Spinning through Time with Val Bryant

    March 2017

    Spinning through Time with Val Bryant

    We were very pleased to welcome one of our members as our speaker for March 2017. Val Bryant and her husband David are recognised nationally as experts on spinning wheels, David as a member of the Regional Furniture Society, Cheshire Woodturners and as a maker of wheels. Val shared with us their experiences recording and restoring wheels the length and breadth of the country.

    Click here for the full post

    More from your Drum Carder



    Good to see Katie again, hard to believe its over a year since she was first with us to explore the potential of the drum carder (October 2015).

    The workshop participants enjoyed a very busy day with ideas and techniques rolling out one after another (pun intended). Members and visitors were welcome to watch and listen as Katie demonstrated how to add texture to batts, construct striped batts, draw off a roving with the aid of a diz, graduations of colour, adding silk, linen, texture and sparkle, carding fleece and creating punis.

    For the uninitiated, a puni is a tight, slim rolag, not to be confused with a fauxlag or a pseudo rolag (Google it)!

    Locks of fleece being carded

    Top tip from Katie, flick out second cuts from the butts and open out the lock with a flick carder. Just card a small amount at a time. If carding long stapled locks like Wensleydale do not be afraid to cut into manageable lengths with scissors (gasps from the audience). After all the locks have already been cut by the shearer!

    Creating graduated batts

    Choose a colour family, perhaps, red, orange and yellow. Select a variety of red orientated shades, fibres and textures including fleece, tops, etc and card each section of the colour family using a staple length at a time When the batt is removed it is predrafted and recarded.

    Using a diz

    A roving can be produced by threading a thin sliver of the batt through a diz and gradually drawing the fibre through.

    Creating a puni 

    creating a puni
    Another top tip from Katie: use a knitting needle and a piece of dowel (chopstick) rather than two needles or dowels to roll the fibre. The finished puni can be removed more easily. Just pick up a few fibres in small sections across the carder to start the puni.

    Katie demonstrates

    Members concentrate intensely as Katie demonstrates opening silk laps ready to be incorporated into a batt. Again, Katie recommended cutting silk into manageable lengths with scissors if necessary.

    Thank you Katie for a super day, lots of very positive feedback from members.

    You can follow Katie on her Hilltop Cloud website or find more of her ideas, fibres and free patterns on Ravelry, purchase items on Etsy or watch her in spinning mode on YouTube. The You Tube video shows spinning from batts both in londgdraw and shortdraw and demystifies woollen and worsted spinningwell worth a watch.

    Click here for the full post

    AGM, Christmas Party and Show and Tell

    November 2016

    AGM, Christmas Party and Show and Tell

    The AGM was attended by twenty seven members and as well as reports from Barbara (Vice Chair), Chas (Treasurer) and Karen (Programme Secretary) the meeting saw the election and re-election of committee members. Minutes, including details of the new committee, have been circulated to all members.

    May we take this opportunity to welcome new members Christine, Angela, Chris and Janet S. We hope you take full advantage of your membership and will enjoy what the Guild has to offer. If you like what you see tell your friends if you don’t…tell us!

    With the formal business of the day over the festivities began with everyone enjoying an unbelievable selection of food brought in by members. Before the temptation to snooze off the excesses set in we held our ‘show and tell’ session.

    Click here for the full post

    July Open Day

    The July Open Day saw our members displaying and demonstrating their many skills, techniques and talents. Visitors were most interested in what was on display and were really enthusiastic about the crafts they were witnessing.

    Local folk were amazed at what, unbeknown to them, was on offer on their doorsteps and were keen to visit when meetings resume after the summer break.

    Many thanks to everyone for their efforts with the demonstrations (furniture lorries were required by some for all their equipment!) and to all those who supplied the cake. A special thank you to Sue for doing a sterling job with the refreshments.


    Click here for the full post

    Long Draw Spinning Workshop

    May’s meeting saw Freyalyn Close Hainsworth’s workshop on ‘How to Spin Longdraw from Perfect Rolags’


    Freyalyn explained that longdraw spinning produced a light and airy fabric from a bouncy, elastic yarn. The lightness being created by air trapped in the fibre during the ‘woollen’ (as opposed to ‘worsted’) spinning process. Worsted spinning produces a smooth, dense yarn.

    There are several good books to help demystify these terms (try the Guild library or a second hand book-site like (subsidiary of Amazon)

    Mabel Ross ‘Encyclopaedia of Handspinning’
    Eileen Chadwick ‘The Craft of Handspinning
    Eliza Leadbeater ‘Handspinning’
    Paula Simmons ‘Spinning for Lightness and Speed’ (she calls longdraw ‘one handed spinning’)

    Handcarders come in all shapes and sizes, explained Freyalyn and she stressed the importance of keeping them clean.

    It is most important to use the smallest amount of fibre and to produce the lightest, airiest rolag possible taking care not to ‘hook’ the fibres around the teeth of the carders.

    The correct tension of the wheel is vital. It may be necessary to adjust the drive band or the scotch tension to set up the lowest possible tension while still allowing the fibre to draw onto the bobbin.

    2016-05-29 19.24.37

    Do follow Freyalynn’s blog:

    Click here for the full post