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