Plying Workshop

In May we once again welcomed Fiona Nesbit, a lady with a wealth of knowledge that she happily shares with all. Not only that, she arrived with a small toolkit and was good enough to check over members’ wheels. She also brought a lovely selection of fibre and yarns

She ran through a few points about spinning techniques, which was very helpful to newer spinners and a good reminder for ‘older’ ones!

S spun- anticlockwise; Z spun- clockwise

Singles are spun one direction and plying done in the opposite direction.

Image result for diagram s spun and z spun

Spinning chunky yarn needs less twist, so drive band goes on large whorl; spinning fine yarn needs more twist, so smaller whorl is used.

Lazy Kates, used for plying, are best tensioned.  Vertical ones are best placed slightly behind you and on a level with the wheel and horizontal ones on the floor

 

Fiona did a mesmerising demo of Navajo (chain) plying (which I am unable to upload to the blog) but there are many good videos on you tube. I like Sarah Anderson- she just gets on with it without the usual you tube mindless chatter. Watch it here. 

Navajo plying uses a single to create a slightly thicker 3 ply yarn which is a ’rounder’ yarn than 2 ply. It’s also used when spinning multicoloured fibre so the colours don’t create a ‘barber pole’ effect which would be the result with normal plying.

 

Fiona showed us a variety of ‘art’ yarns- boucle, beehive, lock spinning, corespinning and more-

 

We were also very taken with her felted bags

 

I’m afraid I was so busy spinning that I didn’t take any photos of completed plied yarns!

You can find out more about Fiona’s workshops at Shropshire Weavers 

She also has a facebook page

 

Thank you Fiona. All of us had a great day and we look forward to a future session!

 

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Lattice-work Crochet

A well-attended workshop led by Lynne and supported by Edna- what a team they made! Both had brought along examples of the stitches we were going to learn

Lattice with textured ripple-

 

Solomon’s Knot –

 

A guide to Solomon’s knot crochet can be found here

 

 

Tunisian crochet –

A good basic tutorial for Tunisian crochet can be found here

 

We were a group with varying experience and ability with crochet and it was great to see those with more experience helping when others got stuck.

Our sample piece for latticework began with a chain of 33 with 5 extra for the turn-

 

Work was turned and a treble crocheted into the 3rd chain along, followed by a chain of 3 and a treble again into the next  3rd chain (Heck! I hope I’m giving the right instructions- Lynne, Edna shout out if it’s wrong! )

 

Once you get the hang of it and sort out treble crochet against double crochet…. or half treble…, or double treble….. or even triple treble……, bearing in mind UK terms are  different in some cases to USA….it’s then plain sailing……….!

 

Image result for crocheted sailing ship

 

Some were content to carry on simply with the lattice work,

 

Some added the wavy ripple effect. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any photos, as once again I was so involved with my crocheting! If anyone has carried on and wants to email me a photo of their work, I’ll add it to the blog.

The wavy effect is achieved by starting on  the foundation row of the lattice work- work 2 trebles into the bottom right hand side edge (downwards), 3 trebles into the the lower side (right to left), 3 trebles into the left hand side edge (upwards), 3 trebles along topside of lattice square (right to left)

 

Examples of different types of crochet  brought in by Lynne and Edna

 

It is so lovely to have members who have such a variety of skills and are happy to share them with the rest of the guild. So thank you, Lynne and Edna, for your time and talents.

 

And once again, members demonstrating other skills

And another, with a large square pin loom blanket. which might lead to another workshop………

 

And following on from the Dorset button workshop last month, Mary, who is making a bride’s, and bridesmaid’s dress, has decided to make her own buttons for this project……..

 

 

Epiblogue

Whilst tidying the store cupboard I came across a lot of very interesting documents and photos relating to the setting up of the Llyn Guild of WSD in 1980. Here is some information by a member, I don’t know who, but a lovely little reminiscence about a founder member, the late Peggy  McGinn.

‘I moved to Wales in 1997 and was taken along to a meeting of the Lleyn Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers and within half an hour I was having my first spinning lesson from Peggy.  Peggy was a founder member of the Guild which was started in 1980.

The idea for the Guild originated in the summer of 1980 when a few keen spinners, mainly from the Gwynedd Guild, met up to see if they could find a room to start a spinning club.

At the Guild’s 15th anniversary meeting Peggy said that “members of Gwynedd Guild from the Pen Llyn area have found it too difficult to attend meetings held in Bangor and had got together, and with a great deal of hard work, set up the Lleyn Guild”

Meetings were held monthly on the last Wednesday of the month at Glynlliffon College and within a few years they also started holding some full day meetings as it was felt that 2 hours was too short a time to learn a new craft. Meetings later moved to Penygroes Memorial Hall and eventually the evening meetings stopped and full day meetings were held every month.

Exhibitions were held in Caernarfon Castle, daily for two weeks in the summer. There was a great deal of interest shown by sightseers at the castle and many of the younger visitors were able to try their hand at spinning. The sale of items made by the members also helped to finance the Guild. lt was rather cold and damp sitting in the castle and it was a wonder that all the exhibitors did not get pneumonia (l believe that Peggy and Johnny nearly did)

Fleece to Garment Competitions were held at Penrhyn Castle and later at Plas Newydd on Anglesey with teams of 6 (later 5) from other guilds in the area competing. Johnny organised the event. Each team was provided with a bag of raw fleece, a pattern, and some fancy yarns and buttons to decorate the finished garment. The teams were only allowed 4 hours to finish the garment and it was quite amusing for onlookers to see 2 or 3 team members trying to finish knitting and sewing up the garment all at the same time. It was a tiring but most enjoyable day.

Tryfan Crafts was started to allow any craft people in the area to meet up for a day once a fortnight to knit, spin, weave and share ideas about any of their interests.

Various outings were organised by Peggy for the Guild including one memorable Mystery Trip which managed to keep everyone guessing until it reached its final destination. Somewhere to eat of course.

Peggy also arranged outings for Tryfan Crafts twice a year to Abakhan to stock up on craft materials. The first destination on arrival was always the cafe and then everyone bought large quantities of wool, material, cotton and craft items in general so that the coach was packed as we travelled home.

Over the years our members learnt many new crafts from outside. tutors and also from some of our own knowledgeable members too many to mention by name. There was dyeing, felting, crochet, weaving and much, much more. From Peggy we learnt how to make Dorset buttons and berets and she taught many of us to spin.

It is thanks to the hard work of Peggy and other like-minded members that the Lleyn Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers is still thriving after 36 years.’

How lovely that Peggy’s legacy is carried on by present day members.

Simply Spinning and Weaving

It’s April….where did March go?

Ah yes, lambing time-

 

So, just a short blog this time.

The session started with our usual meeting with much on the agenda. Lots of constructive discussion and thoughts. It’s great that we work so well together!

The  March session was just weaving and spinning, and there was plenty of that going on,

 

It was also good to welcome a new member, a textile artist who is preparing for an exhibition at Plas Glyn Y Weddw in Llanbedrog. Find out more about this lovely building here

 

Can’t remember what this fibre was, sorry……

But look how great it turned out-

 

Also, spinning from the fold

 

Look at the speed of this wheel!

 

Very impressed with the skills of some of our members – just look at these project bags

 

As I said, a short session for me as I had to leave early but others stayed on for the afternoon.

So folks, that’s it for now!

 

Epiblogue:-

 Snowdonia National Parks, Afon Eden Project at Ysgol Bro Hedd Wyn

Info about the Afon Eden project here

If you remember, from a previous blog post, here,  Llyn Guild of WSD had been invited to assist in this project by letting the children learn about sheep, fleece and wool through weaving, spinning and dyeing and other associated aspects in the journey of fleece to fabric.

The first  session took place back in November and we didn’t think the children would have taken so much in, it had been so hectic.

So we were quite surprised when we returned in 2019!

Lilian and Sue spent two mornings in March with the Year 3 & 4 children, their teacher Marian Jones and project officer, Sam Price, completing their part of the project.

The children had been busy with Christmas, the holidays, and were now getting ready for their Eisteddfod but they were ready to complete the work they had started; in fact some of them had taken the weavings home to work on.

 

These were the skills we taught

  • brief talk about the processes fleece go through to clean them
  • comparing strengths of plied fibres against straight fibres
  • dyeing fleece with plant materials- dock leaves, elderberries, sloes, blackberries, marigolds, onion skins, turmeric
  • hand carding fleece
  • drum carding
  • needle felting with fleece
  • spinning on spindles
  • spinning on a wheel
  • card weaving
  • stick weaving,
  • weaving on  French knitting bobbins
  • basic sewing stitches

Every child had a go at everything back in November, but at the two sessions in March they could choose to do whatever craft they wanted.

It was good to see them helping each other

 

We ended up with more than could fit on the project picture, so lots were left in class for the children to create a large class picture for the Eisteddfod , and also small pictures of their own. The equipment and extra fibre and yarn used in the project was left for the children to practise their skills further, and have fun, which I’m sure they will!

The beginning……

 

The middle……..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The end……..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think we all thoroughly enjoyed our time working on this project, the children learning lots of new skills. I did too! As the only non-Welsh speaker there, the children were happy to teach me a selection of topic- related words and also gave me homework! I also loved this ram with his lovely horns, so had to give him his own bit of stardom!

 

The completed picture will be displayed at Yr Ysgwrn alongside another exhibition,  ‘Treasures in Peatbogs’,  by Haf Roberts, the Cyfoeth ein Corsydd Officer , until 31 August 2019. So, a lovely day out for you this summer!

Thanks to Snowdonia National Parks, Gethin, Sam and Haf , Ysgol Bro Hedd Wyn staff and children, Lilian, Bethan and Sue.

Permission was given by the Park, the school and parents for the photos to be used on the Llyn Guild blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dorset Buttons

A very well attended workshop run by Edna- and what a quiet, concentrated session it was!

She gave a lovely introduction briefly detailing the origins of the Dorset Button. You can find out more here and download tutorials here 

 

Edna brought along a wide range of buttons that she had  made

 

We started by casting on around the ring in blanket stitch

 

and then slicked these stitches to the back or inside the ring, leaving a smooth edge to the button.

Laying down of an even number of spokes for the warp comes next

Once this is complete the rounding can begin. This done by backstitching around the spokes from the centre outwards.

This forms the basic Crosswheel button.

 

There are many variations that can be done and a few were tried out

 

 

Edna then showed us how to make a Yorkshire button

 

And several had a go and ended up designing their own!

 

 

Yorkshire buttons tutorial can be found here  and here

And, of course, google images have an overwhelming display of both types of buttons- Dorset and Yorkshire

 

For those who love making buttons, this book has been recommended

 

Thanks to Edna who is a skilled and talented member of the Llyn Guild. It was a lovely day!

 

Epiblogue

Calon Wlan held the Spring Fair at the Neuadd Goffa, Penygroes on Sunday 24 February and although it was quite a late arrangement, it was quite well attended.

There were  spinning demonstrations by the Llyn Guild WSD and a good display of work

Some visitors were surprised to find there was a Guild so local and asked many questions about spinning, weaving and dyeing methods. It was so lovely to see this interest. One young lady’s husband had bought her a couple of sheep, a wheel, carders and other equipment for Christmas and asked for advice on a variety of things.

We may have a couple or so new members at the next meeting! Also the original Guild spinning wheel may be going to a prospective new member, which is good news.

So thank you to Lilian, Carol, Jannicke and Sue for promoting our Guild and thank you to Rachel for supplying items to display.

 

Jannicke also brought along items for display from her craft and felting group, Floyd, based in Llanberis

 

Rose Green of Saorimor was here with her beautiful Japanese style weaving, demonstrating the craft as well as having articles for sale.

 

Another major contributor was Lucy of Patchwork Sheep

Besides setting up the Calon Wlan website and caring for a flock of 50 sheep, she also uses her fleeces to create beautiful objects. This is a selection of her work

 

Kathryn Parry of Gull Skull Designs returned again with her lovely woven and crochet work for sale

 

There were fleeces for sale

 

And alpaca fleece and yarn from Snowdonia Alpacas

 

Calon Wlan is a group that aims to bring together local sheep farmers and fibre craftspeople. It has been up and running for just a year. Last year a Wool and Fleece Fair was held in Penygroes and a Summer Fair at Hafod Y Llan, a National Trust farm near Beddgelert; both events were very well attended.

Research is  being undertaken by Arloesi Gwynedd Wledig at the request of Calon Wlan into the wool industry in North Wales. They are looking to see if there is a need for a micro-processing plant in North Wales. There has been a lot of interest in this. If you feel you can make a contribution, contact Carwyn@mentermon.com or ring 01766515946

A Gentle Start to 2019

 

 

It was good to see everyone after the Christmas/Solstice break and catch up with what members had been up to and what plans they had for the new year. Also a warm welcome to a new member, Janis.

 

This member was using up stash, colours of which were out of her comfort zone

See how muted these colours have become.

 

Using up stash by another member…..

And the beginnings of a West-Knit Penguono…..

 

It was so nice to see the return of people who had to miss  a few sessions in 2018. We look forward to seeing one or two others joining us again as soon as they are able.

Dates have been confirmed for the meetings this year with several workshops to learn new skills. Others may be added as and when so see Events and Meetings page for 2019.

Also, Spinning in Public Day, the Guild  trip to Newtown Textile Museum and Wool Board will be announced when details are confirmed.

 

After the initial meeting,  members got down to work –

‘Elf ‘n’ Safety were conspicuous by their absence at this demo…..!

 

 

No injuries were sustained and everyone was able to carry on spinning and knitting!

 

Sorry, knitters, I didn’t get any photos!

Thanks to Mary for organising the calendar for this year and Lilian, who  is in the process of organising outings.

 

2018 and all that

A Happy New Year,  Blwyddyn Newydd Dda i bawb!

What a busy year, so just a quick pan through some of the sessions we’ve had.

In February that lovely session with Cathy on lichen dyeing.

 

April gave us Liz with Mapuche weaving. A busy workshop.

 

Then in May, we had an in-house session with small loom demos.

 

June brought us  a ‘show and tell’ of equipment, from antique objects to handmade, and such a variety!

 

July…… a day we all look forward to….the Dyeing Picnic!

 

In July, we also did a ‘spin in public’ at lovely Caernarfon Castle where we made quite an impact!

 

A full house for the nuno felting workshop in September

 

Which brought us to the agm in November. Secret Santa raffle. (Thanks, loved the Ferrero Rocher, my absolute fave !)

 

We had a good discussion about next year’s calendar of events, workshops etc. Looks very promising.

There were quite a few entries for the Rita Walker trophy, using our fibre swap

 

And the winners were……..!

…..who will share the trophy for six months each.

 

After lunch, had a look at some of the items brought in by members. Once again, impressive skills demonstrated by members

 

 

 

Also in November, the Llyn Guild were invited to be involved with the Afon Eden Project which  the Snowdonia National Park Authority is committed to developing. It wants to involve people in the community in conserving the environment, and the important species in the local environment of Trawsfynydd.

Lilian , Sue and Bethan took up the offer to work in Ysgol Bro Wedd Wyn, Trawsfynydd, with a group of 7 & 8 year olds, introducing them to a variety of fibre-based skills – dyeing with natural plants, carding on hand and drum, spinning on spindle and wheel, needle-felting and weaving on card, weaving sticks, knitting dollies and bobbins. We hope to be going back in the new year to complete the work started and see how the children have got on with the equipment we left behind. Had a great time there and look forward to returning.

(Permission has been given by the parents, school and Park Authority to publish these photos on the Llyn Guild blog)

 

 

New calendar of events will be posted later in January once they have been confirmed at January 17 meeting

Thanks to all those who have helped to make 2018  a successful year. Looking forward to 2019!

 

Nuno felting

A large contingent arrived at  Neuadd Goffa , including visitors from Gwynedd Guild and a local lady ready for the workshop on nuno felting.

The name comes from the Japanese word “nuno” meaning cloth. This  felting technique bonds loose fibre, usually wool, into a sheer fabric such as silk gauze, creating a lightweight felt. The fibres can completely cover the background fabric, or they may be used as a decorative design that allows the backing fabric to show. Nuno felting often incorporates several layers of loose fibres combined to build up colour, texture, and/or design elements in the finished fabric.

It can be made in many weights to accommodate many different uses. You would make a very light weight nuno fabric by laying one layer of loose fiber onto an open weave fabric base, which would be suitable for a summer dress. A much heavier nuno fabric results from laying 3-4 layers of loose fibers onto an open weave base making fabric suitable for a winter coat. Fibre can be felted onto just one side of the fabric or both sides, giving a different effect each time.

Jean, who was leading the workshop, brought several examples of her work for us to look at

Large towels were laid out with a sheet of bubblewrap on top of which was laid the base fabric. Fibre was teased out and spread in fine, even layers going in opposite directions. Onto this fibre base was placed the design you had in mind- or just went for it in a zen way, with fingers crossed! All was sprayed with cool, soapy water. Over this was laid another sheet of bubblewrap.

However, some people did their own thing as they had a specific design in mind

We used plastic bags on our hands to rub over the bubblewrap to help the fibre to start penetrating into the fabric. Then the whole ‘sandwich’ was wrapped around reed matting or pipe insulation and rolled back and forth- for what seemed forever!

Deciding when it was ‘ready’ needed referral to Jean in many cases.  You’ll know it’s time to stop rolling when the fibres are making their way through the fabric. You can check this by feeling for them, pinching the fibre to see if it’s attached to the fabric or sometimes you can see they’ve come through.

Now, the piece can be rinsed in quite hot water which will help the final felting process and also remove the soap

The results were very interesting and different, depending on the fabric and fibre that was used

 

Thanks to Jean for another great session and for providing extra resources.