Memo to Members

May 1, 2018

1. Conference

We are delighted to tell you that Dr. Lynne Cowe Falls from the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary will be our guest speaker.  Her topic will be “Everything I learned about weaving, I learned from Dr. Seuss”. (Lyn has been associated with the U of C’s Solar Car Team, and I highly recommend this video !

Vendors: Unfortunately our ”usual suspects” will all be at a big event at the Crossroads Market this year… but there will be plenty of time on Sunday, after conference ends, for you to get down there and shop till you drop!

AGM: The AGM will be chaired by Norma and Lyn, and will follow the usual format.  The most important item will be the election of the Executive, PLEASE think about volunteering, it is a challenging and worthwhile experience…and a great way to meet and work with a terrific bunch of people!

Please let us know if you would like to see a particular item on the agenda.  Also, there will be time allocated for comments from the floor.

2. HWSDA Membership Matters

a) Did you know that HWSDA has a Grants to Guilds policy which can be very helpful with the costs involved with a workship. Please look at the website for information, and for the application form.

I would like to request that guilds let any executive of HWSDA know that you are planning to bring in an instructor. Other guilds may want to also invite the teacher and share transportation costs and host duties. Plans can be announced on the website, in Running Threads, and/or the Monthly Memo.

b) Margaret informs me that she now has 45 members paid up for next year!  It makes her job, and budgeting, SO MUCH EASIER if we pay our membership at the beginning of our year, ie now, rather than just before the next conference …hmmmm…

c) And a reminder from the Running Threads team that the deadline for article submissions for the Summer 2018 issue of Running Threads is July 15.

d) Call for volunteers: to audit the books; to represent the guild at our table during Fibre Week (at Olds College); to track down the authors of the Master Spinners and Master Weavers  (duplicate) theses currently residing in Norma’s garage.

3. Who is Coming to Town?

Here are two great opportunities to bring a fabulous teacher to your guild and share the costs of transportation...or to participate in a class with another gujild.

a) The Edmonton Weavers’ Guild is hosting Melissa Arnold for a 4 day felting/dyeing workshop, this September, titled “FABULOUS FELTED SHIBORI WRAP”., see Melissa’s website for her work, she has great skills as a dyer, felter, and teacher.

“In this exciting 4 day class we will learn the Art of Arashi Shibori on silk fabric and then felt thru it to create a fabulous wrap with a button closure. The Arashi design element is wonderful when felted, and gives your wrap a design that resembles an animal skin. Techniques will begin with dyeing, pole wrapping, discharging (removing color) and over dyeing our silk pieces…then exploring design and layout options for creating an innovative and exciting wrap from our shibori silk using Merino wool with assorted fibers for embellishment… ending with exploring finishing details”.   

This is a class for Intermediate Felters. Some dye experience is helpful but not necessary.

Public registration starts on May 10th.  I believe there is still time if other guilds want to contact her. She will be in Edmonton September 8-20th teaching 3 workshops.  If other guilds wish to contact her, her email is:   Melissa  

Contact EWG if you are interested in taking the class with them:

b) Janneke Plomp and Andrina Bravenboer   would like to come to Alberta next year.  They offer unique knowledge and skills, in a new way, to open up new ideas.

These Dutch ladies are well known in the European fibre world for their extensive knowledge of all possible sheep breeds and other fibre animals. Through their own work, from sheering to spinning, knitting, and felting, to their close contact with fibre breeders and shepherds, they acquired diverse and professional fibre skills and a strong regard for healthy breeding practices and sustainable hand work.

Janneke and Andrina organize various workshops for groups of 8-12 people, catering to whatever the interest of the group is. They teach how to choose fibre and how to check its quality for different fibre techniques. They talk about old and new practices for skirting, washing and carding. While Janneke is specialized in mixing and spinning complex fibres, Andrina is a master in felting full fleeces into home decor (such as pillows, wall hangings and rugs) or garments to size. The offer hands on workshops where you create your own beautiful product, in ways you never thought you could go. More than anything, this dynamic duo opens up a world of wool you never knew about.

(Please contact Lyn for more information… I think this will be a super opportunity for us all!)

4. Local Producers

Please let me know your favourite local wool producers and what breeds they have.   There is a growing interest in using local resources, and also in using a variety of fleece in our spinning and felting for their specific qualities.

5. You might be interested

Alberta Culture Days is an annual three-day celebration that takes place the last weekend of September. Culture Days provides opportunities for communities and community organizations across Alberta to discover, experience and celebrate the cultural life of their communities. Funding assistance is designed to support Alberta Culture Days activities, events, and promotions that engage public participation and inspire future involvement.

6. A Reminder

The Sheep Creek Weavers invite all guilds to please join us for our 2018 Fleece to Shawl Competition,

at the 111th Priddis/Millarville Fair on August 18, 2018, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m at the Millarville Racetrack (just south of Calgary)… simplified rules and great prizes!

To register please contact: Janine Jones 403-931-2170 or



April 1, 2081

Memo to Members April 1, 2018      and      Best Wishes for a Happy Easter

1. The Conference

Our guest speaker at the banquet on Saturday night, Dr. Jennifer Salahub will give a talk titled “Unwinding Clews – what textiles have to say”.   

Jennifer Salahub is a professor of Craft and Art History with a PhD in Design History from London’s Royal College of Art.  She is passionate about domestic textiles and has taught and lectured in England, the US, and Canada.  As an audience of makers, we might take heart in knowing that she has, at times, embroidered, dyed, woven, stitched, quilted, crocheted and even felted (once).  But when one listens to her, it is evident that she is a story teller, one who enjoys mysteries, and unravelling textile tales.

   Members not attending the conference may accompany a conference attendee for the price of a banquet ticket ($40)... we are working on the possibility of a more straightforward way, please watch in the next Memo....

2. The Executive

In order to continue our guild, we have these positions to fill at the AGM: President, Vice-President, Past-President…and Norma is happy to be treasurer but, if she becomes president, a Treasurer will be needed. Margaret would be very happy to relinquish her position as Recording Secretary.  Many thanks to Lorel Dederer for stepping up to be Membership Secretary. The Past President position can be filled by anyone who has been President at any time in the past.

Job Descriptions:    the following are the highlights, please see attached the full job descriptions, and the Bylaws.  If you have any questions, please contact Norma.

The executive holds four meetings per year, one of which is at the Annual Conference. In an emergency, attendance by electronic communication is legally sufficient to make a quorum.   The core executive members –President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary/Secretaries, and Past-President – are expected to attend all executive meetings if possible—a quorum of the executive is considered to be 3 of the core executive members.           

                President:  is responsible for the smooth operation of the executive, notifying members of the agenda for each meeting, and requests executive, area, and committee reports for each meeting. The president, with financial records supplied by the Treasurer, submits the Alberta Foundation for the Arts grant proposal annually, and the Society’s Annual Return (we currently have a qualified volunteer who has done this).

                Vice-President: Evaluates scholarships, learns the bylaws and policies, assists the Presidentas needed and chairs meetings when the president is unavailable.

                Recording Secretary: records the minutes and circulates them to the executive body. Maintains signed copies of minutes and motions on file. Prepares copies of agenda for meetings, if needed. Prepares other handouts as required.

3. Guild Reminders

Scholarships for Members are available for “members in good standing” for at least 2 years. Information about the Scholarship Program, and an Application form, are available on the website, and also in the Registration Package.

And remember that there are also Grants to Guilds to help with instructor costs.

Membership fees are now due for 2018/2019. 36 members have already renewed thank you. The draw for a free membership is open until April 30th 2018.

4. Events in Alberta and Nearby

A reminder that Marjolein Dallinga will be teaching at Red Deer College from July 30 to August 3, 2018... so any guilds who would like to have this most excellent felter/teacher should contact her at

5. Who's Coming to Town


Moy Mackay, an amazing Scottish felter and teacher, is coming to the Feutre Symposium in Nova Scotia this Fall (September 30 to October 6).  I understand that she would like to teach more classes while she is on this side of the pond, so here is another wonderful opportunity!... Please contact her directly if you would like to have her come to Alberta, and PLEASE CONTACT ME, TOO, and I will try to help facilitate her travel etc  Note that there will be many wonderful instructors at the Symposium!

6. Running Threads

Running Threads Spring issue deadline is fast approaching.  Please submit all articles by April 15.

7. Worth a Look

Jane Kidd This looks like an amazing show, for anyone travelling to Toronto.   But the website, and indeed her own website  are wonderful sources of images of her work, and her discussions about it.                                       


Curiosities - Pairing #3 Woven Tapestry 2013  66 x 56 cm The image is from her website.

This tapestry is from the series “Curiosities”, referencing “pairings, suggesting relationships and/or contradictions between art and science, imagination and knowledge, decoration and display.  The tapestries are presented like specimens mounted and displayed on shelves, suggesting relationships and/or contradictions between art and science, imagination and knowledge, decoration and display. The method of installation emphasizes the presence of the tapestry as an object and probes links between the physical display of the work and potential meanings of the imagery.”


Wonderland, Woven Tapestry, 2016, 182 x 114 cm (detail)

This is from the “Wonderland” series, which “refers to Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and explores my interest in genetically modified organisms and the use of technology and science as a means to manipulate and engineer the environment.”   


8. Suppliers: Stores and Producers

For sale raw unprocessed bison underdown contact Gavina Leslie 403-701-8342 or $60/lb 3lbs or more $50/lb and for 10lbs or more $40/lb.


Important PS

If you are unable to make it to conference, you are still encouraged to come to the AGM Friday night.  Please feel free to also join your fellow members for the welcome diner that night.  The dinner is at 5:30 pm on May 11th and being held at the restaurant in the Best Western, Village Park Inn, Calgary.  The cost will be $30 per person (HWSDA Members only please). The AGM attendance numbers are important so please consider coming if you are a member.

Everyone is welcome to the banquet itself on Saturday night which starts at 5:30 and has a lot of fun events in and around it.  So please consider joining us. It is also being held at the Best Western, Village Park Inn, Calgary.  Patti Hawryluk is putting on the fashion show, so it's sure to be something you don't want to miss!  The Banquet is $40 per person.

Please contact Nora Manz, HWSDA Conference Registrar (  if you would like to join us for either or both events. 

The deadline for registration is April 20th.

March 1 2018

1. Conference

The HWSDA Conference Committee is pleased to report that registration for the 2018 Conference, “Make Mine Takeaway” is underway and classes are filling up.

The good news, for those of you who have not yet registered, is that none of the classes are full (at this moment!), although some are very close to capacity.  If you were planning to register and have procrastinated, now is the time to fill out the form. Don’t forget that this year you can register online and pay electronically or you can register in the usual manner by mail with fees paid by cheque. Registration closes March 15th.

Just a reminder that now is also the time to be planning and preparing your items for the juried show and the fashion show, both of which are always highlights of Conference.

Meet two of our instructors: Lisa Schwartz and Laurie Bullock.

Lisa will be teaching Nuno Felted Stained Glass Scarf, and she says "I am very excited about teaching the Stained Glass Nuno Felting Workshop offered this year at the HWSDA conference. Working with fibre and silk is magic, a world of endless possibiities!"


Laurie will be teaching Two Colour Brioche Knitting, and is an expert in this field, a teacher with limitless patience!





2. HWSDA Notes

Memberships:  A reminder that the AGM, held at the conference, is for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018 … this is also the year in which conference registration occurs… so in order register and to attend both conference and the AGM you need to be a member for that year.  But we would really like to encourage you to join now for “next” year, so will have a  DRAWFOR A FREE MEMBERSHIP at the conference, for all those who have paid a membership for 2018/19 prior to the conference ie before the end of April.

Very important: There was a typo in the membership form sent with the registration package (Marg’s address) which should read Hand Weavers, Spinners & Dyers of Alberta  c/o Margaret Hall  48 Good Crescent, Red Deer, AB T4P 3N6

Guild Memberships: At the last Executive Meeting a motion passed to allow guilds free membership if they have fewer than 12 members.  The minutes of this meeting will be available to members on our website.

Running Threads: In an effort to avoid the Christmas rush, we’re changing the submission deadlines for Running Threads to:  January 15, April 15, July 15, and October 15.  Please mark your calendars. 

And if you were planning to submit an article for the Spring issue of Running Threads, the good news is you’ve got a little more time to complete it. The new deadline for the spring 2018 issue of running threads is April 15.

Don’t forget there is grant and scholarship money available to member guilds and individual members in good standing. For information on these benefits please check out the website, Contact Norma Westcott,

Are you wanting to join forces with other guilds in the province to plan workshops? The Lethbridge guild is looking for like-minded groups to share information and resources. Contact Penny Peterson,

Executive Search Committee: As you will know, HWSDA is at a crossroads. We are faced with the challenge of finding our place in this digital and busy world, but are determined not to abandon the strength of the personal and community connections which have made our guild so successful for over 40 years.

The conference in May will be a very important event, and at the AGM we need to finally have, once more, a full slate of board members elected.  At the moment we lack officers for three of the key positions.  We are able to be quite creative in filling these positions eg two people could share one position.  And we have found ways to make the positions less onerous, particularly with regard to travelling to meetings.

Therefore we need volunteers to serve on an "Executive Search" committee, and would really appreciate your members considering serving on that committee, or in fact volunteering to be an Executive member.  

We have compiled a list of duties for each position, and would be delighted to send it to any interested parties.  Job descriptions of executive positions will also be published in the next issue of Running Threads.

3. Events

a) Sheep to Shawl The Sheep Creek Weavers invite all guilds to please join us for our 2018 Fleece to Shawl Competition, at the 111th Priddis/Millarville Fair (just south of Calgary) on  August 18, 2018, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m at the  Millarville Racetrack

Teams of 5 competitors (no designated position) and 1 alternate will weave 22” x 80” finished shawl on a prewarped loom, from worsted yarn spun on manual spinning wheels, using hand carders and/or manual drum carder, and a manual bobbin winder. There will be two $100.00 prizes—one for the team who completes their shawl first (including wet finishing) and one for the team whose shawl receives the highest bid on their silent auction bid sheet.  Dyed wool fleeces will be donated by Tin Roof Fibre Studio.   Entry Fee $25.

To register please contact: Janine Jones 403-931-2170 or     

b) Fibre Potpourri at Red Deer College on June 1-2, 2018. Three workshops: South American Embtroidery, Big Needle Felted Creatures, Sensation Silk Painting. Go to

4) Who's Coming to Town

Marjolein Dallinga will be at Series at Red Deer College from July 30 to August 3, 2018.

5) A Snippet for the Memo from Margaret

Recently I visited the Peter Lougheed park visitor center to warm up. Joy of joys whilst warming up I learned how to rug hook. The park interpreter being from Nova Scotia learned rug hooking as a child. He thought it would be a good idea to set up a communal project at the center. So he bought old wool blazers washed them and cut them into strips, bought hooks and set up a beautiful canvas depicting an owl, for visitors to learn and contribute to. The rug is hopefully to be hung over the fireplace once complete.

He is also a needle felter and showed me some beautiful felted birds.

What an enterprising man! I did tell him about the HWSDA.

February 1, 2018

1. Conference

Our thanks to the Heritage Weavers for the exciting Conference Package, I’m sure that we have all been poring over it.  And remember that today is the day!!! Register now to ensure your spot at the conference and for the workshops of your choice.

Had this note from Ruth Blazenko, the chair of the committee: No guild program for our Saturday January meeting… well, conference table center pieces took care of that!  We had so much fun as a guild on a cold winter day. Everybody loves a fortune cookie-- the needle felters and wet felters were awesome in their colour choices as well at the woven fabric that was donated.  The Chinese take away boxes filled with goodies, there will be weaving boxes, dying boxes, felting boxes, spinning boxes with wild batts and a cd drop spindle!   

Meet one of our instructors, Liv Pedersen from Calgary. Liv will teach Small Tapestries on a Dutch Plank Loom.











Left: Pedersen, Liv. Signe Going Down the Slide. 1981. Tapestry. 56 x 36 cm. Right: Pedersen, Liv. Fall BBQ. 1996. 56 x 56 cm.

2. Clarifying Membershjp Rules

The AGM, held at the conference, is for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018. This is also the year in which conference registration occurs… so in order register and to attend both conference and the AGM you need to be a member for that year.  And be assured that we will encourage you to renew your membership at the conference for the following fiscal year (which by then will be the current year, Apr 1 2018-March 31 2019) … and don’t laugh when I say “clarifying”.

All member guilds can send 2 members to the conference as part of the guild membership in HWSDA - contact Lyn Pflueger (email: for more information and access to the registration package. 

·       Conference theme is “Make Mine Takeout”
·       only members can enter the juried show - prizes are monetary
·       non-members can register for any of the pre-conference workshops

3. Who's Coming to Town

Marjolein Dallinga will be teaching a feltmaking class at Red Deer College for Series, this summer. She has taught in Alberta and her workshops are truly wonderful.  If your guild would like to know about her workshops, her website is

4. HWSDA Library

The HWSDA library is now housed in the Olds College library, is still accessible through inter-library loans.

5. Running Threads

Deadline for Running Threads submissions March 15, 2018:  if you enjoy reading the interesting articles in Running Threads, please consider contributing to the newsletter yourself.  It does not need to be long, only about something you are enthusiastic about!  And a few pictures make it all the better.  Velma and her team work hard to provide members with this valuable resource of  news, information, and enjoyable articles.

6. Executive Meeting

The next Executive meeting will be held Februrary 11th in Red Deer: All members are welcome to attend; please contact Lyn for directions and agenda

7. From “the Travels of Margaret”

In the northern lakes of Cumbria England, there is a hidden gem for textile and fibre artists, Caldbeck. This pretty village not only boasts of the ‘Woolclip’ a co op of fibre artists selling their work and fibre supplies. The organizers of the yearly ‘Woolfest’ in Cockermouth.

It has hidden historical treasures. An old weaving shed and dye house, all now converted into dwellings in the village.

Then a short walk up the ‘Howk’ to an old bobbin mill, which operated between 1857 and 1924. In its hey day a major producer of the bobbins for the mills in Lancashire and Scotland. It is situated in a picturesque gorge so it could be powered by a water mill.

The Lake District of England is now a national park but once was dotted with the small mills of an active textile industry.

January 1, 2018 and Best Wishes for a Happy New Year

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