The Spice of (a woolly) Life

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


Dennis’ inkle braid from his home-made loom,


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


Sue’s tapestry depicting the seashore,


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


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.


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.


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


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


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


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.


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.


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.  


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”.


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.


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.






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.


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


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


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


It’s All Their Fault

It was Aylsham Show yesterday, and we were blessed with blue skies, sunshine, and lots of interested visitors.  We spun, wove, braided and rugged, laughed, chatted and ate cake.  Perfick !  Just look at this lot – no wonder we’re attracting new members !


AND we “produced the goods” too – visitors and fellow-spinners alike were most impressed by Sue’s awesome Raspberry Ripple yarn, achieved by blending in richly coloured silk.  Inspired !

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All (Dorset) Buttoned Up

Inspired by Elly’s workshop last week, Tracey quite literally “got weaving”.  Having mastered the basics, she went on to produce several little masterpieces.  The detail is amazing – tiny harvest mice and a delicate spider’s web being just two of her creations.  (They will be on sale at the Aylsham Show this weekend). 


Margaret is working on something a tad bigger – a blanket no less.  It will be ready for husband Ken to snuggle in when the weather turns cold.


And Sharon showed us her skill with dyes when skein after skein of the most beautiful blue yarn emerged from her shopping basket.  (If I tell her it’s “just my colour” do you think she might take the hint ???) 


Weaving Magic

A lively night at the Weavers’ Workshop.



Elly showed 20 of us how to weave giant Dorset Buttons. We all “set to” with a slim bangle, a crewel needle and some tapestry wool (kindly provided by Jo)


and by the end of the evening had produced a forest of apple trees, complete with flowers and a sheep !


Show and Tell revealed Stan’s double weaving and a length of twill (just my colour – hint, hint);



Susan’s deliciously textured first weaving of her handspun on a rigid heddle;


Bev’s handspun, knitted hats using fleece from her own sheep and a fabulous needle-felted Jiminy Cricket.



All that energy was fuelled by the always-welcome refreshments from Tim and Sandra.

Thanks to everyone for contributing to another great session.