The week started on Monday with Sarah-Jane dyeing with 'crottal', lichen grown on rocks. Laura had collected this precious handful of lichen 2 years ago in the Northwest of Scotland. It takes hundreds of years to grow crottal, which was customary used by the weavers of the Highlands and Islands to dye the wool for the tweed. Sarah dyed the wool in the traditional way: alternating the layers of wool and lichen in the dyepot. It yielded a gorgeous reddish gold (picture still to be taken), and has the mossy scent characteristic for lichen dyed wool. It also softens the wool, especially as one does not stir it.
The wool dyed with sorrel last week had become quite hard, possibly due to stirring too much?
Wednesday morning Anneruth picked up the felting gear from Naomi, plus the loan of Emma's electric keyboard to help us with learning the Gaalic songs with Norman at noon, which was another treat, esp to hear Sarah-Jane's fine voice taking hold of the tune and words. Laryna returned from her stay with friends in Germany and was warmly welcomed by the Galgael guys and girls, bringing it home to her that she has got a home here now :-)
Flora and Anneruth had difficulty leaving Galgael for the workshop at the Portal, as Flora got roped in to appear in Sunny Govan radio this evening, as part of their ongoing Galgael slot, to talk about the woolcraft group...!
At the Portal then, setting up for the first proper workshop of the programme there, we found our participants numbers having more than doubled. Flora felted round a stone with the 3 who had been along last week, and the new four participants dived into sculptural needle felting a ball with Anneruth.
Laryna plyed the grey North Ronaldsay and the Texel Cross wool spun on the Riverfest. It yielded 2 skeins and each skein can now become a knitting craft item such as a wrist warmer or a hat. Also there is still more of both wools, so if anyone wants to spin it finely as it was spun so far – go ahead, ladies!
Mary brought a new tool to make cords with, the Lucet, and tried it out: It looks a promising little thing, to make cords with, and also a device which Galgael wood work folks could make in wood? Esp as it has been used from Viking times to the Victorian times (http://www.thelucet.co.uk/index.htm)
Sarah-Jane and Eileen washed a whole Blackface fleece from Gravir – to be made ready for the next woven rug.
And lo and behold, straight from Gravir, Colin's father was here and admired the 2 rugs woven so far from his flock. Do we want more fleeces again this year?
A friend of Marie showed interest in the rugs, and might order one in a darker colour scheme?
Sarah-Jane and Laryna practised singing the Gaelic spinning songs we have begun to learn, whilst being at the wheel and at the drop spindle which Sarah-Jane is now beginning to master as well. She might even make her own spindle with some help of our wood turner friends at Galgael....:-) !