While I do want to spend my time sourcing new fibres and visiting fibre farms in my 100-mile (160 km)radius, I have more pressing business at hand. In a mere six days, I have to have all the items that I want to sell at the Langley Weavers and Spinners Guild Annual Artisans’ Sale: Beyond Fibre ready for jurying.
It’s what guilds do. As a guild we have a set of Standards for each of the areas that we specialize in: weaving, spinning, knitting, felting and dyeing. Any guild member in good standing (having paid their annual dues) can sell things at our annual sale. It’s a terrific deal. This sale is known far and wide, has a long history — over twenty years — and is two days long. People come to buy our guild members’ items and for the amazing things that all the other artisans produce. And best of all, guild members don’t have to pay a commission on the stuff they sell. How’s that for a good deal?
So a while back, after missing about five sales in a row, I set a goal for myself. This year I would submit 12 items to the sale. That means that I have to have them all ready and labelled for the second last weekend in October.
Jury members will spend an entire day looking over our finished objects to make sure they meet the Standards established by the guild. It’s a good process and it lets the general public know that they aren’t buying junk. The mittens are the same size; socks have no gaping holes from the join-ins; hats will fit a head; woven tea towels are a standard “tea towel” size; and so forth. It feels a bit intimidating to have folks examine your finished objects with such scrutiny, but they aren’t doing it to be nasty. They do it to ensure that the Standards established by our guild are adhered to. As I wrote earlier, that is what guilds do. That is the way that we make sure the art and craft of weaving, spinning, knitting, felting and dyeing have room to grow and evolve, while at the same time, keep the craft alive and well. If your items pass jurying, they can be sold in the sale. If there is a problem with an item, a jury member will contact you and if possible, give you a chance to repair, replace, fix the problem so it can be put into the sale.
So right now, thanks to hats and 1/2 mittens, I have 17 finished items for the sale. (Yippee, that’s five over my goal!!) I also have three UFO’s. A lace hat, a baby sweater and a pair of half mitts on size 3mm needles (what was I thinking?). I need to spin up a bit more yarn to finish off the sweater, it’s really only three rows from knitting completion. Then there is the sewing up, attaching buttons, and weaving in all the loose ends. The lace hat just needs a few more hours and I can do that on my commute to the city/work next week. One day should do the trick. The mitts may take longer. I have one finished, will see how far I can get on my commute. Will have to resist the 24-Hour crossword and get the job done. Below is the Baby Surprise Jacket in progress.
Fingers crossed that I can get these last three done and have 20 items in the sale and PASSED by the Standard and Jurying Committee.