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Spring and Summer Term Roundup

July 12, 2019

Well it’s been a busy couple of terms for us at the guild. We started off in January with a very well attended Shibori Workshop given by Rob Jones of Romor Designs which was a great introduction to the technique We all made a couple of practice samples and then stitched the design of our choice onto a tote bag. As a guild we then carried on with the leftover indigo doing complex design on a later guild evening.

 

Four Corners was a lot of fun this year with many people enjoying the chance to learn macrame (and indeed for some relearn from the last time they did it in the 70s!)

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Our crochet for beginners and improvers evening  was a success with several people learning to crochet and a few learning techniques like magic loop, foundation row crochet and standing trebles.

We started the summer term with a spinning session where we all took 20g of Jacob combed top and then had free choice in how to spin and ply it, then did yarn calculations to measure our final results. We ranged from 10WPI to 24 WPI! All different yarn but from the same starting point.

At our AGM we decided to increase the evening fees from £2 per evening to £2.50 per evening starting September 2019. Visitor fees will not increase from £4. The committee then agreed to the suggestion that we allow payment in advance for those who want to, at 19 sessions per year we will offer a discounted yearly rate of £45, this can be paid along with the membership fee of £35 in September (£80 total). Other changes are that workshops must be paid for in advance.

Our final activity evening was braiding, where we had a choice of kumihimo or lucet.

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Kumihimo with beads

We have also been out and about demonstrating, firstly at the Ashwell at Home event where we set up in the museum and secondly at Kimpton Folk Festival which is always a fun event for us to attend.

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Our next event will be Fibre East where we will have wheels and loom for the visitors to try.

Our next meeting is the 5th September 2019.

Four Corners 2019 – Come and try day

February 13, 2019

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Autumn Term Roundup

January 1, 2019

We started the Autumn term with a wonderful talk from Madeleine all about fleece. From how to choose a fleece, how to wash it, and how to prepare your fibre for spinning. Madeleine also brought in some rare breed fleeces so we could have a look and also feel the difference between them.

Festiwool was in November – this year we were in the foyer of the school and our display was outstanding, thanks to the hard work of Sheila and Hilary who co-ordinated gathering items and setting it up the day before the show.

Lynda lead a wonderful evening of 3D needle felting in November – check out those sheep!

Our Christmas party in December featured our Christmas card exchange – some wonderful work by out members:

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Next meeting is January 3rd, and we have a Shibori workshop planned for Saturday 19th.

Happy New Year!

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.

 

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.