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					                Kingston Handloom Weavers and Spinners
                          370 King Street West,
                       Kingston, Ontario K7L 2X4
                               April 2009

              The sun was warm but the wind was chill
                you know how it is with an April day.
              When the sun is out and the wind is still,
             you're one month on in the middle of May.
                 But if you so much as dare to speak,
                  a cloud comes over the sunlit arch
                  and wind comes off a frozen peak
                     and you're two months back
                        in the middle of March.
                                 Robert Frost

        I saw a young couple, just yesterday, sockless, sleeveless and in shorts
obviously celebrating, much too soon, the coming of Spring. But don't we
all long for Spring after the winter in our neck of the woods? I know they
lifted my spirits and made me smile even while I shivered for them.
        April's meeting is the culmination of our programme theme this year
"From Start to Finish" with our annual challenge. Our members are
noted for their innovation and it's bound to be an evening of inspiration and
fun as the entries are viewed and judged. (Those planning an entry are
reminded that a one page write up describing the process of their "From
Start to Finish" should be included with their entry.) So come along for a
really special evening. Barbara and Beth have graciously agreed to
demonstrate our newly acquired felting machine during the judging time, so
that's a bonus to an already exciting programme. Our greeter for the April
meeting is Betsy Walters and treats will be provided by Kate Michalska.
        This year's programmes have been outstanding and we owe a debt of
gratitude to Beth and Barbara. These two extremely busy women have put
an enormous amount of effort and time into creating truly interesting,
inspiring and involving programmes. "Where do you get your ideas from?"
was the question that was addressed in March. Both presenters had a
Pandora's Box of things to show us where inspiration can be drawn from and
examples of how they, in their own work, had interpreted and adapted ideas.
Articles as diverse as exotic leather boots with decorative inserts to books
and magazines showed how ideas from many sources can be adapted to
weaving, spinning, basketry and felting. An amusing example was a sweater
that Beth had knitted with the injunction, from Dorothy Young, not to make
a "coffin sweater". That is, a sweater that was viewed only from the front!
For Show and Tell Jackie Sylvester had brought along a shawl woven on a
triangular loom (available for rent from our studio) and a Nuno felted scarf.
Dorothy Young showed us her Summer & Winter sampler from Susi
Reinink's workshop and Elizabeth Dueck circulated a Martha Stewart
magazine with an illustration of a beautiful felted dress.
        A heads up for the May meeting. From 6.30 p.m. - 7.30 p.m. an hour
before the meeting, there will be a sale of Guild fibres and equipment.
Members may also bring fibre-related items to sell, so Bring your Stash and
Bring your Cash! (At the 7.30 p.m. meeting Bridget Lewis and Susan Gow
will be presenting slides of their recent trip to Japan.)
        Please give Alison Ginn a call if you can help her line up next year's
board. A nominating committee should be more than one person!! She is
still looking for people to fill the positions of Vice-President, secretary,
programme, workshops and studio maintenance. I can tell you from
experience that friends are made and friendships deepened by being part of
the team and a lot of support comes with each position so don't feel that you
would be on your own if you are a neophyte in these areas.
WORKSHOPS: - Beginning Felting - April 4th. This workshop is for
beginners age 10 years and up. Dorina Friedli will take participants through
the amazing techniques of turning wool fleece into durable fabric using only
water, soap and elbow grease.
Advanced Felting - April 14th. So you know how to felt? Let Dorina
Friedli take you from the ordinary to the extraordinary and develop your
skills as you go.
Nuno Scarf Felting - April 25th 9.15 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 26th
from 9.15 a.m. - 12 noon. Jackie Sylvester. The technique of nuno felting
allows us to use small amounts of wool on silk fabric to make an extremely
drapeable felt. We will use primarily soft merino, polworth or border
Leicester wool fibres on silk gauze or chiffon with a wet felt technique to
produce fabulous scarves. Each scarf will be unique as each person can
embellish their scarf with mohair locks, novelty yarns and coloured wool
roving. Wool fibre and silk fabric will be provided along with much of the
equipment needed. Material fee $45. If you have your own supplies this fee
can be reduced. Workshop fee is $60 for members and $65 for non-
members. Contact Jackie for list. No felting experience is required.
Jacket Sewing Workshop - May 16th. Back by popular demand. Roberta
McKinney will guide you through sewing a jacket with your handwoven
Finishing Techniques - May 23rd and 24th. Susi Reinink, Master Weaver,
knows how to take that weaving fresh off the loom and finish the fabric so it
sings! Join her and learn the techniques.
Please contact Workshop Coordinator Florence McGuire at
<> with any suggestions for workshops that you
would be interested in taking or giving.
       You'll find a welcome from Jennifer McPherson at our Open Studio
every Thursday from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. A spinning wheel and dressed loom
are available for the innovative Walk in and Spin or Weave. So tell those
friends who have expressed an interest in spinning and weaving to drop by
some Thursday.
       The Ontario Handspinners Conference with a theme of "Back to
Wool" (Lace to Lopi) will be held in Kingston on June 12th and 13th. Nine
workshops are planned for the Saturday session and hands-on 2 hour classes
on Sunday. There will be a newsletter available soon which can be
accessed on the web. Registration will be open until mid-May. If you
received the fall newsletter, you will get the spring one by mail. Contact
Mara Lusis, Registrar <> if you wish to be put on the
OHS mailing list. It should be noted that six of our members are instructors.
       The April Spinning Day will be held in Alison Ginn's home. Come
and bring spinning, knitting etc. and a pot luck contribution and enjoy a day
of fellowship with a wonderful group.
       A call from Liz Theobald of Perth, who helps organize Historica, a
Fair featuring workshops in old skills, such as weaving and spinning. Is
there anyone who might be interested in going to Perth for demonstrating
these skills during the third week of April? Contact her at
<>or <> .
       For Sale - Doreen Jeffers has a completely renovated spinning wheel
for sale. It comes with 4 bobbins and a lazy kate and is $200. An excellent
wheel, but Doreen says "not a beginner wheel." .
Dorina Friedl has a 36" 4 harness loom for sale - Bridget Lewis has a 45" 4
harness Jack loom for sale - .
       Volunteers Needed The Handweaving Museum and Arts Centre in
Clayton, N.Y. is looking for volunteers to help catalogue its textile
collection. They are just across the river from Gananoque via the Ivy Lea
Bridge. No experience is necessary and all are welcome. Volunteer duties
include measuring textiles, recording weave structures, sewing on number
tags, and taking pictures of individual pieces. Choose a duty that suits you!
Training available. This is a great opportunity to work with a wonderful
variety of handwovens. Please call or email Wendy Cooper, Curator:
<> Visit their website for more information at:
       J.K. Tett Arts Cluster Spring Show and Sale Thursday, April 30th,
6-9 p.m. Friday, May 1st, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Saturday, May 2nd, 10 a.m. - 5
p.m. Sunday, May 3rd, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Members from the Potters' Guild,
The Kingston School of Dance, the Kingston Lapidary and Mineral Club are
the other participants in this event. Members can set up sale tables in the
hall. 15% of sales go to our Guild.

                  Meet a Member - April - Alison Ginn

       Imagine Alison and you see an attractive, vibrant, active woman with
never idle hands, either busy with drop spindle or knitting. She emigrated
with her parents from Surrey, England to Kingston where they remained for
8 years. A visit to Upper Canada Village first sparked Alison's interest in
spinning and weaving.
        She returned to Kingston for a degree in physiotherapy from Queen's
and met her husband Peter. Peter's mother was a spinner and weaver and the
interest in both crafts was reborn. Northern College gave courses to seniors
and Fine Arts students and Alison joined the classes. She was initially
interested in learning to spin, but was persuaded to weave. A tapestry lion
was her first weaving project, the cartoon made from a picture in a book.
After that she took off and wove a sampler of four harness twills,
experimented with the colour wheel and name drafts. Part of her
experimentation led her quite independently to rosepath. Claudia Thompson
from the O.H.S. lived round the corner from Alison at the time and
volunteered to teach Alison to spin. Alison enjoyed spinning on several
wheels and her first wheel was an Ashford. But it was weaving that really
drew her and caught her imagination. She says she loves designing and the
math side of weaving appeals to her greatly. Fine work in both spinning
and weaving are her forte and many ends to the inch or spider-like yarn don't
daunt her, but in fact thrill and challenge her. If she had to choose between
weaving and spinning (and thank goodness she doesn't need to) she says she
would choose weaving. She has produced web-like scarves and three shawls
of handspun yarn and woven fine, delicate fabrics. During the summer her
Portland, Oregon son was the lucky recipient of a double weave
handwoven tea cozy.
   At the moment she is finishing off weaving an overshot sampler and
working on her inkle loom. Though she is modest about her many talents I
winkled out of her that she has taught, in other Guilds to which she has
belonged, inkle loom weaving, beginning weaving, overshot, drafting and
name drafting and drop spindling.
        Alison wears many hats. A mother of two sons and a daughter and
soon to be a grandmother, she is also well known in the Kingston
community as a dedicated Girl Guide leader. As a girl she was in the Guide
movement as both a Brownie and a Girl Guide for 10 years. That combined
with the 36 years she has spent as a leader led to her being awarded the 45
year pin from the movement. She worked for many years as a
physiotherapist and is presently a Community Food Adviser with Kingston's
Public Health Department. In that capacity she visits schools and Guide
groups talking and advising on nutrition and good eating habits. She takes
yoga classes and follows a fitness exercise regime, is active in church life
and enjoys quilting with a Heritage focus. The Ginns are an active couple
who have taken on challenging walks and hikes in both North America and
Britain. They are eagerly looking forward to another such experience in the
Lake District in England in June.
        We were just finishing our most pleasant interview over some exotic
tea, when, almost as an afterthought, Alison mentioned that she and Peter
engaged in Geocaching. I, poor thing, had never heard of it! "Tell me
more" I urged. Geocaching is an outdoor treasure-hunting game which
originated in Portland, Oregon, in which the participants use a Global
Positioning System receiver to hide and seek containers anywhere in the
world. A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook
and "treasure," usually toys or trinkets of little value. The fun is in tracking
it down! You may take the treasure, but must leave something in its place,
replacing the tin in its hiding place after recording the find in the logbook.
Alison and Peter recently tracked down a treasure on a Kingston area walk
and after a bit of sleuthing found the tin in a tree stump. How marvelous -
to be outdoors AND on a treasure hunt!

     This recipe and note from my badly stained, disintegrating,
handwritten recipe book:
        January 6th, 1999. Great snow storm raging, but we're warm and
cozy. Faith Avis, my neighbour, borrowed my muffin pan and it was
returned with two of the best muffins I've tasted in a while. One with a cup
of coffee or tea is perfect to watch a snowstorm with!
                     Faith's Marvelous Muffins
Oven 400 degrees F. A 12 large muffin pan lightly greased or lined with
                          cup cake papers

1 large whole orange with skin. Put in food processor or blender, chop

1/2 c. chopped dates
1/2 c. orange juice
1 egg
1/2 c. butter or margarine
Add to orange and give a couple of whirls to combine.
Mix together: 1 1/2 c. flour
                      1 tsp. baking soda
                      1 tsp. baking powder
                      3/4 c. sugar
                       1/2 tsp. salt
Pour liquid ingredients over dry ingredients and combine well, but don't over
Bake in 400 degree F. oven for 15-17 mins.
12 muffins.

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