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Summer Term Roundup

July 22, 2018

We’ve had a busy summer term, we started in May with some colour blending using a rainbow of colours and white/black. brightfibreTurns out not all our members are fans of bright colour so were thrilled to see what happens when you blend it with its opposite and tone it down. Also blending similar colours in different proportions to get different effects.

At the AGM Claire stood down as Vice-Chair, and Helen G. rejoined the committee as Events Co-ordinator. We reviewed the year and then ate cake to celebrate!

Our half-term Saturday workshop was an investigation of what makes the best green, yellow then blue, or blue then yellow. This was ably led by our good friends Susan and Ashley  – see their write up here. We were very scientific doing reference samples, accurate timing, and yes you do get an entirely different green depending on which colour you dye first.

We then had another workshop with Stephanie Edwards on Tapestry weaving, which was a revelation of colour and technique.

 

Finally we had an evening exploring spinning fibres that aren’t wool, after all some of us are allergic to wool, others have ethical reasons for avoiding animal fibres. We also discussed the environmental impact of some of the cellulose fibre processing. It was a fun evening where we got to spin a variety of new fibres. The soysilk was a favourite of many.

Over the summer holidays we will be visiting Fibre East and the Ashwell Show as usual. We’ll be start back for the Autumn term on Thursday 6th September.

 

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Four Corners 2018

March 31, 2018

A bit late this write up as we had our annual Four Corners Workshop in the February half term.

This year’s Corners were spinning, weaving, little looms and felting. We may have overdone it on the loom front as we had everything from tapestry, pin, inkle, backstrap, kumihimo, rigid heddle and shaft looms. We had so many they didn’t all get used!

We were joined by a number of people who wanted to spend a day weaving, spinning, and felting and they were so enthusiastic it was a joy to spend the day crafting with them.

The felting corner produced some lovely novelty items, as well as landscape pictures (shown here in progress).

The spinners outdid themselves and one of our newbies spun and plied this superb ball of first ever yarn:

We’re now into our Easter Holidays and will be meeting again on the 19th April.

Happy Easter!

 

 

Valley School Visit – 19th Feb

March 17, 2018

Outreach is an important part of what we do as a guild, it’s why we turn up to local events and demonstrate spinning and weaving to people who may never have seen it done before.

In a new venture for our guild, six members spent a morning at the Valley School in Stevenage with Years 10 and 11, leading two 90 min sessions giving the students a ‘hands on’ experience of the heritage crafts of spinning, peg loom weaving and both wet and needle felting.

Together we explored the sheep to wool to yarn journey, allowing opportunities to handle a range of washed fleece samples, to see a sheep shearing video clip and to match different sheep breeds on a poster to the different natural colours of the fleece samples.

The students then progressed to preparing their piece of fleece for spinning, using hand and drum carders and even the spikes on a teasel! They had a go at adding the ‘twist’ to their fleece by hand, then went on to experience spinning on wheels, which was fascinating! They ended up with their own sample of spun yarn. The session rounded up with time to choose their own craft activity which included weaving a colourful circular flower.

The whole morning was received well and the students were interested and totally focused. We all thoroughly enjoyed the two sessions and found the whole experience rewarding. We have been asked to return for a follow-up session in the Summer Term.

March 1st – Meeting cancelled

March 1, 2018

Tonight’s meeting is cancelled owing to weather conditions. Sorry for any disappointment.

We’d much prefer to have people spinning and weaving in their warm homes than battling with snow and ice and freezing temperatures.

Next meeting will be the 15th March where we will be showing off our completed Get It Done! Challenge items. Hope to see everyone then.

Four Corners 2018

February 4, 2018

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Merry Christmas!

December 18, 2017

We had our December meeting a couple of weeks ago and exchanged hand made Christmas Cards. Everyone made a card and then we did a lucky dip so everyone took away a card.

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It was lovely to see such a variety of techniques! It seemed very early to be exchanging cards but Christmas comes up so fast that it’ll be January before we know it and we’ll be into the Spring Term and planning our Four Corners workshop in February.

Autumn Update

November 19, 2017

We’ve been busy doing things this term, we started back in September and had a great meet up and shared all our current projects. Then we had a couple of talks from our members past and present, Sheila gave us a presentation on the Stirling Tapestries, which she had seen being woven and again in situ. We learned an excellent potted history and many had photographs to look at.

Susan gave us a talk on Norwich Red dye – an important process developed by Richard Stark as it dyed wool and silk the same shade of scarlet red, one to be used in the warp the other in the weft. She told us about her experiments in trying to recreate this lost recipe, with more information on her website.

 

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We’ve also been out visiting, both to the Stotfold Steam Fair weekend, and more recently Festiwool 2017. Thanks to everyone who stopped to chat to us as we were busy spinning/felting/weaving away.

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Liliane Design Studio

 

 

As ever we’ve been having our monthly Crafting Together sessions – with a little game of guess the fibre:

 

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Any guesses? Answer: 90% Persian cat, 10% wool. Very soft!

Term is not quite over yet, we still have a trip to London next weekend and a Christmas party to look forward to!