Friday, 29 February 2008

wool and paint craft week ending 29/2/08

This week has been different from the ones so far, in as much that we didn't have our usual Friday group, as Anna, Flora, Heather and Verene could not make it this week, and as Anneruth and Laryna were very busy with the start of the Bellahouston Nursery project and meetings.

On Wednesday Laryna and Anneruth went to the nursery to introduce the teachers to the art of wet in wet painting, as they had requested 4 sessions of that, to benefit from Laryna's input as art therapist, and inspired by her paintings.

On Thursday then Laryna did the wet in wet painting with the children, letting light and dark meet and create green.

Maybe Laryna will tell you more about it soon ! Meanwhile - let the pictures speak at

On the Thursday later then at Galgael we finally finishied the Iona Hebridean Fleece rug #2, the one for Gehan's home. Very aptly therefore for Iona and Tawny to finish it off very professionally:

Now this beauty shall grace the fireplace side at the Macleods, and we shall see what the wear and tear of this rug will be. We were quite satisfied with the strength of the felt on the back of the rug, and think it is ready for some rough wear and tear :-)

On Friday Laryna started to make some more peglooms, (prep for the 2 weaving days at the nursery) trying her hands in the wood workshop: sawing the doweling and preparing the hard wood blocks for the pegs. She run out of doweling! Sorry, no pictorial evidence, you will have to take my word for it!

Anneruth was busy with a couple of trainess who would like to help out with the newsbulletin and newsletter. Lets keep fingers crossed they get the hang of it.

Several folks remarked today: where is the wool craft group? Good to be missed!

Friday, 22 February 2008

wool craft log 22-2-08

Who was there?
Anna, Anneruth, Flora, Heather, Laryna

What were the preparations for today?
Anenruth had put the last needle felt bits onto rug #2, and Flora started her 2nd shawl knit

What did we do?
Felted Hebridean rug at last! With 4 and then later 5 folks that was great fun in the big workshop! You best view it in full on #2

or you can now also listen and look teeny wee bit:
felting the 2nd Hebridean fleece at Galgael and more hands on felting the fleece

......... maybe someone of the other members would like to describe exactly how we did the felting?
You can do that in the comments section below, or if you have co-author access to this blog you could replace this paragraph with your description? :-)

The now rose scented fleece got then washed by Heather and Anneruth in the bathtub upstairs and left there, in the bathroom, to drip clear over the weekend.

In the afternoon Heather and Anneruth looked through the surprise find of lots of sacks of raw wool in the sail loft. Tam had tidied up there and found them where the big loom is laying wating ot be assembled again, once the sail loft has been done up (we can't wait, by the way, as the bothy is getting now too small really for the woolly things and folks!). There is Shetland fleece up there, seems washed, and we dont know where it is from. One sack with Blackface needs washing urgently, and has may be moths; we put it separately. the other sacks seem clear.

In the morning we also had a good long chat with one of the trainers on possible ways for getting wool craft modules acredited on a national level. We will have now a good look at some ScotVec modules from the 90s, such as 'intro to weaving', and 'mechanical loom related weaving', and see what could be adapted to serve as a step towards the ultimate goal: Galgael own certificates in various craft, nationally accredited.

The day and week at Galgael ended with dance again, this time the 'sword-cross' was of wool, and the music was in the feet and inner ears only! have a wee peep in...

work to prepare:
Anneruth to spin some more wool from the Hebridean wool for Flora to knit on the second neck wrap: it needs more grey hiighlights in the wool and Anneruth took some wool from upstairs for that in the hope it will work.
Laryna to prepare her input in the Bellahouston nursery as of next week (see separate entry on that job to be done :-) :-)

Friday, 15 February 2008

wool craft log 15-2-08

Who was there?
Anneruth, Elizabeth-Laryna, Flora,Heather, Verene

What were the preparations for today?
The Hebridean fleece rugs #2 (almost finished) and #3 (the half size one; also almost finished);
Verene's historic purple hat for finishing it off;
Heather brought one of the hats along she knitted from her spun chunky cochenille wool to show us

What did we do?
Priority fleece rugs: so Flora had go number 2 at rug #3 = stitchig and needle felting, and Verene did the same with #2/ There seems to eb an endless supply of holes appearing ever anew. This is possibly because of rugs being moved and thus bent and strained at the weak spots.
Anneruth sorted the washed Hebridean raw wool into 2 groups: one very soft for wet felting, and one with more rougher wool for needle felting.
Laryna took Verene's hat on: strung the elastic thread trough so it now sits firm on head, and started to felt a flower which can become the ear flap of the hat.

2 new Trainees who were sitting at the table in the front, where we worked today, took keen interesd in what we were doing. They seem to know a little about Highland craft customs - esp as the mother of one was a very crafty person herself. We asked her son to invite her along!
Heather's hat drew keen interest as well, and her weaving on the tapestry.

Later in day, Laryna and Heather went a-dancing again with Tam playing the mandolin and Laryna on the drum (until she used her feet!) under Alan's guidance for cross-sword dancing. Thankfully the swords were blunt!

To see the evidence of it all, please visit

finished works
Flora had finshed the twisted shawl from the Hebridean wool and we think it looks quite elegant, the different ways in which one can drape it round ones head, neck and shoulders. We have not priced it yet, and Flora is trying to get another one done. :-)

Friday, 8 February 2008

wool craft log 8-02-08

Today we had the biggest ever action day!

Who was there?
Anna, Anneruth, Elizabeth, Flora, Fiona, Hazel, Heather, Verene, - and even Issy swept us away once or twice;
oh, and not to forget: Laura popped in with all four of her boys.

What were the preparations for today?
Anna brought her weaving frame
Issy the fleece Verene washed
Flora her full rug making gear to show Fiona the art
Hazel a newspaper clip which announced Liz Brown having a Nomadic feltcraft exhibition this weekend in Glasgow
Heather her blue wool shades (one blend called 'ocean breeze')

What did we do?
Welcome Larina and banter about the past (Anneuth's and her's in Bingenheim webschule) and introduce her to the various stories and resources. She dug in deeply with the dramatic moving the rug warp round the frame and experimenting with Anna weaving the rug from the raw woool batts (how one earth can one get the rows all even all the way!). Then Laryna sotetd the inkle loom, and that was her setting it up and weaving, and doing more crafty remembering.

Anneruth and Verene supplied Anna with the rug wool (teasing and carding it).
Flora taught Fiona how to make rag rugs, and then she had a closer look at the html settings of this blog, when Anneruth showed the present uploads to all, esp the pics from the outing she had this week to Moon dance. (see other blog entry below)
Heather dug into the weaving of the Clyde: yeah! , And Hazel soaked in the athmosphere!
And Anneuth did some more needle-punch felting on rug #2 (which seems to grow holes, maybe because Iain Bogle keeps pulling the fleeces out to show off to customers ?!)
The day ended with an early b'day cake for Anneruth, and a wee jig (nothing to do with the b'day!)
To see the evidence of it all, please visit

Other things occuring:
see above -> check them pics :-)

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Moon dance wools and wool fish encounters

On the way to visit a friend in the borders, I encountered two enchanting wool craft places in the rural fields near Coldingham.

I have posted on the story in pictures and text captions.

One can also see more on Marjorie’s website I very much like what she says about the therapeutic impact such a setting has: fields with all kinds of sheep on it, lively collies, a cosy hut with lots of spinning wheels and looms, some of which one can take out onto the veranda or the grass, wool from the flock in front of your eyes, and lots of other wools and finished craft items of all sorts. And above all, always a warm smile at hand, together with an experienced hand and enthusiastic heart.

I found it so inspiring to meet such ‘crafty’ people and places, and could imagine us taking an outing to this place one day – maybe when the sheep get clipped in June? I also hope that Marjorie, who just had a family bereavement (peace be with her and all!), will be able to come and visit the Galgael one day.

Saturday, 2 February 2008

wool craft log 1-2-08

Bridgit’s day at Heather’s in Edinburgh

Heather and Anneruth met at Heather’s place in the eastern city of the castle, Edinburgh, whilst the Galgael gang was cooking in a castle west of kil-bridie!

Heather had cooked a lovely meal for us two, and had to wait for ages, nearly starving to death because AR was late as usual :-)

We spent most of the afternoon and evening together, carding, spinning and singing, and listening to a CD with Fionn telling the Bridgit story, and exploring Heathers still unused weaving equipment, her new warping frame and the 2 shaft old table loom, that Colin gave her.

Heather had been fantastically busy in the last weeks, dyeing (loose) wool with indigo, cochenille, logwood and spinning it into both fine and chunky yarns. With the chunky yarn she knitted a number of woolly hats in a very simple pattern. The fine wool is getting ready for other knitting projects or for selling per skein.

When spinning the blue wool on her most treasured Hebridean wheel, Heather sung the most beautiful Gaelic spinning song she had composed herself......

Anneruth tried her hand on the chunky spin Country wheel with her Hebridean wool – not as easy as it looks, esp if one is not used to 2 treads. Will need much more practise! Plus batts carded on closer set drum carder. ..?

More pics on everything can be seen on the album. (email Ruth if you have props accessing the online album)

Heather knits these great thick hats on single ply of the chunky wool, sometimes doing one row in one blend and then the next in another colour, alternating.

The warping frame got unwrapped at last and looks simple and strong (must ask Davy to maybe make one of the kind?), = easy transportable as 4 rods of wood.

Heather then got the table loom out which Colin gave her, and we had a look at what needed mending (such as the reed-beater wood structure is cracked) and what kind of density of threads per inch the loom could do, and what kind of handspun threads could be used for that.

Here Heather is trying out her spun strong soya fibre on a cardboard gauge to text the weave set that would give (I think the reed gave 6 p.i.)

Meanwhile Anneruth did a bit more weaving on her little loom with the silk scarf (Chinese silk warp. 6 p.i, and 2ply hand-spun mulberry silk)

We had a great time, late night, and a real wool crafty day for our Imbolc (candle light and all!)

Heather is planning to come through to the wool craft group in Glasgow next week, and bring one of her wheels.