Sunday, 2 December 2007

Christmas in November and our AGM

This year has literally flown hence the AGM and Christmas part on November seemed to arrived almost by surprise!

The day started with the AGM. Our Chair, Janet resigned at the end of her three year stint and there were three new appointments to the committee plus some changes in positions between existing committee members. Janice was appointed the new Chairperson at the end of the meeting by the committee.

As many members had submitted items for our exhibition there were fewer entries to the competition than usual but that certainly didn't mean a lowering of any standards.

The winners in each category were as follows:

Spinning - Joan

Dyeing - Kate

Weaving - Averil

Congratulations to all of the winners and to everyone who took part.

We then enjoyed a wonderful spread for lunch before a "show and tell" of projects and our final farewells for the year! Let's hope our next year will be as successful and 2007 and more.

Baskets in October

(Sorry for the delay in posting but so much has been happening with our Guild I'm still playing catch up with our recent events!)

October's meeting was our busiest yet with the hall literally bursting at the seams. Our membership is now up to a record breaking level of forty members. We also had some visitors for Averil's workshop on soft basketry.

The day started with a quick exercise in making a traditional Maori friendship flower. Here you see us "swords at the ready" before starting to weave a flower and some final results. The flowers dry into a lovely golden colour.

In the afternoon Averil demonstrated the art of creating a small basket from Daffodil leaves. Skills were quickly developed and by the end of the day most participants took away their basket and some material to finish their basket at home.

A special thanks goes to Averil for her hard work in preparing such and exciting workshop.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Exhibition 2007

Our exhibition opened at the end of October with a private view which was very well attended. It will run until the beginning of the new year at the Castle Park Arts Centre in Frodsham, Cheshire.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Weaving Warrington's Past

At our meeting on September 22, Kit Heald of the Warrington Historical and Archaeological Society spoke on the links between our crafts and Warrington’s long history and really widened our knowledge of the area.
A settlement at the lowest crossing point on the River Mersey, Warrington existed as a community in the tribal era before the Romans took control from the area around what we now know as Stockton Heath. We learned that Wilderspool Causeway was exactly that – a road through the surrounding wetlands.
In this wet and marshy land flax and hemp were grown and production of linen and canvas became one of the main industries of the town. In 1686 there were 16 hempyards around the town supplying the fibre for the manufacture, locally, of sailcloth to equip the huge fleets of galleons which defended these islands. It is ironic to learn that in those days peace meant real hardship for people who produced sails.
In the eighteenth century the manufacture of fustian grew and continued along with canvas. Fustian is woven from a mixture of fibres and is a hardwearing fabric with a pile which had to be cut by hand by skilled workers. Cockhedge Mill was a spinning mill which closed in 1960.
Warrington was never a one-industry town. It was involved in wire making (of course!), tanning, soap manufacture, shipping, brewing, file making, glass manufacture, sugar refining and pin making, to name the main ones. It is good to know that our crafts of spinning, weaving and dyeing were among the earliest of Warrington’s trades and that we are continuing the history of the area.

Monday, 17 September 2007

Guild Meeting (22nd September)

Our next meeting will have Kit Heald talk about Weaving Warrington's Past in the morning.

Just a quick reminder that all pieces of work for the exihibition should be brought to the Sept meeting or if there is a problem they must be with Janet, Janice, Meryl or Avril by Sept 30th at the latest.

All pieces should be in an individual bag with a label on detailing the following;
  1. your name + telephone number
  2. title/what the piece is e.g. handspun and crocheted etc
  3. price/NFS

Thank you

Weave Week

Our August Weave Week course was extremely successful. Guild member Judy ran the course with Janice on hand to help with the teaching.
We had eight in the beginners section who learned to warp a four shaft loom plus some basic twills etc and four advanced weavers who tackled rug weaving.
The main aim of the course was to assist members who had their own four shaft loom but had never learned to weave, and also to try to encourage more weavers in the guild.
Judy and Janice are to be congratulated on an extremely enjoyable week that certainly produced a few new weavers and increased the knowledge base of the advance weavers.
The week ended with our summer picnic although the weather was too cold and wet to actually picnic outside!

July Members Day

July was one of our busiest meetings yet with 28 members squeezed into the small hall at Croft. It was cosy to say the least but everyone enjoyed the chance to chat, spin/knit/weave and generally catch up. The committee are investigating costs etc for use of the larger hall if meeting numbers continue to grow.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Summer Picnic

Just a reminder that we have our summer picnic this Saturday (18th August) at the Milner Institute, Runcorn Road in the village of Moore, where you'll be able to view the results of the Weave Week course.

Hopefully it will be sunny (fingers crossed)!

Monday, 30 July 2007

Carding in June

Our June meeting saw a demonstration/ workshop on different carding techniques led by our very own Averil Otiv.

A vast array of different carding equipment were available for members to try out including a few drum carders (members are reminded that the Guild drum carder is available for loan on a monthly basis for a small fee).

Thank you Shirley Turner for providing our photographs.

Monday, 18 June 2007

This Saturday (23rd June).....

On behalf of Janice and Meryl may I remind everyone that Saturday is the last opportunity to submit something for the exhibition. It needn’t be a finished garment, skeins of dyed yarn/fibre or fancy spinningwould give visitors an insight into our craft.

Its a "Member's Day" meeting but we will also have a demonstration on carding so please bring some fleece and carders/ combs if you have any.

Sashiko in May

We had a visit from Susan Briscoe at our May meeting, author and collector of Japanese Sashiko textiles and textile artist.

She talked through several pieces in her collection and explained the history of Sashiko (traditional decorative Japanese technique of needlework quilting to reinforce textiles) before showing us some of her own pieces.

The jacket on the left is very old and almost threadbare but this adds to its charm. It was also interesting to note how textiles were repaired time and time again.

Dressing up was a must with so many interesting garments. Below we have our very own Pat in a traditional jacket and hat posing with Susan's willing assistant.

Here we have Joan sporting a bonnet and beautiful apron and jacket. The bonnet has material to cover the neck from the effects of the weather when working in the fields.

And last but not least we have Sally wearing an outfit that would terrify any claustrophobic! It was interesting to see that textiles were used to protect the skin in the same way we would now use sunblock.

(one of Susan's quilts)

(close up of some Sashiko patterns)

Saturday, 26 May 2007

Ply-split Workshop

( a 3D ply-split flower by Julie Hedges)
In April we had a wonderful workshop and lecture from the very talented textile artist Julie Hedges.
Julie's lecture was fascinating which took us through the history of ply-split braiding and Julie's trip to India to work with local artisans who still carry on the tradition.

We then had a two day workshop where Julie took us through several practice pieces from her book and we learned to make cords with cord winders.

It was a very inspiring weekend and now the Guild owns its own cord winder we can continue to explore this fascinating technique.

(Samples made during the workshop)

(work in progress - using a grip fid)

(cord winding)

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Flax Spinning Workshop in Pictures

Sorry it's taken me so long to post these pictures. Thanks to Shirley Turner for being photographer for the day!

Friday, 23 February 2007

Flax Spinning Workshop!

Don't forget your equipment for the flax spinning workshop on Saturday 24th February! See post below for the list of items needed.

Monday, 19 February 2007

Programme Update

Our programme for the year has been updated with more information. Please check for changes here. I link will also be added in the side bar so you can remind yourself of dates etc at any time.

Saturday, 3 February 2007

Help Needed

Val Bryant is helping restore the fortunes of Knutsford Heritage Centre. She has a small display space she would like to fill with information and examples of the work of our Guild and the Knitting & Crochet Guild. Can anyone help out with examples of our various disciplines please?

Work will be needed from 'now' until March, nothing too precious although area will be stewarded at all times.If you can help please contact Val: val

Thanks Janet

Flax Spinning - February Meeting

Just a reminder at this month's meeting (24th February) will be a Flax spinning workshop with our very own Val Bryant. This is open to all members and visitiors at no additional cost.

If you intend to take part in the workshop, please bring the following:
Spinning Wheel
  1. Niddy Noddy (although if you don't have one I'm sure you can borrow from another participant)
  2. strong brown uncreased paper
  3. small ball of string
  4. masking tape or sellotape
  5. scissors
  6. 4 sheets newspaper
  7. distaff or a broom handle to form a distaff
  8. small piece of sponge & water pot
  9. 2 yards of ribbon
  10. notepad and pencil
  11. apron
  12. any flax you may have (although there will be some for sale).


(left - weaving on an Ashford "Knitter's Loom" at our January meeting)

As promised here are some more details about our planned exhibition later this year:

Venue: Castle Park Art Centre, Frodsham, Cheshire.
We have Gallery 3 which also includes the staircase.
Date: 23rd October - Christmas 2007
Private view will be held on Friday 26th October from 7.30pm - 9pm (wine to be provided!!)

Work to be submitted:
It is hoped that all members will submit work. If any selection is made it will be on the basis of available space and what is needed to make the exhibition work as a whole.

Pieces to be exhibited can include:
  • work form our workshops (excluding the Colette Gilmartin workshop)

  • felt which has an element of hand dyeing incorporated in it

  • hand spun fibres

  • knitted and crochet items which use yarns that are hand spun and/or hand dyed

  • weaving

  • baskets

All work submitted must have been completed in the last three years and not previously exhibited outside our guild.

Please note that as the room will be in use for other activities during the week (i.e. yoga class) all items must be hung on the wall, although there may be the chance of using a mannequin to display clothing.

Commission: the Gallery commission on items sold during the exhibition is 25% so bear this in mind when pricing items should you choose to sell.

  • February meeting - forms will be available for members to take and complete giving details of the pieces of work to be submitted.

  • May meeting - submission forms to be returned by 26th May or posted to Meryl, Janice, Janet or Averil.

  • September meeting - work to be completed and delivery.

Publicity, insurance, hanging arrangements etc are all being checked and dealt with. There will be updates at each meeting and on this blog.

Wednesday, 31 January 2007

New Beginnings

At our first meeting of 2007 it was standing room only. Old and new members, as well as visitiors and budding spinners squeezed into the hall for a members day full of news, chat and a bit of spinning in between.

We had a several visitors keen to learn to spin including one brave Girl Guild who also managed to learn a bit of crochet too.

Heather (in the middle picture) is looking particularly pleased after finishing her first ever piece of spinning (she's the one holding up a "L" plate).

There were several announcements including information about our exhibition to be held in the Castle Park Arts Centre in Frodsham from October to December. More information about this plus other items will be added to this blog over the next few days.