Spinners and weavers to host retreat

Rich textile heritage to be celebrated at Parksville event

Pat Collins helped organize this weekend’s Weavers and Spinners Island Retreat in Parksville.

Pat Collins helped organize this weekend’s Weavers and Spinners Island Retreat in Parksville.

Vancouver Island spinners and weavers who cherish finely spun yarn and exquisitely dyed and woven cloth, will be in good company this weekend at an event in Parksville that celebrates and treasures our rich textile heritage.

About 80 fibre artists are gathering at the Quality Inn Bayside for the 25th annual Weavers and Spinners retreat from March 30 to April 1.

The Qualicum Weavers and Spinners Guild is hosting the event and Pat Collins said there will be all kinds of activities to celebrate the ancient craft of spinning and weaving.

“It is an annual event for groups on the Island.  Some of the groups are really small and would not be able to bring in speakers on their own.  This event brings people together from all over the Island,” she said.

The Parksville weaver, who owns many looms, said the retreat promotes, encourages and improves the art and craft of weaving and spinning by providing an opportunity to share knowledge, skills and ideas.

She said that on Saturday morning Judith Crosbie, who has an affiliation with the Royal Ontario Museum, will discuss travel and textiles in the Peruvian Highlands and Indonesian Islands of Bali and Flores.

In the afternoon, John Fitzpatrick will talk about his expertise on tartan and its history.

Collins said that throughout the weekend there will be a spinning room where crafters can work together just like in the old days.

“It’s like an old fashioned spinning circle … some will spin dog hair, wool, alpaca and silk. The spinning wheels are portable so they will sit around and chat and spin.”

There will also be a fibre market, which is open to the public, and Collins said there will be four vendors on site who specialize in exotic stuff.

“You can come and get some really cool wool and yarn.”

She said during the banquet there will be a fashion show that will include some fabulous pieces.

She said it really is a great event for fellow weavers, spinners and dyers who enjoy the pleasure and the opportunity to learn, as well as to teach.


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