Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Busy Hands

snow drops in January
By late January the urge to get busy overcomes most of us.  The first symptoms usually involve removing holiday decorations and eating up all the leftover goodies.  The second stage involves remorse for eating up all those goodies and a need for activity to counter act the remorse.  That can escalate into a cleaning frenzy, coupled with a strong desire to discard something.  The fourth stage emerges as the cleaning frenzy subsides.  It is the need to make something (that does not involve baking as we still remember where that led us).

And so by early February most of us are back in the studio or looking at yarn or fibre samples the way a gardener looks at seed catalogues.

At our first guild meeting of the year we saw what some of the "busy hands" in our guild were up to.
Anita's hat
The knitted hat with dots of colour is a reminder that it isn't spring yet in spite of the hardy snow drops.  It was inspired by the passing of a dear friend who used a similar technique to knit mittens.  The colours dots look like gum drops.

ikat style shawl
The ikat style shawl in the photo was acquired during a winter holiday in a warm climate.  What will it inspire in the future?

fancy twill scarf
The lovely tencil scarf was woven using a fancy twill draft.  The central motif has a "rose" like appearance, as if the scarf was dotted with flowers.  It is most appropriate for a valentine.
crackle sample
The Exploring More Study Group are learning about Crackle, a versatile weave structure that can have many different iterations.  The sample shows a traditional approach while the shawl is not traditional.  The threading was derived from a random approach that might be similar to creating a name draft.
non traditional crackle shawl

The final photo shows a derivative of honeycomb that was woven with miscellaneous bit of yarn as the pattern weft.  It is a history of thrift shop purchases that were never used up.
honeycomb scarf
Our guild efforts are now concentrating on finishing the work on our guild booth.  Our studio looms are warped for "trees" and the felters are busy with rocks and we have a sea gull in the train station loft.  Sounds weird? It will all be revealed at ANWG in Victoria.

Next meeting is Monday February 27th at 10:30 in the Baptist Church across from the Train Station in Qualicum Beach.  Visitors are welcome.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Plans and Resolutions

sampler quilt

The cold dark days of January are a good time to consider what you would like to do with your craft this year.  If you are a planner you probably already have a tentative to do list.  Lists are great for helping you focus your efforts and it is true that items on the list are more likely to be accomplished.  The downside of course is that you might miss an opportunity to do something remarkable unless there is enough wiggle room in your plan to allow for the unexpected.

unsuccessful project
Likely you've made some resolution to use up that horrid pink yarn or finish that project that has lingered too long in the unfinished bin. Or better yet you've decided it is best to just dispose of the yarn or project.  It is ok to admit defeat now and then.  Your time and talent are probably better spent elsewhere.

hand spun disaster 

This year your focus might be to learn something new from an on-line source, a book or a class.  If you live in the Pacific North West you might want to check out the conference of the Association of North West Weaving Guilds.  There is a link to their site on the side bar.  The conference takes place at the end of June.  Registration opens January 17th.

 Our guild is busy working on items for our guild booth at the conference.  We have been spinning, weaving, felting and constructing.

felted sea creature for booth

Perhaps you would like to work on your skills or your approach to projects to improve the outcome. Would sampling before you begin a project improve the eventual outcome?  Take a look at the quilt photo.  What an imaginative way to use samples!  You can learn a lot from exhibits of related or even completely unrelated artistic pieces.

 The Qualicum Weavers and Spinners will reconvene on Monday January 23rd.  The meeting will be held at the Baptist Church on Beach Street in the town of Qualicum Beach at 10:30.  You are welcome to join us.