The Regina Weavers and Spinners Guild, on behalf of the Saskatchewan Weavers and Spinners, warmly invites you to join in a prairie fibre celebration. Register to join fibre artists of all skill levels from across the prairies. Take part in an exciting fibre fellowship that will freshly inspire you to chase your passion for weaving, spinning, felting and the many connected methods. Learn new techniques from qualified instructors from here and across Canada.
Terri Bibby of Saltspring Soari will inspire us with her Saori weaving.
Carol James of Sashweaver will enlighten us with the ancient technique of Sprang.
Plus several exciting local instructors with great topics.
Our Theme – “Renewal” is bubbling up of new life. Across our great province, we are experiencing a resurgence of interest in the practices of spinning and weaving. We want to illuminate this renewal as we gather together and highlight this new energy being injected into our traditional crafts. Our goal is to celebrate our love for this art and to propel them forward for years to come, giving them another well-deserved time to shine. Think new growth, a cultivation and care for these crafts, just as a seed flourishes with sun, shower and healthy soil.
We hope you find kinship and solidarity amongst so many talented passionate people.
Thank you to all who came out to our mini retreat on April 30th. It was a great success with full classes in spinning and weaving. Special big thanks to Sharon of Golden Willow who brought beautiful fibres to tempt us (and it worked!) Kathleen had some weaving supplies for sale for those who needed to stock up on their stash to continue their new skills they learned.
Thank you also to the Sherwood Village Library who provided us with all the supplies participants used and also a great space to hold our day of fibre! We hope to host more days like this in the future :)
Last but not least, thank you to our instructors and helpers. We are lucky to have so much experience in our guild and members who are willing to share their passion for fibre.
I’ve been a guild member for two years. I’ve wanted to be a guild member for much longer but didn’t live near a fibre guild. I also had no idea how to connect with others who might like to share their love of fibery things. Once I moved to a city, I decided I would definitely seek out and join the local guild. Guilds sounded like such a great idea – a group of fibre enthusiasts getting together regularly to do fibre-related things. What could be better?
Ours is the Regina Weavers and Spinners Guild.
Some of our members do one or the other; some do both, some do neither. When I joined, I was a
frustrated spinner wannabe, more a knitter and spinning spectator. I was looking for some inspiration to get me over my beginner angst and actually into the world of spinning. (It worked, in case you were
When talking to guild members, many say they joined because they were looking for fellowship with other creative people, those with a tendency towards the fibre arts. It’s nice to be around fibre friends. Sometimes, people who don’t spin or weave don’t really understand why we get excited talking about warp and weft, twist and ply, colour and texture. In a guild, we can come to a meeting or an event and be among those who don’t think we’re crazy for wanting to dye fibre/fabric in the sun or spin 20
kilometres of yarn to weave a cloak. Well, not too crazy, anyway.
Others say they come to guild meetings for inspiration. Each month we have a show and tell
portion where members share what they’ve been working on. The favourite part of the evenings for many, it’s easy to get creative fires burning when seeing what is lighting up the world of other
enthusiasts. I decided to learn how to knit lace after seeing the amazing lace work of knitters in our
Our guild also has a program portion of the evenings when members share resources, teach techniques and theory, provide insight into methods, discuss new interests, or present recent individual learning experiences. We also have guest speakers make presentations in their areas of expertise. Talk about getting motivated in new ways!
We also do things outside our meetings.
Dye days can be a lot of fun, as well as a great way to learn from fellow members. We can experiment with different materials, and share what we know
about colour. A pilgrimage to the city’s annual artists market to demonstrate and promote our guild is a great spring outing, and a chance to talk to others about what we do. A monthly project night, open to all fibre enthusiasts whether in the guild or not, lets us share our knowledge and passion with those just getting started. We get to discuss different aspects of our interests, interact casually without disrupting a
meeting, and explore new avenues of fibre and creativity. There is also the excuse to celebrate together at a Christmas potluck and the June year-end
Another exhilarating highlight in the guild calendar is our annual fall sale. This event rouses us to organize ourselves, support each other, and promote our guild in completely different ways. We open our proverbial doors to the public, welcoming them in to see what we do. It’s also a wonderful focus for fashioning unique, one-of-a-kind items for sale. For many, it takes our designing to a whole new level, seeking to be original and beautiful in exciting ways. I know I’ve spent a lot of time planning, making and talking about the sale this summer.
So what does a guild ask of you in return for all the fun, fellowship and inspiration? Being a member of our guild takes as much commitment as a person feels they can give. If you want to come to monthly meetings, see what everyone is working on, maybe stay for some tea and program, then welcome. If you want to volunteer to organize an event or sit on the executive, then welcome. If you want to teach
a program, sharing what you know about your craft, then welcome. Whatever you bring to guild, the guild will welcome you and appreciate
In the end, no matter our reasons for joining, staying or contributing, coming together to build great relationships and create wondrous handmade items is really the point of any guild. If you look at life in the same way, building great relationships and creating wondrous things applies everywhere. So seek out inspiration and fellowship wherever you can find it because,
according to C.S. Lewis, “The next best thing to being wise oneself is to live in a circle of those who are.”
A Master Spinner and guild member was teaching at a local yarn store. I signed up, hoping she’d help make a spinner where my disastrous attempts at self-study had failed. She had us begin our spinning adventures on little toy wheel spindles. I was both excited and nervous, fearing my clumsy fingers might never get the hang of drafting fibre.
A year on from those first tremulous drops and spins, I am an avid spinner with a special affinity for spindles and their process. Spindles have a magic hold over some spinners. In fact, there are some who never work on a wheel, by choice.
As far as I can tell, every spinner who enjoys spindling seems to have more than one spindle. In fact, some spinners I know have more than 30 or 40. Why so many? Well, each spindle maker has their own criteria for making spindles and spindles have their own personality. Yes, really. Like a mechanic with wrenches, what a spinner wants to work on will dictate which spindle she/he will pick up; the right tool for the right job.
It also helps that spindles are beautiful little things that look lovely stored in a vase or jug.
I recently had the opportunity to add a few spindles to my collection and became passionate about learning what’s available in the market these days. I’ve been gleaning information from spinning friends, books, websites, sellers and other spindle enthusiasts, looking for just the right spindle to add next. (One of my friends recently got to speak to a spindle maker in person so I’m hoping to pick her brain very soon!)
Because I love to talk about spindles, I thought I’d share with you my thoughts on and experiences with some of the little beauties I currently own, in case you were looking to expand your spindle knowledge, too.
Let’s start here.
This spindle is one of the first spindles I ever became aware of, even before I learned to spin. My Irish roots are probably showing, but I loved this one from the moment I set eyes on it, with all that pretty knot work.
It’s a Golding Celtic Ring spindle. It is the heaviest spindle in my collection at 55 grams (1.95oz) and I use it for plying, but also for spinning some of the art batts I use in my art yarn creations. It has a long, smooth spin, thanks to the brass ring around the outside, and the motif makes it a joy to watch it spinning.
My friend described it as the luxury car of spindles. I agree. Golding spindles are created in a wide variety of weights and decorative design features to suit many, many spinners. If you get a chance to try one, I’m pretty sure you’ll buy one, but you might have to budget for it.
You can find them out at www.goldingfibertools.com
Now let’s check out the other end of my spindle spectrum with the Trindle.
This is a very different design than any other of my spindles and I enjoy spinning with it immensely. Looking like a chemistry class molecule, it’s my lightest spindle at 14 grams (0.5oz). The design is endowed with a fast spin that puts a lot of twist into the fibre and gives me a lace weight yarn with more ease than I ever thought my oversized hands could manage.
These spindles are also available in much lighter weights in the Micro Trindle and also in heavier models. The three beads can be changed out depending on what you want for weight or design, allowing for personalizing to a degree not readily available in most spindles.
You can find them at http://www.etsy.com/shop/trindleman
Finally, I’d like to share another new addition to my spindle vase, one that surprised me.
Why surprised? I had never heard of this make of spindle before and I am now convinced the spindle maker made it just for me. It’s a Kundert Carved Whorl spindle of 29 grams (1.05oz). It has a large whorl of light weight wood that lets it spin for ages. It fits my hand like it was custom made and works with my default spindling yarn like it can read my mind.
I know not everyone will respond to spindles in the same way but a great feature of the Kundert spindles is that they are very affordable, making it possible to try them out without breaking the bank. This is always a good selling point for spinners trying to decide where
best to spend their budgets.
You can find Kundert spindles at www.kundertspindles.com
I really could go on about spindles for more than anybody has time for in one blog post. I promise I wouldn’t tire of it either. In fact, I’m certain it would only inspire me to go out and acquire more. Instead, I’ll try to get another post done another time, just in case you want to peek at my spindle vase again.
In the meantime, feel free to share the fibre art you’re passionate about. Who knows who might be inspired!