British Columbia trip continued

Drove up the Sunshine Coast to visit Yvonne Stowell’s Fibreworks Gallery. What a beautiful exhibit, textiles and pottery with a water theme. Worth the trip.

Fibreworks Gallery

You can’t miss the yurts on the Sunshine Coast

One yurt is the exhibit space, another yurt is a classroom, and Yvonne has a third yurt for her weaving studio.
Sunday we took the ferry to Vancouver Island.
Duncan weaver Alison Irwin hosted me for a fingerweaving class.

Duncan workshop

Sticks wedged in the backside of a chair supported the weaving. Students sat in a conga line to learn.

Alison had lined up the local scrapbooking store for their classroom space. Very nice. Such a pleasure to work with students so keen and eager. They all did very well, attacking the basic method of fingerweaving. Now don’t take my word for it.
Read what one of the students had to say about it
Vancouver Island is a special place. While I was teaching that workshop, Alison’s husband toured my husband around. There’s a pretty spectacular train trestle bridge near Duncan.

Kinsol Trestle Bridge

Kinsol Trestle Bridge near Duncan, BC

Tuesday I attended the ‘drop in’ meeting of the Victoria Handspinners and Weavers. There I met someone who had taken my weekend fingerweaving class a few years ago. She brought her sash to show me. Pretty impressive!

Proud fingerweaver

Proud fingerweaver and her sash

On the way back I stopped in to see Olds College, and the Olds Fibre Week. There I found master spinners and master weavers students, keen to hear the good news about sprang. I also learned a really fast and interesting way to purl, looping the thread around your neck or through a hook on the front pocket.

OK, my husband insists that I make mention of what I did during all that driving. It’s 3000 kilometers from Winnipeg to Victoria. Long hours of sitting when it wasn’t my turn to drive. Of course I brought along a project to keep me from going stir-crazy. I had made a sock to photograph for my book. This trip seemed the perfect moment to finish the second sock. I had started the toe right after completing the first sock (these are free-end interlinking socks, not sprang). By the time we made Revelstoke BC I had finished the second sock.

sock making in the car

A straight pin in the visor is the ideal support for the work.

It really takes no longer to make socks this way than a comparable size sock by the knitting method. I needed another project as we still had some driving to do.┬áSo I made a set of ‘safety cords’ for the students in Duncan.

Braiding in the car

I finished up the last of the safety cords as we drove onto the ferry to Vancouver Island. Once again, the visor is ideal.

Yes, I completed another project on the return trip. It was a piece of two-layered sprang. I purchased two balls of yarn on Grenville Island and worked them into a hat or bag. Initially I set up the warp while still in Vancouver with the two colors both wrapping around the frame. I got into trouble within the first few rows. I took it all apart and began again, this time setting up two separate warps. I worked them as two separate warps for the first four rows, and then combined them for the rest of the piece.

working two-layer sprang
My husband insisted on photographing the way I work in the car.
double layered sprang, pale side

Completed double layered sprang, the pale side

the dark side

Turned inside out the colors reverse

The really kool thing about sprang is the elasticity.

very elastic double sprang

Working in two layers does not at all diminish the elasticity.

And now for the scenery.
We started out in the flatlands.


Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and all but the western bit of Alberta are flatlands.

And then there are the Rocky Mountains

Rocky mountains

The Canadian Rocky Mountains

canons in the mountain pass

Canons are strategically located in the mountain passes to help control avalanches.


the ferry ride from Vancouver to Victoria

You have to take a ferry to get to Vancouver Island.

We pretty much took the same road home again.
Oh, on the way back I took a picture of the ‘salt mines’.

salt dunes of Saskatchewan

There’s a place along the TransCanada Highway in Saskatchewan where white dunes line the road. The salt comes from the salty water there. According to a recent study, we were told, there is fifty years worth of mining here.

Back home now, getting ready for the next trip: Handweavers Guild of America Convergence in Long Beach!

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