Monday, October 20, 2014

For Sale - Rigid Heddle Loom 25"


Rigid heddle loom 25" 
1 reed 
2 stick shuttles 
2 clamps 
1 slay hook and 1 threading hook

$100 OBO

Contact: emi at

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Restoring a 133+ Year Old Wool Carding Machine

My wife and I run a 75 year old wool business and have a deep passion for wool that leads us to find and report on a lot of sheep and wool related articles which often include releases from the BC Sheep Federation.

First off, thank you for your support to the sheep and wool industry in British Columbia.

I find myself writing to you, however, in regards to my family's story and our recent efforts to realize my wife's dream for our wool business during her lifetime. I am not sure if this is the proper venue for communicating our story, but considering her circumstances I feel the need to take advantage of every opportunity I can identify.

In 2012 my wife Karyn Waters purchased the Birkeland Brothers Wool business which was a mainstay on Main Street in Vancouver since 1939. The business is centered around a working antique carding machine that was manufactured in England and is between 133 and 166 years old. It's unique on the West Coast in that we are able to card six foot batts, which others are unable provide.

We packed up the Vancouver location and moved to a nearby community called Abbotsford, which we saw as an opportunity to move our historic carding machine out of a cramped cinder-block backroom in to a bright, open space where we could share our piece of history with the world. Our landlord at the time was reluctant to do so, but we made a condition of our move-in that the front corner of our shop (an old bank building) be torn out to add additional floor-to-ceiling windows. Wool carding machines of a similar age in other parts of the world are tourist destinations and the center of fibre festivals: achieving that was more than we expected, but we knew we had to showcase our carding machine better and celebrate our piece of history.

We have been slowly restoring our equipment and moving towards running the carding machine during store hours as time and finances allow. Our vision has been to handle local, quality wool from shearing the sheep through to carding the wool. Currently to wash wool in any quantity and have it carded, as I am sure you are aware many BC sheep ranchers often have to double their costs by shipping it out of province. We aim to do something about that, and better support the local fibre community. Recently we were able to begin setting up our wool washing station on a Langley farm, and we are now able to more vigorously pursue clients for carding wool. Progress has been slow however: as much as we would like to proceed faster with our goals, there never seemed to be a hurry to finish restoring a 133+ year old machine (that is running fine, thank you) for a business which had been running successfully for more than 75 years.

Our desire to quicken the pace has increased this year. In March, after suffering through months of pneumonia which her doctor could not treat, my wife was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer at the age of 36. Without treatment, her oncologist said Karyn had probably three months to live. We have been fighting it ever since to win her more time with our three children (Sebastian 8, Gwendolyn 4, and Josephine 10 months). We also want to see Karyn's vision for the business realized during her lifetime; we want her to know the business will be around for another 75 years for our children and children's children.

Our options are limited on the time-frame we would like to see our vision for the business realized. For that reason, we decided to turn to crowdfunding to see if we could accelerate our plans for the company.

We have amazing family, friends, and customers who have blessed us with their support and positive thoughts. We are not looking for charity: we are simply looking for a wider audience for the wonderful product we have, so we can accelerate our business plans. For this reason, we chose Kickstarter as a platform over more charity-driven crowdfunding sites like Indiegogo. We are providing incentives to contributors like hand-spun wool yarn, queen-sized wool batts for quilting, and heirloom dolls that are made from our product.

Choosing Kickstarter means we have 30-days to achieve our funding goal. If we fail to achieve our goal, we fall back on our slow plans to achieve Karyn's vision gradually through the support of normal store sales... and hope we can do it during her lifetime.

I'm not big on self-promotion. I'd prefer to blend in to the background and be free to do what I love on my terms. The hand we've been dealt doesn't allow me to do that, and so I find seeking people and groups to write to. I love my wife a great deal and want to see her vision realized while she can see it with her own eyes.

As of this evening, we have raised just over $4,600 pledged against our goal of $18,100. We have 17 days remaining to achieve the full funding goal, or the entire project will end in failure with no funds received.

There is more information available on our Kickstarter page (, and additional details about our business and history on our website ( If this is a story of interest that you would like to share, or you have suggestions on who we could reach out to, my wife and I would be happy to discuss in greater detail. I recognize though that something I, my family and friends feel passionate about does not necessarily make this something of interest to the BC Sheep Federation, which has set sights on broader goals; I do understand if you are not interested in contacting us.

Thank you for the consideration,

Chadwick Waters
Home (604) 557-0907

October Meeting Minutes

October 6 Meeting. 7 p.m.
Shuswap Spinners and Weavers

Call to order 7:04 p.m.
Introduction of guests: Anna from Armstrong, Lois from Salmon Arm, Carmen from Vernon, Emi, Carole 32 members present approximately.
Adoption of previous Minutes, June 2, 2014, informal minutes Aug 14, 2014
Louise moved the minutes be adopted, seconded Carole, carried

Treasurer: income from memberships, rental, and blankets and Enderby sale.

Noelle needs to be reimbursed for expenses. Eileen moved, Lis seconded, carried. We covered the costs of Waulking with some yarn still on hand, tea towels will be $5 each. Noelle moved her report be adopted, Jen W. seconded, Carried

No reports from equipment, library or historian

Blog: Nikki gets lots of interest and answers many questions.

Old Business:
Summer events went well with good attendance at each event. The Waulking was fun and the blankets beautiful. Katie brought a blanket for show and tell.

Art Gallery: thanks to everyone who came, generally good participation on most days
IPE- booth and location were good.
Salmon Arm Fall Fair
Sheep to Shawl - two teams participated, event proceeded smoothly. Thanks to Lis for organizing the refreshments and Noelle for doing the timing.
Artisan Building- participant expectations and contracts. Apparently we will be under the same auspices this year. Thanks to Anne for clarifying this.

Tea Towels on guild warp $5 each from those weaving a towel.
Rug warp: Rod is currently weaving, would be nice if the rug was completed by November

New Business:
Workshops: Coordinator(s) are needed to receive proposals, organize venues, and collect money, following the workshop policy. Louise and Lis will be workshop coordinators. Please contact them with ideas and proposals. <> <>

After feedback from members we would like to revisit the topic of honorariums. The executive feels that everyone contributes in their own way and no members should receive honorariums for participating at guild events. Eileen moves that no honorariums be paid to guild members when participating at guild events. Seconded by Lis. Several members spoke in favour of the motion. Carried

Louise moved that people who cart props to events such as the IPE should be reimbursed for gas. Lisa seconded. Elvi said if we have expenses, then the guild would get a bill from the member for reimbursement, so no real need for this motion. The motion was defeated.

November 29 Sale
Note the large poster has an incorrect date. Changes to the poster? Lis suggested that consistency helps us, Noelle thought it should be brighter.
Elvi suggested members create a poster and email it to the executive before the November meeting and then we could have new and more ideas for the poster.

Commission rate- Noelle spoke: we have a fair amount of money so perhaps we should reduce our commission rate to 5%. Discussion. Need more participation at guild events, maybe use the commission to reduce workshop costs, be educational and have someone in, maybe a workshop budget float so workshops can go ahead, need to have a criterion for the workshop money so it is equitable, a workshop budget would be very helpful. Budget for workshops is tabled to a future meeting.
The end of the discussion was to keep the commission rate the same for now.

Knitting machine: Is there anyone who can help set up the knitting machine or give us a contact? Kay King in Vernon was suggested.

Mentorship: Members willing to be mentors, maybe post a list in the guild room for others needing a hand. Nikki could pass the question on to a member via e-mail. A list was circulated and will be printed as well as sent to Nikki so she can forward e-mail inquiries to an appropriate person.

Library Books:
Do we want to order new books? Send in suggestions. Glenda suggests using Ravellry, utube, and other computer resources. Maybe a felting magazine, suggested by Michelle. Spin to knit, spin to weave.
Lis moves $300 be used to purchase new library resources. Seconded by Nikki.
Discussion about how often books are used, suggestions for DVDs, maybe have books put out on display so we can see the books. Resources other than books, sometimes libraries need to be culled, maybe have a book report each month. Marg suggested the Noro book which talks about the designing of the yarn plus has patterns and also Knit One Below.

Ideas for new guild projects. Rosalie wants to explore the use of rags, please contact Rosalie with ideas and to form a study group. Maybe a scarf project.

Spin-ins: Michelle Oct 7. 10 - 2
Knit-ins: Oct 21 at Lis's 10 - 2

Evening get togethers - third Wed of month at 7 p.m. at Sharon's
Second and fourth Mondays of month knitting at The Pie Company 7p.m. Sponsored by Intwined Fibres
Every Monday night at uptown Askew's 7 pm knitters get together

Congratulations to Nikki and Melissa on the creation of Nym and their international award.
Adjournment: Jen adjourned the meeting.

Members present: Noelle, Gabriele, Ann, Louise, Carmen, Nikki, Melissa, Anne, Lisa, Emi, Carole, Jean, Margaret, Glenda, Elvi, Lois, Jenny, Jen, Barbara P., Michele, Gail, Anita, Anna, Catherine, Rosalie, Eileen, Joan, Maureen, Mona, Wendy, Sharon, Lis