Thursday, 15 July 2010

The Ashford Day with Richard Ashford from New Zealand

Another brilliant Ashford Day, lots to see and lots to say.
Richard Ashford with his wheels, Janet Phillips with her deals.
He said how the company started with toys,
And wooden things all made by the boys.
He told of the spinning wheels, described with clarity,
That they couldn't sell, so they all went to charity.

He talked about fliers, ratios and things,
That went over our heads, flew away with wings.
Then Kate Sherratt got up from a back row chair,
Showed us how to spin fancy yarns with a flair.
If we had problems David Herring was there,
To give us advice on the wear and the care

And then we all stopped and had lots to eat,
The food was plentiful, a really good treat.
Then Kate went up to one end of the room,
And showed us a new way to warp up a loom.
Some of us got some more spinning done,
Yes, another good time of Ashford Day FUN!

Poem by Catherine Housley.

The Derbyshire Guild would like to thank the Staffordshire Moorlands Guild for inviting us to a great Ashford Day. Their hospitality and food was fantastic, we all had a real good time!
Our thanks also go to Richard Ashford, Kate Sherratt and David Herring for making the day most interesting and informative. Thanks to, for the free samples of fibres and 'The Wheel' magazine. It was great to see the new products that will be for sale at this years Woolfest. We would like to wish Richard and staff a safe journey back to New Zealand.

AGM and Guild Competition

Friday 26th March 2010 annual general meeting started with business from the chairman, the secretary and treasurers report, which shows the guild in a healthy position with rising membership. The committee was elected for another year and votes of thanks where given to the committee for all their hard work on behalf of the guild members. Thanks were extended to Stuart Groom for all his help and support throughout the year and for auditing the books.
After the AGM we had the annual guild competition where members submitt work in five catagories: Spinning, Weaving, Dyeing, Felt making and Creativity.
This years winners:
1st. - Anne Urquhart for handspun pure Silk
2nd - Anne Urquhart for handspun Blue Face Leicester
3rd - Frances Cooper for handspun Cashmere
1st - Anne Warwick for three hand woven yarn holder bags
2nd - Doreen Woodham for hand woven container
3rd - Stuart Groom for a trio of hand woven braids
1st - Anne Warwick for Navajo ply hand dyed yarn
2nd - Anne Warwick for hand dyed Cotswold fleece waistcoat
3rd - Catherine Housley for natural dyed handspun yarns
1st - Catherine Housley for felted flowers
2nd - Margareta Dawson for a felted cushion
3rd - Chris Sault for her Thermofleece felted box
1st - Doreen Woodham for her Woven container.

Textured Weaving Workshop with Stacey Harvey Brown

Saturday 13th March 2010 workshop began with an introduction to weaving texture by Stacey Harvey Brown a weaver of some renowned. She brought along some of her stunning work and textured weaving samples, seen here, to share with us. She inspired us with her jaquard fabrics and creative ideas. She gave us an insight into her creative process as she goes about designing and accomplishing some of her beautiful fabrics. After the talk came the practical bit of the workshop. People had a variety of looms and tapestry frames to work on and we were encouraged to work from a design source for colour and texture inspiration. With stacey looking on to help and give advice, we were all pushed out of our comfort zone, to achieve some very interesting work. A productive day where seeds of creativity were sown and the results of which we may see later on.

Hazel and Jean looking at some of the beautiful books Stacey brought along with her that she uses for inspirational guide.

Show and Tell plus The Thermo Fleece Challenge

On Friday 26th February 2010 the guild meeting theme was show and tell plus the guild fleece challenge. Someone had the bright idea of collecting thermal acustic insulation block samples. These sample blocks are A6 in size and made from Herdwick fleece. They are called Thermafleece and they were given out at Woolfest last year. So, we were set a challenge to see what we could make with a block!
The challenge was to see just how creative our guild members could be. Well, it was not the best of stuff to deal with, it seemed to shred and shed bits of stuff everywhere, it was rough and tough so you would not want to wear it. But our guild members were not deterred by any of this and true to form, like the creative bunch they are, they presented an interesting array of things from felted animals, bags, ear mufflers, a hot pan holder, pictures, bookcovers and felted boxes. So well done to you all!
If anyone has photographs of these items for this post please send them to me.

Felt Landscape using resist technique led by Janet Phillips

On Saturday 13th February, at our Hazelwood workshop, the hall was packed with people and wool tops! Janet Phillips from the Threshing Barn came along to give us a workshop in resist felt making. The theme was the Derbyshire Countryside. Janet started off by demonstrating how to create an effective landscape background using a drum carder and coloured wool tops. She worked the foreground into 3D by inserting layers of plastic between layers of felting. This created pockets in your work that looked like hills and peaks and gave extra depth to the picture. When the plastic is removed you have layers of 3D felt that can be embellished with embroidery or needle felting. By the end of the day all the guild members had work hard to produce an amazing array of pictures in felt.......good enough for any exhibition says Bibi!

Naldinding with Tanya Patmore

Back in January 2010 we had a very interesting Friday evening workshop on Nalbinding led by Tanya Patmore. This technique can be traced back to 4200B.C. in Denmark. It was used for netmaking, baskets, bags, clothing etc. and precedes continuous spinning. You use short lengths of yarn, working a link stitch that won't unravel, with a short flat wooden or bone needle. The technique of Nalbinding can also be found in the Maya region of South America, Iran, Peru and Taiwan.
We all had a go - some of us were better than, I was not so good at it, being hampered by my not so dexterous arthritic fingers. Tanya brought along some of her nalbinding work to show us, mittens, boots and bags. I don't have any photographs to post of these item yet but will add them at a later date. So if any guild members out there has photographs of this workshop, I would be pleased if you could share them with us.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Navajo Plying workshop

Back on Friday 27th November 2009 Jean Groom demonstrated and explained the technique of Navajo plying to the members at the guild meeting. This technique allows you to turn a single spun thread into a 3 ply yarn. It also lets you keep the colour sequence you have created when spinning. This can give some very interesting colour effects when using multi-coloured fibres seen here in the pictures. Navajo plying creates a rounded yarn that is very even. But you must remember it uses 3 time the amout of singles. It is also an ideal method of plying to use up all your left over singles on your bobbins.
The results from knitting up the Navajo plied yarn below was very interesting and not what I had expected it to be like. It produced short blocks of colour within a row of knitting. I like the effect and it would work well for a childs garment.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Guild Programme for 2010

The guild meets on the second Saturday of the month, 10am to 4pm at Hazelwood Village Hall, Hazelwood, Derbyshire and the last Friday of the month at Mickleover Community Centre 7.30pm to 9.30pm. All new members and visitors welcome.

PROGRAMME for 2010:

  • Sat. 9th Jan. - Spin-in, show off you fibrous Christmas gifts.
  • Fri. 29th Jan. - Nalbindning with Tanya Patmore.

  • Sat. 13th Feb. - Resist Felt Landscape with Janet Phillips.

  • Fri. 26th Feb. - Show and Tell/ Thermo Fleece Challenge.

  • Sat. 13th Mar. - Weaving Texture Workshop with Stacey Harvey Brown.

  • Fri. 26th Mar. - AGM and Guild Competition.

  • Sat. 10th Apr. - Spin-in and Sales table in aid of the CONI charity (Care Of the Next Infant).

  • Fri. 30th Apr. - Talk on Angora Rabbits by Richard Grindey of the Angora Rabbit Club.

  • Sat. 8th May. - Visit to the Kaleidoscope Exhibition at Mansfield Museum.

  • Fri. 28th May - Mongolian Argali & Anecdotes talk by Alison Thornhill.
  • Sat. 12th June - Napalese Children's Trust Talk and Sale with Gwenda Culkin.
  • Fri. 25th June - No Meeting, members at Woolfest.
  • Sat. 10th July - An Abundance of Braids and Bands with Jennie Parry.
  • Fri. 30th July - Spin-in work on your latest project & Woolfest fibres.
  • Sat. 14th Aug - Guild Outing, open house at Muriel's.
  • Fri. 27th Aug - Summer break, no meeting.
  • Sat. 11th Sept - Spin, weave or felt workshop.
  • Fri. 24th Sept - The prehistoric uses of natural fibres, talk by Peter Groom.
  • Sat. 9th Oct. - 'The Fruit Course' a day of Dyeing with Mary Hawkins.
  • Fri. 29th Oct - Spin-in, wpork on your latest project.
  • Sat. 13th Nov - Needle Felting Workshop with Kim Smith.
  • Fri. 26th Nov - Spinning, Weaving & Dyeing in the 1500s talk by Alison Coates.
  • Sat. 11th Dec - Christmas Meeting and Shared Lunch.

Guild Newsletters will be issued in January, April, July and October. Details of workshop materials and equipment required will be listed in the newsletters.

Monday, 31 May 2010

Lincoln Longwool Sheep - A talk by Sharon Rowlands

Friday evening meeting on 30th October we had a most enjoyable talk given by Sharon Rowlands of Greengate Wools. Sharon has her own flock of Lincoln Longwool sheep from which she supplies fleece, fibres,wool, educational packages and unique gifts.
She talked about how she stared up her flock and how it grew with the help of Hercules her ram, seen here pull a cart.

Sharon's talk and slide show was so interesting it inspired me to use the drawing of Hercules as the front cover of the Fleece Log Booklet I have produced seen here below.

I have designsed and created the Fleece Log Booklet for spinners to record details of the fleece and fibres they use. Each page has a section where you can record the type of fleece, it's staple length, weight, colour, cost condition, desirable characteristics, it's shearing age and origin address/ There is space on each page to write down spinning notes and to stick small samples of fleece and spun fibres. It is a simple A5 booklet that could build into a useful reference on your fleece purchase and spinning history. On the inside front and back covers you have a list of fleece and fibre providers who you can contact at shearing time to purchase fleece. The booklet costs £2.50 and all the proceeds from the sales of this booklet will go to the CONI and CONI Plus programme to raise money to buy specialist monitoring equipment for babies at risk of sudden infant death.
CONI stands for CARE OF the NEXT INFANT and is funded by The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths with your hospital and community health service. To find out more visit their website:
To lose a child is every parents worst nightmare and my family have first hand knoledge of what it's like. Raising money for this charity who are helping my family after the death of my grandson, is my way of saying thank you to the CONI charity, for their support, counselling and providing monitoring equipment for our new baby granddaughter who is call Hope.
If you would like to purchase a fleece log booklet please email me at

A Vegetarian Platter of Dyeing with Mary Hawkins

We had a most enjoyable day with Mary dyeing yarn that had been pre-mordented. We used red and brown onion skins, beetroot and red cabbage. Above is the red cabbage yarn results
The results from left to right - red onion skins, beetroot, brown onion skins and red cabbage. We use a combination of microwave and boiling to get these results. Some striking colours from these simple veg.

Here 's the results on the day from all the guild members, a platter of coloured yarns dyed using vegetables. Next year Mary said we can try the same thing with fruit.

Wool Combing on the Hackle with Mary Bell

Saturday 12th September 2009 workshop - Wool combing and colour blending on the Hackle with Mary Bell.
Mary is seen here demonstrating the technique of combing fleece using the hackle. A very dangerous looking bit of kit with very sharp spikes.

Derbyshire Guilds Open Day June 2009

Heather's silk flowers made from dyed silk rods. Purchased from the Threshing Barn at the Guilds Open Day on Saturday 13th June 2009.
Lorraine doing a great job of knitting on a pair of pins almost as big as she is. Not a task for the faint hearted. What's it going to be when it's finished Lorraine?

A very busy full room at Hazelwood Village Hall. The guilds open day was a great success with lots to see, lots to do and lots to buy.

Saturday 11th July 2009 workshop with the Ladies of the Long Draw Spinners. Above is Pam Austin who came along to our guild with Rosalind Willatts to teach us the techniques of long draw spinning. You can find out more from their website

It has been well over a full year since I made a post on the Derbyshire guilds website. I must apologize for this. 2009 was a difficult year for me, we lost our dear grandson at Christmas 2008. It was very sudden and a great shock to us all. He was only 17 months old and we miss him terrible. I am afraid to say that so many thing got put on the back burner throughout 2009. The guild has been very understanding and the members very supportive. But now I must try and bring this website up to date with all the interesting events and things the guild have been up to.
  • The 2009 meeting got off to a good start on Saturday 10th January with a Spin-in. Members brought along their stash of interesting fibres to share with us all.

  • At the Friday evening meeting on the 30th January 2009 Jean Groom and Ann Jones gave a very interesting talk and slide show of their trip to Bhutan.

  • The Saturday workshop on the 14th February 2009 - Making a woven corrugated cardboard basket led by Karen Edwards.

  • Friday evening meeting on 27th February 2009 was a Drop Spindling night led by Alison Daykin.

  • Saturday 14th March 2009 workshop we all enjoyed A Vegetarian Platter of Dyeing with Mary Hawkins with some lovely results.

  • Friday evening meeting on 27th March 2009 was the guilds AGM and annual competition.

  • At the Saturday workshop on the 11th April 2009 we all made 3D Felted Mittens with Penny Marsden. After a lot of hard work we all went home with a lovely pair of brightly coloured felted mittens that were a perfect fit.

  • Friday evening meeting on the 24th April 2009 was a show and tell night with members bringing along the projects they were working on.

  • Saturday 9th May 2009 we had a very interesting Antiques Road Show with a Buy, Sell or Exchange table.

  • The Friday evening meeting on the 29th May 2009 Jean Groom gave a talk called The Story of my Wheels. Jean brought in 8 of her 9 wheels. Each wheel had a story behind it on how she acquired it. A lovely nostalgic evening with some beautiful spinning wheels.

  • Saturday 13th June 2009 was the Derbyshire guilds open day held in the Hazelwood Village Hall. The Threshing Barn stall was in attendance along with other stalls with lots of goodies on sale. Some excellent food was provided along with some excellent company from visiting guild and friends.

  • There was no Friday evening meeting at the end of June 2009 because most of us were at Woolfest up in Cockermouth, Cumbria. The weather was very warm and it's hard to believe not long after Cockermouth was flooded out and homes were under 5 ft or more of water. The later half of 2009 was a very hard for Cockermouth, but they are fighting back to get ready for Woolfest 2010 and we will all be up there this year for Woolfest to support the people of Cockermouth.

  • Saturday 11th July 2009 we had a most interesting and informative workshop run by the Ladies of the Long Draw Spinners. Pam Austin gave a talk on the history of long draw spinning, then the three ladies, Pam, Rosalind and Val set about teaching us all the technique of long draw spinning. By the end of the workshop we were all mastering it. Well done ladies.

Well that brings us to half way through 2009 so here are some photographs to go with these events sofar.

Woven Corrugated Cardboard Baskets - workshop with Karen Edwards.
One of Jean Grooms lovely hand carved spinning wheels.

Photographs from the Saturday weaving workshop held in Novembre 2009