Wednesday, 19 December 2007


Anyone interested in the WoolBox project, please pop along tonight to the basement.
7pm. thanks Debb.
And don't forget its..........
- Taster Days for the Tawe Guild;
Thursday 3rd January and Tuesday 8th January.
Held in our basement studio at;
The Cross Community Centre,
High Street, Pontardawe.
Pop in between 10am and 4pm on either day, for an informal chat.
To find out all about who we are, what the Tawe Guild does and our courses.
All washed down with a mug of something hot of course!
If you can't make it, but want to join Tawe Guild and our classes
then email and Nell will get back to you.
Know anyone who might be interested in spinning, weaving or dyeing, then pass it on.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Go and visit Isabel Online

Isabel has cracked this posting pictures lark. Pop over to her site to see what they got up to when teaching at Heritage Centre, Parkmill, Gower November 2007.

Either use the link further down the page in Tawe members online section or go direct

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Line Dancing Spinners!!!

Liz, Marj, Nell, Isabel, Sian and I trundled along to The Princess Theatre, Port Talbot, to spin and display work to visitors to our local celebration of Carers Rights Day.
A really well organised event, lovely Christmassy singing by Blaenbaglan Primary School, beautifully laid out tables for guests, with pristine table linen, poinsettias and chocolates, delightful detail. Well done them.
And what did we do, just the usual, demonstrations of weaving, spinning, displays of work and goods, eating gooey eclairs (thanks Norma), etc. oh and well a spot of line-dancing. Not sure how that happened, but there we all were, suddenly up on stage with the pros, causing chaos, tripping everyone up. It must be said only Isabel looked like she had an inkling of which way to go, must be all her country dancing!

What sports they were to invite us up!
What an end to the day!
Isabel sends her apologies for lack of line dancing piccies, butshe was too busy dancing!
If anyone has the photos of her leading the conga whilst spinning on her top whorl spindle, then let me have them! What a woman!!

Liz multi-tasking!
Look here to read more about what the afternoon was all about.

Bye for now, photos of "Spinning in Tesco - Ponty" to Follow!!

Dates for your diary 2008

Spring Term Teaching Dates.

New Term starts back on Tuesday 8th January.

Half term is Tuesday 12th Feb,

Easter Holiday begins with NO class on Tuesday 18th March,
Back after Easter on Tuesday 8th April,

Whitsun Holiday is Tuesday 27th May,

Term ends for summer holidays on 22nd July.

Monday, 3 December 2007

Carers Rights Day - Neath Port Talbot

Liz, Marj, Nell, Isabel, Sian and I will be at The Princess Theatre, Port Talbot, to take part in a celebration of Carers Rights Day.
Look here to read more about what the afternoon will be all about.

Bye for now, photos of "Spinning in Tesco - Ponty" to Follow!!

Friday, 30 November 2007

Looking for a Donkey!

Hello team I am in dire need of a pattern for a knitted donkey to go with the crib! Can anyone help?I am using Jean Greenhowe's patterns so that might give you an idea of what I am after. The kids want a s...... donkey! Oh and a cow! I'm waiting for the request for a tiger.....I love 'em dearly though CheersNell

Wednesday, 28 November 2007


Nell and I did Brecon Christmas Craft Fair at the weekend. Well the weather gave the new gazebo a run for its money! Talk about trouble with wind! But our "new blue home from home" stood up just fine. What with Nell's wheel-powered flashing lights, our jolly Santa hats, the singing Reindeer to dance with and Santa in a shawl, the passing crowds couldn't resist. We had lots of interest in the wheels, the Tawe Guild and our courses. In fact we almost ran out of flyers and we raised a reasonable amount in Guild sales too. Thanks Carol and Daniel for popping by to keep us going and joining in!
Oh and yes, it was very cold. (Think Spinners in woolly thermals) Yes, it was very wet, but it was GREAT FUN and I haven't laughed so much in ages. And yes Nell - WE ARE the happenin' Guild!!
I was cream crackered the next day, but Nell like a trooper turned out for Penderyn Farmers Market with Eirian on Sunday!! Madness, madness but not boring!

Taster Days - Spread the Word!

Breaking News - Breaking News - Breaking News -Breaking News -

Taster Days for the Tawe Guild will be;

Thursday 3rd January and Tuesday 8th January.

Held in our basement studio at;

The Cross Community Centre, High Street, Pontardawe.

Pop in between 10am and 4pm on either day, for an informal chat. To find out all about who we are, what the Tawe Guild does and our courses. All washed down with a mug of something hot of course!

If you can't make it, but want to join Tawe Guild and our classes then

email and Nell will get back to you.

Know anyone who might be interested in spinning, weaving or dyeing,
then pass it on.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Tawe Guild Newsletter- November07

Hi there and welcome to the Tawe Newsletter à là Nell!

How can I follow in those mighty footsteps of our previous secretary? A huge thank you to Eirian and I can only hope to come close to the standard that she set.

The AGM raised a few interesting issues and much debate was had around the classes. It has been decided to “tender” for the teaching hours and invoices raised to pay for tutoring time, as well as a raise in the tutor’s well-earned fees.

We are growing fast and the use of space was discussed.

There will be general get-together on a Thursday for members who want to work at the Cross but have a bit of a social life too. There will be no charge made for those Guild members who are paid up class members. Otherwise a charge of £2.50 per day or part thereof will be levied to off set the room charges.

We now have a bright blue gazebo for events whereby “deals” can be done to get reduced, even free, rent. This will be first utilised at Brecon Christmas Fair on November 27th. A few hardy souls haves opted to brave the elements to raise funds for the Guild, instead of remaining nice and cosy at the felting day at the Cross. Hmm – wonder who those characters could be? Any other offers of help gratefully appreciated as well as thermals, hot water bottles and maybe a wee medicinal flask?

The Journal fees will be due in December. Please pay Isabel when you see her or leave the money in class. This is a quarterly magazine for Weavers, Spinners & Dyers, full of articles, information, features, technique instruction, diary of events and reviews of books and videos as well as advertisements for equipment and fibres, and well worth the subscription.
Coming attractions:

December 4th Carer’s Day at the Princess Theatre, Port Talbot
December 16th Penderyn Farmer’s Market

Some useful web sites for you to peruse when you have a moment, and just in case you need to let your nearest and dearest know what you would like in your stocking:

Christmas Dinner – not too many takers so far for the Butcher’s Arms. If we would rather bring out own to the Cross, I need to know by 27th November so I can cancel the provisional booking at the Butcher’s. Whatever we decide to do, remember the Chairwoman’s Challenge – a Christmas stocking!
Have and happy and peaceful Christmas season

Friday, 16 November 2007

Autumn colours in the Gallery.

Have a look in the Our Gallery (it's in the links section) to see what else we've been up to!

Thursday, 15 November 2007

The Blog to maintain and tea to drink.

Nell and I are embarking on a blog revamp, added features such as F.A.Qs and the like, but we would welcome constructive comment and a few ideas.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Isabel's 1st Blog

This is my first attempt to get an item on our blog

Friday, 2 November 2007

Learning to BLOG!!

First and foremost: thanks to Sian for turning out to give a great introduction to Blogger, thanks too must go to Nell for the scrumptious bannocks which kept us fuelled while we learned and thanks to Clive, teapourer and jam organiser extrodinaire.
I think we challenged Sian, ourselves, the internet connection at Nell's and Blogger but it was really worth it. Lots of new bloggers were born!
Isabel and Marj are now linked to the Tawe Guild Blog, please visit them, oh and leave a comment so they know you were there. Isabel has put up something about the Tawe Guild at Parkmill and Marj has assured me there will be details of what to bring to the felting day.
If any other Tawe Guild Members need a bit of one to one, help with Blogger that is, then either email Debb or give her a ring. Shouldn't take more than a couple of hours!

Monday, 1 October 2007

Blogging Workshop

In a fit of abberation I agreed to take a workshop on blogging! That is, showing you guys how to set up a blogger account and how to access this place, how to upload a picture and stuff like that. Bring a laptop if you have one, a digital camera with battteries and memory card ( I almost always forget one of those, so I thought I would remind you in case) and a compatible memory card reader. It helps if you have some kind of experience with a computer as well because I know how mine works but that is as far as it goes really.

So on Tuesday, 30th October after the class we are all trooping up Nell's house and I will give a brief talk on blogging and how to get into this site so you can post up your thoughts, ideas, projects, comments and pictures.

If you have wanted to do this before and, like Isabel have been frustrated at not being able to, then this is your chance. I can promise nothing really because technology and I are not best buddies, but I will do my best and we might get somewhere... who knows where but at the very least we will raid Nell's "hoose" for a cuppa tea and a biscuit.

Thanks Nell for the offer of hospitality.

Winghams Sampling Day

Yes this is a huge plug, but it is a really good day out for fibre addicts. Bring a wheel, carders, packed lunch and plenty of cash because I challenge you to resist the array of fibres that is on offer at these days

Venue 1
Llantrisant, The Old School
Sat 6th & Sun 7th October 10.30 - 4.30 both days
Entrance: £3.50
Phone: The Model House 01443 237758

Venue 2
Llanelltyd Village Hall, near Dolgellau
Thursday 11th October 10-4
Entrance: £2.00
Phone: Meirionnydd Guild of Weavers Spinner and Dyers, Meira Pierce 01341 241 557
e mail:

Venue 3
Llangathen Village Hall, near Aberglasney, Carmarthenshire.
Saturday 13th October 10-4
Entrance: £3.5o
Phone: Sue Hoyland 01834 812544

A selection of books, fibres, yarns, books and equipment will be available for inspection and sale throughout the day. ( Credit and debit cards can be used). Advice on use of fibres is given if required. Wheels and plenty of time are essential to make full use of the day.

That is the blurb that is given out. What it is is a group of fibre nuts in a big room with all the fibre you can possibly dream of. Silk, wool, alpaca, cahmere, cotton, tencel...I picked up milk protien fibre and recycled milk cartons in previous days. These guys come to this area once a year and although they do an excellent mail order service, postage is not cheap. And it is a treat to see everything that is on offer. Can you tell I love this service? Am I giving you a clue here?
Well...when something is good, it is good.
Go if you can, it is worth it.

check out the site here at Wingham Wool

October Newsletter

Hello again, and welcome to another year of creativity!

We’ve had a good summer with lots of events, and look forward to getting back into a routine of classes and workshops. The first event in October is the All Wales Event in Llanidloes on Saturday 6th. We will be taking part as usual, putting up display boards, and running the raffle. If you have an item for display, or a raffle prize could you please let me have it ASAP, (I’ll be in our room at the Cross Community Centre on Thursday, October 4th, preparing things for displays etc). I hope many of our members will attend as it is a good day out! Lots to see, trade stands to buy from, raffle prizes to win, (usually about 20+ prizes) and if you are in the first 150 tickets bought, a talk by Jenny Balfour-Paul on Indigo dyeing. Ticket cost £4 for the first 150, and a reduction for any sold after that. Bring a packed lunch, or eat at one of the cafés/restaurants/pubs in the town.

Winghams (a fibre trading company) will be in Llantrisant on October 6th & 7th.
10.30am - 4.30pm
Further details The Model House tel 01443 237758
Our AGM will be in the Gallery, at the Cross on October 27th, please come if you can, we need as many members as possible to come and voice your opinions, so that we know what you want your committee to do for you. We also need to vote for some new members on the committee, and a new secretary.
Our AGM is followed in the afternoon by a sale of wooden items relating to our crafts, made by Clive & Joan Jones, from Abergavenny, and a Bring and buy table to try to boost our funds, please bring books, plants, fibres or equipment no longer needed, any craft items, etc.
Annual subs for 2008 are due in October, £10 per person, please pay Gill, our treasurer by the end of the month, as a proportion is sent to HQ, and this covers us for insurance at any of our “outreach” events.

Regular events for the next three months will be—
a) A table at Penderyn Farmers market, the last Sunday of each month, 10 till 2.
b) A weekly class at Parkmill, spinning & weaving for beginners .
c) A monthly workshop at Craig y Nos Country Park.
These will help to increase funds, and keep our class costs as low as
If you want any further information, please phone me on 01685-814217.

Our November workshop has been changed, Monksbelt and Rosepath techniques have been moved to next year, and we will have the felt workshop which was advertised for July, but postponed. The list will be posted on the wall in our room in the Cross as usual, along with the materials to bring with you. Materials will be available for those who do not have their own.

December 4th. We have been asked to help out at a carers day, at the Princess Royal Theatre, Port Talbot, a sort of taster day, if you are free on that day, any help would be appreciated.

December also brings our Christmas dinner, planned for Saturday 8th, 12.30. At the time of writing there are no menus available, I am unable to give information now, but it will be available at our AGM, and from me by phone later on.

At the Christmas dinner Isabel will be collecting names (and payment ) for the Journal for 2008. This is a quarterly magazine for Weavers, Spinners & Dyers, full of articles, information, features, technique instruction, diary of events and reviews of books and videos as well as advertisements for equipment and fibres, and well worth the £19.80 subscription.
Live long and Prosper!!  

Sunday, 30 September 2007

Visit to the Grampian Guild

I have recently returned from a trip "up north" to see the folks. I could not resist a wee trip out to see the Grampian Guild's exhibition. Well worth it too! I was made very welcome by fellow yarnaholics Dora Osbourne and Pam Wheatley, and enjoyed a coffee and a chin wag.

Their banner was beautifully felted and their items on display were stunning. Enjoy! They even had a great wheel which had been handcrafted by a local chap.
Pam (on the left)is coming down to Pontardawe (incredible coincidence!!) in November and I have invited her to join the class if she can to meet the gang.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Taster sessions!

Drop in for a chat and find out how to join!!

On the 11th and 25th September between noon and 8pm, at The Cross Commuity Centre, Pontardawe, where members of the Tawe Guild will welcome you to our home in basement studio.

Spinning need not be expensive! A simple spindle can be for had for little money and you can try different types when you visit.

Come and talk to us if you are thinking of buying a wheel or a loom or want to learn to spin or weave with your own equipment.

Our Guild members have between them many years of experience to draw on, in fact, the Tawe Guild has been running for more than 25 years and would love to share their knowledge.

The Guild offers well attended day-time and evening classes, monthly specialist courses, we even ‘spin in public’ to spread the word. We have lots of opportunities to exhibit or to sell our work, to meet new and interesting people and to enjoy these traditional crafts, keeping them alive for future generations.

Come and see what it’s all about.

Call Eirian 01685 814217 or

Ps All wonderful stuff done by the Guild has been Photographed if you send stuff to me or Eirian may be we can add it to PC disc for all Wales display!! Having DVD of pics went down well at exhibition!

Friday, 10 August 2007

A Letter From America

Hello chaps!
You blog coordinator has bunked off to Alabama for the month so unless you leave a comment here I will not know if you are trying to get in contact with me as I can't figure out how to access my e mails.
Have a great fest, remember to take lots of pics and I am sure Deb or Nell can show you how to post up the pics.
See you at the Glyndwr festival in September!

Ponty festival update

Well done that someone finally got some joy from the Ponty festival people, I've been trying for weeks!

The details of what we are doing at the festival have changed though.
Tea and coffee is off due to "health and safety" and Sunday is closed. Please check with Eirian as other detail changes might have occurred.
Also parties of guild bods will be at the National waterfront Museum Trading skills weekend. 11 & 12 Aug 2007 12 – 4.30pm dropping spindles while watching men in fire-engines I think!!

Can you link this for me please Debb.

Friday, 3 August 2007

Pontardawe Festival

We are going to be on the official festival website - don't ask what I had to do....

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

July News Letter

We have a busy few weeks before us, and I am sending this extra newsletter out to make sure that every one has the information to enable them to join in as much as possible. I am also attempting to send this out by email, so if you are one which has an email service, please print off a copy, and pin it up on the wall. Those who do not have email will have their newsletters by hand or snailmail,

The class finishes for the year this week, and resumes on Sept 18th, but our room in the Cross is open to members as usual, and many will continue to turn up on Tuesdays and carry on with whatever work they have started. We need to have as much work as poss. finished for the exhibition in August.

The end of term party has been postponed for a week, and will be on Tuesday 17th July, at Oxwich bay. Weather permitting we’ll have a dip, or at least a paddle, and then lunch at the Oxwich Bay Hotel – meet in the car park at 12 noon. Please let me know by FRIDAY JULY 13th if you are coming, as I need to let them know numbers.

Our next workshop will be  “Balls and Bracelets”, 3 D feltmaking, led by our resident expert, Marjorie and that will be on July 28th at The Cross. Please bring wool and other fibres, felting needles (and a sponge), biscuit cutters, pipe cleaners, small amounts of spun yarn, goggle eyes, old tights, liquid soap – anything that you think will be useful, (don’t buy anything specially, we’ll have some things for you) and we hope that by then their kitchen will actually have a cooker
Our annual exhibition has been planned to coincide with the Pontardawe Festival, 17th, 18th and 19th August. We will be setting up on the 13th, and taking down on Friday 24th. Please let us borrow any items which you have made recently for exhibition, and if you have any items for sale, please bring them along too, labelled with price and maker, don’t forget to add on 10% for the guild.   It would be great if every guild member could give one item towards our fundraising effort as we have so far failed to get lottery funding for the classes.
During the Fri/Sat/Sunday we will be serving teas and coffees, - and cakes if we have any, to the general public, as a fund raiser for the Guild; volunteers to help needed please, rota already up on the wall in our Cellar.

Immediately after the Exhibiton, on Sat 25th, Sun 26th and Mon (Bank holiday) 27th, we are at the Mountain Centre, and are again asking for volunteers to demonstrate and sell.

September 15th and 16th sees us at The Owain Glyndwr Festival in Abercrave, as above, volunteers please.

During September we are offering “Taster days” to any of the public who might want to try spinning or weaving, in the hope that they may join the classes, these will be on 11th and 25th September, from noon until 8pm, and any guild members would be welcome to help.

Liz, and others will be spinning/weaving/dyeing at Craig –y-nos Country park, on Fridays, throughout the summer, feel free to join in whenever you can, and between September and Christmas, we will be holding one day workshops there,-- Tapestry weaving Sept 28th, Paint a
silk scarf, October 12th, and Felt for Christmas, Nov 9th. For more details contact Liz, on 01639 – 843774.

That’s all for now folks, see you soon,
Eirian. 01685 – 814217.

Friday, 6 July 2007


An exhibition of work is being held in the Cross building over the Pontardawe Festival weekend.

If you have made anything wonderful lately and I'm sure you have, then please bring it along. Contact Eirian for more details. She is offline at the moment, so give her a ring. Number is on newsletters and membership cards.

Looking forward to seeing the beautiful things that you talented bunch have made!


The end of term party has been changed from the 10th to the 17th of July.

Meeting at Oxwich Bay at 12 noon for lunch in the hotel, after which weather permitting a stroll along the beach with paddles or swimming if you like. Then a commitee meeting at which we will discuss and plan schedule for the following year.

Eirian needs the numbers by the 13th July so please contact her by this date. Everyone is welcome, bring a friend if you like, the more the merrier!

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Workshop - Natural Dyes

Cute basket of goodies

Onion skins

Other dyestuffs (Is that rosebay willow herb?)

Say cheese

Looks like fun doesn't it?

Essential equipment

Essential supplies

I have no idea what went on today so one of you lot will have to write something up and e mail it to me. But here are some of the pics that I took.

Sunday, 29 April 2007

Recommended Reading...

I want to get a list posted up on this site for some good "how to" books, some reviews would be welcome too. So get writing chaps!

Weaving Workshop

Hi Everyone
Hope you enjoyed the weaving workshop yesterday. I did not come as anyone who has seen me weaving knows that I take to it like a cat to water.
If anyone has any photos of the day, you can e mail them to me and I'll post them up, or failing that write up a report and e mail me that.

Friday, 27 April 2007

Friday, 6 April 2007

Blaenafan Arts Festival - 7th May

The Big Pit, Blaenafon

This might be the thinnest connection to spinning so far, but here goes.

On May Day bank holiday Monday, I will be taking part in an adaptation of Alexander Cordell's The Rape of the Fair Country. I play Elianor Mortymer and she spins, both as a nod to historical authenticity and as part of her character (and because I can spin!)

There is going to be quite a bit of publicity attached to the event and the Cordell Players ( that's me and the gang) will be in Blaenafon all day, discussing the books and generally swanning around, in character of course. This will probably entail some kind of spinning demonstration at one point or another.

I would be hugely grateful if someone could lend me a not too precious Ashford or something that looks more authentic than my Louet which just doesn't have the look. I would also like to take some handouts, just to spread the word a bit.
And I'm writing about this now, before I get too busy with it and forget.


Thursday, 5 April 2007

Signing Up

To join this blog you need to respond to the e mail that will shortly arrive from Blogger inviting you to contribute.

Open the e mail, follow the instructions that you find there and you are away. You will need to have a current e mail address and an easily remembered but not obvious password.

You cannot add entries without being added by the Blogger administration. However, I think you can leave comments without joining. Just click on the comment section, below the day's entry.

Please let me know if you have any difficulties. Eirian has my contact details.

Also, if you have any relevant, favourite sites that others would enjoy, please pass the information on and I can set a link up. This goes for knitalongs or web rings that would be fun to join

Sunday, 1 April 2007

Knit stitch and craft show Shepton Mallett 19th April 2007

I have purchased cheaper tickets on the internet for the show. I'm driving..... If you still want to come, tickets cost £4, petrol £3 and bridge £1. Will be leaving 08.00 ish and back 17.00 ish. Have large boot so will be able to accomodate usual amount of purchases!

Big Cheese Festival 27 - 29 July

Joanne and I have managed - don't ask what I had to do.... - to get a stall at the Big Cheese in July. We will have a corner for the Tawe Guild so please may we have the banner and leaflets for that weekend. 90,000 people expected. Whew!
Picture from the Big Cheese web site. I wonder if you can knit going down a helter-skelter? Do you think we could set ourselves a wee challenge like that and raise funds for the Guild? Should I just stay in the naughty corner?

Saturday, 31 March 2007

April News

Wishing a Happy Easter to you all and looking forward to a summer of many and varied activities.

The Guild is now back in the Cellar at the Cross, a place we left nine years ago, but is now clean, light and bright and well adapted to our needs. Provided that it is well attended, the class should be self funding. It is up to us, the members, to give it our backing and we ask those who can to please join us as often as possible. We have several new members and extend to them a hearty welcome.

April 14 th the the date of the National Association AGM and this year it is held in London. If anyone would like to be our delegate, please let me know ASAP.

The Wonderwool Wales at the Smallholders show in Builth takes place on May 19th - 20th. We are helping to man the association stall on Sunday. There will be a great deal of things here to interest those who work with fibres.

We have many interesting events lined up for later in the year including an exhibition during the Pontardawe Folk festival in August (get ahead, start working on projects now!)

We have had some publicity material made for use at public events - a guild banner, members badges and some flyers. Please use them to make the community aware of the guild and so spread the word!

Please sign up for as many workshops and events as you can and have a good summer!

All the best

Friday, 30 March 2007

Craig y Nos Spinning Days

At the last workshop Liz mentioned that she was planning to go to Craig y Nos for a few quiet spinning days. If anyone would like to join her (and I am one) then please let her know. The sessions will probably start after Easter and undoubtedly as the tourist season starts, there will be more people passing through and so we can spread info about our guild.

Sunday, 25 March 2007

Basket Weaving Workshop Pictures

All done!

Almost there

It's nice watching other people working!

Nell in the naughty corner as usual!

Liz modelling the latest thing

Sarah and her Mum working hard (are they solar powered do you think?)

I've never done willow work baskets but I'd always fancied giving it a go. It was harder than I thought it was going to be but I really enjoyed the day. My basket wasn't quite the horror that I thought it was going to be and there were several really impressive pieces of work done by people who swore that they had never done basketry before. (hem, hem, Nell.)

Here are a few pics of the day and here's to Lois, an excellent teacher and she has the patience of a saint!

well done Sian!

Never thought I would add the title of "blogger" to my many talents!
Don't ask what I was up to at the Eisteddfod - but the sheeps trousers were a must. This is Janet - a friend and colleague from work. Thanks to everyone who supported the event and on a personal note, we raised about 300 signatures for the neurosurgery unit.

Saturday, 24 March 2007

First Post

Hi everyone. Hope this set up meets with your approval, if you really hate it let me know and I'll have another go, bearing in mind Abe Lincoln and pleasing people and all that.

You have to join blogger to contribute to this blog but this is easy to do and it is FREE!

Hope you join up and add your ideas, projects, suggestions, triumphs and disasters to benefit of us all.

Photos of basket weaving day to arrive asap

See you soon