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
Monday, May 30, 2011
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
|Margo's colourful double weave.|
|Heather's sweater with matching buttons.|
|Karen's jaw-dropping handspun |
|Detail from Karens shawl|
|Detail from Karen's shawl|
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
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?
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.
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.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
|Download this free subversive book and |
help convert the world
Every once in a while I start to daydream about what a world overrun by spinners would look, and more importantly, feel like. What if everyone was a spinner? Standing in line at the grocery store you would be discussing with others the merits of your spindle or fiber you’re spinning with, the clerk would stop to admire your neck scarf and then pull out a cardigan she just finished to show you, exclaiming that the silk/Merino blend you recommended last month was just perfect—in fact, they are now stocking it on aisle 2, just down from the niddy-noddies. At the doctor’s office, the waiting room would have ballwinders and swifts set up for use by the patients, and the nurse would give you a free sample of lanolin cream. At the post office, there would be a desk devoted to shipping spinning wheels—and boxes for all the different styles. Around the dining room table, emotions would rise as the merits of long wools versus short wools were discussed. Lawns would be kept trim and fertilized by flocks of sheep, goats, or alpacas; the sound of lawn mowers replaced by the “baaing” of lambs. When meeting new people for the first time, you’d reach out to feel their sweater, rather than shake their hand. Contentment would reign, peace would be found, yarn would be made.
I wake up from my reverie, and realize that I have the perfect tool to assist in the plot to take over the world, er, I mean, to teach the gentle and ancient art of handspinning to those who express a desire to learn. We’ve created a great new free downloadable eBook to teach drop spindle spinning.
I know you have people in your life that you know would benefit from learning how to spin. You see them everywhere—perhaps they are the ones who express incredulity that anyone would spend time making their own yarn (while they sit watching TV for hours on end), perhaps they wonder why you have a bathtub full of wet wool or Angora fuzz stuck all over your pants. You know that they would leave behind these judgmental and potentially damaging thoughts if they only really sunk their hands into a freshly shorn fleece or felt the thrill of hand-dyed Targhee zipping through their fingers as their handspindle swung below. Well, now you have a tool to use. Send them to our free eBook Drop Spindle Spinning: Learn How to Spin with Drop Spindles, which pulls our best content from thirty-five years of Spin-Offmagazines from the most knowledgeable spinning teachers, and imagine a world full of wool and spinners.