Cranleigh Show

I spent this Saturday with my local Guild of Spinners Weavers and Dyers on their stand at the Cranleigh Agricultural Show. They have a stand there each year and demonstrate a mixture of spinning and weaving (dyeing is a bit impractical). I went along hoping to sell a few of my felted items and get to know some of the guild members better. I didn’t sell anything but I was taught to spin by the lovely Jo, she made it look so easy and I’m sure I made it look unnecessarily difficult. But in my defence you are trying to control 3 different elements simultaneously (keeping the foot treadle going so it spins in the right direction, thinning out the roving with your right hand while holding and feeding the thinned roving with your left), all far too much for my tiny brain to cope with!

This is the outcome of my labours…. a bit chunky and uneven (I call it “art yarn” ;o) ) but at least it has not unravelled.

Rosemary also attempted to teach me how to use a drop spindle. This was a little easier but my results were a tad disappointing. I clearly need more practice…

Here is our West Surrey Guild of Spinners Weavers and Dyers. You can just about make out a couple of my felt handbags hanging on the back wall of the tent. We were busy like this all day.

And a few more photos from the rest of the show.

Another bonus from this trip was picking up my first fleece to scour and prepare for felting (2 fleeces in fact), I’m afraid I forgot to take pictures while I was working on the first one but here is the second one (a Jacob) all neatly bundled up.

And partially unfolded, the sides are still folded in. The neck of the fleece is on the left. I was rather pleased to find it was mostly white wool (it’s much easier to dye different colours).

I spent this morning cutting off the dags, picking out bits of grass and dead bugs and separating the colours into separate buckets ready for scouring. It was nice (if a bit smelly) to be sitting in the sun playing with my fleeces.

I noticed on my first fleece that I still have small waxy lumps in the fleece even after soaking in detergent overnight and rinsing. Those of you who have scoured your own fleeces – do you have a preferred detergent or method for getting rid of the build up of lanolin?

Lest We Forget

I am feeling very chuffed, one of the pieces I submitted to the Weavers, Spinners and Dyers National Exhibiton has been accepted. Fancy that, a feltmaker being accepted to a juried show of weaving and dyeing!

I have been itching to share this piece with you for several weeks but couldn’t in case one of the jurors saw it.

This piece was inspired from a combination of some sketches I made of poppy seed pods from the garden and the realisation that 2014 is the centenary of the start of World War I.

They all cried out a very obvious vase shape to me:

Initially I planned to make this vase using a resist method but then I had a brainwave and thought of a way to interpret my willow weaving skills into felt and after a small test piece, created “Lest We Forget”. The vase shape was woven from cords of white merino and then dyed with acid dyes.

This is the work in progress:

The red and black colours were chosen as the traditional colours of the poppy flower but they also represent the unnecessary blood shed and millions of deaths that occurred not only during WWI but in countless wars since.

If you would like to see this piece in person, it will be on display at “Yarns in the Cathedral” in the Hostry of Norwich Cathedral from 15 May to 1 June 2014.

Linking up to nina-marie

1 2