HWSDA 2017 Conterence


Theme: Canada 150


The 2017 HWSDA Conference dates are

May 13-14, 2017

at the

Augustana Campus, University of Alberta in



The conference/retreat was great!


Looking for pictures of the conference – people, unjuried show, fashion show, etc. If you have any, please send them to the WebMaster! If you had an item in the Unjuried Show, please take a picture of it and send it to the WebMaster.  Thanks! Check out the Photo Gallery!


Registration Package

Memo to Members 3

Conference:  the last word from Val Schmaltz is that we have about 35 registrants, so we can look forward to a wonderful Retreat…but please encourage your friends to come, the more the merrier, don’t you think?

There are those who are working away on their pieces for the Fashion Show, and for the Un-juried Show, so do join in and participate … remember that a prize or two would pay for your weekend!

Please email entry forms to Val Schmaltz d_vschmaltz@shaw.ca if possible, so that we have an idea of the number of entries… but it will be possible for you to bring the form with the piece.

Looking Forward:  One of the items on the AGM agenda is the future direction of the HWSDA.  The guild has always been so valuable to the weavers, spinners, and dyers of Alberta, but the guild, and the world around us, have changed immensely since HWSDA’s inception.   One of the big challenges is the ageing, and shrinking numbers, of our volunteer base….  

So please do think about this very important issue and we encourage you to email or talk to a member of the executive before the Retreat so that we can present as many options as possible at the AGM. 

Another matter which needs thought before the AGM is the library.   Borrowing is almost non-existent, we have not had a librarian for two years, and the books are gathering dust in Maria’s basement.   Maria has discussed with Olds College their becoming the venue for the library… any other ideas?

There will be time for discussion at the meeting, but input before that would be greatly appreciated.


Supplies:   Legacy Studio in Cochrane is now carrying 8/2 cotton, and is willing to add more variety if the demand is there… http://legacystudio.ca/8-2-Cotton.html  



Miscellaneous:  Painting a warp with fibre reactive dyes:  had a playday with a group of SCW friends the other day….lots of fun!

We were discussing how to “batch” the dyes overnight, I suggested using a heating pad in the bottom of a plastic bin … close the lid, put a towel on top— and you’re good to go! 


Kathy S managed an infinitely easier arrangement, put hers into the oven with just the light on, I like that!   But the very finest solution was from Heide T, who when she said she would sleep on it… actually meant that she would sleep on it!  The perfect temperature and colourful dreams as well…

And a final thought, from Deb Turner, quoted from “Textiles of the Banjara Cloth and Culture of a Wandering Tribe” by Charlotte Kwon, Tim McLaughlin, and Rosemary Crill.  It is talking about embroidery in India, but could as easily apply to us all:

“Contained within the threads put down on cloth is a way of seeing the world and interpreting its rules. The culture forms the rules and the individual follows, bends, or breaks them, thus redefining the culture for the next generation”.


Memo to Members 2






Will you be in the picture?

1. The Conference-Retreat

By now you will have opened up your registration packages …. we hope that you are excited about the weekend of making, and sharing.   We have actually begun to receive registrations, so we are pretty happy about that!

If you belong to a guild with a website, would you please make sure that the conference information is there.  And please talk to your guild members about coming to the Conference, particularly if they have not been before—we are allowing 5 people to come on their guild‘s membership this year, ie without having to take out  an individual membership.

Margaret and Ellen have great plans for the fashion show, and would like for anyone with a “stash-busting” shawl to please bring it with them.  I know that they many ideas to make the event a lot of fun, so do count on participating… we all love to see each other’s original pieces.


We will give more information in the next Memo (April 1), and if you have any suggestions or comments, please email them to me and they can go out in the Memo.

2. Odds and Ends

There was a fascinating piece on CBC a few weeks ago concerning the manufacture of viscose rayon … also Tencel… and I think that as “textile people” it is good to be informed.  It seems that the use of chemicals (including mercury) is extraordinarily toxic for workers– although not for consumers, and so it has gone largely unnoticed.  And viscose is often spoken of as being a greener alternative to petroleum-based fibres … I think that the textile industry is a very complex web of social issues… MAYBE A TOPIC FOR DISCUSSION AT THE CONFERENCE.


3. Upcoming Events

This just came in from Val Schmaltz, of the Heritage Weavers in Calgary:

On April 8 there will be a 3D Felting on a Resist workshop – In this class you will make a simple Japanese Knot Bag.  Concept to be introduced: fine layout in multiple layers to make a strong felt, avoid “seams” and ridges, shape a flat envelope of felt into a three-dimensional object, control edges.  Registration Fee: Heritage weavers members $60 non-members $75. Kit Fee: $10.  This class can be used as a pre-requisite for those not familiar with working with a resist for a felted boot workshop being offered in September. 
The boot workshop will be 2 – days and a 2 hr pre workshop meeting to make the boot lasts.  The registration fee for the boot workshop being held September 9 & 10, 2017 for Heritage Weavers members $150 for non-members $165.  A kit fee of $50 is payable to the instructor.  Kit includes Grey Masham wool (can be over dyed), sole material, soap, pre-felts for decoration & resist materials.

For further information or if you wish to register contact: Valerie Schmaltz, Heritage Weavers & Spinners, d_vschmaltz@shaw.ca

4. Supplies

From Margaret:  I heard that the Loop yarn store in Kensington (Calgary) is now stocking Ashford weaving supplies.

And there is a wonderful small business in Cochrane , where they make baby carriers (cloths) 




Memo to Members 1

This is the first of our monthly HWSDA memos, in order to share information between members. We plan to send it out on the first each month. We encourage you to send information you wish to share to Lyn Pflueger– this can include tips, places to obtain fibre arts equipment, new products, questions etc. this will be in addition to the quarterly newsletter which will contain more in depth information.

We hope you enjoy this first memo which contains information about the May retreat.

1. Upcoming Events

Annual Conference – HWSDA Conference-Retreat 2017

Put Yourself in the Picture







The decision was made by the Executive to try a “Retreat” form for our annual Conference this year. This was partly because we wanted to provide variety, and partly because we wanted to ensure an affordable way for our members to come together—knowing that many are planning to go to the ANWG conference in Victoria in June.

Our Retreat will be held at Augustana Campus, University of Alberta, on May 13-14 ie the Saturday and Sunday of Mother’s Day weekend.  The scheduled events like the AGM, the banquet (with a keynote speaker),  a fashion show,  Show awards, and Camrose-hosted events, will all take place on the Saturday…. with a continuation of informal events on the Sunday morning.   For this reason we will offer a “day rate” for Saturday-only, charging only to cover the rental of meeting spaces.  The accommodation and meals at the University are also very reasonable.

The theme for the conference will be Canada: 150 Years. We will approach our long-time members to participate in a round table discussion about all the changes which have occurred not only in weaving and spinning, but in learning and selling over the 40+ years of the Guild.  Members will be encouraged to bring any “ancient” books and equipment to remember and enjoy…

This year there will be a Non-Juried Show… the theme will be ANY interpretation of the Conference Theme (ie does NOT need to be red and white!)… and all the usual awards will be given, but decided by People’s Choice.  Members will submit an entry form with registration, but may bring their work with them or send it with a friend.

It is our hope that this Conference-Retreat will support our members gathering as a community,  to work together and to share their expertise… our vision is of lots of Show’n’tell and Work’in’progress, lingering  discussions and many stories.
Please feel free to email me (Lyn Pflueger, pflueger@telus.net) or any of the executive with any questions


The registration package will be sent to you this month… and will be posted on the website. We need some volunteers, please: a registrar, a conference treasurer, and a publicity coordinator. If you would like to be a vendor please contact Maria Lougheed. On March 1st a second MEMO TO MEMBERS will serve as a reminder.

2. Fibre-related Matters Of Interest



Margaret Hall writes: Here are a couple of photos of a Chinese dumpling shuttle. I am wondering if anyone knows anything about it. How it is used and wound? What would be woven with it? Howto wind it?   What is the purpose of the small hole at the bottom? Should the piece of bamboo rotate in the shuttle? Are shuttles like this still in use?

3. Messages from our Secretary

I can volunteer for registration table on the Saturday and also take memberships that day (I have heard members expect to be able to pay memberships at the conference)

Also a note to the membership, if you would like to pay your membership before the 5th March —I am going to be overseas –otherwise you won't get your cards seen to until I return on the 29th April.