Saturday, April 28, 2018

Settling into our new home

In August of 2017 the Qualicum Weavers and Spinners left our beloved but cramped home in the old Via Train Station in Qualicum Beach.  The tiny loft with sloped ceilings at the top of a narrow stair case was full of wonderful memories but we had to admit access was a problem and we had outgrown the space.

With the assistance of the Town of Qualicum Beach we moved to a new location in the centre of the downtown area.  Qualicum Commons on Primrose Street is a re-purposed elementary school.  There we have a spacious ground floor former class room.  At first the space was daunting.  So much of it with nothing but bare walls that go straight up!

entrance to Qualicum Commons

After several iterations the space is now a studio, library and meeting space.  It even has a small coffee corner.  Doug our treasurer and handy man is now quite adept at putting up and taking down shelving in record time.  His patience is greatly appreciated.  Also thanks to a grant from the Regional District of Nanaimo we have tables that are light weight and more flexible, storage cupboards and containers for organizing supplies.

library corner

looms everywhere

weaving lessons in progress

Study group 
The space has allowed us to expand workshops including beginning weaving and knitting classes.
Study groups and interest groups are finding the space more accessible and attendance at our general meetings has grown.

In July we will be inviting the public to visit our studio as part of the ART IN ACTION event.  This is an annual outdoor gathering of local artisans.  It is hosted by The Old School House Art Centre.  Mark your calendar for July 21st and plan to pay us a visit. 

Above is an example of items that were part of the show and tell portion of our April general meeting.
clasp weave woven bag

The pink and white bag is an older piece of weaving.  The weaving was planned carefully to include the raised knots that mark the steps in the pink bands as they become narrower.  The rings for the draw string were inserted while the piece was on the loom and the draw cord is made from the same yarns.  It may look like simple weaving but it requires a consistent beat and accurate measurements to ensure that all of the design elements line up when the bag is constructed.

Jackie's Hat

In May look for our booth at the Qualicum Beach Family Day Celebration on May 26th. 

Monday, March 26, 2018

Officially Spring

Announcing Spring
It is almost the end of March and officially spring.  Easter eggs will be on the menu shortly.  We are still busy with our fleece and yarns.

tea towel warp
The beginner weavers have graduated.  Some of them are now working on our latest tea towel projects.  Others are about to try their hand at making mug rugs in Summer and Winter. 

rosepath tea towel in progress

The Spinners group has expanded to include some of the new knitters.  They meet regularly on Tuesday mornings at our studio and resource centre in Qualicum Commons.

crackle as drawn in
The Exploring More group have finished weaving samples for the Guild of Canadian Hand Weavers sample program.  Yards and yards of fabric will end up as 4 different samples illustrating how a crackle weave threading can produce a variety of finished cloth.
The blue fabric in the photo will be the 3rd sample in the series.  The yellow on blue fabric is the same material and threading woven "as drawn in" to give a symmetrical block pattern.
crackle as lace weave


light mixed yarn blanket

detail from twill stripe poncho
At our general meeting the show and tell portion included some lovely light blankets and scarves, a poncho that has stood the test of time, hand towels and more scarves from our recent adventures with nuno felting
The reversing twill stripes make a lively pattern on the front of the poncho as shown in the detail photo.  The cloth is two sided with off white dominating on the back side.  This well loved piece still looks new and colourful.  Onion skins were used to dye the yarn.

iridescent nuno felted scarf
Next month we will see the results of the tea towel project and learn more about rigid heddle looms and spinning silk.