Friday, 22 March 2013

A Grand Day Out.

Thank you very much to the Ll┼Ěn Guild for their hospitality in hosting a "sampling day" provided by Wingham Wools.  A little group of Abergele spinners travelled to Penygroes yesterday (thanks to Hilary for driving!) in the bitter, bitter cold, and we had a very good time.  Wingham's sampling days provide a wonderful opportunity to test-drive fibre before buying - and what an excellent selection there was:  from finest cashmere to recycled plastic bottles, via merino, silk, yak, many British sheep breeds and goat - (very hairy!).  It was lovely, too, to meet up with old friends whom we hadn't seen for years.

(photo to follow - the uploading mechanism appears to have stuck)

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Sunday March 10th: silk and fine felt with Helen Melvin

Another excellent workshop, this time with our very own Helen Melvin, who showed us how to use "prefelts" to make beautiful textiles.
Helen has evolved a very effective technique using a variety of silk fabrics, commercially made prefelt and other bits and pieces which she dyes with her own natural dyestuffs to produce the most beautiful range of colours:

The prefelts, which as the name suggests are pieces of partially felted merino fibre, are manipulated, cut and reassembled with layers of silk. The assemblage is then carefully hand-felted using olive oil soap solution.  Stitching and other embellishing techniques can be used to finish.  Helen is making a line of "wearable textiles" to complement her bags and landscape pictures, and her work can be seen at Fiery Felts .
We all made at least one piece of colourful fine felt - it was lovely to have the opportunity actually to finish something! And I, for one, am very pleased to have been introduced to the use of fine plastic dust sheet instead of net to hold the pieces in place while felting.