Weaving for Health

There is a program at the Children’s Hospital in Seattle, Washington for patients to make something to leave behind as a sort of legacy. Children there have time on their hands. The Seattle Weavers Guild provide trained volunteers to teach them to weave.
Children’s Hospital has a recreational playroom. It’s the only place in the hospital that patients can go that doctors and nurses are not allowed unless they have to be, so they know that it’s a fun place, nothing painful is going to happen to them there. Between 10 and noon and 2 and 4 every day they have projects there.

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Socks for Cancer Patients

Can Assist provides accommodation and services for cancer patients from rural NSW who require treatment in either Sydney or Wagga Wagga. They want to put a welcome pack on each bed as most people are away from their homes and family for 6 weeks or more. They thought knitted socks would be a lovely thing to include. They are seeking 50 large, 50 medium and 50 small pairs of knitted socks for patients to wear and take with them as a gift from Can Assist, after their stay at the Jean Colvin Hospital. The socks will be a lovely touch of warmth and comfort.
Let Kate know if you may be able to assist then with. Socks are to be sent to:
Kate vanderVoort, Development Manager, Can Assist
17 Ocean Ave, Double Bay NSW 2028.
Tel: 9328 7571

International Year of Natural Fibers, 2009

The United Nations General Assembly recently declared 2009 as the International Year of Natural Fiber. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, the UN resolution would help millions of people around the world, among them some of the poorest people in some of the poorest countries, which depend on the production and processing of natural fibers for their livelihood. Natural fibers contribute to food security and economic development for these farmers.
The International Year of Natural Fibers is expected to raise consumers’ awareness of natural fibers and strengthen demand for natural fiber products, improving the livelihoods of the farmers who produce them and translate to revenues for countries that export them. At the same time, promoting the use of natural fibers will enhance the environment.
The wide range of natural fibers includes cotton, wool, jute, flax, silk, sisal, coconut fiber and many others. Some are produced from plants, others from animals and they are used in clothing and other consumer goods, as well as in industrial applications.

Continuing Threads, 60th Anniversary Exhibition 2007, Wrap up

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our exhibition. We had many lovely and interesting items to show or sell and had a lot of interest from the show visitors. The demonstrations of spinning and weaving were also popular with a lot of schoolgirls lining up to try a piece of rag weaving and requests to learn spindle spinning which was shown at one stage on an improvised spindle made from a plastic computer disk and a piece of wooden dowel.

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Continuing Threads, 60th Anniversary Exhibition 2007, June update

Thank you to everyone who sent in entries for the exhibition. We will try to show as much as we can in the space we have been allotted, and some pieces will be on show at the guild information booth to publicise the work produced by the students in the various classes.
Thank you also to the members who have placed their names on the roster or who have volunteered to help beforehand. Lucille Ryan, the exhibition coordinator will contact everyone on the roster soon to verify their day and time.
The only thing to add now is to say, come in and see our Feature Display, Craft and Quilt Fair, Darling Harbour Exhibition Centre, 27 June to 1 July, 2007.

Kelly Leonard Awarded First Freda Neale Grant

We received a letter from the recipient of the 2007 Freda Neale Grant, Kelly Leonard. She wrote:
Please accept my thanks in accepting the Grant. It is great to be supported in the opportunity given to me to participate in an artist’s weaving residency in rural Laos for two months. I would also like to add that it is increasingly important to develop ways to enhance the status of the weaver and promote the value of crafts and the handmade object.
Grants such as the Freda Neale are important not only in providing some financial support to the successful applicant, but also in providing professional validation of weaving as a means to develop networks both locally and internationally.
The grant wil enable me to exchange skills with a community of weavers in Laos providing a cross-cultural dialogue. In the future, I hope this might lead to the development of the economic sustainability of weavers to continue making work and the promotion of Laotian textiles. I believe this residency could encourage a sharing of ideas and approaches to marketing weaving between makers, buyers and galleries.
Information and ideas stemming from the project will be shared with the Guild through an exhibition and artists talk.
I would welcome any comments or advice about the project from members of the Hand Weavers and Spinners Guild NSW. More information about Laos Sericulture may be viewed at

Continuing Threads, 60th Anniversary Exhibition 2007, May Update

We now have the Royal Show, Castle Hill Show and the Hawkesbury Show behind us and you still have four weeks to deliver your entry for our exhibition. The closing date is 31 May 2007.
I have heard some ideas and I am now starting to wonder what wonderful items we will find when we open the many (I hope) parcels. In case you have forgotten, the entry form and sales form were printed in the February newsletter.

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Continuing Threads, 60th Anniversary Exhibition 2007, April Update

Only seven weeks to go until the closing date for your entries in the exhibition.
For those of you who would like to send your work on to the Bendigo Show, if you let me know in advance I can plan for those items to be available for collection on Sunday.

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Continuing Threads, 60th Anniversary Exhibition 2007, March Update

By the time you read this you will have 10 weeks to complete your entries for the exhibition.
Our space at Darling Harbour is smaller than we applied for but I am continuing to press for more on the grounds that our members are busy making many exciting items for display. I hope that is true!
The Designer Yarn entry form is included in the March newsletter and the skeins will be shown as part of our display at Darling Harbour. Help to make it interesting and exciting by sending in everything from the outrageous to the exquisite and show the knitters out there that we can produce yarn you can’t buy in shops.
Some country people are planning to travel a long way to attend so we are going to set up a register of city people who may like to billet them. This is not possible for everyone but if you think you would like to, look for the piece in next month’s newsletter to complete and return.
Also next month we will be asking you to complete and return the slip if you are able to help set up or do some other duty during the five days.
Lucille Ryan

Certificate of Competence in Handspinning

The information day at the Guild on Sunday, 4 February was very well attended with some people travelling quite a long distance. Some came to check on their spinning standards, others to take advantage of the chance to have questions answered and listen to other people’s questions, as well as those seeking to find out just what was involved in this independent course of study in hand spinning.

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