Updates from the Peterborough Handweavers' and Spinners' Guild

  • News


    I had a wonderful time being the President again this year. I hope you all found the meetings and events as interesting and informative as I did. We have had a terrific Board this year, with very efficient monthly meetings, usually half an hour or less in length! How’s that for quick sharing of information and decision making!

    Again this year, we had a large membership and I am grateful to all those who joined the Guild and have contributed to its maintenance and success.

    Darlene Fallis and Donna Walker, representatives on the ACP Board, kept us informed about its goings on. This is a very important role and ensures that the Guild voice is heard by the ACP. Thank you both!

    Spinners and other fibre artists demonstrated on St. Distaff Day. For the Love of Art, organized and overseen by Lois Watson, raised a donation for the Artisans Centre, and was another opportunity to raise the Guild’s public profile.


    The Fibre Arts Festival returned to the Wellness Centre and Darlene Fallis organized an incredibly successful day for the Guild. Darlene, you made it look so easy, that I doubt many of our members realize how much behind-the-scenes work went into it. I, for one, am extremely appreciative of your efforts! The Festival was financially very successful for the Guild, covering all costs, allowing for a $1000 donation to the ACP, and still leaving money leftover!


    Diane Passmore sent out cards to members with expressions of sympathy or best wishes for a speedy recovery. The passing of long time member Anne Gallant was a very sad event for those to whom she was well known and several members attended her celebration of life service. Thank you Diane for your willingness to continue in this role again next year.


    There were many excellent programs at the monthly meetings, covering a diverse range of topics, from how the composition of the land on which animals graze affects their fleece, to the importance of taking stretch breaks and maintaining good posture while participating in fibre activities. A huge thank you to Shannon McKinley and Anne Gallant for compiling the list of speakers and arranging for them to present to us. Also, thanks to Molly McKinley (and Shannon) for a never ending supply of yummy treats!

    Monthly meetings were also a time in which we saw countless examples of gorgeous spun fibres, woven items and other fabulous fibre creations, all made by our own members. If you look back through your electronic newsletters, you’ll see the photos and explanations for these. Many thanks to Krista and other minute takers for the notes, and Lois and other photographers for providing me with pictures.


    Lois Watson again did a stellar job of maintaining membership records and keeping all of us notified as new members joined the Guild. The Guild’s practice of welcoming members throughout the year, and adjusting the fees accordingly, meant we had a steady stream of new fibre artists joining us. Thanks for your work, Lois, in ensuring that we had their contact information promptly.


    Thanks to Darlene Fallis for once again coordinating classes to be held in the Artisans Centre. This is the main way the ACP earns income. Classes raise the profile of both the Guild and the ACP. Some new Guild members arrived because of these classes. New instructors with class ideas are always welcome!


    Another fun Guild challenge was held this year, courtesy of Darlene. The concept was “Giving old bits and bobs some love” with each member receiving a mystery bag of odd items that could be used in a fibre based creation. What a wonderful array of entries, woven, sewn and felted, were created and presented, and then displayed at the Fibre Festival. Thanks to all who participated for being so open minded and creative with your items.


    Julia Szabo has now completed two years as Guild Treasurer, maintaining monthly records and overseeing the Guild investments. Thank you for this Julia, and for your willingness to carry on next year.


    Board and whole Guild meeting minutes were efficiently taken by Krista Delahunt and generally hit our inboxes within moments of the meetings’ endings. An historical record like this is invaluable to such an organization as ours. Thank you, Krista, for your 5 years of service to the Guild! Your shoes will be pretty tough to fill!


    Lynn Shaw has continued to maintain our online presence. Thank you, Lynn, for again keeping members and non-members (read possible members!) well informed about meetings, programs and events. And also, we appreciate your willingness to continue with this role next year.


    We have a large and diverse library of books, magazines and fibres that is available to members. Please be sure to peruse and sign out materials. Thanks to Lois Watson for maintaining this collection and its subscriptions, as well as arranging for extra materials to be made available to members for a donation to the Guild. And thank you too, for agreeing to continue in this position next year.


    Merrilyn Lindsay and Patti Briggs updated the inventory and catalogues of our extensive collection of weaving and spinning equipment and oversaw equipment rentals. This allowed us to offer classes and teach new learners or help people who are interested but are not ready to invest in their own equipment and tools. Merrilyn and Patti have tweaked these positions and offered to continue with them next year. Thanks to both of you for carrying on.


    Thank you to all of you for the opportunity to have been your Guild President for the past two years. I greatly enjoyed the experience and am willing and able to assist the new President as requested or required. I hope you all have a lovely summer and look forward to seeing you again in the fall.

    Respectfully submitted by

    Gillian Holden

  • News

    Update on Borrowing Equipment

    For Guild Members


    Weaving and spinning equipment can be rented on Wednesday through Saturday, at a guild meeting or on completion of a course. On Wednesday through Saturday, a member of the weaving and spinning or ACP executive is at the ACP from 10 to 1 to coordinate equipment rental. Whenever a piece is rented, the rental form must be filled out and placed in the green binder in the Active Loans section. On an exception basis, equipment can be loaned at another time by contacting the weaving equipment manager to arrange a time when she can come to the ACP.


    When a return is made, payment is required. The executive member present at the ACP will accept the return and associated payment, on Wednesday through Saturday in the 10 to 1 timeframe. At this point, the loan form is completed to confirm the return date and payment. The weaving equipment manager is advised of the return. Returns can also be made at a guild meeting. The weaving equipment manager will pass by later to confirm the condition of the equipment and ensure that it is replaced in the proper spot in the studio. Filling out and completing the rental form on rental and return with returned date and payment indication remains essential to make this work. 

    The weaving equipment manager will continue to monitor the weaving equipment inventory. This equipment inventory review should be completed annually but it is proposed that a 6 month review be completed at this point given the ‘missing pieces’. The weaving equipment manager will continue to update both weaving and spinning equipment lists as new pieces arrive.

  • News

    Newsletter – June 2024


    You’re Invited!!

    Where: Alternatives Community Program Services, 270 Braidwood Ave,
    When: Monday June 17, 2024. 5:30 – 8 p.m.
    Bring: plate, cutlery and mug or cup. A potluck dish that would serve
    several people.
    Agenda: Eat!! Socialize!! Annual General meeting reports will be given by
    Board members. Nominations and elections or appointments for the next
    term’s Board will take place.
    The Guild Board will have some positions available for the next 2-year
    term: President, Vice President, Secretary, Program and Membership are
    available. There may be more too, as we get closer to that time. Please
    think about whether you would like to serve on the Guild Board. The work is
    not onerous. It involves one 40-minute (usually shorter!) Zoom meeting per
    month, aside from the all-member Guild meeting which many of you attend
    regularly anyway. It’s fun to be involved with a great group of fibre people! I
    hope you’ll give it some serious consideration. Watch for an email from
    Darlene with more information.

    Call for Instructors and Class Ideas: We continue to look for ways to increase our class offerings. If any of you are ‘wanna-be’ teachers, please let Darlene know! Classes are the lifeblood of the ACP. Summertime classes typically have fewer participants, so they’re a great way to cut your teeth as an instructor.

    Regena Lerke Scholarship: Congratulations to Anda for her successful application for this scholarship. She will be studying her Weaving Part 2 course. Look for a program offering next year based on Anda’s learnings.

    Community Wide Art Contest: Come and see the entries for the  ‘Our Fragile Forests’ contest on Friday, June 7. This is based on a community wide call for submissions and prizes will be awarded, including a “People’s Choice” award. Your votes are needed! 3-9 p.m. at the Artisans’ Centre. Coinciding with June’s downtown First Friday Art Crawl.


  • News

    Newsletter – April 2024

    Members enjoyed a very productive and enjoyable meeting in March. Thanks to Lois and Krista for all the great photos and notes.


    Terry Caswell presented a program about natural dyes for yarns. She even had a pot boiling for onion skin dyeing!  Terry talked about a variety of natural dyeing techniques and demonstrated dyeing with onion skins. She talked about using walnut shells and turmeric, as no mordant is needed for those. For other dyes, alum is a readily available and relatively safe choice for a mordant. Tannin is another mordant that does a great job on cotton especially. Did you know that dyes can be “pushed” into different shades by adding things like baking soda or rusty nails to the dye pot? Vinegar can also help set dyes. A great resource for info and products is Maiwa. ( ). Don’t forget that there are lots of great books about dyeing in the Guild library.

    FIBRE ARTS FESTIVAL – April 13, Wellness Centre on Brealey Drive

    Be sure to come out to this wonderful, annual Guild event. Darlene has knocked her socks off preparing for it this year. The Festival is returning to its pre-COVID 19 location, to the great excitement of vendors and attendees alike! If you can offer some time Friday after 5 p.m., to help move things from the Artisans Centre to the Wellness Centre, or to help set up there, please contact Darlene. And if you have any time to help out on Saturday, even for a couple of hours, we would love to see you! Of course, do come and be an attendee too!! The vendors will appreciate your business. We all want them to have a wonderful show.


    In June the Guild Board will have some positions available for the next 2-year term. Presently the positions of President, Vice President, Secretary (thank you to Krista for 5 years of service!!) and Weaving Equipment Manager (thank you Merrilyn for doing this for the past few year!) are up for grabs. There may be more too, as we get closer to that time. Nominations, appointments or even elections, will take place at the AGM, the third Monday in June. Please give some thought as to whether you would be willing and able to serve on the Guild Board. The work is not onerous. It involves one 40-minute (usually shorter!) Zoom meeting per month, aside from the all-member Guild meeting which many of you attend regularly anyway. It’s fun to be involved, thinking up interesting programs, making decisions about classes and equipment and generally being involved more closely with the life of the Guild. Hope you’ll give it some serious consideration. From my viewpoint, the 2 years has flown by!!


    Joyce shared information about her visit to the Textile Museum and the exhibit about Freedom Quilts that guided enslaved people to freedom in Canada. Kate used a pot holder loom to make a woven piece representing the view from her studio and mounted it on a piece of the siding for her studio. She’s continuing to play with her pot holder loom.

    Lynn brought an in-progress felted piece honouring cave painting, that includes some embroidery. She also shared some examples of natural dyeing.

    Diane shared a card she made using some weaving and embellished with buttons.

    Darlene showed off her finished Guild challenge, a crocheted and felted purse with embellishments.

    Lois shared a sweater made many years ago with naturally dyed wool. She dyed the wool at Lang Pioneer Village Museum and knit up a Kaffe Fassett pattern. She also had her Guild challenge – a purse – which is made from tea towel seconds and embellishments.

    Douglas changed up his usual projects and tried out some Swedish lace. He found a project on Ravelry and made a pair of scarves. He also had a doll he made for the Guild challenge.

    Anda showed off some mug rugs she made in a class with Lois. She explored huck patterns, rose path, and Ms and Os.

    Marie’s challenge used fibre from her bag and some of the alpaca donated last year. She did some wet felting to make a mini pair of mittens to display on a wreath. No Photo!

    Denise made her Guild challenge using a second-hand jean jacket and lots of embellishments from her bag. No Photo!

    Caroline shared a woven strap she made for a purse. It’s not quite finished as she would like to add some embellishments.

    Rebecca brought a skein of silk yarn she dyed herself. She speckle dyed it, then tied it in knots to create a resist, before dipping it in black dye.

    Terry brought a scarf she made for the challenge. She used surplus warp, then made different sections, all with a story behind them. What a great way to remember all the projects of the past!

    And Krista, who never mentions herself in the minutes, brought a lovely scarf (knitted?) as well as several skeins of yarn she dyed. With what Krista?

    Ann was inspired by a trip to the darkness of the Arctic circle. She used black yarn, some embroidery and embellishment to make a beautiful wall hanging.

  • News

    Peterborough Weavers and Spinners Newsletter March 2024

    Guild Challenge: Guild members are invited to bring your creative challenges for others
    to see what your imagination created with the little baggy of recyclable supplies given
    out at the Christmas Social. First opportunity will be the guild meeting on March 18th.
    As well, we’d love to showcase them on April 13th for the Fibre Arts Festival and Sale
    display. And beyond that, bring them to meetings in May, June or even next September.

    ACP Challenge: This year’s theme is ‘Fragile Forest’ and the contest and display will
    take place on June 1, to coincide with the Downtown Art Crawl and First Fridays in
    Peterborough. Any medium is acceptable, so keep that creative spark alive and submit
    an item for the challenge.

    Natural Dyes: The March program will be a presentation on dyeing with natural plants
    and items, given by our own, Terry Caswell. Please bring anything you’ve dyed in the
    past using natural dyes, to show and share with the rest of the guild members.

    FAFS: Plans are coming along very well, thanks to the intrepid Darlene. Please give her
    your name if you’d be able to help out on April 12 in the evening or April 13 during the
    day. Don’t forget you can sell your handmade items at the guild table during the show.
    Get information from Darlene or Julia if you’d like to do that. As well, Anda will be
    organizing and ‘manning’ the bake table, Please speak to her if you wish to contribute
    baked goods or are able to take a shift on the table, selling goods.

    ACP events: Artisanity will be held on April 26 and 27. Please join in and sell some of
    your handmade items. Julia or Darlene can get you set up with sale tags.

    February program:

    Many thanks to Barb of Twin Pines Alpacas who gave a very detailed and professional
    presentation. She included lots of information about how to care for the animals, and
    she sent round samples of the different fibres she blends with alpaca. Barb also gave
    out 3 draw prizes. You’ll see Barb again at the Fibre Arts Festival and Show, where
    she’ll be one of our vendors.

    Show and Share

    Woven bag created by Anda.

    Placemats woven by Joyce.

    Prints made by Joyce

    Lois’s Krokbragd stool, woven by Lois and made in conjunction with Woodturner Leslie Gifford-Cook

  • News

    Peterborough Weavers and Spinners Newsletter

    February 2024                                                                               

    TRIBUTE to long time guild member ANNE GALLANT

    . . . with thanks to Darlene.

    Anne Gallant passed away on December 30, 2023, following many years of illness with cancer. She was an integral part of our Guild and will be sorely missed by all. A great and enthusiastic encourager of all things fibre related, she brought forth her creativity to all who would listen. Anne was our sounding board for programs and creative challenges for numerous years. When she was able to join in regularly, before her sickness made it hard for her, she organized such events as the ‘library’ scavenger hunt, Mystery bag challenges, Kool aid fluff dyeing, and various speakers. Our older members may remember her segment called ‘TATs’- Tricks and Tips for Weavers and Spinners alike, and her ability to send us into the world wide web of podcasts, websites, and articles she found on the Internet.  Anne was a spinning teacher and mentor to many of our members, but this was a small portion of her influence.  She enjoyed all sorts of things: weaving, felting, dyeing techniques and she was great with refurbishing old bits into a reusable and fun manner.  We have a list still available to us packed full of ideas she had for our Guild members to explore/play with fibre. We are sad to have lost such a valuable member but grateful for the time and energy she gave us.

    Anne making ornaments with Terri, Donna and Sheila at the October 2023 Guild meeting. Anne gathered the ideas, materials and instructions for all the ornament making stations. It was a very enjoyable evening for all of us!

    Guild Challenge: Our guild challenge (“Reuse and Relove”) was issued at the December meeting. Darlene created grab bags for each member, full of bits and bobs to fuel your creativity. Show and share for the challenge will be at the March 18th meeting.

    Next Meeting: Due to Family Day being February 19, our next meeting will be held February 26. The program that evening will be given by Twin Pines Alpacas! They will be bringing items to sell as well, so bring a form of payment if you desire anything alpaca.

    FAFS: Darlene is doing another amazing job organizing this year’s Fibre Arts Festival. It is confirmed for Saturday, April 13, at the Wellness Centre, and you have all received a copy of the poster. Please share it far and wide with your contacts. Darlene will need helpers that day, so don’t hesitate to let her know how much time you can volunteer, and what sort of task you might like to do.

    ACP Classes: If you would like to learn anything new this winter and spring, such as gourding, woodturning or pottery techniques, be sure to check the ACP website for classes that are being offered. As a guild member, you will receive a 10% discount on any classes. Hey, maybe you’d even like to do something different with fibre or take a refresher course on a different facet of fibre work.

    And on the ACP classes note, if you have an idea for a class, or a technique or skill you’d like to share, talk to Darlene about how that could happen. She’ll help you schedule, write up a description and set up your invoicing, among other details.

    Show and Share

    and a warning – I may have mixed up some of the photos! If so, please accept my apologies!!

    Denise knit a pair of cozy socks she made from Briggs and Little yarn that was dyed with lobster shells.

    Sheila shared a shawl she made while fighting with her loom. She showed a second one made of bright jewel-toned yarn. And the third one that used the same warp but different wefts.

    Douglas showed off some new bookmarks and some mug rugs made using a huck lace book. He worked on them during his volunteer time at ACP.

    Lois brought a knitted scarf that was made lengthwise. It’s a great project to use up scraps, and Lois will happily share the pattern.

    Darlene brought a commission she made- felted arctic grayling, a fox and a sloth. So adorable! She also shared her Level II Spinner homework about natural dyeing.

    Melinda brought a canvas-weave baby blanket she made for a friend’s little one. She also shared some acid dyed yarn she made with her mother shortly before her passing.

    Joyce showed some projects from her loom, including a cowl and two scarves made from mercerized cotton and tencel.

    Marie M. shared a miniature of her art room, made by her daughter. The attention to detail is incredible!

    A wee pup visited the meeting too, courtesy of the Humane Society and its foster mother, Carolyne. Anyone knitting tiny sweaters?

    Sorry, no photos:

    Julia made a linen shoelace for her winter boots. Matching lace coming soon. And a shoelace weaving class too for those who think is a really cool idea!!

    Apology from Gillian: Some of you will know that I am involved in helping my elderly parents who went into a crisis in the middle of December. It involves my living in a different city 4 days a week. Those days are surprisingly busy, and I am not finding much time for pursuits that I committed to previously (hence this very late newsletter). However, I am determined to continue to do the best job I can as your President, until I step down in June 2024. I won’t be seeing you at Guild meetings for the foreseeable future but hope to do everything I can behind the scenes. I want to express my deepest gratitude to the wonderful women who make up the Guild Executive! They are organized, creative, energetic and devoted to making the Guild a place to learn and have loads of fun! Without them, I would be unable to fulfill my responsibilities. All the best to each of you and keep well!

  • News

    For the Love of Art

    This sale of gently loved art will be held Saturday, Feb. 17, from 9:00 – 2:00 in the atrium of Peterborough Square. All proceeds will go to Artisans Centre Peterborough. Donations of framed art and empty frames can be dropped off at the Artisans Centre, Mon. to Sat. 10 am to 4 pm.

  • News

    Peterborough Weavers and Spinners Newsletter November 2023

    November Guild Meeting – Monday, November 20
    We look forward to seeing you all at this meeting! Ixchel Suarez, from the Canadian Tapestry and Textile Centre, has been invited back to do some guided tapestry weaving with all of us. Looms will be provided, or you can bring your own. Yarns are available (or bring your own). Please also bring a darning or tapestry needle – something with a large eye. No matter what your skill level, Ixchel will provide some suggestions about colour and design. We are aiming to make a 4X4 piece. If you don’t finish that evening, you will be able to take home the loom for one month to finish. After that, there will be a small loom rental fee.

    Christmas Social – Monday, December 11 (note date change)
    Once again, we will enjoy a delicious meal catered by The Cheese Shop. Please mark this date on your calendars! Bring your own plate, cup and cutlery. As well we will have a gift exchange (for those who wish to participate). Search your stash for a small item of fleece, fibre, yarn, a tool, etc. that you’d be willing to part with. Alternatively, you may purchase something appropriate. Wrap it in an environmentally friendly manner. No tags needed. What you open will be what you keep, unless you want to ‘do tradesies’ with someone else! More details about time, etc., later.
    As well, be sure to attend this social in order to find out about the May challenge. Darlene and her elves have a fun surprise in store for everyone!

    ACP News
    Pop Up Sales: Casual sales opportunities will be available for those who wish to sell their wares. Darlene will provide more information, but basically, come on a Saturday (dates to be decided) between 8 or 9 in the morning and stay until 2ish, set up a folding table (we have quite a few in the ACP), and you’re ready! No charge for the table, but a 25% commission on all sales is payable to the ACP.
    ACP Classes: Check the ACP website as a few Guild members are teaching a variety of classes this fall. Feel free to register in any of them. Remember that Guild members get a 10% discount.
    Trillium Capital Grant: A grant was received to enable the Artisans Centre to purchase equipment for all the groups, to make the centre more accessible. PWSG requested a table-top 8 shaft loom and an E-spinner, which have been ordered. These items will enable us to teach a more diverse group of learners.

    Guild News
    Membership: Thanks to all who have renewed their memberships. We have a strong and sizeable group, and we appreciate your involvement. At present, there are 33 members. Lois will send out an updated list in November.

    Show and Share

    The always busy Molly showed off a scarf she made on her rigid heddle loom.

    She also made a rag rug table runner from old sheets.

    Joyce used some leftover warps and scarves that didn’t sell to make beautiful journal covers.

    Anne G shared some felted friends she started in an ACP class last year.

    Douglas showed some homemade tablet weaving cards made from playing cards, then shared a strap made using them. Finally, he brought a felted gnome he made in a class with Darlene.

    Gillian has been busy knitting tiny sweaters to donate to the Five Counties Children’s Centre Christmas tree. She also showed off a small rigid heddle sample loom she bought. She will use it to make rag rugs for doll houses …

  • News

    Peterborough Weavers and Spinners Newsletter October 2023

    Artisans Centre News and Information
    ACP Classes

    If you have an interest in trying any of the Artisans Centre classes, remember that you get 10% off course fees with your PWSG membership. All classes are listed on the ACP website: . As well, we welcome new instructors any time. If you have a fibre related idea that you’d like to teach, talk to Darlene and we will help make sure you have the space, equipment and materials needed. Instructors are paid by the hour (if they wish). Fees from classes help to keep the Artisans Centre open to the Guilds and the public. Specifically, Darlene has had requests for classes in quilting, macrame, rigid heddle weaving. Let her know if you’d like to teach any of those!
    Artisanity Show and Sale
    The Artisanity Show and Sale will be held on the weekend of November 3 and 4 in the Atrium of Peterborough Square, right outside the Artisans Centre. All Guild members are eligible to participate. An application form is attached to this letter. Please note the fee increase after October 10th. Come and join the other Guilds in selling your wares!
    Artisans Centre Gift Catalogue
    The Artisans Centre is interested in creating a gift catalogue. If you would like to have your spinning, weaving, felting or other creations displayed there for sale, please let Darlene or Douglas know about that. They will be able to give more information.
    Artisans Centre Yard Sale Fundraiser – October 14 – see attachment to this newsletter

    Fall Fibre Festivals and Events
    Woolstock 2023
    Sat, Oct. 14 – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Paris Fairgrounds, 139 Silver St.
    Paris, ON

    World of Threads
    Tues., Oct. 10 – Sun, Oct 15
    Queen Elizabeth Park Community & Cultural Centre,
    2302 Bridge Rd
    Oakville, ON

    “Fables in Yarn” Guelph Exhibition by Alisa McRonald
    Sep. 26 – Oct. 15
    Guelph Civic Museum, 52 Norfolk St
    Guelph, ON

    Don’t forget to renew your membership (now $55 per year) and send your fee to Julia. There is now a fillable membership application form on the PWSG website. Thanks Lynn! Contact Gillian, Julia or Lois if you need assistance renewing.

    Please join us October 16, when we will be making ornaments to sell to raise funds for Five Counties Children’s Centre. Guild members are welcome to donate new, handmade ornaments of their own to this cause.