Breathing space

wool and alpacaWe are out of our usual venue for a couple of weeks while upgrades go on. The bowling club has kindly taken us in and it’s a very relaxing space for us all. Some of us were spinning. Others brought along knitting or crocheting, or,  as in Sheila’s case, a  big bag of stuff to sort. We appear to have allowed ourselves an opportunity to breathe a bit and organise our ideas and approach in this time away from our usual club rooms. It’s like a creative holiday.

Sheila had a big bag of cakes and skeins pf yarn which she had spun and dyed. She spent her time sorting through it to see what she had and we got a chance to look at some lovely spun wool and alpaca. There were nice natural and dyed colours.

Our lives get get overly busy at times and it is important to take your time to look through your stash and yarns so you can go forward more confidently. Life is life and it can take over and then you can find yourself with stuff and half finished things and not know which way to go. To free yourself up you have to take a leaf out of Sheila’s book. She has been really bsuy but she is the first one to tell you that creativity cannot be hurried . She will also tell you to take your time and enjoy what you are doing. She used our group time to look through what she had done and sort it out. She would have got ideas from others and would have been thinking out her own ideas as well. We work together in a very connected way. Her plan is to make beanies. You cannot think that out unless you know what your stash looks like and you have a clear picture of what is available to you. First things first and forward is forward even if it does seem to be taking a while to get there.

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Painting a wool batt

Mixing colours and making wool batts is creative and can be fun. You need to master the carding skills and then you can use colours and your imagination to come up with original and interesting wool batts. painting them adds hints of colour which creates a richness and colour depth. it is also a good way to use up odd bits of carded fleece which would otherwise go to waste. Hints of colour are what make colourways interesting!

Knitted felted bag

Wendy is new to felting and was one of the felting workshop participants. She has chosen to follow through on that and do some experimenting. You never know if you do not try. She has tried out an idea for a knitted, felted pouch. She used homespun wool, made her bag , put it in a hot washing machine for and hour and a half and here is the result. The bag has a really great texture and the knitting is invisible. The hints of pink and blue on the dove grey give it a nice artistic effect. Less is more and the simple, effective use of colour works well. She is using the pouch for her electric wheel foot peddle and cords. Karin pointed out, just to remind us, that a pouch like this would suit a tablet but you have to be careful because it might slide out too easily and it’s something you need to check. Experience is a great teacher!

Our intrepid adventurer

beret hilaryHilary has travelled widely and brings that keen sense of adventure to her spinning. She comfortably works with fluorescent and ultra bright colours and can combine them very successfully. She understands the magic of yarn and can make some very whimsical items which are very appealing and then she’ll suddenly blow us away with something like her stunning full length jacket which we all loved. Sonya , our roving reporter , is bringing us her story this week:

 

 

 

 

Hilary Our hero and Historian.

We’ve lived in Seaford since 1972.  (I detect some stability here!)

Mum always used to knit for me and I sewed for Mum. (And I detect some notable generosity here.) My friend introduced me to spinning. At that time Eunice was asked to start up a group for women in the area. My friend found out about Eunice who had a group meeting at her home. We went there, with Eunice insisting that as we were beginners at spinning, we should start off by using a drop spindle!! (Let me assure you dear readers that the ancient art of using a spindle is not for the faint hearted, clumsy, or like me, the slow to learn.)

Eunice was very arty and crafty. As a weaver, she used the materials around and available.  E.g. for dyeing she used whatever plants or leaves she thought might be worth a try.  We had all sorts of workshops- dyeing, weaving, and felting. We explored the elements of making things with all sorts of fibres, such as wool, alpaca, silk etc. All this was done at her own home but even then it was known as the Seaford Spinners. The first place the group moved into when our numbers grew, was a church hall.

I bought a wheel which was a copy of the standard Ashford and I’ve never really stopped spinning since then.

When we were in Saudi Arabia in 1983-87 I took my wheel and fleece with me. I couldn’t buy any fleece there, so I used to ask anyone coming back from being on leave to bring fleeces and wool and other bits and pieces. In those times visitors were not allowed in Saudi, but we, with our work visas were allowed to come and go. At the end of the four years I sold my wheel and some fleece to an American woman whom I taught to spin. I had a break for about 15 years while we were travelling. (Lucky things!) Then I re-joined Seaford Spinners while they were occupying the bowling club at the top of the hill leading down to the Port Noarlunga village. (With the world’s most magnificent view, I reckon). When we had to vacate from there, we moved down the hill to the sunny little CWA hall. We eventually outgrew that venue and thanks to Clarrie whose son was the Commodore of the Yacht Club, we are here to this day. (With another magnificent view of the sea, which nearly laps at our verandah!)

What Hilary hasn’t talked about are the many years she has carried a load of responsibilities in the Seaford Spinners. She has worked tirelessly and unobtrusively at organizing workshops, bus outings, opening and closing the rooms, club celebrations, Christmas festivities, writing up the minutes, running meetings, and all those things that “someone needs to do something about”.  In spite of all this, Hilary is a regular contributor to our Show and Tell table, with works of wonderful colours and beautiful craftsmanship.