Weyfest 2016

What a weekend! I have attended Weyfest with the West Surrey Guild of Spinners Weavers and Dyers for the last 3 years and it is always a very special event, a wonderfully eclectic mix of people, children and dogs with music provided by bands that I grew up listening to (Boomtown Rats, Big Country, Bad Manners…). It is located on the site of the Rural Life Museum in Tilford and normally I demonstrate / teach spinning with a drop spindle, while I am very happy teaching, watching complete novices learn to spin I have to confess I’m not much of a spinner 😉

This year we did something a little bit different, I was let loose on the unsuspecting public with my felting equipment and I was in my element 🙂 The first question was what could a beginner make in a short space of time? I considered flowers but decided that would require a fairly skilled layout…. What about a small picture / a coaster? Then I thought of pods, but would they be too difficult for a beginner?

She didn’t know it but Paula was my guinea pig, she had never made any felt before but did an amazing job, I was so impressed with what she made I took the plunge and made pods with everyone.IMG_1720

My next visitors were Phoebe and Jemima with 2 more fabulous pods…IMG_1721

There were a couple more visitors on Saturday, including a young lady of only 4 years, who made a felt coaster but I’m afraid I didn’t get photos.

After a good night’s sleep (I slept like a log) we did it all again on Sunday…

First up were 2 mother and daughter teams, Donna and Olivia, Ava and Helen. It’s hard to believe but Ava is only 6 and made a fabulous heart shaped pod. Didn’t she do well?

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In the afternoon we had Fiona, Vanessa and Sue pictured below and Sandetti and Niamh (who were under 18 and did not have a parent who I could ask permission to post their photos). Again, 5 more amazing pods and very happy customers!IMG_1724

What did I learn? Several people commented on how glad they were to make something functional, and I was surprised at how forgiving felt pods are too make, a couple of the youngsters had a very thick layout but the finished pods were fine, just very sturdy!

I hope we can do something similar next year, perhaps offering a phone / glasses case for some of the sessions as an alternative to the pods.

Finally, a couple of photos from my brief excursions to see the rest of the festival between teaching sessions:

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8 comments

  1. What great fun! The pods are terrific. Heart shaped, very bold, but it turned out great. Kids don’t have inhibitions about what they can and can’t do. Obviously, neither did your adults. You must have instilled a lot of confidence in them.

    1. Thanks Marilyn. Ava was something else, she asked lots of insightful questions too, I expect she will go far but they all did incredibly well, especially when you realise most had not even handled wool fibre before.

  2. Really great pots! Well done! How long did it take to make a pot with the beginners? It’s always a problem what to make with the beginners in a limited time…

    1. I found the timing to be very variable, with 1 or 2 students it took about 1.5 hours, with 5 students it took just over 2 hours. This did somewhat limit how much of the felting bug I could spread around.

    1. Thank you Ruth, I’m not sure who had the most fun, me or my students! 🙂 But they all seem chuffed to bits with the pots they had made.

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