It’s just as well that our February meeting wasn’t a week earlier, when the weather went a bit mad and treated us to hurricane-force gusts. As it was, most of our members made it to the meeting though some were bogged down with lambing – something that always crops up at this time of year. Anyone would think we like sheep…
The focus was on our favourite craft books this time – a show and tell, and afterwards we put our books out so that people could have a good look. It was interesting how many brought along some real old favourites – a fantastically useful 1970s book on crochet, for instance, or some classics on spinning (Mabel Ross – wonderful).
The yarns in the pic above were spun following instructions in The Intentional Spinner by Judith MacKenzie McCuin, incidentally.
The older books attracted a lot of attention, particularly The Colour Cauldron by Sue Grierson on natural dyeing. Some of us had heard of this book but not seen it, so we had a good browse and made a mental note that we wanted it.
Unfortunately it was self-published and copies are not easy to find – there’s one online at a bookshop in Seattle, but that seems to be it at the moment. It covers all sorts of potential sources for dyes (including lichens, which are out of bounds unless they’ve fallen on the ground, but the rest of the book is so very inspiring that Seattle doesn’t seem that far away).
Another member brought her notebook from her days in Australia as well as some others – she was the one who brought Mabel Ross along – and it included an interesting example of knitting with fleece:
This has to be tried!
There were books on the history of wool and textiles (The Book of Wool / Textiles of Wales); books on spinning (‘I wish I’d had it when I was learning, I’d have got off the ground much more quickly’ – that’s Anne Field’s Learning to Spin) and weaving. For some reason craft books in welsh are rarely produced, and one of us brought along Sampleri Cymreig by Joyce Jones, a book of Welsh embroidery patterns.
Creating Felt Pictures by Andrea Hunter also attracted a lot of attention – several of our members have seen her work in the flesh (as it were) and described it as ‘stunning’. There were quite a few others on felting too, from specific ones on particular items – bags, for instance – to more general ones. This jacket was inspired by Felting Fashion (Lizzie Houghton); love the colours.
And along the way we picked up tips. One member had brought a book on card weaving, but had been unable to find her cards. Another gave her a good alternative: beer mats.
Our next full session in March is a felting workshop. There are details of what to bring along on the Events page – and of course the Sunday Spinning is happening on 2 March. Do brave the weather (we can be fairly certain it will be doing something unpleasant, but we might be lucky) and come along!