Fiona Moir led a full day workshop, aimed at dyeing yarns using a variety of different methods. The main fibres used were commercial and handspun protein bases (wool, alpaca, mohair, silk). Members brought design sources, pictures, colour schemes, and pics of yarn they liked the look of, and explored different techniques.
Alyne Jones gave a fascinating talk about the Highland Home Industries, illustrated by photographs from the 1912 diary of Isabella Burton Mackenzie and the archive of Winnifred Shand.
To close off our meetings for the year we had our Christmas Party. In addition to tables laden with food, members bring in a selection of work completed over the year giving, everyone a chance to look at things closely and also to discuss the work with the creator for advice, technique guidance and inspiration.
We also use this day as an opportunity to give something back to the local community by providing some crafted items to a suitable cause. This year members knit Teddies (aka Trauma Teddies) which are available for the emergency services to distributed to children in traumatic situations, in the hopes of enabling communication and clamming the child down. It was wonderful to see such a range of teddies and PC Jen Wilson was grateful for the contribution and confirmed that they would be put to good use.
Our 10th annual gathering took place in a new venue which allowed for more vendors and more space to break out and provide demonstrations to visitors.
Vendors included Weft Blown, The Sleekit Hare (“fledgling” but already very talented dyer), Queen of Purls, (another wonderful dyer and proponent of ethical sourcing of wool), Flora Fibres (all vegan options and incredible colours from natural dyes), local Low Auldgirth Steading (if you’re seeking fleece from beautifully looked-after, naturally-happy and cheeky sheep), Fellview Fibres (some of the most stunningly prepared rolags we’ve ever seen), The Wheel Ewe and others.
Ann Arnold held a lively dyeing workshop and Rita brought together the contributions for the 2019 Occasions calendar.
Phillipa Joad gave a talk in the morning, about colour theory, the different types of dyes and the pros and cons of different equipment. In the afternoon, we were given fibre to blend and spin in a variety of ways.
As this was the opening day of the Triennial exhibition, Anne held a “Corners” day at St Theresa’s.
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!
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.