Our first meeting of 2013 was held in the Memorial Hall in Llanfair, as our usual venue is not open after the flooding in December. Rosie Smith kindly came all the way from her new home in Snowdonia to show us how to make felted woollen vessels. Using rovings, or very loosely spun yarn, and big knitting needles, Rosie knits h..u..g..e baggy bags and then felts them in the washing machine at 60 degrees (using a pair of trainers to provide friction, and not forgetting to put the knitting in a bag to avoid clogging up the washing machine with fluff). The shrinkage is remarkable. Rosie then stretches the felted bowl over a suitably sized pudding basin and leaves it to dry. She also showed us how to spin a loose, "lofty" yarn using a modified long draw technique. Some of us made a good start on a bowl, and others took the instructions away with us to try later.
We had a good opportunity to catch up on each other's news; a new home on a National Trust estate; a grandson off to study with Jamie Oliver; a daughter awaiting the publication of her new, contemporary version of the Canterbury Tales. And of course, lots of chat about spinning and textiles generally.
Our temporary venue was very satisfactory and felt lovely and warm when we arrived. However, as the temperature dropped and the snow fell outside we began to feel the chill and crawled away to our burrows before 3o'clock!
Bryn has kindly taken some photographs: