We had a wonderful talk from Erika, with samples of ikat from Indonesia, West Africa, India and Japan. In the afternoon, a smaller group of us had a demonstration of wrapping techniques. The incredible complexity and skill required to make these fabrics became more and more apparent and some of us left inspired, others mind-blown!
Valerie Riley gave a fascinating talk about the history of the Paisley shawl, the motif’s origins in Babylon and the weaving tradition in Kashmir. We were told of the methods that the Paisley weavers used to weave the shawls and how they adapted the process to make more affordable items.
Several members brought their own shawls in and they were identified as being from the 1830s and 1860s.
Sue McNiven led a workshop exploring the qualities of cashmere, yak, silk, camel, angora and mohair. We were encouraged to break out of any habitual styles of spinning to experiment with long-draw and the less common version of short draw that allows the twist to travel into the drafting triangle.
Sue brought lots of interesting samples of spun fibre, including yarn made from her cashmere rabbits.
We had a festive and cosy gathering, with lots of lovely homemade food. There was a display of what people have been making all year and there were some beautiful first-shearing Shetland lamb fleeces to buy.
Our November meeting had a very industrious workshop where participants had a go at making a felted vessel, even two. Using resists, they made shapes which could be manipulated to suit their individual tastes. Lots of colour and texture were available to make a host of unique, one-of-a-kind vessels.
Sue Hiley Harris showed examples of her work and gave an illustrated lecture on all things silk, including: seri-culture, wild silks, silk reeling, silk for hand-spinning and waste silk.
A silk spinning workshop followed in the afternoon, with a second day at Cumberland Street Centre, Dumfries. Participants learned to make, handle and spin mawata, to worsted spin lustrous combed silk tops, to woollen spin knobbly, strong silk noil fibres, to create exciting yarns with waste silk fibres, to blend silk with other fibres and much, much more about silk and hand-spinning.
We were out and about this summer, including the Wool Tent at the Dumfries Show.
Skill Share – Simple Weaving
Members shared their own tips and methods for various types of weaving, mostly tapestry weaving.