Spin-in at the Yurts

Once a month Guild members gather for our northern spin-in at Yvonne Stowell’s beautiful FibreWorks Studio and Gallery in Madeira Park.  On a windy rainy day we gathered in the yurt which is Yvonne’s studio and set to spinning with our assorted wheels.

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We knitted, carded, visited and shared our creative ideas.

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And then the sun came out and shone gloriously so after our delicious potluck lunch we moved outside.

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Yvonne is the Fibreshed’s first certified vendor.  She currently sells wool from Oscar, Bessie, Y and Z – alpacas on Thormanby Islands, and from Angel, Bertuzi and Makari – llamas in the Pender Harbour area.  This is one of the joys of the Fibreshed – we can know and see pictures of the animals that produce the wool we spin and make our creations from.  Yvonne also dyes the wool using both natural and Gaywool dyes and spins it into beautiful, deliciously soft yarn.  Visitors from around the world come to FibreWorks and many happily leave with skeins of wool for knitting.  Here, Yvonne, Lynda and Merrily admire the locally produced wool that Yvonne stocks.

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Yvonne dyes some of the wool with natural dyes.  On the left is Oscar’s wool dyed with Dyer’s Polypore.  Next is wool dyed with Japanese indigo (vinegar method) that Yvonne grew on her deck last summer.  The wool on the right is dyed with lungwort, a lichen that falls off the branches of broad leaf maples and litters the ground beneath the trees.

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The beautiful brown and white wool of Angel the llama (who is spotted) makes an interesting and fun base for dyeing.  The brightly coloured skein was dyed with Gaywool dyes and is predominantly white fibre.  The darker skeins are a mixture of Angel’s medium and dark brown fibres.  The purple skein was dyed with logwood, which is darker in some areas than others based on the amount of lighter vs darker coloured fibres.

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Here are the wools in their natural colours.  On the right is a slouch hat Yvonne knitted from Oscar’s wool.

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And here Lynda models Oscar’s hat.

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It was a wonderful day of fun, good company and inspiring fibre activities.

Heather Apple

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