March 26, 2011

Missing a Guild Sale

I can tell you what I am not doing today.  I am not on vacation in Nanaimo, B.C., buying up all the fibre at the local guild sale there.  A handspinners' guild sale is like a rummage sale but with wool and used spinning wheels packed into a hall to sift through.  In other words, fun stuff.  Scattershot inventory, of course, but part of the draw is never knowing what you'll find.

I went a couple of years ago.  There were secondhand looms and weaving tools; the Mid-Island Weavers and Spinners guild has both spinners and weavers.  There were buns and hot drinks.  There were local vendors with booths.  I heard afterward that by noon some of the destash fibre was marked down to almost nothing–probably the stuff from an estate the guild volunteers didn't want to take home–and ever since then I've wanted to shop the sale again to see it at closing time as well as opening time.  But, sadly I am a little too far away to nip in and browse.

I mentioned destash fibre.  I mean fibre for handspinning, whatever it may be (wool, mohair, angora, alpaca, silk, etc.) that someone bought intending to use, subsequently changed their mind, and decided to resell or give away.  Destash fibre is different from retail fibre that a vendor obtains from a producer, miller, or wholesaler to sell to customers.  If you don't spin yarn, you've probably never thought about the secondhand market for fibre, eh?  I myself destashed some merino, merino blended with bamboo and nylon, and local merino crossbreed fibre last weekend.  Tastes change.

I can tell you what I am doing today.  Today some members of my guild, including me, will be demonstrating handspinnng and weaving at a museum.  The museum we're going to interprets the Confederacy side of the American Civil War.  It's exciting, getting to talk to people about handspinning.  Almost exciting enough to make up for missing the guild sale.

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