Spinners and weavers show kicks off holiday season in Langley

Get the Christmas shopping list ready. This weekend may be the perfect time to cross items off at the annual Beyond Fibre Artisans’ Sale at the Fort Langley Community Hall.

Hosted by the Langley Weavers’ and Spinners’ Guild, the sale is a showcase of talent from members of the guild as well as other vendors with expertise in creating unique specialty items by hand.

Hundreds of items will be on sale, including weaving, spinning, knitting, felting, fibre, jewelry, pottery, soaps, leather, and wood. There’s a fibre art supply section for those who are also handy with their hands. Plus, there will be spinning demonstrations.

The two day show held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. is organized by a committee of guild members including Sandra Keichle, the committee coordinator, and Nicole Marshall, the committee member charged with marketing the event as well as organizing vendors that are not part of the guild. That includes leather workers, wood turners, soap makers and others.

“We like to round out our show,” Marshall said. “None of the vendors we bring in are fibre related. They are also artisans, they make their own items.”

All of the guild member items are juried to be in the show, meaning they must meet a certain standard of quality before becoming part of the event. With hundreds of items, it takes a number of guild members an afternoon to jury all the submissions.

“It takes a while [to jury],” noted Keichle. “A lot of members submit a lot of items. Some put in just a few things, some put in a lot. Members have to be a member of the guild for a year [to submit items]. Once you pass that [the jurying process] your items are free to go [on to the show].”

“The point [of jurying] is to keep quality high,” Marshall said. “It’s an artisan sale.”

Approximately 30 members have submitted items to be displayed in a large area in the centre of the hall by colour and use – from clothing to kitchen items. Vendors will have tables around the outside of the hall with the fibre art supplies taking up the stage area with all types of wools and fibre including llama fibre or wool, alpaca fibre, and books.

Last year more than 1,200 people attended the show.

“We have such a following because it has been going on for over 30 years,” Marshall said.

There is also a silent auction as well as door prizes donated by members and vendors.

“That’s how we, as a guild, raise funds,” noted Kiechle, adding that there is no percentage taken from the items guild members sell.

“It’s funds for the guild for operating through the year,” Marshall said of the door prize and auction funds raised.

In addition to raising funds for the guild and getting artisan items into the hands of shoppers, the sale also gives new members a chance to put their items on display and make some money.

The guild now has a website at www.lwsg.org and is always welcoming new members to join.

“We do ongoing programs,” Kiechle said. “Every meeting we do a program. We’ll all be there if there’s any questions. All members volunteer their time.”

The programs at the guild’s monthly meetings include workshops from members to help others learn new skills.

Meetings of the Langley Weavers’ and Spinner’ Guild are the third Tuesday of the month (excluding December, July and August) and are held at the Sharon United Church Hall at 7:30 p.m.

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