Monday, 25 February 2008

A happy kind of Blue!!

Isabel led a marvelous class on Indigo dyeing, thanks Isabel from us all!
There were loads of photos to choose from but only room here for a few. Go to our Gallery page to see more.
Isabel explainig that she has prepared lots of little skeins for us to take home at the end of the day. We had to vats synthetic indigo and natural indigo. We started with the synthetic indigo as the natural requires longer standing time.
Isabel dipped different skeins in for different times 3mins, 5mins, 5mins plus further 5mins and 10 mins.
Here Gill (thermometer monitor) and Isabel are checking the Natural Indigo dye vat doesn't exceed 60'C.

And here are those little skeins after 3mins, look closely and you will see the colour change as the oxygen in the air acts on the indigo making them darken, they were very pale green when they left the dye bath but is takes less time for them to go turquoise than it takes my camera to auto focus!!

We have here the finished tests, the first skein was tie-dyed to retain the original cream colour.

Then there was 3mins, 10mins, 5 +5mins.

Dorethy and Nell ready and waiting with masses of skeins. No not Blue string Pudding -skeins being lifted after 5 mins. Look at that- after airing out-WOW and that's a fetching pink glove too!

We dyed wool, mohair, silk and cotton damask fabric too and clothes!! Now go to Our Gallery to see more.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Messing with the blog!!!!

Feels like Spring is in the air, my drive has been repaired and all is well with the world.
So, to celebrate, I faffed with the blog; nearest to indigo I could find, and revamped.
I have tidied the newsletters together, put in a FAQ section, and popped them all in a 'FIND OUT MORE' section - Go look!! Make comments (at least pretend to read it!!) etc.

What do we do in class ??

Very nearly a full house last night, finally the weather has improved and there are less bugs knocking us out!.

Dorethy was warping and winding for a new project just out of shot.
Chris is setting a loom up for the first time, I think she's planning a waffle bathmat.
Norma works her way round the class, stopping us now and agian when something of interest comes up and keeping us going. In the pic she seems to be sorting heddles with Chris.

Nell can be spotted at the back, cranking out another bat, on the drum carder. Nell is a prolific spinner and that wool will probably be a gorgeous knitted shawl very soon.

Carol has brought her wheel along and is spinning fine singles, from a beauty of a bat that came from Winghams, towards knitting herself a cardigan.

Dell is here too, this is some of her own funky yarn, in the style of "pluckystuff", from some blended roving from Ann (used to be Merlins Mill), some multidirectional directional knitting going on down there!

Meg is experimenting in hand-carding, fractional colour blending of Jacob wool. If you peer closely you may see pretty rolags from natural white through shades of grey marl to darkest brown grey and a few regular stripey ones for good measure.

Vilma has spun the warp and weft for this loom of twill fabric, its an on going project but the end is nigh. There must be metres and metres I can't wait to see it unfurlled.
Oh and Liz popped in too, more Guild paperwork.
And what was I doing apart from being camera shy,

well I worked out the threading for my Christmas placemates and runner, and browsed with guilty pleasure through a whole lot of catalogues Nell brought in, from a recent foray to a trade craft event.
That's us for the evening crew. Maybe Isabel will do some photos to show what it is the morning group get up to. There was a lot of evidence of indigo dyeing experiments for example, oh and what is going on the big loom!

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Isabel does indigo!!

What we need is confirmation you are coming!

What you need to know.............

We meet at about 10.00 at the Cross.
Please bring with you: an old pinny (indigo is messy), rubber gloves, notebook pencil and any fabric, yarn that you want to dye.
We also all bring something for a shared lunch. There is usually about 12 of us. Whilst eating, we run through a few Guild matters and generally put the world to rights!
Isabel, the lady running the workshop, and what she does not know about dyeing you could write on a postage stamp. So please bring any queries and questions and we will be happy to support.
take care and we'll see you at the workshop.

Monday, 18 February 2008

A message from PAT

Re National Exhibition Raffle 2008

A few months ago Guilds were sent some details about the National Exhibition (FABRIcreATIONS) in Liverpool from 25th July to 22nd August 2008, and as you will probably recall, there is to be a raffle in aid of that exhibition, and guilds were asked if they would like to donate a raffle prize.

Please do not feel in the least bit guilty if your guild has decided not to contribute a raffle prize, as we certainly do not expect that all guilds will do so!

But if your guild does happen to have something appropriate that they can bear to part with, then of course we would be very pleased to have it as a prize. In that case, could you kindly let me know what it is, so we can compile a list of prizes? Also, if you could send it to me (any time before early July) at the address given above, then I would take it to Liverpool for display during the exhibition.

Best wishes, Pat

Pat Denne, Raffle prize coordinator for FABRIcreATIONS exhibition, Association of Guilds of Weavers Spinners and Dyers.
Please contact her direct on


Sunday, 10 February 2008

Rosepath and Monk's belt -Thanks to Liz!!

So here we are, at the Cross doing the Weaving thing, some of us were old hands others complete newbies. Thanks to the warping crew, for setting us all up, we were off to a flying start. Liz kept us calm and on track for a very fascinating look at Rosepath and Monk'sbelt and very productive we were too.

These are just a few images from a great workshop. Pop into the Tawe Gallery for a few more!

Thanks Liz, especially from us first timers and thanks to the more experienced members of the group for helping out and sharing your enthusiasm!! (I'm so proud of my bit I'm going to frame it, not so much because it's brill, but because it's a start.)

Friday, 1 February 2008

Tawe Guild Newsletter, January 2008

Another New Year and so much happening in the Guild!

We had very successful days at the Carer’s Day in Port Talbot in December and at Tesco’s. A woman came up to me at work, said she knew me, ( I thought I was having another senior moment because I could not remember her!) and then proceeded to show me her telephone video of the Conga dancing spinners! We’re famous!

Everyone that we could reach was invited to the initial meeting of the “Woolbox” project. This is the best way we think we can raise money and access funding for the Guild. The woolbox contains activities and information on wool, aimed at primary schools. It would be our intention to hire out these boxes to schools and raise monies for the Guild. If anyone is interested in helping out, please get in touch with either Debb Reid 01639 813472or myself 01792 830106.

There is an updated list of workshop dates. Please read and alter your Association calendars accordingly. There has also been a fire in the Pottery room at the Cross which has necessitated some remedial works to be carried out. This delayed our weaving workshop on 26th January, but hopefully all can go ahead as planned, on the 2nd Feb.

The Association AGM and conference is due to take place 11 – 13 April at Tulliallan Castle in Kincardine in Fife. A few of our members are intending going and it is always good to be represented at a National event. Another ASWD date for your diary is 25th July to 22nd August, the National Exhibition at Liverpool Hope University.

I am in receipt of documentation from Caerphilly Council, inviting the Guild to attend various festivals including: The Big Cheese 26 – 27 July, The Big Balloon Festival 24 – 26 August, and the Christmas Market 13 – 14 December. If anyone is interested in attending, let me know and I can pass on the application forms. The deadline for these is 22nd February.

We have another busy year in front of us team. The Guild has 2 exhibitions this year. One in August to coincide with the Pontardawe Festival, 11 – 21 August, and the other is 6 – 17 October at the National Waterfront Museum. Not forgetting the Eisteddfod 2 – 9 August! Right, who is organising the “chill out” party in the middle of all these dates?? I think it might be my Clive and we can all relax in the hot tub!! What do you think?

Enough for now. Can I just thank everyone for their commitment to the Guild and their continuing support. So many other Guilds are dwindling but we have lost our funding and we are growing. That is such an achievement.

01792 830106 mobile 07977 538086

Thanks for that Nell,love Debb.