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 fabric. 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org> 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 <email@example.com> 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>or <email@example.com> . 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: <Wndy@hm-ac.org.> Visit their website for more information at: www.hm-ac.org. 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 fine. 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 mix. Bake in 400 degree F. oven for 15-17 mins. 12 muffins.