On Sunday July 8th a group of Guild members took their tools and raw materials to the Farmers Institute to show the public how the ancient crafts of spinning and weaving are still practiced and enjoyed. A table loom provided absorbing entertainment for visitors
of all ages. Some of the younger ones were fascinated by drop spindles and asked to learn how they worked. In about 15 minutes they were able to make yarn to take home.
Sheep’s wool is easy to come by on Salt Spring : qiviut (musk ox fibre) and cashmere (the soft undercoat from goats) less so. Very few spinners have the opportunity to try these very expensive and exotic fibres, and without specific instruction on how to spin them they might waste valuable product. Not any more. On the morning of November 30th Mary Padden and Cheryl Huseby gave a talk to Guild members, and in the afternoon taught the secrets of handling these very short fibres to five spinners at Sandra Hodgins’ studio. Small quantities of both fibres were supplied to participants for a modest fee
Harvesting these fibres is very labour intensive. To get all of one year’s growth it’s necessary to comb the fibre out of the fleece, at the time of year when it is naturally released, but has not yet fallen out and been lost. Musk oxen in captivity in Alaska have become accustomed to human contact, and some, like 16 year old Scarlett, even submit to combing without protest.
To inquire about repeats of this workshop write to Contact Us.
A group of weavers and spinners got together on December 2nd to dress a tree at the Harbour House Hotel. The decorations were made at the last morning meeting of the year at Artspring, using oddments from members’ stashes. The theme of the meeting was festive season traditions.
Over the July long weekend, the guild won a third prize for our west coast themed booth at the Association of North West Weavers’ Guild conference at the University of Victoria. We had decided a year ago that we would all make boots as Saltspring is the home of the Gumboot Gala. Then we had to figure out to display our handiwork and, of course, shoes are stored on shoe trees so we made some trees.
- the trees being ‘planted’ on our island
- the tree bark being nuno felted
- the trees sprouting boots
- pick up on mock satin, from Alison Irwin’s class