just great to see. Yes, I like the Vav magazine also. I saw quite a lot of their material when I was with Ellen in Denmark. She had several books with patterns taken from the magazine, lots of Drall designs which of course I love almost as much as snowflake !!
I'll bet the other members were delighted to have you join them again.

Theresa said...

Oh how good is it to be able to feel well enough to go! Anything beyond that is gravy and you showed us some really lovely and fun gravy!;)
I love Vav magazine too. I get a subscription for my Dad every year, and just peruse his copies when I visit.
Give that Calli girl a pet from all of us!

bspinner said...

Congrats on the scholarship!!!!! I'm sure they will be so much fun and your article and pictures on the two workshops great!