The May program featured the Virginia Olsen Competition. This year’s committee members Janice Fobian, Karla Stille, and Karen DeVries, chose the theme Out of This World. Members entered projects completed during the current Guild year and voted for their favorites in each category.
The committee challenged spinners to “go beyond your imagination and venture into the unknown” in the handspun yarn category. The members chose Lynette Risse’s skein. Lynette started with a bag of scatter bits, an assortment of fiber in a variety of colors. First she sorted and spun according to color; then she plied the colorful result with black alpaca.
The weaving category asked weavers to “be inspired by the Northern Lights.” Diane Davison’s winning project is very precious to her. The cashmere and superwash fiber was once a part of the late Jan Gallagher’s stash and made a very soft scarf.
In addition the committee chose Diane’s scarf to receive the Audrey Stevens Craftsmanship Award. This honor is given for exceptional craftsmanship in a woven item submitted to the Virginia Olsen Competition.
“Launch your project into the outer limits” was the guideline for the dyeing category. Colette Ubben used three different dyeing techniques for the yarns in her shawl. The first section was made from a handspun skein sprinkle-dyed with Kool Aid. For the next part, the wool was dyed before spinning. The shawl was finished with a space-dyed skein of handspun wool.
Unsurprisingly the category with the largest number of entries was UFOs. Who doesn’t have a number of unfinished objects stashed away? To qualify, entries could have been started any time before the current year and finished during the current year.
Diane Davison obtained her color gamp from noted weaver and former Guild member Virginia Cleaver in the mid 1990s. The project was started and stopped many times before Diane completed it this year.
Thanks to all those who entered items in the competition and shared their stories with us. Thanks also to the committee for organizing this annual event.