Remembering Lyn Egsgard

Lyn's Grapevine ChallengeLyn McLane Egsgard was born in Boston on February 10th, 1939. She died from multiple myeloma in Orillia on Wednesday, December 9th, 2015.

Most of us in the Guild knew Lyn Egsgard as a very enthusiastic weaver, who was always ready to try new things. After learning to weave, the first item she brought to the Guild Show & Tell were placemats in double weave pickup, made for a friend who loved rocking horses. We remember her delight at producing a multi-coloured, four-layer, accordion-pleated doubleweave sample. She pushed the limits of rug weaving and, shortly before her death, was exploring the possibilities of her new drawloom which arrived with a 30 yard silk warp already on the back beam!

She was always ready to pass along her enthusiasm for weaving to others and this included her grandchildren. It was a project with her granddaughter that led to the development of “Rowan’s Disks”, a simple version of Kumihimo that Lyn packaged into kits and the Guild sold (very successfully!) at our Fall Sale.

Lyn graduated from Colorado Rocky Mountain High School, where she was the only girl on the ski-jumping team. She completed her Bachelor's degree at Smith College, and her Master’s in Education at Harvard, and began her career teaching math in Kampala, Uganda. She also taught in Connecticut and Massachusetts before completing her teaching career with the Public School Board in Simcoe County.

Lyn was an outstanding mathematics educator. She met her husband John (also a math teacher) at a Conference in Dallas and they settled in Orillia, Ontario to raise their 3 children.
Lyn was an excellent skier, mountain hiker and an accomplished sailor. She competed in a number of international sailing races, even travelling to Brazil and Argentina. Lyn celebrated major birthdays by kayaking off Greenland and heli-skiing in the Rockies.

Lyn spent her summers at her beloved cottage on Newfound Lake in New Hampshire where she chaired the water monitoring committee as well as organizing the annual Loon Count. She was a faithful volunteer with Hospice Orillia.

Lyn will be missed. The Guild will recognize her contribution to the Guild with the purchase of a book for the library. It seemed most appropriate that the book chosen was Marty Benson’s book on coverlets since Lyn passed along her drawloom to Marty before she died.


Grapevine Challenge

Grapevine exhibit poster

Each year we participate in a weaving challenge. In November of 2013, inspired by Lois Wyndham and a similar challenge within the Burlington Guild, we embarked on a 16 month exploration of creative inspiration using the Grapevine Challenge.

The 25 participating weavers were organized into six groups of 4 or 5. Jennifer Houlden of Quilts by Jen, acted as co-ordinator and selected a different one of her beautiful photos for each group. The first weaver in the group was the only person who saw that image. The weavers had 3 to 4 months to use their image as inspiration for a woven piece. Then their weaving (but not the image) was passed to the second person in the group and that person wove something inspired by the weaving. This continued through the group and at the end of the challenge we had the original inspiration pieces and 4 or 5 pieces of weaving which followed from each one. The hardest part was not seeing each other's work and not being able to talk about what we were working on!

The big reveal was at our Guild meeting in April 2015 and it was great fun to see the work but especiallly to hear all the stories that went with each one. All the work was gathered together for a major show at the Simcoe County Museum Gallery, running through July and August. It was great to see what can grow from a little creative seed. Thank you to the Museum and to everyone who participated.


Quilt, Rug & Craft Fair 2015 - September 18-20, 2015

After a year hiatus when this event moved to the International Plowing Match, the QRCF is back at the Simcoe County Museum.

This is an opportunity for Huronia Handweavers to sell their work at an event that is well advertised in the surrounding area. It also provides the opportunity for all members to contribute to our guild, be it by helping distribute advertising literature, weaving articles for sale, volunteering to help at the sale or by assisting with the loom setup for demonstration. Watch for updates and requests for your participation.

For the first time, the Museum has aligned the Fair with Craft Year 2015. By signing up with this organization, this event receives extra publicity and coverage on the Craft Year 2015 site As a Museum Partner, Huronia Handweavers will also receive recognition on this site.

Christine Killing RMT

Taking Care of Your Body
While Weaving

March program by Christine Killing RMT

Christine gave us a wonderful presentation focusing on proper posture at the loom, relaxation and stretching exercises as well as exercises to treat sore hands, shoulders and backs.


Then we had great fun with Hydrotherapy for Your Hands!


For those who were not at the presentation, the procedure was as follows:

1. Apply a small amount of Mineral Oil to the hands.
2. Put on disposable (non-latex) gloves
3. Put rubber gloves over
4. Put oven mitts over
5. Sit quietly for 10 minutes. Natural body heat will build up and hands will become surprisingly warm.
6. Can be followed by a gentle hand massage

This is excellent to relax tired hands after threading, sleying etc.


Snow Dyeing Workshop - Spring 2015 photos by Barb Relf


snow dye snow dyeing

If any of the participants have photos of these warps after they were woven,
we'd love to add them to our gallery.


Basket-Making Workshop - Summer 2014Cheryl

On a lovely Saturday in July, eighteen members, friends and family met at Cheryl's barn studio near Collingwood to make baskets and of course, eat and socialize. The basket project chosen was a Wall Pouch with Curls from W.H. Baskets - a good beginner project and very "do-able" in one day. A big thank-you to Cheryl for hosting and to Terry who fashioned some custom tools to make the work easier.



baskets 4





March 5th to 26th, 2014 at The BMFA Arts Centre
This show encompasses “Flights of Illusion”, our display of weaving inspired by various birds, a series of introductory weaving workshops, and a variety of fine weaving, for show and sale.

BMFA window


BMFA show

The prominent title and Jette's Albuquerque scarf series draws visitors into the gallery.






"Uncommon Threads" is hung as an art display with each piece highlighted and labelled.


BMFA sales Sales Area

The "Flights of Illusion" show BMFA flightsis featured in the side gallery.








dye workshop Dye Workshop Photos August 2013







Inge Dam Trunk Show Featured Stunning Designs and Elaborate Embellishment

A full house at the April meeting was treated to an impressive display of creative weaving techniques and exquisite sewing and embellisInge Damhment. Inge's technique of incorporating tablet weaving into her loom woven cloth (whilestill on the loom!) was impressive enough but the use of colour, surface prints, beads and embroidery, produced garments like no other. We had great fun trying on the clothes and modeling them for the rest if the group. (Inge on left, poses with HH members Maria and Cheryl.) Inge is currently working on a book describing her technique.


Introduction to Weaving at Quest

Intro 1Despite some nasty winter weather and scheduling conflicts, we were able to introduce the art of weaving to 5 workshop participants. Each person was given a fully dressed loom and after a brief session covering terminology and the basics, they were set loose to play with twills and tabby, colours and texture. During each session Intro 2they followed the progress as one loom was dressed by an instructor. This gave them a taste of the whole process.

Thanks to the enthusiastic response to our call for instructors, the participants received one-on-one instruction most of the time.

We were especially pleased with the decision of QuestArt to host High Fibre, a textile art show in conjunction with our weaving classes. Our participants were able to see many types of textile art including weaving and visitors to the show could pop in to the adjacent classroom to see weavers at work.

Quest show 2013

Central Region Seminar a Great Success

Design Game WorkshopAs Cathy Wilson says, the 2012 Central Region Seminar was "a roaring success". Jette’s keynote address skillfully introduced and beautifully illustrated the By Design theme using slides and gorgeous samples of textiles from around the world and through time. In the afternoon, the sessions expanded on this theme with Jette’s Design Game, Donna Hancock’s Crazy Batts (they were gorgeous), and the Museum Tour of historic textile design. The sold out attendance allowed us to present each participant with a $5 gift certificate to be used at the vendors or Museum Gift Shop – very popular with buyers and sellers! The baked goodies were delicious and so plentiful, we were able to offer them for morning and afternoon snacks as well as lunchtime. And everyone went home with a door prize. All in all a wonderful day.

Thank you so much to: the organizing committee and members of Huronia Handweavers and The Freewheelers, who put in so many hours to make this day so successful; our two presenters, Jette Vandermeiden and Donna Hancock, who interpreted the theme so creatively; the vendors, who gave everyone so much potential material for future designs; and the Simcoe County Museum, for their wonderful venue, informative tours and always helpful and pleasant staff. Also thanks to Mara Lusis, our Central Region rep, for all her help and guidance and for being our information conduit to the other Guilds.

Jette had many requests for the Design Game Categories and Options so they are presented here. Have fun and add on as you like.

We have put together some photos of the event.



link to warp reeling


Focus Gallery at Quest

The Art of Warp and Weft
Huronia Handweavers Guild Challenges 2009-2011

June 3 to July 10, 2011
Opening Reception June 9, 7 - 9 pm

The annual Guild Challenge provides a creative nudge and shared experience in what is essentially a solitary pursuit. It often draws weavers into unexplored territory – and the ‘reveal’ is always great fun. This show highlights the work from three Guild Challenges.

2009 - works inspired by the painting 'Sophia' by Helen Will (see below)
2010 - any weaving incorporating 3 colours, magenta, apple green, and teal, plus grey, white or black if desired
2011 - tea towel exchange, any colour, yarn or structure

The results range from the practical to the whimsical and show the breadth of possibilities that weaving affords.


The Orilllia Museum of Art and History presents
Uncommon Threads:
Recent Works from the Huronia Handweavers
August 31 to October 30, 2010

On the invitation of The Orillia Museum of Art and History, Huronia Handweavers have mounted a showcase of works to demonstrate the broad range of talent and inspiration of our members.

  Some of the many handwoven works on display

Included in the show are intricate handwoven scarves, table runners, clothing, blankets, wall hangings and much more. We invite you to see for yourself these beautiful locally handcrafted works of art. A truly inspired collection! The opening reception will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday September 9, 2010.


For more information please contact the museum at 705 326 2159. They are open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Huronia Handweavers is Recipient
of 2010 OHS Guild Scholarship

We are very excited to be the successful applicants for the 2010 OHS Guild Scholarship which will help fund a Retreat Weekend for our members. Our principal goal is to establish strong membership bonds in a Guild that has seen a number of changes over the past few years, so a members-only retreat was seen as an excellent way to foster friendships and learning between established weavers and new weavers. The activities during this Guild-led weekend retreat will focus on the interaction of colour, with specific reference to Deb Menz’ Color Works.

Looms will be pre-warped with samples to explore iridescence, simultaneous contrast, the contrast of proportion, split complementary, triad, tetrad and hexad harmony, in a variety of weave structures on 4 and 8 shafts. At the end of the weekend each participant will have a colour wheel with overlays and a documentation package with yarn samples, and a full set of 7 woven samples.

Integrated into the weekend will be a design game as an ongoing mixer. A presentation by a Guild member on the interaction of colour and culture will be included. As a follow up to that, other members will be encouraged to share textiles that define their ethnic background.

We are very grateful to the OHS for their generous recognition of the value of this event. For more information about Guild and individual scholarship, visit the OHS website.

Museum Exhibit Showcases 2008 Guild Challenge

In December 2009, a new exhibit opens at the Simcoe County Museum which highlights the work of the Huronia Handweavers. All the articles in the display were created by the members of the guild in response to our annual guild challenge.

Sophia by Helen Will

In 2008, the Guild Challenge was for each member to use one painting as the inspiration for a woven or fibre-based project. All participants were to use the same painted image, but beyond that there were no restrictions on the materials, structure or design.

Two members of the guild, Gayle Wheeler and Pamela King, set out to choose the painting, and with very little consultation, both arrived at the same conclusion. They chose an intriguing watercolour entitled Sophia, by Vasey-based artist Helen Will. Each weaver was given a colour copy of the painting and set out to use it as inspiration for a work of fibre art.

The result is a wide range of woven objects, from practical to whimsical; from delicate pieces of jewelry to big comfy pillows. In many cases, the weavers have written a description of how they used the painting to create the final design of their work. The Museum has arranged all the woven objects, along with a reproduction of the original Helen Will painting, in an exhibit that will be on display until September 2010. It is a fascinating examination of the creative process.


Copyright 2009 Huronia Handweavers Guild