International Back to Back Wool Challenge 2015

Objective: To complete the sweater/jumper, following the identical International Wool Challenge rules and pattern exactly, within a day.

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February Guest Speaker: Margaret McKenna

Margaret loves colour and fibre. While still at school, she wove a long wall hanging that has linen/hemp, natural and dyed hand spun wool and slits. Since then she has moved to knitting the lovely colours, making shapes of glazed porcelain [Margaret donated one of her neck pieces for us to raffle] and, most recently, embroidery. She loves making things and needs to do things with her hands even though along the way she developed carpal tunnel syndrome that did not respond well to surgery. She finds that when she is doing hand work she must sit up straight with a pillow behind her back to protect her hands.

Because of the aftermath of her surgery she is very sympathetic to people in pain. Margaret realised that much of our brain is involved with the nerves in our hands and that if she stressed and worried about getting back at the surgeon, the healing process would be blocked. The corollary works: if you are using your hands, you cannot obsess about what worries you. Out of everything bad, something good comes.

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Wool Road Spinners and Weavers Inc Shop Until You Drop Bus Trip Melbourne 2015

They are again organising our bus trip to Melbourne and welcome you to join. They have not finalised the destinations due to new ones being added and old ones that have closed being dropped.

When: Sunday 12 July to Saturday 18 July

Wangaratta Contemporary Textile Award

The Call for Entries for the 2015 Wangaratta Contemporary Textile Award is now open. The entry form can be downloaded on their website (PDF).

The value of the acquisitive award has been increased to $10,000 in 2015.

If you have any questions or if you would like a hard copy of the entry form posted out. Please the Exhibitions Officers (Susan Murphy and Sally Huguenin).

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Volunteers weaving mats for homeless with plastic bags

Thursday was the weekly gathering among the ladies at Hope Foursquare Church in Snohomish, but this is no knitting circle.
Nope. This is a crocheting circle, said Sondra Hirsch.
And you won’t find anyone making tea cozies or pot holders. Nor will you find anyone spinning yarns.
They spin something else.
It’s plarn, said Hirsch, with a warm smile.
Plarn is short for plastic yarn made out of old grocery bags.
In assembly line fashion, the women cut up the bags and crochet the plarn into soft, waterproof plastic mats for the homeless to sleep on.
It is a labor of love, said Marcia LaBossiere.
A labor that lasts two days.
It takes about 50 hours and 600 bags to make one 3 x 6 foot mat, but the ladies are happy to do it.

Volunteers weaving mats for homeless with plastic bagsKING 5

Scarf Exchange 2015

2015 the year of the Sheep/Goat is an excellent period for all the Chinese zodiac signs.

The element for this year is wood and the lucky colour is green. The sheep is the eighth sign in Chinese astrology and number 8 is considered to be a very lucky number. It symbolises wisdom, fortune and prosperity.

The West Australian Hand Weavers, Spinners and Dyers Guild is sponsoring a scarf exchange. To join the 22nd year of the Scarf Exchange with Year of the sheep/goat as the theme, send 150 grams of fibre and the entry form by March 27, 2015, and you will receive a different package of fibre by the end of April 2015.

To make the article, the fibre may be spun, felted, woven, knitted, dyed, crocheted and/or a combination of crafts.

Closing date for the return of the article to Western Australia will be 28 August 2015. We will return your original fibre in the form of scarf, shawl, beanie, hat and/or bag with the details of the person who made it.

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Other Groups in NSW

When asked for the location of other spinning and weaving groups and when they meet, Guild members refer to our booklet Other Groups in NSW. We have used the same booklet for many years and it has got out of date. I have tried to get in touch with all the groups listed but not all of them have responded and I don’t know whether that is because they no longer function or because the address is wrong. Quite a few groups who no longer function did respond, with regret, to have their names crossed off our list. And I discovered a few new one by searching the Internet.
This is the list of active groups in NSW that I have collated. If you belong to a group, in addition to the HSW Guild NSW, please run your eye through these names. If your group’s name is not there, let us know so that I can add their meeting place, time of meeting and contact details to our list and to our web site.

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In Place

Dorothy Caldwell’s talk illustrates how her textile art is an ongoing exploration of a sense of place. Her long time interest in marks humans make on the landscape creating patterns of settlement, agricultural practices and built heritage are translated onto cloth through dyeing, printing and stitching. Her current practice involves collecting earth pigments, plant matter and objects in remote landscapes and incorporating them in her work. This direction enables her to make a deeper connection between her home in Hastings, Ontario and the places where she travels. Dorothy will tell the stories of her fieldwork in the Canadian Arctic, the Australian outback and rural Japan and India. By using materials collected in the field whether far away or close to home, the pieced, layered and stitched surfaces tangibly absorb and reflect her artistic journey.

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Beth Hatton

Beth Hatton last spoke to us in 2008 about her exhibition Baseline, about the remnant grasslands of Lake George. SInce then she has participated in many exhibitions combining new works with pieces exhibited before in a different context.
Beth arrived in Australia in 1976 and soon became concerned with environmental issues. She developed a series of rugs that used kangaroo and wool offcuts to highlight the plight of native animals.
The curator of A Red World, Wangaratta Art Gallery, June-July, 2008, asked for her woven rugs for the show. She showed Extinct & Endangered Species, 2002 with three pelt shapes reflecting the pelts stored in museums of endangered, native animals. It was bought by the Wangaratta gallery. Beth’s rugs have a very fine, red weft and are woven with shaft switching.

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Contextart 2015

2 and 4 day workshops:

  • Jackie Abrams (USA) – Basketry – woven and covered
  • Gemma Black (TAS) – Calligraphy – The Broken Black Letter
  • Peter Browne (QLD) – Playing and writing for guitar
  • Teresa Dair (VIC) – Modern knitted jewellery
  • Marjolein Dallinga (Canada) – Flowers and form in felt
  • Carole Douglas (NSW) – Colour your cloth with natures dye
  • Fiona Hammond (NSW) – Creative bead jewellery
  • Gabriella Hegyes (NSW) – Encaustic mixed media
  • Keith Houston (NSW) – A sharp tool in timber
  • Anne Leon (NSW) – Pattern and colour from dyeing
  • Liz Maidment (France) – The hand stitched landscape
  • Seraphina Martin (NSW) – Negative footprint printmaking
  • Rie Natalenko (NSW) – Marketing your workshop
  • Ken Smith (TAS) – Free hand machine embroidery
  • Yvonne Twining (SA) – The funky, bespoke leather shoe
  • Sandy Webster (USA) – Book making and the curiosity cabinet

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