Conference 2016 – our 40th

May 6, 7, 8, 2016 – Red Deer College, Red Deer, Alberta


The 2016 Conference is now over and what a time it was! From workshops, to vendors, to seminars, to the fashion show, to meeting friends it was a great weekend. Jane Stafford stimulated our creativity and charmed us with her approach to creating texttiles. Her one-day workshop on collapsed weaves was informative as were her other presentations. How she did not collapse herself is astounding – not only did she do a one-day workshop, but followed it with presentations the next day and was our keynote speaker – her energy andf enthusiam for weaving and for teaching is infectious. Thank you, Jane!

Volunteers came forward to fill the many empty positions – thanks and welcome to all of you who stepped forward. HWSDA is grateful for your help and we know you will enjoy working together with others who are as excited about fibre as you are.

Our three fashion show divas entertained us once again – this time with a scouting theme. Fashion show entrants earned badges in a variety of comical areas. We even sang camp songs!

We celebrated 40 years in style and with cake!






Conference 2016 Juried Show

Pictures of the 2016 Juried Show are in the Photo Gallery – thanks to all of you who entered and allowed us to showcase your expertise and creativity!

Conference Workshops

Here are some of the workshops we enjoyed.

Norma Westcott – The Ins and Outs of Deflected Double Weave

Norma explored some of the mnay imterpretations and uses of this engaging weave. Participants learned to draft their own designs for eight shafts and vewed samples using a variety of materials and how they interact within this structure.



Jani Meyers – BattsBattsBeautifulBatts

A workshop on blending colours, fibre types and textures to create large amounts of spinning fibre for identical yarns.  They mixed colours, added a little silk, and little glitter, shading for graduated yarns.

The workshop was all about making large, 400 to 800 grams, quantities of similar batts.

Left: Batts and dizzied roving  Right: 363g spun and plied 8 wraps per inch DK weight yarn.

Judy Sysak

One of the current trends in spinning is creating highly textured yarns.   Judy shared the technique she uses to spin locks into beautiful fluffy and soft art yarn.  Lockspinning is very addictive– It creates yarn that can make a beautiful neck piece just as a skein!  It can also be used to create interest, texture and “pop” in weaving, knitting and felting projects.  

Marijane Rose – Backstrap Weaving – Give It a Try

This is the book that introduced her to Backstrap Weaving.  Can you believe that such a set-up can create such magic?!  She just had to give it a try and play.  So portable she has taken it camping so when her husband went off fishing she tied herself to the nearest tree and was happy for hours – win win!  

Participamts looked at books, were awed by samples, saw the simple loom set-up, and got tangled up in playing with a backstrap loom.  So Fun!  I


Brenda Foster – Making Waves, Felt a Cowel

Brenda stirred things up with this Cowl neck scarf and encouraged participants to be the envy at the Fashion Show on Sunday!!!   Gillian and Brenda guided everyone to stir things up at the HWSDA Ruby Anniversary Conference.   



Maria Lougheed – Norwegian Star Slippers

Using a traditional Norwegian design to knit a pair of lovely warm and cozy slippers participants learned some new techniques.  These slippers are knit in the round using circular and double pointed needles.  Participants leanred: Two strand circular cast on; Twined knitting; Insert waste yarn; Read a graph pattern ;  Increase and decrease stitches;  Ankle gap, short rows; Latvianknitted cuff.

Laurie Bullock – Introduction to Double Knitting

Double knitting is a form of knitting in which two fabrics are knitted simultaneously on one pair of needles. The fabrics may be inseparable, as in interlock knitted fabrics, or they can simply be two unconnected fabrics. A common method – and the one explored in this workshop – is to alternate a knit stitch of yarn A with a purl stitch of yarn B. Since the yarn is held to the back for a knit, and to the front for a purl, this results in two sheets of stockinette stitches, with the wrong (purl) sides facing each other. Switching colors ties the two sides together for a single double-thick fabric. This method is often used for elaborate two-color designs, as there are few constraints on how the colors may be used. The finished item from this method is reversible, each side holding the negative image of the other.

Deb Turner – Beaded Kumihimo

Participants looked at some different ways to add beads to kumihimo braids in order to create pizzaz and interest to basic fiber braids…   This is a great way to use up thrums from your weaving, any oddments of beads and allow you to indulge in buying more "stuff".

Ruth Blazenko – Spin Wonderful Warps

Master spinner and instructor whose love of spinning has lead her to weaving, rug hooking, and dying using my handspun yarns.   She has spun so much over the years that now it is time to create with handspun yarn in warps and wefts.  With blue being her favorite color

Participants learned:
1.How to use hand spun for multiple varied warps find out which fibers are best, better or worse,
2. How to spin some wool, silk, linen.
3. Learned which looms work and why with hand spun
4. What works and what does not

Gale Anderson Palm – Indigo

This workshop explored making and maintaining a natural indigo vat, dyeing wool, cotton, silk and linen.  Each student had the opportunity to dye the above four fibres in each workshop.






Kathy Buse – Wool Plus Four





Do you have a collection of small quantities of exotic fibres and no idea what to do with them? In this workshop Kathy showed how to take advantage of their special characteristics to enhance a variety of wools and create unique yarns that display the best qualities of all the fibres.


2016 conference team – many thanks for all your work!

Val Phaneuf: coordinator
Joyce Hurl: registrar
Dorothy Robinson: conference treasurer
Sheep Creek Weavers: Juried Show
Heritage Weavers: table centres, name tags, weavers challenge
Marge Gray & Edmonton Weavers Guild: venue, accommodation, food
Carol Dodd: registration package
Fashion Show: the same Fabulous Fashionistas: Siri McCormick, Val Forcese and Elizabeth Ellis-Bassett
Gayle Sacuta: vendors
Door Prizes: Catherine Ross
HWSDA executive: workshops