We should have been in a workshop last Thursday, but unfortunately our tutor wasn’t able to make it. But we got on with a huge variety of things as usual, from weaving on an inkle loom
to weighing out some Bowmont fleece for those of us who are participating in our group entry for the Longest Spin,
to more split-ply braiding (it’s clearly addictive).
Three people had produced roundels for the National Guild’s exhibition at the Weald and Downland Museum (it had to be a six-inch ring):
And then we settled down to catching up with all the news and with each other, then to lunch, and then to the ‘show and tell’ session we decided to have instead of our workshop.
It’s always interesting to see what people have been doing.
One of the most poignant was this:
It’s part of a beautiful (and very heavy) crochet jacket made from 3-ply handspun. But it’s also completely hand dyed, a collaboration between the spinner/crocheter and one of our members who recently died – she was an expert dyer. The wool is mostly Shetland from the spinner’s own sheep, but with some Wensleydale. It’s gorgeous, very much treasured, and its creator said she’d ‘never part with it’. Indeed.
On a lighter note, another star of the show put in an appearance,
Angora bunny, 10 weeks old, and the softest thing ever.
(And then we got stage fright:
not genuine fright, because our ears are still up…)
The supported spindle collection is growing – they seem to be breeding, but with the recent addition of sparkly crystals which glitter beautifully as the spindles rotate.
They – the spindles, not the crystals – are made from all sorts of bits and pieces of ironmongery, include washers of various sizes, grommets, and double-pointed needles for the shafts. And they spin beautifully fine thread (well, they do unless you’re me – ed), some of which is going into the Longest Thread competition.
One member, a relatively recent spinner, brought along some of her first spinning and then contrasted it with her latest,
this fine blue laceweight (the close-up photo doesn’t give the correct impression of how fine it is). It’s spun from some Wingham silk and merino fluff, and it is wonderful.
Also wonderful, but very different, is this felting:
which is part of a bag – love the incorporation of the metallic ladder yarn (Sirdar Firefly?), giving a bit of sparkle and extra texture. Felting is so tough on the hands, but it’s worth it when you get a result like this!
Another member brought a variety of items, including a chess set
which had won a prize at a local show, a striped vest made for her husband using yarn spun from the naturally varied coloured fleece of their sheep,
(some early spinning, she said, so not so good – looks pretty great, and won first prize at the show anyway), some weaving,
and a pair of handspun socks.
The socks incorporate some yarn which was produced at a silk-spinning workshop, and both those and the weaving also include yarns dyed at our annual dyeing picnic, using indigo and a variety of other natural dyes.
Speaking of which, the next meeting is the dyeing picnic – theme: natural dyes from the kitchen. What are the odds against it raining?
(Apologies to anyone who hoped to see photographs of their projects here, but the light was so intermittently poor that some of the shots just didn’t work out. Unless you like blurry and indistinct, that is.)