Our Thursday meeting recently was a show and tell session – we had one a while ago when a speaker couldn’t attend and it was a huge success, so we thought we’d have another. The first ‘show and tell’ was actually more of a problem-solving exercise following a natural dyeing disaster, but we soon settled into looking at people’s work. First up was this tea cosy,
knitted in the early days of this branch of the Guild, when we had a cold room and a giant teapot. The panels cover all the stages from a sheep to a dye plant to a dye pot to a peg loom – and eventually back to a spinning wheel. It’s topped by a Dorset button, which gave us the idea for a workshop…
Then Mary showed us some adult slippers she had felted, following on from suggestions made at her very successful felted baby bootees workshop,
There are some refinements she wants to make, but they are already lovely.
We had weaving – from a floor rug and a peg-loom rug made from handspun local fleece,
to a couple of fine scarves, one turquoise –
and one a deeper blue. The weaver was marooned in her remote old family cottage, and without a car or most of her equipment for five days. She’d put a warp on her loom and wove the turquoise scarf in a day – but then what? She’d no warping frame, nothing she needed, but she did have a little four-shaft table loom. So she searched about and found some wool and used a big stool, turned upside down, to do the warp. She cut it up, laboriously threaded the loom and wove another scarf. As she said later, ‘the fun I had doing it!’ – sometimes improvising can be just as enjoyable.
Next came an impressive Nuno-felted long jacket in shades of red,
and it had also been adapted and altered to make it work, though this time the improvising wasn’t down to a lack of resources but a ‘pattern’ which didn’t work that well in practice. It certainly does now.
There were a couple of knitted sweaters, both so beautifully spun that they looked like commercial yarn – except they had mcuh more life in them, of course. And one member brought a couple of gorgeous knitted shawls, one in plain undyed handspun Shetland (from her own sheep) and one
in some dye sample colours, bought from a supplier at the All Wales GWSD Event a couple of years ago. On the subject of which, the All Wales Event is coming round again – on October 5.
Here he is – let’s keep him nice and small in case of idea thieves – and most of us have added something. There are crocheted flowers in hand-dyed handspun, needle-felted leaves, knitted brambles, little acorns, a scatter of tatted leaves – even some fruit made out of small balls of handspun yarn. Details?
That doesn’t give too much away!