Tea Weaves

The Desert Sage Spinners and Weavers celebrated their 35th anniversary in fine style on Thursday April 26 with a tea, exhibit, sale, demonstrations, and a special performance by the Oliver Handbell Ringers.  The event was open to the public, and was well-attended. The date  was also picked to coincide with BC Arts and Culture Week, and was one of a number of arty gatherings this week.

Visitors were treated to a sit-down tea with sandwiches and sweets.  The audience  was delighted with the handbell concert, which transformed the event into a multisensory experience!

Many stalls displayed clothing, linens, purses and other accessories, and whimsical items. A collection of spinning wheels stood at one end of the Oliver Community Centre hall where there was also a slide show of various fibre art projects. Weaving and felting were among the live demonstrations. 

At left, Gail Erickson weaves using one of the smaller looms on display. A belt perhaps, Gail?

Felted blossoms and leaves were a sure sign of spring.

Cynthia Jones threads her shuttle, working on the largest loom on display. 

A fancy “tea”  party must have a fancy tea cosy — or is it a teapot? Notice the bead on the spout for a  drip.

Terry Irvine soaps up her wet-felted creation, a sheep tea cosy, while an amused Diane Lindsay looks on. 

And a busy happy throng of weavers, tea-partiers, and curious onlookers!

Photo Credit: Penelope Johnson

Snuggle up with cuddly fibres this October

The crafts of Desert Sage Spinners and Weavers Guild will be the featured exhibit at the Osoyoos Art Gallery during the month of October. Guild members will have their work on display beginning with an opening reception on Saturday, Oct 8 from 1 to 3 p.m.  The public is welcome to attend. Some items will be for sale. 

The Slow Fibre Fest, sponsored by Desert Sage Spinners & Weavers Guild, is planned for Saturday October 29 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Seniors Centre on South Main in Penticton. The event will feature and promote the use of natural fibres.  Much like the “Slow Foods” movement that champions traditional, healthy, and eco friendly methods of growing and preparing our own foods, the “Slow Fibre” Festival promotes using fibres in traditional, “home-grown” and eco-friendly ways, from raising animals for wool to using eco-friendly dyes.  There will be a vendor market, demonstrations of weaving, spinning and felting including display of the Guild’s felted yurt. A fashion show will take place in the afternoon. A fun day for all and admission is free. Refreshments and lunch will be available.

Photo Credit: Val Friesen

Fibre Madness Challenge winds up

Local fibre artist Terry Irvine has completed a creative challenge: designing and creating one new work per day during the month of February. What a great way to beat the February blues!

Here is the second set of photos from her project. Scroll down the page to find the article  detailing the first installment.

“The seemingly dye resistant flowers accepted the colour when immersed in my acid dyes. Success!” says Terry.

Here is a whole bouquet of  acid dye flower brooches :


Terry completed two sets of hot pads wirth coasters, each in an animal paw design.  The first photo shows the blue and white set before the felting process. It was created using thick handspun and a store bought edging yarn after knitting. The next photo shows the set after felting.


The third shows the results of the second set.

  Terry comments on the process:  “The coasters didn’t felt that easily by hand so I gathered some other things that needed felting and put them all together in the washing machine. The next day the hot pad was ready for felting, but nothing else was. Interestingly enough, the machine felted coasters were thicker and fluffier than the hand felted hot pad, which was surprising and, if ya think about it, opposite how you’d want them for functionality.”

Irvine also tried her hand at felting a water bottle carrier. However, felting is a mysterious process that doesn’t always give you what you expect:

“This was already knitted [before the challenge started], but needed finishing, ends sewn in or twisted for design elements, a border added to finish the top edge and felting and was one of those items added to make a load in the washer worthwhile. Its purpose when knitted was to be a bottle carrier complete with handles.

As you can see, it is so not a bottle carrier, but a uniquely shaped vase!”

And here’s a bit of whimsy: “I wanted a container for tissues in the car that could be crushed and otherwise abused and still look good. The final project is smaller than it should be, but I was able to try out my handspun ‘eyelash’ yarn and really like the result. I coulda checked the washing machine sooner, but…….”

Terry also sent a photo showcasing the whole Fibre Madness collection, nicely arranged on a fallen log. Congratulations Terry!

Want to comment? Email olivercac@gmail.com and we’ll publish it or forward it to Terry per your request. Are you an OCAC member with a project of your own? Let us know!