“Waste not, want not”
This year’s challenge was held over from before the Covid lockdown, so there was plenty of time to consider what to make, gather up the materials and research how to make our chosen exhibit.

Many of us interpreted the brief as an opportunity to use up stuff from our stashes for example dyed tops from a spinning endeavour, rug wool not used in a long while, dyed knitting yarn in small quantities and so on. This “raw material” was worked on in inspiring ways. The dyed tops-after being knitted and felted-became a woven circular floor rug; the small balls of wool were knitted up into an intriguing square shawl and the rug wool was woven into a tapestry wall hanging.

Upcycling of material and re-purposing was evident in the cotton fabric from old duvet covers which was woven into a pastel rug, nylon rope left behind by fishermen was gathered from a beach and woven into a huge wall hanging, wool from an old jumper was unpicked and reknitted into a tea-cosy, a woven fabric used as a curtain over many years was dyed and made into a bag for carrying a drum etc.

The prize went to Fiona Moir for her wall hanging made from nylon rope which she found on the beach in Benbecula. A close second was Gene Howe with her gorgeous shawl knitted from small amounts of wool left over from spinning adventures and workshops. The winner was chosen by the votes of our members and visitors.

Thanks to everyone who participated. I hope you enjoyed the process and found it in keeping with our times when we are very aware of the need not to waste resources and to look after our planet.

Rita Corbett
Challenge Co-ordinator

More background to this year’s challenge

The challenge is being carried over from 2021 due to having most of our meetings via zoom. For this Challenge, members will use their core skills – spinning, weaving, dyeing – to create a textile for our Gathering Exhibition in November. This year we ask members to work to the theme of “Waste Not, Want Not”.

As Scotland is hosting this year’s Global Climate Change summit in Glasgow in 2021, we thought it fitting that we explore how our skills can be used to limit consumption and needless negative impacts on our environment. We invite members to reinvigorate existing materials and give them a renewed purpose or aesthetic.

Some very simple examples, there are so many! The March/April issue of Selvedge magazine is themed around the environmental impact of the textile industry and celebrates the art of repair, so could be a good source of inspiration.

Members are encouraged to consider upcycling, recycling, reusing or refashioning existing textiles or household objects by applying techniques such as dyeing, spinning and weaving.

Rita Corbett – Challenge Co-ordinator