KumiWotsit !

Just a few of Sheila’s splendid Kumihimo braids that she makes into bracelets, necklaces and the like.  

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Their colour, pattern and texture made for a dazzling display on Tuesday evening.

Tuesday was the first of our Extended Opening Days when Members could access the Workshop at any time between 2 and 9, instead of 7 and 9.  We were delighted to see that THIRTY members visited – an encouraging beginning to our experiment.

Rigid Heddle Loom Play Day

Eight members keen to learn more about the versatility of the rigid heddle loom enjoyed a great workshop last Saturday.

Through demonstration, sharing of knowledge, hints and tips, practical application, and fortified with cake and posh biscuits, we all learned LOADS and left Dilham inspired.  

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Tale of the Gansey

Another busy month.

On 15th October we were delighted to welcome Rita Taylor, local knitting designer and writer, to be our speaker.  She told us The Tale of the Gansey – working in the round; the use of Norwegian words in knitting; the Herring Girls who travelled down the coast from Shetland bringing with them their word-of-mouth, fishing-inspired patterns.

Guernsey licence to import wool early 16C.
Purl stitch invented n 16C ?
900 g Worstead to make a Guernsey genseren
Norwegian words used in knitting
Patterns not written down, word of mouth.
Herring girls – Shetland to Sheringham
Stitch patterns not
Sheringham 13 sets and 19 rows to one inch – very fine needles 17s
Not true that a port had its own pattern
Sheringham famous for ganseys

So much knowledge . . . wonderful stories . . . all generously shared and explained using perfect, tiny samples.

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22nd October saw us back in Aylsham Parish Church and this time joined by friends from Slow Food, the Country Market and the Heritage Centre.

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Apple & Fleece Day enabled us to celebrate the harvest season, and bring our love of woolly crafts to children and adults alike.  

Not surprisingly, tea and cake loomed large at both events !

The Spice of (a woolly) Life

Tracey’s completed commission for an Eiffel Tower Dorset Button,

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Dennis’ inkle braid from his home-made loom,

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Alice’s needlefelted sheep (kindly given to Bev – we all want one!),

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Sue’s tapestry depicting the seashore,

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and the result of Sheila’s first piece of weaving.

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Just a few of the projects highlighted in last night’s “Show and Tell”.

Armfuls of yarn ready for grandma to knit

Nancy and Nelly were not expected to survive.  Both orphan lambs, they were hand reared by caring staff at Wroxham Barns before securing a place to live with Sally and her family.

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Special sheep deserve to have something special made from their fleece, and so Sally asked the Weavers for their help.   It was a pleasure !  We carded, spun, plied and made skeins.  Oh . . . and chatted, laughed, drank tea and ate cake.

Nancy and Nelly’s human family came along to watch the process and went home with armfuls of yarn ready for grandma to knit, and we added our “wages” to the Guild funds.

Thanks to Tim who wielded the kettle, and Susan who popped in with a still-warm home-made cake.  What a team !  

Another busy night at the Workshop

Another busy night at the Workshop, and great to see so much interaction – members shared skills, mended wheels, signed up for talks, spun, admired one another’s projects and generally had a good (woolly) time.

Sheila’s first attempt at tablet weaving, following on from Elly’s demo last week.

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Sue’s latest gorgeous blingy piece of weaving worked on one of our large floor looms.  

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Elly modelled Alison’s crocheted poncho – handspun and hand dyed yarn
– not bad for a beginner !

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Susan’s table runner woven on a rigid heddle loom
– only a beginner but take a look at those edges !

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The ancient craft of Tablet or Card Weaving.

Our own Elly took centre stage once again at Tuesday’s meeting when she demonstrated the ancient craft of Tablet or Card Weaving.

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We learned that this method of weaving has been practised for around four and a half thousand years, and that tablet-woven braids were used to decorate the clothing of the Saxons and the Vikings.  

Z twists and S twists and warping were all explained, and Elly showed us a small sample of the items she has made, including an ingenious bag that involved a looooong zip.

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After a practical demonstration of how to turn the cards (helped by her “lovely assistant” Stan) it was “over to you” and several members tried their hand.  

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Thank you Elly for your generosity in sharing your skill.

Finally thawed out !

Last Saturday several members braved the suddenly deteriorated “meteo”  for “Spinning in Public Day”.

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Our very grateful thanks go to Mr Peter Purdy and his team at Woodgate Nursery of Aylsham who kindly provided the location, marquee and facilities and made us most welcome.

Textile Treasures

Twenty members and friends descended on Blickling’s Muddy Boots Cafe prior to undergoing a custom-made, two hour, textile tour of the house and it’s attics.

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What a treat to have the magnificent house to ourselves, to be led through cosy lamp-lit rooms, to be able to hear the melodic chimes of the hall clock, and to see at close quarters some of its textile gems.  From huge Brussels tapestries to snippets of crewel work; from rustic weaving to exquisite embroidery – each piece had a tale to tell and our guides were knowledgeable and entertaining story-tellers.

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Now let me see – where shall we go next summer ???

Focus on Dyeing – Naturally !

We are very fortunate to have two members who are history “buffs”.  Pam belongs to the Paston Society, and Debby to an Anglo Saxon re-enactment group.  Both use natural dyes that would have been available at the period, and this week they shared with us the results.  Pam has used, among others, comfrey, madder and marigolds.

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Debby used onion skins (with, and without a mordant) to dye the yarn for her tablet-woven braid.

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Whilst on holiday, June introduced her family to weaving on card looms,

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and Geri wowed us all with her Sanquar gloves.  (Look it up on Google – and be blown away by the wonderful patterns.)

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