Coming soon- information on local weaving, spinning and dyeing groups
The event advertised in The Journal Magazine at Buckfast Abbey is a biennial event and so will not be taking place this August.
We hope to see you all there August 2024!
One jumper and a Modesty Covering Skirt/Wrap and only in 3 days!
Well done to the Amazing team who gave it their all!
Too many of our fantastic members to mention but would like to also thank Peter Tavy and Somerset spinners gave us huge support. The knitter Dee, (not Amanda as I called her on the news!) must have knitted her fingers to the bone! The usual suspects from Devon Guild turned up and I think we all had an amazing time, lots of fun and a serious amount of spinning, chatting to the public and giving many an impromptu spinning lesson.
Thank you everyone for all your amazing hard work and being such a pleasure to be with.
Day One of Devon County Show
A sneak preview from yesterday. Come and see for yourself at the Devon County Show!
Your May-ly update!
Whats on this month: Annual PAT testing - In the reception lobby. Any electrical items you plug in at guild events: ESpinners, Extension cables, etc. £1 per item for Chris’s chosen charity.
For anyone helping at Devon County Show - I’ll run through what we anticipate happening. Hopefully we will have tickets in advance to give you all, if not we can discuss a contingency plan. Anyone wishing to participate but not signed up I’m sure we can find a space or two. The knitters may appreciate some help too. If anyone wants to display peg looming we can facilitate that as well.
After an early lunch - Jessica Cutler will discuss her experience and techniques of weaving.
Look forward to seeing you all!
The Red(ish) Results Are In!
Here are the results from April's continuation into dyeing.
The pinks and purples were created from cochineal. The orange shades were from onion overdyed with cochineal.
what a stunning variety of shades created from this amazing techniques!
April is Red!
Morning spinning wheel speed dating. Please let the desk know on arrival if you and your wheel are willing to participate. The more variety the merrier, old and new. Guild will provide some top to spin.
Afternoon we will have our second dye pot on the go. The emphasis will be on modifying and over dying this time using cochineal. Bring empty containers as there may be residual dye to take home. To enhance this a local dye plant grower will give us a talk on how to achieve the best results from garden and plants. He will have a variety of seeds and possibly plants to sell too.
Whats on this March
We meet again soon with Frank Herrings team offering a spinning wheel workshop for all who would like a bit of advice or an MOT. The afternoon will be a talk to demystify the workings of the rigid heddle loom. This is timely as the guild have been give two such looms for our us to hire out or possibly play with at guild.
Just in case you think I sit at home spinning all day, I’m going tell you how busy I’ve been! I'll be touching on these topics throughout the morning.
1. Wonderwool. find our more info about this at our Monthly Meeting. 2. Devon County Show. There’s far too much to say about it here suffice to say Deborah Custance Baker from the Show committee will hopefully be with us to tell us more. 3. Entente Cordial. With all that’s going on with the Show, bus and zoom meetings across the south west guilds I’ve been meeting or in contact with other groups from this. I am happy to say that members of Peter Tavey group are intending to join us on the 11th to share stories, skills and cake. Please make them welcome. I hope we can visit their meetings sometime in the future and have more joint events together. The opportunity to do this will start with many groups uniting to support The Museum of Dartmoor Life in their 5 month exhibition of Dartmoor related wooliness. More about this on Saturday too.
See you on the 11th,
Yours Judy T. Chair Devon Guild.
February's meeting was all yellow!
We kicked off a year of colour with a discussion about how to prepare wool for natural dyeing. Sheilagh gave generously her time and amazing amount of knowledge to produce a selection of onion skin dyed wool top, silk material and mini skeins. So the year starts with glorious Yellow. The intention is to add on to these materials with other dyes as the year progresses to produce as many different colours as we can from natural ingredients. Next should be madder to produce reds and hopefully oranges and eventually indigo or woad to add blue to the mix. I hope you are as excited as I am.
Starting off the year of colour
February meeting - we will start with the process of natural dyeing using onion skins to produce a range of glorious yellows.
Techniques used and discussed will include: Safety. Proportion of fabric to dye stuff. Types of fabric to use. Preparation of fabrics. Use and value of Alum as a mordent. Extracting colour for a dye bath. Soaking times and depleted dye baths to produce different shades. Use and effect of modifiers.
Sheilagh and Judy will use the hall way to do the talk and demonstration. It will be aimed at those starting out on the dyeing journey and we will bring a selection of prepared fabrics and sunglasses to entertain those wishing to be impressed by the magic of it all. There may be some residual dye bath left so, should you wish do bring a secure receptacle to take some home. We can provide alum to go with it. Hopefully we can produce enough skeins, fleece and fabric this time to over dye in future on our other dye days. At the end of the year we should have a comprehensive knowledge of natural dyeing and range of wonderful colours.
A quick round up from November's meeting..
We started with our annual evaluation of some of the work we have produced. There are many categorise and some had more work submitted than others. As it was judged by our own peers it was far less formal than usual. It was good to see the lengthy discussion going as most members judged and gave their opinion on favourites by ticking the sheets provided. In most cases there was a clear out right winner and only a couple of classes had only one item entered. It has to be said that the single entry items where of outstanding quality and definitely deserve the prizes. Some to were close to call and in those cases it’s sad only one person can win. The whole competition reinforced my belief in the amazing and diverse skills our group is capable of and that’s only the ones brave enough to show and tell!
I hope the informality of being peer judged worked for you all as I’d like to propose doing it every other year in an attempt to boost the confidence of the more reticent of us. Due to a complete system’s failure on my behalf a list of prize winners will be provided at a later date. The other group activity we had was the processing of the suinted fleece obtained but a young man at Devon County Show. Between you all you managed to card and spin 700gms. Karen and I have matched and plied it and already knitted up to the armholes. Just need a few 100grams more next time so have empty bobbins at the ready. Despite all this hard work a lot of spinning fun and laughter was had right to the very end of the day.
Buckfast Abbey Contemporary Exhibition 2022
The Medieval Hall at Buckfast Abbey again provided a wonderful backdrop to celebrate our ancient crafts. Despite the passage of time and modern adaptations to our equipment and fashions we still mostly follow a very traditional path.
The guild has been running since 1951 and that too has evolved over the years into the lively band that frequent it today. Despite the spinning, chatting, cake eating and tea drinking the exhibition shows that there are many wonderfully creative people amongst us who provided displays of dyeing, weaving, peglooming, all stages of wool preparation and many more skills we encouraged our visitors to engage in. The uplifting and positive responses we had from our many and varied visitors made all our efforts worthwhile which has left me feeling enthusiastic about our next event in two years time.
The centre piece of our guilds history is two altar pieces commissioned by Exeter Cathedral in 1982. By 1984 the guild members had sourced the best fleeces, prepared the fleeces, spun, dyed, designed, made tapestry frames and made the tapestry. Not to be left out the the loom weavers also sourced and wove the appropriate materials needed to proved a strong but light, protective backing cloth. A feat that I, as present chair, have nightmares about. The absolute cream on the cake was to be able to reunite the designer of these tapestries, Pat Johns, with them and despite the passing of time and the effects that has had on her, I think we can safely say she was overjoyed by the occasion.
Great Success at the Mid Devon Show!
Well done to our our fabulous member on their successful day at Mid Devon show. Such a fabulous display of their beautiful efforts won them not one but two trophies! Go to our weaving, spinning and dyeing galleries on the home page to see pictures from the show. But before you do check out the sneak peak below to see what they won!
Dyeing with Nature
What a truly wonderful dyeing day. Sheilagh is an excellent teacher and brought out the magic of using natural dyes.
We started out the day experimenting using cochineal, dyers coreopsis, weld and madder. After an initial demonstration we were soon left to explore through our own creativity. Hapa Zome was also on the cards, as we bashed indigo leaves to dye the cloth. The patterns that it created were beautiful!
As the day progressed we moved onto modifiers which reacted with the initial dyes we were using. These included iron, copper, bicarbonate of soda and citric acid. This created some of beautiful range of colours you see in the images above.
For me, the real wow moment was dying with indigo. We spent the afternoon using silks and wool and carefully plunging them into the indigo dyes. The real life magic was watching the colour changing before our eyes! It was incredible to see the whole group so invested in their work and to see the group collection of colours at the end was breath taking.
Look out for one of Sheilagh’s Natural Dyeing Days advertised on our website, facebook page and at guild meetings. They certainly come highly recommended! They are also highly sort after so it is best to book early to avoid disappointment.
Devon County Show is a Huge Success!
Well done to all those who have helped to create a fantastic display of our guild's work and skills at this years Devon County Show. The Chair Person wanted to give a quick update and also spin you an idea...
Yesterday, we had such an amazing day at Devon County Show! The whole thing about it was so healthy, normal and very exciting and I came away thinking I haven’t laughed as much as that since pre covid, and with added sheep.
What a wonderful day. The converse of that was the updates I had through the day. My son had been running an ultra marathon up and down Snowdon and at the end of the day we both felt the same except I had fewer blisters (must spin faster).
At one point I was in general conversation with the most delightful family who had paid £5 for a fleece they had just seen shorn and discovered the fleece was worth virtually nothing. So we’ve ended up with yet another fleece to clean, spin, design and knit a jumper for a substantially built young man. I’m hoping to finish it in time for him to wear to his wedding, which I do believe he’s the sort who would.
This got me thinking and the next Chairs Challenge is to take a fleece from the start of shearing to finished garment in less than 4 hours 54 minutes and 53 seconds. Current world record.I don’t mind if you work in groups but seriously recommend you chose a good fleece at next weeks fair to start practicing on and hone your skills as Devon County Show has been moved back to May next year.Sadly as judge I’m unable to take part but wish you all gods speed and happy if not frantic spinning and knitting. Good luck!
Find out other's feedback to this idea on our facebook chat along group. Click the facebook icon above for direct access!