Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Another busy Monday meeting

The diversity of spinning and weaving was evident at our Monday evening meeting this week:  drop-spindling, spinning on wheels, spinning fancy yarn, weaving - you name it, we were doing it.
Yvonne and her drop spindle.

Val and the mini-pin loom.
Hilary and a midi pin loom.
More glorious colours from Edith.

Bryn's super-coil slub yarn.

The pièce de résistance: Edith's very first weaving.

(and the cake picture)

We were pleased to have a visit from Jules, who had spent the previous few days spinning at the Conwy Tournament, and hope she might join us again in the future.  As usual, Val had excelled herself and produced an amazing cake with fruit from her garden.
Thanks to all who attended - see you again soon.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Abergele Hospital Fête

Another gig on home territory, this time at the Abergele Hospital League of Friends Summer Fête on Saturday, June 24th.  Jenni and Alison (now experts in Gazebo pitching) spent an enjoyable couple of hours entertaining and being entertained.
The weather was kind - a little breezy and overcast to start with, but turning warm and sunny as the afternoon progressed.  The visitors were plentiful, and interested to watch us turning fibre into yarn.  Lots of intelligent questions, and some possible new members; we gave out lots of business cards and flyers, so we'll see if anyone takes the step of joining us.  They will, of course be very welcome.
There was plenty of good quality musical entertainment - a brass band, a Welsh children's choir and some talented musical sixth formers from the local school.

Thanks to the organisers for inviting us - we hope to be back next year!
Just gearing up for a successful day, and trusting that the weather forecast is correct. 

The band strikes up.

A prime corner plot for the gazebo.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Warping a rigid heddle loom with Clare Minty

Last Sunday we dusted off our rigid heddle looms for an excellent weaving workshop given by Clare Minty.  Clare brought her years of experience as a professional weaver to solve many of the niggly problems of warping up a loom on your own, and showed clearly and concisely how to achieve a balanced, properly tensioned warp "without tears".   She dealt with all aspects of the process, from assessing the sett of the yarns to making a balanced tabby weave.
Along the way, we picked up a host of useful tips - do the warping with loom and warping peg on a long table; always thread through the holes of the reed when winding the warp (if you thread through the slots the warp sags on its' way back to the warping post); use clips as temporary fastenings for groups of thread at the back of the loom while you change colour; use simple but firm ties on the peg end to separate slot and hole threads.   Best tips of all:  don't remove the warp from the peg when you wind on, but simply slide the loom along the table towards the peg as you turn the back beam round.  And don't beat the weft into place - "place" it into position!
At the end of the day, the participants had warped up their looms successfully and were eager to get on with their new weaving projects.  Our many thanks go to Clare for sharing her expertise.

All secure with weights and G-cramp  (to hold the loom) and small clamps (to hold the warp).
Unwinding tidily from the middle of the ball of yarn.

All the ends through the holes (only) at this stage.

The loom trundling along under firm control as Clare winds the warp onto the back beam.

Sleying the reed:  every other thread now passes through a slot.

Threads now tied on, and a couple of pieces of card in position to spread the warp threads parallel to each other.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Abergele Spring Festival

Easter in the Park Day.
Abergele District Action Group Fun Day
What you will.
The Abergele District Action Group run a good event, with efficient organisation and cheerful helpers, so we were pleased to be invited back - this time for their Easter Fun Day.  Jenni and Alison set off bright and early to Pentre Mawr Park in Abergele to show the flag for the Spinners and Weavers in our home town.  We had an excellent position by the walled garden, with lots of space for our new gazebo.  As there was only a light breeze, we put it up without any trouble - but unfortunately the light breeze was a chilly one, and by the end of the day we were seriously thinking of wearing all the hand knitted garments in our display.  Hilary joined us for the afternoon, and many hands certainly made light work for taking down and packing away.

There were lots of visitors (probably because the event was free!) and we had lots of interest in our spinning and weaving.  As usual, the children "cottoned on" to the ideas and one or two even had a go at the drop spindling.  And, as usual, there was one bright spark who immediately worked out exactly what all the bits on the spinning wheel are for.
Jenni all in the Green Grotto
 Our next event:  our usual Monday evening meeting, April 24th in Abergele.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Open Day 2017

The sun shone brightly on our first Open Day in Betws yn Rhos, and we really appreciated the spacious accommodation in the Community Centre.  Thanks to the hard work by Bryn and Jenni (Hilary and Alison being mostly elsewhere) stallholders, Guild members and visitors all had a good time, taking advantage of the free tea and cakes!
As always, we were pleased to welcome friends old and new from other local Guilds - thanks to them for coming.  Following recent (good) publicity we also met several members of the public who came along to see what we do.
We were sorry that our local drop spindle maker was unable to join us, but were able to gaze enviously at Chris Jukes's wonderful collection and marvel at her expertise during her demonstration.  Mandy Coates brought her baskets, Krithia brought wares from the Anvil Pottery and Glenys Snowdonia Wools brought her lovely yarns and knitting sundries.
A quiet moment in the hall

Betty enjoying the sunshine.

On-site advertising - bunting and banner.


...and her collection.

Jenni and Shirley brought fibre from their flocks, and most of us contributed to the stash sale - thanks to Val and Edith for taking the money on our behalf.  We had a really good display of work by Guild members - weaving, spinning and dyeing all on view.  Jenni's tombola was a star attraction with Super Prizes, and it generated a staggering amount of money for our coffers.
All in all, an excellent day out.  Thank you to all who helped, and who attended.  Here's to next year!

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Exactly a month late.

Some photographs taken at last month's meeting, with apologies for not getting round to posting them at the proper time.
Lots of colour in evidence on a February day: spinning of course, and also weaving and friendship-bracelet making by our youngest participant.
I hope that today's meeting is as successful!