Monthly Archives: July 2016

Fibre Camp

There are three necessary elements for a strong, vibrant fibreshed.  One is a source of quality fibre and the knowledge of how to process and use it appropriately.  Another is a knowledge of local dye plants and mushrooms and how to use them.  The third is a vibrant artisan community with the skill, experience and artistic vision to use the local resources to create beautiful items.

Our Sunshine Coast Spinners and Weavers Guild is such a community.  We come together in friendship and with great fun to work our fibre magic and share our expertise and knowledge.

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Our yearly sale is a testimony to the skill and artistic abilities of our members.  With our beautiful items for sale, the displays and demonstrations, it’s a wonderful opportunity to reach out to the community.

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Another project of our Guild is Fibre Camp.  In September, fibre enthusiasts gather at Camp Sunrise for our yearly Fibre Camp.  This is a fun event which offers artisans inspiration, good fellowship and the opportunity to learn new skills – all things which help build a strong, vibrant fibre community.

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There’s a fashion show and ongoing show and tells.

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Here are Indigo Gals and Fibreshed team members Lynda and Merrily showing off their clothes made with local fibres and local dyes.

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They were on hand to answer questions about our Fibreshed which has a display at every Fibre Camp.

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Demonstrations and displays help camp participants learn new skills and improve existing ones.

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The workshops serve the same role and are an important part of Fibre Camp.  Here are pictures from Caitlin French’s 2014 workshop on Eco-Dyeing.

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And here participants show off what they created in the felting workshop given by Guild member and talented local artist Ursula Bentz.

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There are vendors to tempt us with lovely additions to our stashes.

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The beautiful door prizes donated by generous Guild members are always a hit.

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This year, from September 9-11, fibre enthusiasts will gather at beautiful Camp Sunrise for our third Fibre Camp.  There’s an exciting line up of workshops:  Coast Salish colour work knitting with Sylvia Olsen, cedar bark basket weaving with Jessica Silvey and spinning and plying for Aran knitting with Kim McKenna.  There will be vendors, a fashion show, displays and demonstrations, door prizes and the inspiring and fun company of other fibre enthusiasts.

You can find information about registration and workshops at the Fibre Camp website.  Registration closes August 26th.  Be sure to register soon to ensure a spot in the workshop of your choice.  Looking forward to a weekend of fibre fun!

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Heather Apple

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Milling for the ANWG Blanket Project

For three Tuesdays, members of our Sunshine Coast Spinners and Weavers Guild gathered at Dorothy’s to process and spin local fibre for the ANWG 2017 Blanket Project.

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The first step is opening up the fleece with the Patrick Green picker in preparation for carding.

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We also tried out Dorothy’s new picker for the first time.

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Next comes carding with the electric carder.  First we worked on LaBraun’s grey fleece.

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We also started work on a white fleece from Happy Chick Farm.

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After two passes through the carder the rough fleece has become a lovely smooth batt.

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Andrew was busy with the combs producing some beautiful, soft brown Romney rolags which were given to Roberta to spin.

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After being weighed and divided into 4 ounce lots, bags were given out to Guild members to spin.

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We also filled bags to distribute at June’s Northern Spin-in.  Helene from the Powell River Guild carded some of the fleece and then took it home to spin.

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Joan and Bonnie compared their skeins.

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Lynda and Merrily collected and admired the skeins spun so far.  Our blanket will be a special Guild project with contributions by many members.

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Heather Apple

LMSPA’S Wool‘n Ewe A-Fair

Each year the Lower Mainland Sheep Producers Association (LMSPA) holds the Wool’n Ewe A-Fair, an event that features hand shearing, spinning, weaving, felting and sheep to shawl demonstrations  It’s an opportunity to meet local sheep producers and artists, see how a fleece is judged, bid on award winning fleeces at a live auction and learn about different breeds of sheep.

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Deanna, Lynda and Merrily of the Fibreshed team had a display to spread the word about our Sunshine Coast Fibreshed.  They were also searching for more sources of quality B.C. fibre to add to our Resource List.

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There were about 70 sheep fleeces up for auction.  Each fleece was displayed in a bag with a sheet giving information about how it was judged.  They were divided into classes of breeds.  The Down Class included Suffolk, Clun Forest and Shropshire.

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The Primitive Class, White and Colour, included Shetland and Icelandic.

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The Fine Class included Romeldale, Merino, CVM, BFL and various crosses.

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Lastly there were the Long Wool White and Colour fleeces. The long wool breeds were mostly Romney, crossed with Polwarth, Cheviot, BFL, Merino, Suffolk and others.

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Champions of the day were:  Spinners Choice, Gotland, “Mr. Goodyarn”, 5.75 pounds, sold for $42.00.

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The Reserve Champion was a Merino X Romney, 4.5 pounds, sold for $91.00.

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The Grand Champion and BC Purebred was a Clun Forest, 6.5 pounds, sold for $92.00.

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There were also sheep shearing demonstrations.  This 5 month old lamb is getting its first shearing.

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We were fortunate to get a little workshop from Lynn Anderson of West Coast Colour on assessing fleece.

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One of the fibre producers we added to our Resource List was Michele Franklin of Intriguing Designs.  Her creations have been featured in several high-fashion magazines. She has five English Angora Rabbits that are free ranged and are not caged at all.  In the mornings she opens the shed door to their 20×30 outside pen for them to roam and play.  At night they hop into their shed and she closes the door to protect them from predators.  She sells the fibre to pay for their vet bills and feed.  Here Michele is holding the beautiful Haley.

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We learned a great deal at Wool ‘n Ewe and it offered us a wonderful opportunity to spread the word about the Sunshine Coast Fibreshed and add a number of B.C. fibre producers to our Resource List.

Merrily Corder, Lynda Daniells