Sunday, 13 May 2018

Navajo plying and fancy yarns workshop

A very brief note as I'm a bit pushed for time (if anyone wants to add to this, please feel free - just email me at the Guild address with your comments).
An amazing day on Sunday, May 13th., with Chris Jukes and Anne Campbell learning some foolproof ways to produce a bit more than your average 2-ply yarn.  Not only 3-ply chaining, but 4 and even 6-ply - useful for our own handspun and also for jazzing up commercially spun yarns.  And then learning how to do a straightforward wrapped yarn.
Loads of people doing yards of spinning, lots of new members, cake...... what more could you ask?

This is from Di Bruce:

“As a relatively inexperienced spinner I gained both practical and inspirational skills from Chis and Anne’s workshop. I learned about the benefits of using navajo plying to quickly produce yarn with only one bobbin, as well as how to produce funky art yarn from core spinning and wrapping techniques. I became immersed in experimenting with colour and texture like never before in my spinning and came home with samples that are already urging me to raid my own stash with more confidence and creativity. Many thanks to the providers and organisers for making this possible. No more drooling at the yarns on Etsy....instead I will produce my own!

My only regret is that I didn’t circulate to view the lovely yarn produced by others from the varied stash we were offered during this most enjoyable workshop. 

For me the sun shone both outside and in this Sunday.”


Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Friendship Day, April 8th. 2018

Our Friendship Day dawned fine and sunny, and grateful thanks are due to all the people who gave up the chance of a day in the garden to come and visit us in Betws yn Rhos.  We were delighted to see so many visitors, and particularly pleased to welcome several new members.
The hall was a hive of activity with spinning wheels whizzing and portable looms.... looming.  Once again, Chris Jukes-Bennett brought her stunning collection of drop spindles and demonstrated her supported spindles.  She also gave some useful tips on chain plying (a.k.a. "Navajo" plying) - I for one had never thought of trying it with a drop spindle.  We are looking forward to a full workshop with Chris in the near future.
Our display of work was bigger and better than ever before, with an emphasis on weaving.  The Guild Challenge on the theme of "triangles" attracted a modest number of entries, but the standard was very high.
A  new feature this year was a table displaying artisans' books, including Bryn's work for her Certificate of Achievement, which was universally admired.
As usual, there were plenty of opportunities for some retail therapy - from our own stash-and-equipment sale to the professional trade stands.  Thanks to Kath and Annie of Mam a Mi, Krithia of Anvil Pottery, Barbara Ennis and Kathryn Parry for providing such lovely things to tempt us.  And of course there was Jenni's now-traditional Tombola, which attracted a lot of business - one very lucky young lady won three prizes!

Many thanks are due to those who worked so hard to make sure the day ran smoothly.  Special thanks to Bryn and Jenni for all their hard work beforehand, during and after the day,  and - on the day itself - to Margaret; to Val and Edith on the sales table; Alan, Betty and Di in the kitchen, and all those who stayed behind to clear the hall and sweep up.

Before the crowds arrive...

Display of work, including Triangles.

.. and the usual Cake Picture.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

The Poppy Factory is now closed.

Thank you once more to all who contributed to our .... contribution ... to the Wonderwool Wales Curtain of Poppies.  We have made four and a bit "strings" of red poppies and of white.  They are remarkably difficult to photograph, but here's the best I can do.  Perhaps someone will take some pictures at Wonderwool later in the year.

Thanks to Margaret, Bryn, Di, Val and Sheila for their hard work.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Notes from the Poppy factory

 This year being 100 years since the end of the First World War, Wonderwool Wales has initiated a Centenary Textiles project.  The aim "is to produce a Community Textile Installation", with members of the public making textile poppies to commemorate those who died between 1914 and 1918.  The Abergele Guild has been working away, producing not only the traditional red Remembrance poppies but White Peace Poppies as well (which remember everyone, including civilians, who die in all conflicts past and future).
Patterns are provided for knitting and crochet, and for "cutting out" fabric to make the flowers:  and we are being very helpful (!) and attaching our poppies to i-cords of green wool.  The resulting strings of poppies will be posted off to Abergavenny for JaneVeevers to assemble into a curtain with all the other contributions from across the country.   (If anyone is tempted to start a poppy or two after reading this, please note that Jane wants everything to reach her by the end of March, in time for Wonderwool in April.)  All details are on the Wonderwool website, as per link above.

Bryn will be happy not to be knitting any more poppies  after this....

Alison is assembling the other various offerings - a glorious mixture of textile techniques - looks a bit like a poppy tree this way up.

It's a little difficult to photograph two 2-metre-long strings of poppies, but I hope you get the idea...?
Many thanks to Bryn, Di and Margaret, and (in anticipation) to those of you who have made poppies but haven't given them to me yet!


Thursday, 1 March 2018

Monday meeting again

Just in front of the weather ... front... we made it to Abergele on Monday evening.  Warm and cosy with lots of tea and cake, and several visitors keen to learn more about spinning and weaving.
Diana, who hasn't been weaving for very long, brought in a very nice piece to show us (the colours are a little subdued in the photograph).
She writes:  "Here is a photo of my throw....woven on my Saori Piccolo with a pre-wound lavender cotton warp,and yarn from charity shops....mostly acrylic I think.
I am glad I shared my you a warm feeling when people give nice feedback! I learn a lot and get inspired from others’ work too...and that is surely what membership of a guild is all about."
Well said!

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Some of us have been busy...

We usually have an informal "show and tell" at our meetings, although we don't actually call it that as some people get very shy and develop acute stage fright at the very thought.
At our last meeting in Abergele Jenny P. made use of skills learned in Katie Weston's workshop, and produced a very superior cable yarn.

We were also delighted to see work by Val and Alan:  Val's chunky handspun, twined baskets made with aforesaid handspun, and Alan's amazing pinloom weaving, also made with aforesaid handspun.
Val says " if anyone asks, the cape was made from 1,100 yards of hand spun yarn. The brown is Zwartbles shearling, and the yellow is Jacob, white wool dyed in June with Weld and Alum.It was woven on a 5' square continuous weave frame, by Alan. It has a split front and buttonhole modification as part of the design. It has been fulled, also by Alan who has made a large button from Yew wood to fasten it. The cape weighs 1305g and is both warm and soft to wear."  

....note also the Amazing Abstract Weaving on the right of the picture -  another piece of work by Alan.