Guild members have been participating in monthly virtual meetings and our March meeting featured our resident silk expert Coleen. She has used opportunities and experiences to enrich her learning over the years including Olds College, conferences and teaching engagements. Coleen joined the guild when she moved to the Cowichan Valley and we are so happy she found us.
Coleen shared her experiences and photos of her travels to Laos where she learned about silk production. She was able to stay and work at the Mulberries Organic Silk Farm learning about silk production from the baby silk worms to the spinning of silk yarn. The photos of baby silk worms being fed multiple times a day reminded us of when we had newborns. Coleen told us that she was responsible for the daytime feeds of delicate mulberry leaves picked fresh from the fields.
Silk being reeled from boiled cocoons
Coleen hard at work reeling silk threads
Coleen now raises her own silk worms here on Vancouver Island, taking special care of them like precious creatures they are. She spins silk from their cocoons for amazing knitwear and tapestry miniatures.
Coleen’s shawl knit with her own hand raised and spun silk yarn.
Coleen shares that the more we learn the more we realize there is to learn. We agree and believe that fibre creates a community and everyone’s participation enriches all our learning and deepens our appreciation and love for all things fibre.
Summer has arrived here on the West Coast of British Columbia and while it has been very hot at times we are happy to be out in our gardens, taking our fibre projects on the road or at least into the gardens and generally enjoying sunny days. Best of all we seem to be seeing the end of Covid 19 restrictions in our province which is definitely something to celebrate. Very soon we hope to meet in person once again and reconnect after so long apart.
Guild members have been working through their stashes as well as trying out some new patterns and yarn kits. We have been taking classes on-line and sharing our experiences with each other during our monthly on-line meetings.
Cherry and Michele explored stranded colour work as they knit sweaters designed by Cristel Sayfarth. These sweaters are wonderful examples of colour and design that should keep them warm and toasty this winter.
Michele chose a pink floral design Cherry’s sweater has an interesting checker board motif
Michele finished another sweater made using the Ziggurat Method. This sweater is designed to be knit all in one piece with just 6 ends to weave in when you are finished. Michele shared that one needs to trust the pattern even when you think it just will not work out.
Carol A found a sweater vest in her WIP basket and got to work finishing it for her husband. The pattern is White Buffalo Adult vest #202 with some modifications to suit the recipient. He wanted a different collar and Carol was able to modify this. Carol used White Buffalo wool from her stash. As you can see from the photo he loves it and is looking forward to wearing this when he is working in the yard and when fishing.
Barbara is getting a head start on her winter projects with this lovely Brioche hat.
The weavers have been busy as well. Coleen has been tablet weaving. This colourful band of hand-spun Tussah silk is destined for a project bag. She has also been enjoying the weather outdoors while spinning cotton with a charkha. The yarn hopes to become a knitted lace edging.
Pat M took a class an on-line overshot weaving class. She used her smaller floor loom to make the samples which turned into placemats. She used some wool blanket strips and wove them into a very handy hot mat.
Janette has been adding to her tea towel collection. One can never have too many of these thirsty towels in the house.
Jo’Anne used up some variegated silk and merino fingering weight yarn from her stash to weave this light and airy scarf. The draft is a 4 shaft modified twill.
Finally some garden photos. Pat M has some Hollyhocks ready for picking and drying. She plans to use the dried flowers to experiment in a dying project. Janette’s bench is freshly painted and ready for a rest on a warm afternoon.
We have been a busy group of fibre lovers this past year; knitting, weaving, spinning and all kinds of fibre arts. Our friends and families have kept warm and cosy all winter due to our efforts. While in person meetings have been few and far between we have connected through our social media pages, virtual meetings (thanks to Catherine and Karen for hosting us) and of course the all important phone calls and socially distanced, mask wearing visits with our personal bubble folks.
Two of our long time members have been honoured as Life Time members. Congratulations to Gudrun and Daphne! We are thankful for them for sharing their time, expertise and friendship with all guild members. I managed to find a photo of Gudrun but Daphne seems to be a bit camera shy.
Please enjoy these photos from years past, I hope to have new photos of our work once we are able to meet once again.