Tag Archives: weaving

A weaving workshop

As a Guild, many of us weave. We don’t necessarily bring looms to meetings, and we don’t always have weaving workshops – though there have been a few lately. Our most recent meeting was one, and this time looms were not needed. We were weaving bags on boxes.

The boxes had to be quite substantial because – as you can see – they had to withstand the pull on the warp….

Wine boxes – or in this case, a rum box – are ideal!

Then, once warped up, you can begin weaving.

There were quite a variety of approaches:

and everyone had a distinctive take.

There’s a lot to get done in one day, and hopefully some finished examples will be brought along to our next meeting, but here are some which were finished beforehand to demonstrate what can be achieved:

and how about this cutie?

(And apologies for the delay in posting, caused by a perfect storm: a combination of work, illness and computer problems, and huge thanks to Ramona for taking the photographs….)


Spinning with a dinosaur

Internationally, Worldwide Spinning in Public Day is in mid-September. We’ve spun in public then, have roasted and/or frozen and/or been blasted by wind, spoken to a few interested people or seen virtually nobody – and so we’ve changed: we spin (and do other woolly things) in public in August. There are more people about during the summer holidays, and there is generally less chance of frostbite. We get all sorts of attention. This year some of it came from a large dinosaur.

Honestly, it did. Evidence:


Admittedly, it wasn’t a real dinosaur – but still, bet that doesn’t happen at many other SIP events. It does at ours, because thanks to one of our members and her very supportive friends, we’ve been spinning in public at the brilliant Greenwood Forest Park near Caernarfon. This is our second year there, and yet again we had good weather: remarkable in a summer noted for storms and flooded-out festivals.

We also had a lot of visitors, trying their hands spinning on a wheel,

having a spin

drop spindling,

drop spindling

finding out about natural dyes,


and, most successfully with younger visitors, using a peg loom:

pegging away

This was popular throughout the day –

pegging audience

an inspired thought by one of our members gave many children and young people something woolly they could make and take away. Hopefully we’ve got some new addicts out there – and, who knows, maybe next year we’ll get the dinosaur hooked too…

Here are some more images from the day. Just click on an image for a slideshow. Huge thanks to everyone at Greenwood for making us so welcome, to Ramona for organising it, to all the members who participated – and to all our brilliant visitors!


Workshops work

Our April meeting involved a show and tell, where members brought in some of the things they had either done in the workshops over the previous year, or which they had gone on to create after being in the workshops.

Many people had a go at weaving a beret (it was something a member had been seen doing at the dyeing picnic, and she was inundated with requests to demonstrate, resulting in a workshop). Here’s one, in pinks:


The focus on weaving – a bit unusual for us, but it shouldn’t be – had continued with one of our regular ‘spin and weave’ sessions deliberately focusing on it instead of spinning (well, as well as spinning, of course – details in the previous post). There was lots of inspirational work, and among which was some purple saori-style weaving… well, here it is, off the loom and made into a jacket, incorporating felted panels as well:


There was more weaving, too, of a more classic style:


Let’s have a closer look:

IMG_4893 IMG_4894

as well as knitting:

IMG_4895 IMG_4898

and felting, reminding us that the next workshop is on felted landscapes. The felting workshops are always very popular, and there’s a list of what to bring along on the Events and Meetings page (click on the menu at the top). So here’s some inspiration:


That’s 19 May, in case you were wondering how long you had to decide which landscape you were going to immortalise in wool!


Bring your looms!

Firstly, apologies for the delay in this post – deadlines, deadlines and work, work, work.

For our March meeting, which was a ‘spinning and weaving’ session, we decided to focus on the weaving. After all, we are the Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, and many of us have looms which we barely use, don’t use as much as we’d like, or are unsure of how to use. So we decided that it would be a good idea to encourage people to bring along their looms.

And they did! We had everything from a small, school-style loom,

small loom

to an assortment of planks which, when assembled, turned out to be a ladder loom:

ladder loom 1

One member was doing some almost saori-style weaving,

purple haze

while others were taking a more classical approach,

orange delight

Here are some more pictures from the day, including progress on the ladder loom; just click on an image for a slideshow. oh – don’t forget that the May meeting is an ever-popular felting workshop; there’s a list of things to bring on the ‘events’ page.




Berets, spinning, knitting and repairs

Our September meeting was one of our ‘spinning and weaving’ sessions, and for once we had some people weaving (usually people just bring wheels rather than looms) – finishing off the woven berets from our August workshop. Some were finished:

and some were still works in progress:

(There was another finished one, but the owner/creator said she was wearing it once only, and could not be persuaded to put it on for a photograph – off, it just didn’t have the same impact.)

Meanwhile, many of us were spinning, and colour seemed to be the order of the day, from orange

orange fluff

in fluff, and in spun form:

spun orange

to blues and violets, both spun and plied (and ready to go):


The emphasis on colour seemed to have spread to the knitting members brought along as well:


though some of us were also working in natural fleece colours.

One of the great things about the Guild is that it is a wonderful place to sort out problems, whether they involve techniques, useful tips which can help find a solution or straightforward running repairs…

repairs in progress

Next month’s meeting is the ‘Spinning to the Crimp’ workshop, which should be interesting. Don’t forget that you can check out the events page for information on what to bring along!

Inkle looming

We haven’t had a weaving workshop for ages – but that changed on Thursday 23 April, when Fiona Nisbet came over to lead a workshop on inkle loom weaving. Lambing often means that out spring workshops are a bit lighter on numbers than they would otherwise be, but there were still a good number of keen weavers or potential weavers. Fiona has led workshops with us before, so we knew it would be good!

First, we were introduced to the basics of using an inkle loom.

inkle loomSeveral members already have their own, but others were either completely new to weaving or had not used an inkle loom before. Though they only produce comparatively narrow strips of woven fabric, these are ideal for things like bag handles:

inkle woven stripas here, where the inkle strips make a long handle on a handwoven bag and add to the whole in a most attractive way. But Fiona also introduced us to other, wilder, ways of using an inkle loom – for instance with wire:

inkle loom wire weavingwhich was something of a Marmite technique, with some people absolutely loving it and others feeling just as strongly the other way.

But this was all very well – how about working? Fiona gave us a great tip about colour selection, which would also help with choosing colours for stranded knitting – wrapping the colours round a piece of cardboard, secured with sellotape. For weaving, you can also use this to work out the relative amounts of each warp thread, the balance between them and the pattern you want to make:

IMG_1959Choices were made, and people soon got on to the fiddly process of warping up:

eekThe choices people made were so varied, with all sorts of yarns – the smoother the better, due to the extra fuzziness which can be created by the up and down movement of the warp – in use, from cottons to ribbons to ones with sequins:

IMG_1984Then Fiona explained how to actually weave on the inkle loom, creating the shed,

starting to weaveand we got down to it.

weaving(Admittedly this was from one of our experienced weavers, but the rest of us can catch up at home!)

Here’s a gallery of the day with some of Fiona’s lovely examples to inspire us, as well as our own work. Just click on an image for a slideshow.


And our next session is on bags (a show and tell, with spinning and weaving and knitting) which is a perfect follow up. Our show and tell meetings are really inspirational, so bring along as many types of bags as you can and tell us all about how they were made – wonder how many will have inkle-loom-woven handles?

Rugs don’t have to be rectangular

Our October meeting was a workshop devoted to making circular rugs on a peg loom, given by Maureen Preen. We were all intrigued – peg-loom weaving is rectangular, right? Well, it turns out the answer is ‘it doesn’t have to be’.

Maureen arrived with a tantalising heap of mostly round and semi-circular objects,

as well as plenty of peg looms, weaving sticks, fibre – everything anyone who didn’t possess a loom (or who had forgotten their materials) could want. Quite a  few of us sneaked a preview…

and then she began by telling us about her way in to spinning – through wanting to use combings from her Samoyeds – and how she moved towards using weaving sticks and peg looms.

She showed a wide range of round rugs, like this

made from natural, unprocessed fleece,

and this – called ‘Revenge of the Sheep’:

It gets its name because the unbelievably soft, fluffy inner is made from spun Scotch collie combings, while the outer edges – penning the collie in – are more usual spun fleece. Quite  a few of us own sheepdogs, and will probably be looking at them in a slightly different light after this. So soft, so fluffy, and not a hint of its canine origins.

On the wall behind Maureen was a beautiful roundel, a great background to her talk.

And then we were off.

Peg looms appeared everywhere,

and were soon warped up.

Then, very quickly, weaving began:

in all sorts of interesting colours,

and it wasn’t all fibre – not by any means.

It turns out that the process of making a circular or semi-circular rug on a peg loom isn’t dissimilar to short-row shaping in knitting:

and rather like the effects you get from short-row shaping, it’s really satisfying.

But there was more – Maureen had brought some more conventionally shaped peg-loom weaving, but made with less conventional techniques, and they inspired some of us, too:

And then there was a really ‘left-field’ idea – using a four-tined fork as a substitute for weaving sticks and making delicate flowers:

It looks unlikely at first, and then you get…

this. Complete with stamens. There’s always something new to learn!

Our next meeting is the AGM. This might sound a bit dull but it really isn’t, especially as it’s the last meeting of the year and we have a bring-a-dish lunch, raffles, etc. So don’t forget: 29 November is the day.