04 November, 2011
Salt Spring Island Weavers & Spinners Guild 2011 Guild Sale
I got to see the Salt Spring Island Weavers & Spinners Guild's 2011 guild sale. This is a show and sale of finished goods.
There was much more in the way of woven goods for sale than knitted items. Am not sure whether this is indicative of a strong weaving focus in the guild or if this means weaving is more viable for making items for sale.
I enjoyed reading the labels on the goods. Some, and not just the skeins for sale, said handspun. Some did not say handspun but said local yarn from local sheep. Presumably the yarn was milled by machine at the island's local custom fibre mill, the Gulf Islands Spinning Mill. I'm sorry now that I didn't verify this. Family members were waiting outside for me to finish looking so I didn't linger to chat with any of the guild members manning the sale.
You may find it interesting to go the guild's website and read the pdf that gives the standards all items have to meet to qualify for exhibition and sale. The link is under the News tab, in April 2011's note about guild sale preparation. Always good to know where the bar is set, even when making things for fun and not entering them in an exhibition or competition. Even when looking to make something wildly non-conformist and outside the rules, hah! Neatness comes up more than once in the list. Some of the criteria are straightforward, such as "tension should be even," and some could launch a year of study, such as "appropriate weave structure for intended use" or "smooth yarns should be consistent in size, twist, and ply."
The guild states in the publication that for the sale, "we encourage the use of natural fibres and, where appropriate, fibres produced on Salt Spring Island."
Salt Spring Island is an island accessible by ferry from Vancouver Island. It has been an agricultural producing region for a very long time, that is, long as far as European settlement goes on Canada's West Coast. The island is known for its lamb. There are small stands with honour boxes at farm gates where you can leave money and take produce. There are sheep at a private farm within the boundaries of Ruckle Provincial Park. I took a photo of the Ruckle family's flock in front of a picturesque Victorian house there but it came out blurry so this other photo will have to do.