Mid Island Weavers and Spinners (and other fibre enthusiasts) Guild

This is the Mid Island Weavers and Spinners (and other fibre enthusiasts) blog page. The group meets the first Wednesday of the month during the fall/winter/spring (September through to June). Meetings are held in the hall of St. Paul's Chruch downtown Nanaimo (across from the Dorchester Hotel - the entrance is on the other side of the church at 100 Chapel St, across the street from the new condos). 7:00 pm. Guests are welcome to come...bring your knitting, spinning wheel or other fibre addictions. Meetings usually consist of 5 minutes of business, show and tell (bring something), tea and cookies, and some sort of workshop, seminar or talk where you will learn something fibry and interesting.
We now have an email address: MIWSGuild at gmail.com

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

12 days of weaving

Canspin listserv just sent this seasonal favorite and very funny video.  Enjoy:
This has been a Mid Island Weavers and Spinners Guild blog update. If you are reading this as an email, you should click here to see this item in its full glory, images and all: http://miwsguild.blogspot.com.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Our Neighbours - The Bradley Spinners

Here's a video done by Shaw cable on the Bradley Spinners:

This has been a Mid Island Weavers and Spinners Guild blog update. If you are reading this as an email, you should click here to see this item in its full glory, images and all: http://miwsguild.blogspot.com.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Another Wednesday night spin-in

Photo: Carding and spinning in Norway
Mid Island Weavers and Spinners (and other FiBre fReAks) Guild is having another spin-in on Nov 16th, 7pm. It’s open to spinners and wannabe spinners. There will be a variety of wheels there and spindles you can try. Learn how to make your own yarn. We had such a good time last month, we decided to try a spin-in tis month too. The spin-in is free and open to anyone.   Last month we had seven spinners!  This month we are trying to break that record.

This has been a Mid Island Weavers and Spinners Guild blog update. If you are reading this as an email, you should click here to see this item in its full glory, images and all: http://miwsguild.blogspot.com.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

November Show and Tell

Photo by Washington Post.  Click here
to see the full story
November's meeting was packed with Heather's showing how to make felt 'trivots.  Meanwhile, members were madly knitting up hand spun squares for Jacey Bloggs (see next post).
Gwen's birds
Show and tell included:
Margo's felt
Crytal's sideways sock
Tina's hat
Kathy's throw
Trudy's knitted vest
Gwen's birds, Margo's felt, Crytal's sideways sock (really, it is knit from the side!), Tina's first object with her first hand spun (soft merino),  Kathy's cotton throw, Trudy, a guest, wore her hand knit vest knitted sideways, Ann wore her fun knit scarf, and Jeanette had her beautiful felted boots.
Jeanette's boot slippers
This has been a Mid Island Weavers and Spinners Guild blog update. If you are reading this as an email, you should click here to see this item in its full glory, images and all: http://miwsguild.blogspot.com.

Anne's scarf

Monday, October 31, 2011

A Guide to Spinning Wool - Free e-book

Free e-book from Spinning Daily
From Spinning Daily: "This free eBook is entirely dedicated to taking the spinner's perspective on wool by looking at three sheep breeds (the ubiquitous Border Leicester, the Wensleydale longwool and the rare-breed Jacob), studying the texture and colors of their fibers, and walking you through how to prepare the wool for spinning. Along with intriguing stories and fun facts, each type of wool is also presented with a beautiful project. This fascinating information on how to spin wool was compiled exclusively for our Spinning Daily members. Don't wait; download your guide to spinning wool from these unique breeds. It is completely free."
Check it out here: http://www.spinningdaily.com/spinning-wool/?a=spe111031
If you are a spinner you might want o subscribe to Spinning Daily, it is free too.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Guild News

Third Wednesday-of-the-month Spin-in.
The Guild's 'Third-Wednesday-of-the-month spin-in' was a success.  Seven spinners turned up, along with seven spindles, six spinning wheels, unknown pounds of fibre, and loads of enthusiasm.  Tina, a new guest arrived with two classic old wheels she had fixed, and was spinning up a beautiful long wool fibre she had died in deep purple hues (Heather would drool over this), Crystal was spinning cotton! Liz was spinning Hummingbird fibre roving of 60% Island Grown Organic Romney, 20% tussah silk and 20% mohair, Gwen was spinning on a wheel for the first time and within minutes had a steady stream of wool being wound on to the wheel.  Melody was spinning superwash merino in beautiful shades of yellow and orange.  Margo was spinning up inspiration and lessons and good fun was had by all.  Next spin-in, Nov 17th.

Guild Meeting Minutes 
Meeting minutes (thank you Darlene) are now available online.  Look for the Minutes link in the top left-hand corner of the blog.

Don't forget to vote for the workshops topics you are interested in.  There are two polls, a new one was added a week ago but only two people have voted on it.  So if you want to vote, check the blog for the polls.


This has been a Mid Island Weavers and Spinners Guild blog update. If you are reading this as an email, you should click here to see this item in its full glory, images and all: http://miwsguild.blogspot.com.

Fibres @ The Hill

Poster for the Fibres @ The Hill event

Take a trip to Victoria and visit the Vancouver Island
Surface Designers
Show called
Fibres @ the Hill
November 2 to 28, 2011
10 to 5
Cedar Hill Rec Center Art Gallery
3220 Cedar Hill Road,
Victoria BC

Show Opening November 4th,  6pm to 8pm

This has been a Mid Island Weavers and Spinners Guild blog update. If you are reading this as an email, you should click here to see this item in its full glory, images and all: http://miwsguild.blogspot.com.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Spinning drop-in

The Guild is having a Wednesday evening spin-in, this coming Wednesday Oct 19th 7p.m. Everyone welcome. We hope to have a variety of wheels there so people can try out different ones, plus a few spindles. This is a social spin. So bring yourself and your wheel if you have one and join in. If you are a complete novice, come anyway. We can make a spinner out of you.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

October Show and Tell

Crystal knitting with a pen
Gwyn's tapestry.
The October meeting had a good show and tell.

A highlight was Gwyn's tapestry.  Not only did she weave the tapestry in two hours, but she also made the loom!!!  A cardboard loom.
Sharon's painted warp scarves
Cathy's painted warp scarves

And Sharon and Cathy have been busy experimenting with painted-warp scarves.

Kristin's finger-less spindle-hand-spun
Julie is starting on a wool basket.
Julie's basket
Kirsten is a spindle fanatic.  YEAH! Here's her mittens and a headband.
The evenings program was a tour around the Internet showing fibre related sites.  All the sites and more, are on the resources page.  Click on resources on the top left of this page.
Don't forget to vote for the workshops you are interested in.

Sharon's future house coat.
This has been a Mid Island Weavers and Spinners Guild blog update. If you are reading this as an email, you should click here to see this item in its full glory, images and all: http://miwsguild.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Wednesday's program

This Wednesday will include an overview of some top Internet sites for the fibre artist, including the Mid Island Weavers and Spinners Guild blog:  how to add a post; how to post a comment; how to add a resource link. If you have a favorite Internet site or two, please bring the URLs and we can all take a look at them.  Bring your computer questions.  Bring a fibery question, anything, like, how is Portuguese knitting different than European knitting? There will be a stump the 'net contest.
This has been a Mid Island Weavers and Spinners Guild blog update. If you are reading this as an email, you should click here to see this item in its full glory, images and all: http://miwsguild.blogspot.com.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Weaving classes

Three views of the booklet project created for the ‘Fold, Cut, Crease & Weave’ workshop.

The Mid Island Weavers and Spinners Guild is planning on organizing some workshops.  We have approached Alison Irwin for ideas on workshops she would be willing to teach.  The workshop descriptions are listed on the left (under the poll) with links to the descriptions, so please take a look and then vote for he ones you are interested in using the poll on the left.  Once we get an idea of interest we will work on dates and costs.  A little information about Alison:

Alison Irwin has been part of the weaving community on Vancouver Island for more than 35 years.  Her formal introduction to it was a night school class taught by Dorothy Field at the high school in Duncan.  The students in those sessions wove on small Salish-style upright looms and did a little spinning on drop spindles.  Since then, Alison has taken weaving workshops at both guild and conference levels.  She continues to expand her knowledge of textiles by playing with interesting techniques.  For Alison, the process is usually more important than the product!

She began teaching at the conference level when invited to teach at the 1997 ANWG conference (Straits & Strands) held in Victoria, BC.  As several of Alison’s projects have been published in ‘Handwoven’ magazine and as online articles, weavers beyond BC’s borders are familiar with her work.  

Alison’s studio is in her Maple Bay home.  She is a long-time member of the local Tzouhalem Spinners & Weavers Guild in Duncan, BC, and belongs to the Guild of Canadian Weavers.
This has been a Mid Island Weavers and Spinners Guild blog update. If you are reading this as an email, you should click here to see this item in its full glory: http://miwsguild.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Damascus Fiber School

November 4th- 8th 2011


Just weaving a head, a simple, complex, naive, sophisticated workshop with much potential and endless possible variations.
A long history of over 3000 years, just weaving a head has opportunities
for weavers with a wide range of skills, from basic shape making images
(that can be very powerful!) to handling a portrait in a tonal range in a variety of techniques that can be very enriching.
We shall be using a wide range of slides to show the diversity of possibilities.
We shall provide materials and equipment (copper looms & bobbins for
class use) and all warp and weft. Students
would be encouraged to bring their own copper frame looms if they have
them and bobbins, so that any unfinished tapestries can be completed at
home. $475.00 includes all materials and a big mid day meal.
Host homes may be available $100.00 deposit returned if you need to cancel until October 10th 2011.
Archie and Susan will be driving out from up state NY and will leave around the 15th of October to make their way here by car and trailer.

Please contact :
Pam Patrie for further information and mailing packet with all
7835 SE 29th ave
Portland Oregon 97202

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Parksville Show

Here are my tapestries from the Show in Parksville. I demonstrated all day there today. There will be prople demonstrating most days until Oct1.

Hope some of you will get to see it. Thye are only open 10 - 4 and Saturday They were saying that the room might be used until Noon so only a short while Saturday.

Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 12, 2011

needle felting

Been trying to send needle felted top and have aborted many posts as I aam doing something wrong so wil try one last time. Heather
Posted by Picasa

Minures of the Sept meeting

Minutes of Mid Island Weavers and Spinners’ Guild Annual General Meeting

Date: Sept 7, 2011

Time: 7:00 pm – 8:45 pm

Place: St Paul’s Church Hall, Nanaimo

Present: Karin Jacobson (Acting Chair), Betty Tufnail, Jeanette Brooks – Treasurer, Darlene Booth - Secretary, Frances Dawson, Margo Turner, Crystal Hanson, Jolie Rey, Sharon McGarrigle, Kathy McDonald, Liz Kaarremaa, Gwen and father (for Sheila) Frederickson

Karin brought the meeting to order and welcomed the new and returning members.

Treasurer’s Report

Jeanette reviewed the details on income and expenses. The current Balance of $613.20 reflected the payment of one-half of the annual rent and excluded dues received at today’s meeting. The net proceeds for the April Fibre Sale ($184.95 – concession + $60 – rental + $300 – table rentals) was a record high due to donation of food for the concession.

Motion: Jeanette Brooks/Karin Jacobson

That the financial report be accepted.


Information Items

Betty reported that a fine Spinning Wheel had been donated to the Guild by Peggy Sonfield and members interested in borrowing it should contact Jeanette Brooks who will store it. Also an Inkle Loom had been donated.

Kathy reported that the Leola Studio in Nanaimo had a community loom that could be used by members on site. Warp was supplied but weft would be the responsibility of users.

The Duncan Fibre Fair was coming up near the end of October.

Guild Program Suggestions

A summary of the discussion of future program ideas, including workshops, extra meetings, with responsibilities for follow up is attached to these minutes. Action: Liz will put on blog.

The following is a summary of the discussion and actions further to the development of the future program shown in draft form in the attachment.

  • the hall was paid and available for a 2nd meeting each month which is not currently being utilized. Such a meeting could be used for a look at the books. Betty offered to open the Hall if required.

  • Other facilities could be available for an all-day workshop should the Church Hall not be available. Jeanette offered to arrange such a facility if required. Costs could be defrayed by charging a small fee. One option would be to offer non members attending the workshop an annual membership in combination with their fee.

  • Crystal will contact potential instructors and give to Liz a week in advance of October meeting. Contact info for potential instructors should be forwarded to Crystal. Crystal may find out ideas for further topics after speaking to these people. Talks could be scheduled for an evening meeting.

It was agreed that it would be useful to add some time to the Show and Tell for members to provide book reports.

Hostess Sign Up

Attached to these minutes is a summary of volunteers who will manage the refreshments for each meeting. Action: Liz will put on blog.


Action: Crystal volunteered to update the brochure on the Guild for review at the next meeting. The group felt if it was available to leave at appropriate suppliers and fairs it could be a useful tool for recruiting new members.

Next Meeting – October 5, 2011, 7 pm

Hostesses are Karin and Darlene.

Program will include:

  • Instruction by Liz on how to use the blog and add items

  • review of updated draft brochure prepared by Crystal

  • Further discussion of future program

  • Liz will present a book report

Prepared by Darlene Booth

Show & Tell

  1. Margo – interest in coiled baskets in Spring 2005 issue of Spin Off; Betty offered to provide instruction to group – see attached programs.

  2. Liz – displayed an impressive range of spinning/dying assignments of silk, cotton and fibre mixtures completed during course work. Also a Cat’s Head cedar/willow basket made at a Jeanne Carrigan workshop on Salt Spring Island.

  3. Betty – several knitted ruffled funky scarves.

  4. Crystal – knitting a sweater.

  5. Jeannette B- awesome knitted sideways jacket with various felted adornments and interesting patterned front made from stash.

  6. Karin – two Romney knitted lace shawls made from single ply dyed hand spun

Draft # 1 2011-12 MIWSG Program Suggestions with Hostess Sign Up

Month Topic Program Resp Hostesses



MIWSG Brochure

Book report




Darlene, Karin


Felt project

Jolie, Heather



Pot luck

Unfinished Project Exchange/help




Spinning, Distaff Day, different wheels, different fibres


Jeanette B.


Spindle Day


Kathy, Sharon


Coiled yarn for baskets



Sheila & Gwen



Pot Luck

Unfinished Project Display


? Silk workshop (Stitchers’ Muse)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Cowichan Exhibition

Sept 9, 10th and 11th.
Click here for more on the Fair
___________________________________________________________This has been a Mid Island Weavers and Spinners Guild blog update. If you are reading this as an email, you should click here to see this item in its full glory: http://miwsguild.blogspot.com.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Tapestry Exhibit

The McMillan Arts Centre (aka the Mac)

Location: Joe Cunningham Ford Gallery

Date: September 13, 2011 - October 01,
Time: 10:00 AM - 4: PM

“Tapestry Expressions”

A local group of tapestry weavers of approximately 16 people meet monthly to share their enthusiasm for handwoven tapestry. Twice a year they also meet with another group from Victoria, BC comprising the members of Tapis (Tapestry Weavers from Vancouver Island). This group exhibition is a result of their efforts. Many of the members are internationally known and have shown their work in Great Britain, USA, Mexico and Australia. 
This has been a Mid Island Weavers and Spinners Guild blog update. If you are reading this as an email, you should click here to see this item in its full glory: http://miwsguild.blogspot.com

Tom Hanks Knits

Here is a cute video to watch.  Tom Hanks plays a knitting joke on Julia Roberts.
This has been a Mid Island Weavers and Spinners Guild blog update. If you are reading this as an email, you should click here to see this item in its full glory: http://miwsguild.blogspot.com

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Free Interweave E-books


Lots to chose from. Check it out, click this link to the Interweave site.

This has been a Mid Island Weavers and Spinners Guild blog update.  Click here to see this item in its full glory:  

Monday, August 29, 2011

Virtual Museum of Textile Arts

This website from an Italian lace making firm isn't just a mere company website. The "Virtual Museum" contains more than a dozen peopled scenes from the 1400s to the 1900s, and it highlights the lace-centric textiles in each scene. The textiles are listed below the scene, and when visitors click on the listed textiles, they are taken to the textile in the scene, where a few details are given about it. Each scene can be navigated with three sets of arrows for 360-degree views. There is also an excellent explanatory paragraph or two accompanying each scene that gives context to the scene, including relevant historical and political details. Visitors will notice the lack of faces on the people in the scenes, and the rationale for it is not given. Those visitors interested in seeing a brief demonstration of how needle lace and bobbin lace is made by hand should definitely check out the "Technique" link, for the two short videos. Also, paragraphs accompany each video, explaining the history and use of each type of lace.

From the Internet Scout Newsletter: A Publication of the Internet Scout Project Computer Science Department, University of Wisconsin Sponsored by University of Wisconsin - Madison Libraries.  

The Scout Report is a weekly publication offering a selection of new and newly discovered Internet resources of interest to researchers and educators. However, everyone is welcome to subscribe to one of the mailing lists (plain text or HTML). Subscription instructions are included at the end of each report.

This has been a Mid Island Weavers and Spinners Guild blog update.  Click here to see this item in its full glory:  

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Providence Farms Spin-in

A note asking spinners to join the Providence Farm monthly spin-in.  Spin fibre that they provide and leave them the yarn from which the special needs clients weave into salable items....

Sept. 12 marks the date of the new year for spinners at Providence Farm.
Please come and know that you are welcome and needed...we have fabulous black wool processed at Qualicum Bay Fibre Works and some lovely dyed wool courtesy of Leola Witt-McNie, and course all the natural colours our sheep give us.
10am-2pm at St Annes Garden Club building on Providence farm
Thank you so much
Betty Worthy

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Birkeland Bros. News

Birkeland Bros. is offering workshops for knitters and a sale in September.  Click on this link to see a document about the workshops and their sale.
Who is Birkeland Bros? You ask.....Check this video

Birkeland Bros Wool - CBC Television Feature from Cara Birkeland on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Weaving projects - a real deal

Hot off the Interweave Press newsletter:

Experience a Beautiful eBook Download
Full of Quick Weaving Projects for 
Only 10¢!
Weekend Weaving Projects

Download Now! - Red - Very Small
$14.95Now Only 10¢

Spacer 10x10 pixels
What can you get for a dime? A special eBook stuffed full of weaving projects!

If your busy life is leaving you too little time to weave, this Design Collection will help. The editors ofHandwoven magazine have assembled some of the magazine's best designs to present a stunning collection of quick projects you can start and finish in a weekend.

From totes to tablecloths, these 15 projects are guaranteed to excite weavers of all abilities. You'll learn the tricks of designing simply and discover a wealth of design ideas. Amaze friends and family members with handwoven gifts or a wonderfully textured scarf that looks like it required weeks of work (when it only took you a weekend).

For a limited time, this eBook is available for only 10 cents! Weekend Weaving Projects will make an excellent edition to your eBook library or a creative way to begin your eBook collection.
To  buy, go to : http://www.interweavestore.com/Weaving/Books/Handwovens-Design-Collection-20.html?SessionThemeID=24&a=we110810B

*Offer applies only to the this eBook and ends on Wednesday August 17, 2011, at 11:59 p.m. Mountain 

Monday, June 27, 2011


Tried to put pictures on the blog but was NOT SUCCESSFUL. I had a creative weekend. We had a find raiser for our Community Garden on the island and I made a felted necklace for auction as well as a cake for the cake auction. The cake got $55 and the necklace $78. Heather

4 pictures for you

This album has 4 photos and will be available on SkyDrive until 25/09/2011.

Nature Dying Classes this summer

Natural Dye Days

Learn to dye with natural dyes. Two days are planned where you can dye yellow, red, and blue using ancient dyes. You will need 16 one ounce skeins of natural white or natural coloured wool or silk for the first day, and 8 one ounce skeins of natural white or natural coloured wool or silk or cotton for the blue day. We will be experimenting with shades, tones, shifting ph, and over dyeing to achieve a wide spectrum of colours. Dyes, pots, and heating sources will be provided. Please bring a lunch. Tea and coffee will be provided. Don’t forget to wear old clothes and bring gloves to protect your hands in the dyepots. Dress for the weather.

Dates: August 23 and 24th, 2011

Times: 10 am to ????

Cost: $84.00 which includes HST

For more information contact: Elaine Duncan, 250-248-1270, or email: elaine@elaineduncan.com

Monday, May 30, 2011

Our Annual Pot Luck

Our Annual Pot Luck is this Wednesday night at 6 pm at our President home at Fiddick's Farm B&B which is on 1431 Ivor Road. Anne phone number if you get lost is 250-722-2507. Bring show and tell, food and Did we decide on a silent auction or was that in September?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

May meeting photos

Margo's colourful double weave.
Here's a few of the show and tell things people brought to the May meeting. Very inspiring! and very colourful!  Sorry there weren't more photos.
Heather's sweater with matching buttons.
Karen's jaw-dropping handspun
Detail from Karens shawl

Detail from Karen's shawl

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A post from Amy at Spinning Daily

I am a bit embarrassed to post this but what the heck.  Here's an editorial by Amy King, editor of Spin-Off, (you know...the one who wants spinners to unite and take over the world) writing about an adventure I shared with her and 19 other incredible spinners.   Oh, and you can subscribe to Spinning Daily.
Can you imagine a more perfect heaven? 

Trees in the misty haze of Lake Cresent on the Olympic loop highway on the way to Forks, Washington.
 Spacer 10x10 pixels

Debi Dodge, Stephanie Flynn Sokolov, Liz Hammond-Kaarremaa, Nicole Drane, and Karen Poremski amidst the red cedar trees on the Cape Flattery Trail overlooking Neah Bay.

The view of Gig Harbor with my wheel, a bit of pygora fiber combined with good company and a cup of coffee to make a perfect memory.

A couple of weeks ago I packed up my spinning wheel and checked it as luggage on a flight to Seattle, Washington, then borrowed a car and drove along the Olympic Peninsula through mist and rain to Forks, Washington—stopping a couple of times to revel in the majestic views and palpable humidity. (Can you tell I'm from an arid climate?)

Once in Forks, I settled into a comfortable bed and breakfast, unpacked my wheel, and got ready for a weekend of spinning immersion. Judith MacKenzie was teaching Tribal Textile Treasures at the community center in Forks, and I was one of the fortunate nineteen spinners who signed up for the retreat.

We studied the traditional textiles of the Northwest coast people—the Quileute, the Makah, and the Salish—and spun a host of different fibers and learned to work with the inner bark of the red cedar tree (there will be more about this in the summer issue of our eMag, SpinKnit—so stay tuned!). There were layers upon layers of spinning interest in this class because not only was the subject matter endlessly fascinating, but so were the other students in the class. Every interaction was punctuated with a tidbit of information that enhanced the whole weekend, from engaging breakfast conversations about books to read to sharing fiber in class to long conversations about how we got started spinning. As we were packing up to leave, I found that Marcelle Anderson, one of my classmates, had brought fiber from her Pygora goats to sell. It was gorgeous, so I bought some and tucked it in my luggage.

Before returning to Colorado, I stayed a night with my Aunt Susan and Uncle Andy in Gig Harbor and fulfilled a dream I've had ever since I first visited them—that of spinning while looking over the harbor. It was too rainy to spin on the back porch, but I was able to spin and watch the sun come up over the harbor in the dining room of their cozy hillside house. The pygora was just the fiber to spin, too. It was lustrous and smooth and beautifully prepared. It is harder to imagine a more perfect place to sit and spin while enjoying a beautiful morning in good company—wonderful memories are spun into that yarn.

Once home with a bobbin full of lovely pygora yarn, I started searching for a knitting pattern so that I could wear those memories. I had just received a copy of the Spin-Off 2003 CD Collection, so I popped it in the computer to see if there was anything in there that piqued my interest and found a lovely article by Carol Rhoades about spinning colored mohair and the beautiful lace shawl she made, embellished with beads…and that has started another adventure—maybe a few months (or more) down the road I'll have something to report. Spinning is like that.

Happy spinning,