Earth Day 2016

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On April 24th, Roberts Creek, lovingly known as the “Gumboot Nation” of the Sunshine Coast of B.C., hosted its 27th Earth Day Festival.  It was a great day of music, tasty local food, raffles, petitions and information on environmental initiatives.

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Our environmentally aware community created over 55 displays.

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There was live music with dancing on the Mandala, a very special stage for Roberts Creek’s deeply held environmental convictions.

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Fibreshed team members Lynda Daniells and Merrily Corder set up our Fibreshed display of local fibres, local dyes and creations by local artisans.

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In our display we demonstrated solar dyeing with marigolds.  We also sold Japanese indigo seedlings along with instruction sheets on growing and dyeing with this wonderful source of beautiful blue.

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A feature of our Earth Day participation was the beautiful Fibreshed Earth Day hat which was created for raffling.

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This was a collaborative project.  The white fleece is a Suffolk cross from Johanna Walker’s farm in the Lower Mainland, washed and picked by Merrily and Lynda, carded into a batt on the electric carder by Dorothy, Merrily and Lynda and then spun into yarn by Dorothy.  The brown fleece is a Shetland from Wendy Gilbertson’s Sunshine Coast flock, washed and made into a roving by Qualicum Bay Fibre Works and spun by Verna.

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The hat was designed and knitted by talented fibre artist and designer Verna Chan of Kittens Mittens Knit & Crochet.  She joined Lynda and Merrily at Earth Day to demonstrate drop spindling.

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Another member of our Sunshine Coast Spinners and Weavers Guild who participated in Earth Day was Dorothy Thom who rug hooked an adorable sheep made of fleece from a lower mainland Suffolk cross for the back of Lynda’s jacket.

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Doreen MacLauchlan was proud to have the Fibreshed tag on her hand spun, hand woven, Fibonacci inspired scarf.  The white fibre is alpaca from Thormanby Island, sold at FibreWorks Studio & Gallery in the form of rovings which Doreen spun and made into a two-ply yarn. The unusual locks of white, grey and black-tipped wool is Shetland from Windy Hill Farm, Deroche and was washed, picked, carded, spun and plied by Doreen.

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Doreen’s Fibonacci pattern crossed the warp and weft.  Note the Fibonacci series of a single white weft thread, a single grey, a repeat of the ones and then 2 shots of grey, 2 shots of white and on to 3, 5, 8 and 13 shots with this pattern repeated throughout the length of the scarf.  This creates a sequence of numbers very pleasing to the eye.

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Our Fibreshed display added much to the public education at Earth Day as many visitors stopped to enjoy our display and ask questions.  There’s increasing concern about where our clothes come from and a growing awareness of the importance of supporting local soil to skin regenerative fibre systems and artisans.   Our Fibreshed celebrates each day as Earth Day by embracing community and all the Earth’s beauty we have been entrusted with caring for.

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Lynda Daniells and Deanna Pilling

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