Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Latest news

Once again, the weather has thwarted our plans for a Christmas celebration evening, and we have had to cancel our meeting this week.  Although the roads are clear, the thought of venturing out in the freeze is just too much to contemplate for most people.

I can't say I'm all that sorry myself:  I wasn't really looking forward to walking down a 1in3 hill in the icy dark to open up the Community Centre, and then having to walk back up the hill late at night.
On a more cheerful note, those of us who managed to get to Trefriw at the weekend had a very enjoyable time, browsing the excellent textile and craft stalls.  Many thanks to Elaine and her friends and colleagues for their warm welcome.
We will be meeting in LlanfairTH. next Wednesday afternoon but not on the two Wednesdays after that, so may I wish you all a Happy Christmas,  and as Prosperous a New Year as is reasonable (VAT going up to 20% ...) and see you in January.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Textiles at Trefriw

A reminder to everyone about the forthcoming Textile Market at Trefriw Woollen Mills on the weekend of December 4th. & 5th. - see also Elaine's post on August 31st.

Saturday 4th & Sunday 5th December, 2010 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Hand made Christmas gifts, plus materials and equipment for textile makers.
Demonstrations on Sunday morning.
Exhibitors include:- Anne Campbell, Wendolyn Docksey, Helen Melvin, Ann Hughes, Serentex, Crafty Ladies, Mandy Coates, Christine Birch, Maggie Oliver.
Trefriw Woollen Mills, Main Road, Trefriw, Conwy Valley, LL27 0NQ.
Tel: 01492 640462 www.t-w-m.co.uk
in the centre of Trefriw on the B5106 between Conwy and Betws-y-Coed
Dydd Sadwrn y 4ydd a Dydd Sul y 5ed o Rhagfyr, 2010
Anrhegion Nadolig wedi eu gwneud a llaw, a defnyddiau a chyfarpar ar gyfer gwneud tecstiliau.
Arddangosfeydd ar fore dydd Sul.
Gwaith gan:  Anne Campbell, Wendolyn Docksey, Helen Melvin, Ann Hughes, Serentex, Crafty Ladies, Mandy Coates, Christine Birch, Maggie Oliver.
Melinau Wlan Trefriw, Prif Ffordd, Trefriw, Dyffryn Conwy, LL27 0NQ
Ffon 01492 640462 www.t-w-m.co.uk
Yng nghanol Trefriw ar y B5106 rhwng Conwy a Betws-y-Coed

Trefriw Woolen Mills

01492 640462 Email: info@t-w-m.co.uk Web: t-w-m.co.uk
Trefriw Woollen Mills Ltd, Main Road, Trefriw, Conwy Valley, North Wales, LL27 0NQ

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Friends at Frodsham

Rosie, J-M. and Alison travelled to Frodsham, to the Cheshire Guild Friendship Day on Saturday, October 16th. (Thank you to Rosie for driving). We had a lovely day meeting old friends and making new ones - so thank you also to our hosts in Frodsham. We were particularly pleased to see Kath and her daughter: Kath (of Krafty Kreations) has not been able to come to our Guild meetings recently but is hoping to get back to LlanfairTH again in the near future.
The "shared meal" (everyone bringing a contribution) provided a great spread of delicious food, including pudding - or dessert, if you wish. We were tempted by P&M Woolcraft and B's crafts stalls, but managed not to spend too much money! As well as exchanging chat and information, we managed to get some spinning done; a productive day all round

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Dorset Buttons, Wednesday 13th. October

Thank you very much to Bryn for introducing (or re-introducing) us to Dorset Buttons this evening.  These intricate and attractive buttons are made by forming a base of blanket stitch around a ring of metal, plastic or bone, then forming "spokes" of yarn and weaving in and around to fill the centre of the ring.  This is a perfect way of making unique buttons to complement garments of handspun yarn.

For more information, see http://www.craftstylish.com/item/42688/how-to-make-dorset-buttons/page/all   and http://www.thedorsetpage.com/history/Button_Making/button_making.htm  and of course, the British Button Society .

The process proved so intriguing that we scarcely had time to do any of the freeform knitting which Rosie had promised to show us in the second half of the evening - another time, perhaps?

We were also very pleased to welcome no fewer than three new members, and hope to see them often in the future.  Thank you very much to Rosie and J-M. for the tea, and especially for the cake.

Hard at work...

A selection of suitable rings for button making

Monday, 11 October 2010

Friendship Day, October 2010

Our Friendship Day drew nearly 50 people to Llanfair Talhaiarn, to spin, weave, chat and browse the stalls. Nearby Guilds, Clwyd, Lleyn, Chester, Cheshire (Frodsham), were represented. There were also 14 wheels.
Local sellers, Trefriw Woollen Mill and Fiery Felts, offered craft tools, books, hand dyed wool and dyes. Anvil pottery drew its usual adherents and more. Helen gave a demonstration of solar dyed fabric with an iron solution. So easy, apparently!
Val's bric-à-brac stall for charity did well, as did the books and craft materials table.
Thank you to all our visitors. It was pleasant to meet up with old friends and new. Thanks too to all members who took part. You worked your socks off.
posted on behalf of Bryn.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Abergele WSD at Pensychnant

A day' s workshop on spinning, crocheting and knitting at Pensychnant
Nature Conservation Centre. Led brilliantly by Jenni, Bryn came in
round the edges. A group of 6 students encountered spinning  for the first
time on a variety of wheels. We had a Joy, several Traditionals, a Haldane,
and a castle-style wheel. Thanks to all who lent their wheels. We appreciated
what a wrench it is to part with this favourite piece of equipment – almost like
handing over the family pet. 
However, they have been reherded and will be returned this coming
Wednesday afternoon.  It was more an AGWSD outreach event, but earned
some money for the Guild to put towards our own workshops. Thank you,
Pensychnant for having us, and that lovely log fire.  http://www.pensychnant.co.uk
(by Bryn)

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Annual General Meeting, 2010

Tonight we held our AGM in our regular evening meeting slot.  Thanks to all who attended and helped to make it a really good session.  Lots of ideas were considered with lively discussion from all members, long standing and more recent.  (Official minutes to follow, when I get round to typing them up).
We now have a new Chairman/person - welcome to her, and thanks for her moving tribute to her late predecessor, who will be greatly missed.  We also have a new Treasurer and a new Librarian:  good luck to them both!
Just for a change, we had tea and cake......and sausages.  There was a lot of constructive talk, but not much spinning done.  We eventually drifted home into the starry, starry night with the knowledge of an evening well spent, and the next year to look forward to.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Crafts at Trefriw Woollen Mills 2010

Hand spinning demonstations:-

Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m until end September

Sunday 19th September and Saturday 25th September (http://www.helfagelf.co.uk/)

Wednesdays (Wendy Docksey) throughout October 10 a.m . 5 p.m.

Felt making demonstrations with Anne Campbell:-
Tuesdays throughout October 10 a.m .- 4.30 p.m.

Rag Rug making demonstrations with Christine Birch:-
Thursdays throughout October 10 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.

Textile Market Saturday 4th December and Sunday 5th December 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.:-
Handmade Christmas gifts plus materials and equipment for textile makers.
Demonstrations on Sunday morning:- hand spinning with hand spindle and spinning wheel, rag rug making, peg loom weaving, weaving on triangular loom, aran knitting, basket making, felt making,
Exhibitors:- Anne Campbell, Gwendolyn Docksey, Helen Melvin, Christine Birch, Mandy Coates, Maggie Oliver, Ann Hughes, Serentex, Gwen Owen, Margaret Hiorns, The Crafty Ladies

Friday, 27 August 2010

Thank you...

...to Rosie who has suggested lots of suppliers of textile related stuff.   She also mentioned Sheila Dixon, "who writes a blog" and sells equipment including drum carders.  Unfortunately I haven't been able to track down Ms. Dixon on the internet - although I did find an ex-Mayor of Alabama.  Presumably not the same person.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Beginning Spinning

 A few minutes instruction....

...and away we go!

We have all been pleased, over the last few months, to welcome new spinners to our group.  It's amazing how quickly people pick up the technique when they're keen and interested.  And we're always intrigued to see new designs of spinning wheel.
Yesterday there was a lot of chat about suppliers of spinning materials, so I have added links to a few of the UK-based companies at the side of the blog.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Thirteen moons in Canada

In case anyone happens to be in Canada during August and September:
I have received this flyer by email, but as the message is a bit big for some people's Internet connections, I post the information here.
"Moon Rain Centre presents the international textile arts event, When Thirteen Moons Entwine, which takes place from August 15 to October 10, 2010 in the Gatineau Hills.

When Thirteen Moons Entwine is a professional textile arts event, inspired by the thirteen moons of the lunar calendar. It is an outdoor laboratory that links professional textile artists with emerging artists in the creation of textile arts installations along a scenic walking path at Moon Rain Centre.
Throughout this unique and festive event, workshops in textile arts for all ages and levels will be given at Moon Rain Centre, and textile arts exhibitions will be presented in collaboration with major exhibition centres in the Gatineau/Ottawa  region.
Moon Rain Centre, directed by professional artist-weaver Thoma Ewen, specializes in community weaving projects and «artists-in-the-schools» projects. Its vision is to share the beauty and mystery of weave. Weaving is a global contemporary metaphor for the interconnections between all living systems of our biosphere.
For further information on participating artists, installations in situ, workshops, exhibitions, and for the calendar of events, visit the website at  www.moonrain.ca 
(Chance would be a fine thing, methinks)

Monday, 7 June 2010

Woodfest Wales, 2010

We spent all three days here, and had a good time.  The weather was mostly fine - in fact, it was very hot indeed on Friday - and the show was packed with people.  Our pitch was in a good position, right by the show ring, and between Anglesey Angora Rabbits & a lady selling chunky woollen jumpers.  The rabbits attracted a lot of attention, particularly from the visiting dogs.
We had lots of visitors, and particularly enjoyed the attention of some very interested children who were keen to find out as much as possible about hand-made yarn.  In between demonstrating (and talking!) we were able to sneak off, wander round the showground and investigate the other stands.  Where to start? there was basket-making & timber-framed building construction; Nature Organisations including the Clwyd Bat Group; low-tech woodworking with pole lathes, cooperage, and woodcarving; working Shire horses and birds of prey; children's theatre and a funfair; a dog show; pole climbing; agricultural trade stands; local choice foods; other crafts........too much to list.
Thanks to all who came to make it such a memorable weekend.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Fancy Spinning Workshop with Alison Daykin

Very many thanks to Alison, who travelled all the way from South Derbyshire to teach us how to spin a great range of fancy yarns.  We were blessed with fine weather, and the countryside was looking particularly picturesque.  We had a good turnout, and were pleased to welcome visitors from several other guilds (and intrigued to see what a variety of spinning wheels they brought!).
Alison proved to be a warm and generous teacher, with infinite patience.  She taught us to spin slub yarn; spiral, knarl and knot yarn; boucl√©, tuft, nep and wrapped yarn.  She also demonstrated the making of coloured, mixed rovings using a hackle - a fearsome row of spikes usually employed in the production of flax.  And if that wasn't enough, she also brought a delicious & tempting selection of dyed fibres, and copies of her book "Creative Spinning" (co-authored with Jane Deane) http://spinningandweaving.weebly.com/creative-spinning.html
We were well supplied with tea, coffee and cake, and had a most enjoyable and productive day.  Thank you very much to Bryn for all her hard work in organising the Workshop.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Natural Dye Day Sat June 5th

Hello everybody,

We are holding a natural dye day here at Trefriw Woollen Mills on Saturday June 5th. Helen Melvin will be demonstrating natural dyeing with indigo and coreopsis 10.30 a.m. - 12.30, and there will be an opportunity to experiment painting with her natural dyes in the afternoon. Textile Techniques will also have a stand and will give a talk at 12.00, Enys Davies will be selling natural dye plants and Anne Campbell will demonstrate core spinning and Wendy Docksey will be demonstrating felting. For programme, e-mail info@t-w-m.co.uk

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Glorious chocolate

Here are some photos of what you can do with ivy berries.  Many of us have only managed to dye a pinky grey with ivy, but Rosie has obtained a wonderful milk chocolate colour.  The picture really doesn't do it justice.  The secret, apparently, is to leave the ivy berries to soak for several days, and then mash and strain - and leave the vat again - before dyeing the yarn.  The lighter colour was obtained without a mordant; the darker colour with alum and then iron as a modifier.  The yarn is "coloured" Corriedale, but, take it from me, the fleece is barely off-white - certainly not this brown!
So, now we are all rushing off to have a go ourselves.  I have posted some preliminary photos on the Web Album 

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

More about Ty Hafan

Well, more about the blankets really.  At the All Wales meeting in Llanidloes last year I (foolishly?) agreed, on behalf of the Guild, to take on making some more squares - and got talked into doing a whole blanket.  That's forty-eight 10" squares, mostly white this time.  But we're cracking on with it, and so far we are about a quarter of the way through.  I have a nasty feeling it's me that's going to have to stitch them all together......
Photos of progress so far to follow, once I've recharged the battery for my camera.

As promised:

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Card weaving evening

Yesterday evening we attempted some card weaving - that is, weaving on a card loom, not weaving your actual cards, if you see what I mean.  Thanks (once again) to J-M's excellent and clear instructions, we all  made a good start; and some of us got a lot further than that!  We "warped up" small to medium sized pieces of card to make tiny looms, some of which we folded in half so that a seamless bag could be made by weaving round and round.
For more photographs of card weaving & paraphernalia, click here.  Please add photos of your finished work if you wish.
(Today's interesting fact:  when checking the spelling of "paraphernalia" I discovered that it actually means "married women's property, especially articles of jewellery, dress and personal belongings".  Very appropriate.)
Welcome also to Pauline's daughter & granddaughter who came along for the evening.

Friday, 22 January 2010

The first meeting of the New Year

We have finally had our first meeting in 2010, and welcomed a new member:  hello, Helen!  The weather has improved - at least for the time being - and we had a good turnout.   The photo shows wool coloured with natural dyes, bright and autumnal at the same time.  (Thanks to BT & HM)

Monday, 11 January 2010

Evening meeting, January 13th., cancelled

I'm sorry to say this but, as you might expect, this week's evening meeting has been cancelled due to the weather.  We've had more snow overnight and there is a possibility of even more on Wednesday.  Even if we have a proper thaw (and it does seem to be slightly less cold) the carparks around the Community Centre will still be dangerous with the packed snow & ice  which has accumulated since  Christmas.  So stay safe, and keep warm, and we'll meet soon.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

How indigo really works

Helen Melvin's blog today gives a link to a really interesting article on the way indigo "works".  The article is translated from the Japanese, but, despite some quaint phrasing, is very clear and contains some beautiful hand drawn diagrams which illustrate the underlying chemical processes.  The diagrams show exactly how the indigo gets into the fibres and sticks there, and also explain why natural indigo is brighter than the synthetic form.  Click here to go to the online article.  Even if you have no knowledge of chemistry you will find this easy to understand.  The author is to be congratulated on communicating so well in a "foreign" language.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Snow across the UK

I have managed to get out this morning and walked - very slowly - down the 1in3 hill into the village.  It isn't quite as cold at the moment, but there is a LOT of snow.  The road through Llanfair itself is covered in crumbly snow and the main road into Abergele is clear.  The main road into Llansannan is not good.  I have cancelled our booking for the Community Centre (just in case you were wondering).

Here are a few photographs to add to the stacks of images on the internet featuring Britain in the Snow, 2010.  If any Guild members have photos to show, please add them to the Picasa Web Album page, or email them to me to add. Click on the link to see some more images.


Tuesday, 5 January 2010

More tales from the riverbank

It stopped raining before Christmas, just in time to freeze and snow.  This afternoon we had a blizzard which blocked all the main roads in a matter of minutes and even the normally mild coastal areas were wiped out for a time.  (The single track side roads inland have been impassable for weeks).  In LlanfairTH we had up to 9 inches of snowfall in about 3 hours, so, unsurprisingly, our meeting tomorrow is CANCELLED.  If I can get out of the house in the morning I will post some photos.  In the meantime, here is a nice cheery and unsnowy picture of a touch of hoarfrost on ivy.