Memo to Members

November 1, 2017

1. Retreat:

We all had such a great time, our heartfelt thanks to Joyce, Val, and Dorothy for organising the weekend, and ensuring that everything went smoothly and that there was always coffee...

While many of the group printed leaves with Lyn, using the beautiful gas stove in the kitchen (what a mess we made!), others spun, knit, chatted and generally relaxed.  The weather was wonderful, so after a fascinating slide presentation by Norma about the “how” of being inspired by nature, ways of using pictures for both structure and colour, we all set off on a picture-taking walk.  Later we had a second session to look at our inspirations...

Unveiling the leaf prints was really exciting, lots of ooohs and aaahs, and some thrilling results.

On Sunday morning we had a big discussion about ways to keep the guild moving forward.  There were lots of great ideas about how to make the executive positions easier to take on, how to attract new members, ways of disseminating more information to more Alberta fibre artisans, publicising the guild, finding more learning opportunities within and outside our local areas.  This Memo will report on a few of these ideas each month, and WE WOULD LOVE YOUR INPUT!  The consensus, as we had found in our survey, was that our focus is t be on learning and community.

We had such a good time at Terratima, we have booked it for Sept 28,28,30 next year.  We are looking for someone to take on the registration and details... the choosing and booking are done, the place is a real draw (fabulous food, did I mention), and we have some ideas to pass on for fibre activities.  Of course if someone would prefer to organise a retreat in a different area instead, that too would be very welcome.

2. Continuing Search:

We still desperately need leadership at the helm of HWSDA. Would anyone consider working with a partner as co-VP to move on to co-President? This idea arose at the Retreat, and we feel that this may also make other positions easier to Treasurer

Contact Lyn:or Norma

We do hope to streamline the exec positions, and one really terrific result of the weekend discussion is that Lois has persuaded Virginia Rogers, from Camrose, who was a member previously, to take on the AFA grant application!!! We are enormously grateful, that is a difficult and onerous task for a non-accountant (this has previously been done by the President).

 3. Learning Opportunities:

I have been able to contact some of the Workshop organisers of our member guilds, and would love to be able to have a complete list... so please let me know the contact for your guild, or for any other organisation who runs workshops. ( I have Focus on Fibre and Custom Woolen Mills) My goal is to know about any visiting instructors far enough ahead that other guilds can take advantage of + share travel costs for them.

4.Conference and AGM:

We are required by the Societies Act to have an annual AGM if we wish to keep the benefits of a non-profit organisation .  So we discussed ways to get a quorum (25% of the membership), one of which was a pop-up sale.   What do you think?

The conference organisation is going very smoothly, and there will be exciting announcements in the next  Memo.

5. Running Threads:   Deadline for entries for the next edition will be December 15… please send information and articles to Velma Hudson

6. Edmonton Weavers Guild:  Annual Sale and Show, Saturday November 4, 10-3, Old Strathcona Community League , 10139-87 Ave, parking at the back, enter via 86 Ave. Admission $3.

7. Show and Sell Opportunity:The Royal Alberta Museum is looking for Alberta-based artisans and designers who are interested in having their products showcased at the Royal Alberta Museum’s gift shop in their new home in downtown Edmonton. The Royal Alberta Museum is accepting Alberta-based artist submissions on their website at


October 1, 2017

1.   Thank you for the replies to our survey, we had a 25% response…  Ipsos Reid could learn from us!  In short, the results showed that the guild is very important to us all, mostly for communication and community, we would like moreHWSDA-run expert workshops; and while some members feel that they can volunteer more, others are unable to.  

2. Minutes from the Executive meeting on September 9th meeting are published in the latest Running Threads.  Please read over them to see the ways in which the executive is working with its diminished numbers, and working to implement the wishes of the guild members.

3. We feel that we do not have the volunteers to run workshops, but have decided instead to really try to expand our role as an organisation of community and outreach, and to become the hub of information.   So Workshop Opportunites   will be an important column in this memo each month.  I ask of you all to please let me know when you or your guilds  are beginning  to communicate with an instructor—this way other guilds can contact the instructor directly, and “piggy back”, making it a more efficient trip for the instructor, and a way for our guilds to share travel costs etc.  We will publicise that that an instructor is coming: to all the guilds in Alberta, including other umbrella organisations, and to the Alberta College of Art and Design, particularly to the Fibre and other relevant Departments.  Please contact Lyn,  , with information and with any suggestions to make this venture work well.  So far I have established a connection with Focus on Fibre Arts , Olds College, and with ACAD.

4. Workshop Opportunities: 

Olds College is offering a beginning spinning workshop titled Learn to Spin in mid-October [at Olds College], an intermediate class called Next Steps in Spinning in November [at Olds College]. The Level 1 Master Spinner's class in November [Edmonton] has been cancelled due to lack of registrants. You can register for the Olds College workshop   Online here, or call 1-800-661-6537, press 2 for Continuing Education   

5. Retreat:   17 ladies are looking forward to coming to our fall retreat October 20-22. It will be a time for relaxation, fun and sharing. The ladies are looking forward to Lyn Pflueger and Norma Westcott’s workshops. Thank you to these two generous people for sharing their knowledge….an email was sent to participants on September 26 about the retreat. If any participant did it receive it please email Joyce at

6. Conference.:    The deadline for submissions to instruct at Conference 2018 is Oct 31

7. Running Threads: from our RT editor, Velma Hudson:  Thanks to all who submitted articles and reports for the Fall 2017 newsletter.  I really appreciate everyone’s efforts.  My apologies to those whose submissions did not make this newsletter.  Due to timing restraints, articles received after the submission deadline cannot be included.  Please know that I appreciate the submissions and will put them in the next newsletter.

Next deadline for submission to Editor is December 15, 2017 for inclusion in the Winter 2017/18 Newsletter.  Sending your information in Word document and pictures in jpg formats and early is really appreciated!

8. Juicy Tidbits    

                'I recently was encouraged to use a salad spinner whilst felt making as a cheaper alternative to a spin dryer for smaller items to quickly get rid of the excess water before rolling. The largest I could find was a 6 Litre Starfrit from Canadian Tire. Does anyone know are there any bigger ones out there?' from Margaret Hall

                    For a wonderful article about the beauty, and ecological advantage of natural dyes, go to

9. Help, please

A large number of boxes of correspondence and records of activities are passed from President to President, all the while accumulating more … we think it is time to go through them and have a good cleanout!   If you would be willing to help, please contact Lyn!

September 1, 2017

1. We are sorry to relate that both our Treasurer and our President have resigned since the last Memo… both for compelling personal reasons—and we are grateful for the years of service they have given to our guild.  Norma Westcott, Vice President, and Lyn Pflueger, Past President, with the help of Margaret Hall, will perform the duties of treasurer and administration until these positions are filled.  Norma and Lyn have signing authority on the bank accounts so that the business of the guild can continue.

There will be an executive meeting on September 9th, in Red Deer.  All members are entitled to attend any exec meeting, so please let me know if you would like to come, and/or if you have any suggestions or are willing to volunteer to help set the future direction of the guild.

We are sure that you all appreciate that this is a challenging time for HWSDA.   At the end of this Memo you will find a questionnaire, PLEASE FILL IT OUT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE so that we have direction from the membership before the 9th September.     (Just hit the “Reply button” on the email sent to you and put an X next to your choice)

2. The Retreat

We still need 5 people (or three rooms) for the event to take place.   It will be lots of fun, and learning and sharing…. In a beautiful location… and will be a chance to share ideas with other members about the direction we wish for HWSDA to go.

3. Our thanks to Maria for getting the library off to Olds College.  Maria has been wearing 2 hats for the last 3 years, both Librarian and President, and we are grateful to her for this eminently suitable solution to the challenge of where to locate the library.

4. Prairie Fibre Fest will take place at Lacombe memorial centre on 24th September 10.00am to 5.00pm $5.00 at the door.   There will be a vendor marketplace with about 20-30 vendors and 3-4 free mini classes! There is a spinning/ knitting / chatting area where you can have a coffee or tea! Also get in touch with the guilds in central Alberta …find out more on Facebook.


5. Members’ Survey

1. How important is HWSDA to you (and your guild)?

    very          ⃝    a little           O neutral      O not much           O not


2. What is the primary importance to you ?

O social        O communication & community           ⃝O workshops     O scholarships & grants


3.  Where is the most important area for improvement?

O more local events       ⃝O mentoring network       ⃝O HWSDA-run expert workshops


Are you willing to coordinate/set up any of these activities?     O Yes     ⃝   No

4. How willing are you to volunteer to serve on the executive?

O Sign me up!    ⃝    For a year or two       ⃝O In the future      O Not possible


(This survey is unofficial, edited by Norma and Margaret but my responsibility!   Lyn)

August 1. 2017

1. I received this recently...

" our guild's June meeting I was delegated to write to the HWSDA executive to applaud the new direction and to offer our support. We were particularly happy to see a return to a traditional style conference with classes and hopefully a juried show....I inadvertently let my membership lapse, but as a show of support for the new directions, I will be renewing..."

This is very cheering, and we are all engaged with optimism and determnation!

2. Fall Retreat

I am thrilled to be able to report that we hve half-filled already! This, from Joyce: we have 11 registered already which leaves 10 spots we can filll...

Just in case you are not aware of the Retreat, it will be held at Terratima Lodge on the October 20-22 weekend. It is west of Red Deer, easily accessible, and all informaiton is available on our website.

3. 2018 Conference

The next HWSDA Conference is May 11-13, 2018 at the Best Western Village Park Inn in Calgary. Heritagae Weavers are organizing the conference and Sheep Creek Weavers are assisting by finding the instructors. Some requests for proposals have been sent out, but there is still time to let them have your suggestions (please email Lyn).

4. Items for the Memo

I would really appreciate any contributions for the September Memo...and suggestions and criticisms...I have heard that many of you enjoy the monthly information, and would like to make it all as effective as possible.

July 15, 2017


We are pleased to announce that we have a date and a venue booked.

When:October 20 – October 22, 2017

Where:  Terratima Lodge, Clearwater County.  If coming from the south: (west of Caroline to highway 22, then north to Prairie Creek Road. If coming from the north Take highway 11 to highway 22 and head south to Prairie Creek Road.  Here you will head west then take a couple of back roads to the south west.  We will send a detailed map at a later date.  Check their website: for details about the lodge.

Registration starts: July 15, 2017

Registration Ends: September 15, 2017



Accommodation: (based on double or triple occupancy

in the lodge)                                                                          $109.00

Meals:  (Fri: Dinner, Saturday: 3 meals + 2 snacks, .

              And Sunday breakfast and lunch                           $138.00

Total cost for weekend:                                                   $247.00


If you do not want to share a room,  the cost for the room will be 218.00 for the weekend and meals will remain at 138.00 for a total cost for the weekend of  $356.00


Minimum and maximum registration is 20  (based on double occupancy) so get your name in quickly to ensure a spot.  You must be a member of HWSDA to attend this event or be sponsored by an HWSDA member guild.  We may be able to accommodate up  to 24 if there are people who are willing to share 3 to a room.  This means 2 people in the double bed and one on the daybed.  The daybed is quite hard.  Triple occupancy will only be available after all 10 rooms are full.

Deadline for registration is September 15, 2017

There will be no refunds after September 15, 2017.   If  you must cancel after September 15 you must find someone to replace you.

Bring your creativity, enthusiasm and unfinished (or new) projects to work on.   

What’s Happening: We are thrilled to announce that Lyn Pflueger will lead us through her “leaf print thingy” (contact prints of leaves onto cloth) and Norma Westcott has agreed to show her nature inspiration (for both structure and colour) slides.  And do you have a spinning wheel in your closet that you have been meaning to dig out and try?  Dorothy Robinson and Joyce Hurl will help you get started.  Not a formal class.  Just hands on help getting you and your wheel going.

Venue:  We booked all of Wolf Willow Lodge which is a lovely 2 story building with 10 bedrooms (5 on each floor).  Each bedroom has a double bed and a daybed.

It has a small dining area, kitchen and large meeting room on the main floor and lovely theatre room on the top floor.

Meals are in a log building a short walk through the trees away.

 Bathrooms are shared and down the hall.  There is 1 small bathroom on top floor and 2 small bathrooms on the main floor. Each has a toilet and sink. There are no showers in the lodge. 

Showers and extra flush toilets are in a log bath house across the street from Wolf Willow Lodge.

Fall Retreat Registration Form


July 1, 2017








1. FALL RETREAT  Exciting news: Joyce Hurl, Val Phaneuf, and Dorothy Robinson have been working hard on putting this retreat together…. All the information is not in, yet, so expect a “special edition” of the Memo to Members, hopefully in a couple of weeks, with registration information.

But I can tell you this: Terratima lodge is booked for the October 20-22 weekend. It is west of Red Deer, near Caroline, so easily accessible for many of us.  Do check their website, it looks gorgeous!

* I think Dorothy and Joyce have agreed to help anyone who has a wheel sitting in a closet who wants to try spinning. No formal class. Just hands on help getting going.

* Norma Westcott will expand on her wonderful design slide lecture, and “edit a little differently to reflect the season”.

* Lyn Pflueger will have the equipment and supplies for people to try leaf printing on cloth.

So watch for news  about registration, and be quick to respond!  It will be a special time for us all



2. The next HWSDA Conference is May 11 - 13, 2018 at the Best Western Village Park Inn.
  The committee members are planning a walk through of the Best Western on July 18 to sort of plan out the rooms.  Watch for the August Memo to Members for LOTS more information about this.

3. Running Threads Editor: Many thanks to Velma Hudson for volunteering to be the new Editor of Running Threads.   Velma is currently working on the Master Weaver program, so we thank her for taking on this task!  And many thanks also to Ingrid Servold, who was our hard-working editor for the last year... also working on the Master Weaver Program!

4. News from Sheep Creek Weavers:  The Fleece to Shawl competition at the Millarville Fair will have 5 teams competing, and a new format for colours… stay tuned for some amazing pictures of the event.

SCW had their 40th (or so) annual dyein and produced some wonderful pieces, which will be assembled into a fund-raising quilt.  The idea of sample-with-a-purpose worked out very well--- participants were adventurous and willing to try ambitious pieces.









5. Sheep Showcase: We have informed Sheep Showcase that there was not enough notice of their requirements, and we will not be participating in the Stampede.

June 1, 2017

1. Let's Talk ... I hope that this memo can be interactive, that you will comment on the items and add your thoughts...  and please write to Lyn (the memo compiler)  rather than Margaret (the memo sender )

                                                                                    please note that I have summarised some of the following items, so please go to the website for the full versions  

2. THE CONFERENCE AND ITS OUTCOMES:  What a great weekend we had! I think that the "retreat" form was such a great way for us all to enjoy our HWSDA friends.   And from that came not only a concern for the guild, and its problems and difficulties, but also an appreciation for its strengths and importance of the community to us all!   So a number of exciting things are coming up, and many people have stepped forward to volunteer to great things, both large and small:

        * Fall Retreat--  from Val Pheneuf and Joyce Hurl came the idea of a simple, casual Fall Retreat in central Alberta.  Val and Joyce are looking for an inexpensive venue for the event "very casual, just friends getting together to do their own thing. We can share ideas on a casual basis.  All sharing would be welcome... Would you like to be part of a central Alberta based retreat?   If so please let us know so we can gauge if there is enough interest. We are currently searching out venues and dates available for next fall.   Contact either Valerie Phaneuf or Joyce Hurl or reply to this Monthly Memo if you think it's a good idea and would be interested" 

Notes from Valerie and Joyce: "We had a great time reconnecting with old friends and getting to know new ones. Since we had lots of relaxing time to visit there was lots of conversation about revitalizing the HWSDA. A few friends remembered how much fun the gathering was and decided a fall retreat would be really fun. Very casual, just friends getting together to do their own thing. We can share ideas on a casual basis.  All sharing would be welcome. We are trying to make it as easy as possible. We do not want to be organizing 2 conferences per year. Enthusiasm spread at the idea and soon other groups were discussing HWSDA retreats in their areas. Retreats would be self funded. We will try to find inexpensive venues to keep costs down. Now it's your turn to get excited. Would you like to be part of a central Alberta based retreat. If so please let us know so we can gage if there is enough interest. We are currently searching out venues and dates available for next fall." Contact either Valerie Phaneuf or Joyce Hurl or reply to this Monthly Memo if you think it's a good idea and would be interested.

        * Conference 2018:   The Heritage Weavers Guild has volunteered to chair the 2018 HWSDA Conference, for which we all send our thanks.  The committee met this morning and are pleased to announce the following:
"Heritage Weavers and Spinners Guild of Calgary will be hosting the 2018 HWSDA Conference on May 11,12 & 13 weekend to be held in Calgary.  Further details about the conference will be announced in future e-newsletters.   Also Sheep Creek Weavers have agreed to look after the teachers for the Conference."

        * Stampede-- Laurie Bullock (a consummate knitter and a member of Sheep Creek Weavers and HWSDA) feels strongly that the general public LOVES to see fine craft, and that as a guild we can encourage our members to show their work more widely, and put HWSDA's name in the public eye.

"As Fibre Artists, why we should support venues like the Arts and Crafts show at the Calgary Stampede: First and foremost, there are not a lot of opportunities for all of us to share what we do with a greater audience....The Western Showcase Arts and Crafts is an open venue where all are welcome, but it will disappear if we do not support it.  This is not a juried show but rather an opportunity to share something you have made and are proud of, for whatever reason. I have stood near the fibre arts displays and listened to the comments people make and so many of them contain a note of wonder and discovery. So, we are sharing our craft and our love of it in such a way that others can appreciate and is the link to the web site for the Western Showcase Creative Arts and Crafts. Dropping pieces off is easy and efficient and your registration will include a parking pass. "

Laurie Bullock and Lyn Pflueger will be happy to take your work down to the Stampede for you (and pick it up again) and send your complimentary day passes to you.  So please contact one of us.  All entry forms must be received by the Calgary Stampede by 11:59pm, Thursday, June 22, 2017.

        * Monthly Challenge-- those of use who took Norma's "design walk" in the Sunday morning were fortunate to have learned from Norma a number of exciting "tools" for design-- including not only colour, but structure as well.  So a couple of us decided to issue a challenge to members to come up with a piece which used those ideas, of looking for weaving structure (or structure in any medium) and searching for colour ideas in the minute details of our inspirational image.  Please send me pictures for the July memo, and a sentence or two (or more) of description.


It apears that the Handweavers Guild of America (HGA) is in the same boat as far as how to best disperse their carefully collected materials - and whie they don't have the advantage of beng able to find placement for a large number of books while stll allowing for a wider circulation (like we will have with Olds College), they have found a solution to their offer the books to member guilds, and they have decided that this is their best option. So please do contact any guilds or organizations who might also have good ideas.

4. Pictures of non-Juried Show.. Lois is asking for pictures for the website

5. Memberships:      

        * Message from the secretary Margaret Hall:  "This memo will only be sent to members who have resubscribed to HWSDA for 2017-2018. Please send any membership dues before the end of June as I will be away July and August. A copy of this years membership list will be sent with this memo. Thank you."

6. Announcements

        * Central Alberta's Rural Spinners will be spinning at Millet Agriplex on Sat June 10th 2017. A one day indoor market style venue for crafters, homesteading poultry and rabbit vendors, for info
        * Dawn Lawson is searching for the contact information of the lady who described her families purchase of a spinning wheel from the western producers catalogue. If anyone knows this lady or  are the lady please contact dawn at

         * Fleece to Shawl Millarville: 

         * go to (Calgary) and the Alberta Craft Council Gallery (Edmonton) for information about a  Show called "Women's Hands Building a Nation"... it looks WONDERFUL!

         * Parkland hand weavers and Fibre Arts guild is holding their summer social at 10.00am on the 10th June at the Red Deer museum to look at some of the collection of textiles and weaving equipment the museum has. All welcome contact Karen Martinoski if you would like to join us.

Lyn Pflueger

top of page

All contents © Copyright 2017 Hand Weavers, Spinners & Dyers of Alberta
Canada Web Design by Vital Effect