Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Gwrych Castle Medieval Weekend, August 18th. & 19th. 2018

Another action-packed weekend for the Guild at Gwrych Castle in Abergele.
Val, Betty and Alison entered into the spirit of the "Medieval" theme, and demonstrated low-tech. spinning for two days with scarcely a break for meals.  Our stand was in an excellent spot up on the terrace, right on the itinerary of the Castle Tour, and hundreds of people stopped to talk to us.  We lost count of the number of times we had our photographs taken, and were very grateful not to be out in the blazing sun.
We had a beautiful variety of naturally dyed fleece and dyeplants for the public to see, courtesy of Val, and we kept to our drop spindles in accordance with the period (no modern spinning wheels with carbon fibre bearings for us this weekend!).  Betty came to join us on the Sunday with the star of the show - a Great (or Walking) wheel.
There was hardly time to look round the rest of the event: re-enactment of medieval living and armed combat, plant sales in the formal garden, birds of prey, horses, traders....
Many thanks to the Gwrych Castle Trust for inviting us.  Have a look at their website and try to support their events if you can - they have just bought the castle and need all the help they can get.

Entering into the spirit of the thing.

An elegant demonstration of long draw spinning!
Perhaps we should make some medieval-style hangings to disguise our gazebo next year.


Woodfest Wales, July 2018

Val writes:
"Woodfest on the 28th and 29th July this year proved to be as popular as ever for both Abergele Guild and the public alike.  On Saturday, Jenni, Kate and Val spent a relaxing day talking to the public, demonstrating peg -looming and spinning. Other Guild members attended on the Sunday. A gentleman from Huddersfield made a generous donation of hand made drop spindles for the Guild to use . The wood turners from The West Riding obliged in turning Val's 4 year old seasoned piece of Sweet chestnut wood into a beautiful and useful spindle whorl and she was very grateful. Jenni left her peg -loom weaving for the Sunday Guild members to continue with. Alison called in to see us, having set up on Friday. Thanks to everyone for a great weekend."

Alison adds:
"Thanks also to Betty and Krithia, and Gill Linskey from Clwyd Guild, who flew the flag for us on Sunday (but didn't take any photographs?)."

Images copyright Alan Hill 2018

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Sunday Wool Combing

We had another excellent meeting on Sunday, August 12th. - lots of attendees and a demonstration, by Bryn, of English wool combs.

The combs themselves, apart from being vicious in appearance and in fact, are beautifully designed for the job.  The accompanying stand is elegant and sturdy - which is obviously important as you don't want the combs shifting unexpectedly when you're using them.
Bryn gave a clear and well organised demonstration of the techniques required to produce a sliver of fine, combed yarn suitable for worsted spinning: starting by separating the locks of clean fleece and spraying with a mixture of olive oil and water; through loading the comb in its' stand, heating the second comb and then transferring the fleece from one comb to another in a series of elegant movements!  The combed fleece is then removed, "planked", returned to the comb and drawn through  the hole of a diz into a long thin strand of fibre.
Fascinating to watch, and - I am sure - very satisfying to do.

Planking the fibre.

Using the diz.