Clothing, yarn and more made by local artisans will be on sale at the annual Weavers and Spinners Guilds’ Elegant Threads event on Nov. 24 and 25 in Qualicum Beach. — Submitted by Sylvia Dwyer

Membership growth ahead of Elegant Threads event in Qualicum Beach

Weavers and Spinners raising money for guild with annual sale

The Qualicum Weavers and Spinners are readying for their biggest event of the year, and they’re hoping a recent growth in their numbers will mean an even more successful event.

The Elegant Threads sale takes place Friday and Saturday, Nov. 24 and 25, and will showcase handwoven clothing, household linens, hand-spun yarns, and perhaps some work by new artisans to the guild, said Sylvia Dwyer, the guild’s vice president.

“We have grown our membership,” she said. “We’re up to 55 paying members, and three honorary members.”

One of those new members makes baskets from woven cedar bark collected from downed trees.

Another member makes baskets from seaweed. Dwyer said she’s hoping some of those works will find their way into the sale.

Some other work you might find at the show include naturally dyed pieces, made using products such as mushrooms.

“You can get all different shades of beiges and creams, and one or two can (create) a brighter colour,” Dwyer said of using mushrooms. “Lichens too, you can dye with. I’ve dyed with lichens and if you use ammonia with the lichens, you can get purples.”

The Elegant Threads show is the guild’s biggest fundraiser every year, said Dwyer.

“We put our work in — the guild takes 20 per cent, and then the member gets 80 per cent,” she said. “There will be things donated to the guild so that 100 per cent (of proceeds) will go to the guild. And the silent auction, all that goes to the guild, and that’s all what members have made. So we’re hoping to gather a nice, big variety there.”

Dwyer said she’s hoping the event raises about $1,600 for the guild this year. To that end, the guild will be using a credit card reader this year, allowing patrons to pay with plastic, though debit cards cannot be used.

Elegant Threads takes place Nov. 24 and 25, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Rotary house at the corner of Beach Road and Fern Road West.

While the event is currently the guild’s biggest fundraiser, that will likely have to change, added Dwyer.

With the guild moving from the loft of the Qualicum Beach train station to Qualicum Commons this past August, it will have to come up with about $9,000 a year for rent. Previously, it had operated out of the train station loft for a dollar a year, but the small space and steep stairs proved a deterrent for guild activities.

“So in the new year, we’ll be looking at starting other money-making projects,” she said.

Some ideas include workshops and a fashion show.

For more info on the guild, go to qualicumweaversandspinners.blogspot.ca/.

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