Friday, 20 November 2009

Home education input

 Laryna wrote: 
In November I enjoyed teaching a group of home educated kids and their mums about wool craft. We had 4 afternoons, 2 hours each.
At first they learned about and practised the processing of sheep's wool, and made lilttle gnomes and angels or fairies out of the carded wool. In the 2nd session the children tried spinning with a hand spindle and the spinning wheel, and they were using threads for finger knitting and crocheting. In the 3 rd session a simple weaving frame out of cardboard was made and then prepared for weaving a bracelet or bookmark with different coloured threads of wool.
Last but not least the children and mums enjoyed the amacing processes of felting with sheep's wool. They made balls or beads, and heat and other flat felted pieces using coloured wool. We had a very good and busy and  time the children and their mums experienced the unique creative advantages and possibilities sheep's wool is giving us.

For more pics look amongst the albums here and here

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

With ABREEF in Dunoon

      Laryna writes:
      This autumn I had the chance to bring wool craft to schoolchildren between 6 and 12 years in two different occasions.
      At the end of September I went again to Dunoon, to the Hunters Quay Holiday park, where we had already been in August.  It was a 2 days ABREEF environmental fayre for schoolchildren in the Argyll and Bute area with many lovely stalls and ideas to introduce the kids into environmentally interesting activities and teach them about how to care more for their environment.
In periods of 25 min I was showing the different kinds of sheep’s wool, the processing of wool and the magical process of wet felting to each group of about 10 kids and their teachers.  Standing around a big round table the kids could touch and feel the natural, undyed wool and in the centre was standing a basket with wool for felting in all colours of the rainbow in their different shades. Girls and boys enjoyed making either felted beads for a key ring or necklace or a piece of flat felt.  We had two busy days with lots of kids around looking, asking and enjoying using their hands to make something beautiful and useful.  

for more pix look here

Monday, 17 August 2009

Full Clan Action: Portsoy, Riverfest, Hunters Quay

The video above lets you see not only the woolcrafters but the whole of the Galgael Clan in action at the Riverfest this year, plus some more of community action in Govan, such as Radio Govan. If the link above did not work -> click here is a video should give you a wee glimpse of some of all the above or go directly to Hammy's video:

This year the Glasgow Riverfest saw again the usual or unusual sight of the Galgael Clan in full gear here at the banks of the Clyde. This year it was a particular fabulous time for the woolcraft group, great for team growth, for interaction with the public, teaching and demonstrating woolcraft (you will here about it all from Laryna soon!), and for attracting the precious gift of a spinning wheel. Plus we had Sgioba Luaidh doing the waulking song here, too!

Caught you, Alison! (Alison teaching spinning at the Riverfest)

By the way, if you are interested to hear and see more the Galgael Clan, why they are in Govan, and so on - have a browse through the media files here . If you like, also check for more pictures on and for videos on and as well as

Earlier in June: The sun was shining for the whole of the Galgael Clan gang going up to the Traditional Boat Festival in Portsoy. Lynsey, Sarah-Jane, and Naomi with Emma were representing the wool craft part of the clan,

and can be seen here amongst the larger picture of action:

To be able to have the seawind and sun blow and shine through you is such a gift!

Later, in August, the Clan went to an event at Hunters Quay, Dunoon, and you can see some it here: engaging with lots of public, too...:

Friday, 3 July 2009

Visiting Inspirational Places

Wouldn't it be sooo lovely to have a place like this on the land!

Summer is time for travelling and fayres. As none of us was able this year to go the Woolfest, and as Laryna wanted more moorit Shetland fleece for felting these sought after brown berets, and as Ursula wanted to see what a proper loom looks like, so Anneruth and Laryna went East to visit Moondance Wools again. Sadly Ursula was held up last minute, but we made lots of detailed pictures of all parts of a loom for her and others to have a good look. See for yourself on, and see Maggie's wool-wonder-magical place amidst the fields full of grazing sheep and sheepdogs with puppies and all that - not to forget on a foggy day like that day in early June: the kettle on the stove!

Further down the road at Woolfish, a unique and ever so tempting woolshop in St Abbs, see, - Laryna got roped in to fix their newly acquired antique spinning wheel.

Anneruth earlier on in Edinburgh got very inspired by the many little magical felt-craft things for kids in the Mulberry Bush, a shop run by Garvald Edinburgh. Have a look
- and I am sure you will think too: Wool simply is magic!

Monday, 29 June 2009

The New Country Spinner is here!

Hurray! The country spinner is ours - thanks to the Glasgow City Council funds!

Check on the story of its arrival and assembly and welcoming.

With this sturdy wheel - which we got recommended by Heather, as she lent hers to us last May
- there is hope at last that we can use up the fleeces in the loft which we just have been sorting (see below), by spinning that junky yarn for hardwearing gear, from hats to rugs!

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Merry Month May rolled past and Jolly June is already here!

So much has happened this merry month of May! Where to start? Plus: it is June by now.... and all that talk about getting a new blog had held us back from updating this one here. Sorry folks!
Jenny, a superb knitter, came to share her skills and to learn spinning....

......and, being a natural: here is the result of her first hour :-)

And where did that wool come from? From this Zwartbless ewe near Peebles:

it is a most amazing amount of heavy wool that comes off one of these rare breeds!

Verene has finished knitting her bag - and now it is time for these final finishing touches!

She also finished the warp on the small school weaving-frame - and has made quite some progress in exploring colour and yarn combinations, including her own drop spindle spun white longwool. This could become now a mobile phone bag?

Ursula,Lynsey and Anneruth had a shopping trip to Fife (yes, to Twist Fibre craft) to spent some of the grant money for more resources and to sit in the Pillars of Hercules to finalise the woolcraft flyer:

Gabi had a shot at last at wetfelting and was breathless at how much muscle power it was needed to firm up her spring-into-summer piece!

Whilst Lynsey has now just to stitch up her canvas bag with her needlefelted design: the goddess motive found by Louis.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

April showers

Where on Earth has April gone!? Into the soup on Thursday evenings...? (see above, the Beltane eve one!)

Like an April shower itself this month went past fast, but we managed to capture a few images on the first half of the album

Lynsey was exceptionally busy getting into the swing of looking after our new funds, a very small grant from Glasgow City Council to help us get our long talked about 'The Unbroken Thread", as well as stocking up on her craft item display for her and our all workshops to be: felting, weaving and so on. Isn't the felted broch she made great?

On Thursday evenings Gabi is joining us now regularily to explore felting, and here is her very first 'getting to know' needlefelting on a little felt square. It is very lovely to have her around, and also her young son Paul who just loves being at Galgael.

Laryna has finihsed fulling the moorit Shetland berret, whilst Anneruth is experimenting with decorating it with buzzard feathers felted into onion skin dyed shining Alpaca. That is if Laryna get the hat back from Ian who very much wants it as his 100+1 hat!

In any case she decided she better makes a new and bigger one to suit the demand of our big heads at the head of the Clan who don't have 100 hats yet, such as Alan Torrance. Ursula wanted to see how it is done:

But where is that masterpiece now? Before even the tassel got put on, its proud and eager new owner took it for a journey to some remote forgotten Western island and promptly forgotten it there, headless now hatless head he! He says he will get it back - it is safe ... he claims...! (we'll keep you posted!)

Ali is preparing for a special journey, a vision quest, and is making her own drum. Impressive! Here is the start: the base round which the wood of the frame will be pulled.

Hazel came by again, and tried her hands on making huge knitting needles to knit rag rugs, as well as little weaving frame for Lynsey's workshops. See more about this everything else in the first part of our album here.

Friday, 3 April 2009

a happy wool crafting day on Friday the 3rd April

Here is a report on it from Vérène:

We had a lovely and productive gathering on Friday 3rd April.
We welcomed a new group member and keen knitter in the person of: Ursula. We’ve also expanded the international dimension of the group as Ursula is originally from Peru and has lived in Glasgow for the last 3.5 years. She had brought her current knitting project – a lovely top made of soft green wool. She and Jackie were sharing patterns and techniques.

Lindsey joined us with scones and all kinds of nibbles for a late breakfast/early lunch. She worked on a colourful and wave-design bracelet.

Naomi and Vérène got into the joy of weaving a checked pattern on the small frames – Laryna tutored them in her usual wonderful manner. She also taught Jackie how to weave on the big loom using strips of harris tweed whilst she was herself working on the felted and knitted brown beret.

No pictures to add to this report, sorry. No camera.

Friday, 27 March 2009

wool craft log week ending 27th March

This woolcraft week started for Anneruth and Laryna at Jackie's house on Wednesday night. Jackie had been very busy producing some very inspirational products: the baby jacket (Alpaca yarn) you can see above and a second set of felted booties and this strawberry form toddler hat (both Hebridean base with colour overlaid).

Further - a crocheted cotton baby blanket and the start of a scarf made of Shetland wool (handspun by Anneruth) with a scallop pattern.

Whilst Anneruth did some Hebridean wet-felting tests and needlefelted coaster test, and Jackie sped up the length and breadth of the scarf, Laryna laboured away on the moorit Shetland berret, firming it up further and shaping it:

For more pics of some more of the action of this week (and indeed the whole month) visit

On Thursday day time at Galgael, Alison finished her angel mobile :-)

and Anneruth spun the moorit wool for knitting wool for to make knit-to-felt band for the berret. Issy knitted the swatches and Laryna later at night felted them, and now we know how much stitches we need for the band and what strength of fulling it needs to make a good band.

Alison meanwhile tried very successfully her hands on making a bright small size felted flower (she had done a big one last week, which is a little easier than a small size one) - see picture at end of blog...

In the evening Emma, a student from the Art College who is doing a textile degree there (weaving and sewing quite some very fine materials!) came along to the Thursday night drop in, because she would like to learn to spin her own fibre... something one does not learn at Art College! She threw herself right into the action from washing dishes to teasing and starting to spin Hebridean wool, taking away a good length of thread, her first homespun yarn! We are looking forward to see her back soon, hoping also she will share some of her skills with us, and also her friend Karen who is a fine jeweller.

On Friday morning a number of folks (Alison, Anneruth, Verene, George and Jerry) made sure that the fleece Alison had worked on over the last weeks, washing, sewing and needlefelting it, was being fulled into a nice big fireside rug for Barmaddy.

Jackie was almost finished knitting the Shetland scarf and Laryna took up the knitting needles to make the band for the Shetland berret which is already sold 3 times over! but we are not sure we are going to sell it !

The rest of day was spent mainly by Anneruth in trying anew to bring order into our overflowing bothy, - sort patterns, shelf some less used tools and materials upstairs and buy bolmull material to make a curtain for our busy shelf downstairs. We hope everybody can find easier soon what they need when they need it.

Friday, 13 March 2009

glimpses of a Thursday eve and of Red Nose day

This week, 12 + 13 of March, was quite a change from the usual routine (as if there ever is a routine!), in that lots of different activities took place on the the Thursday eve with group members and guests.

As said before elsewhere: Thursday eves Galgael stays now open until about 8pm, and clan members and friends can come to join in with sharing food and with trying out different craft activities, as well as with music making.

This week Jerry tried his hand at needlefelting whilst Anneruth carried on with sewing and needlefelting a Herbidean fleece rug. Here you can see him with the fleece that shall be going with him back to Iona.

Lynsey had brought a potter friend and she joined Ali, Naomi and Emma in Luis' pottery corner. Lynsey finally got a shot at weaving the rug, too, that night. (see picture on top of this blog)

On Friday all of Galgael went either in or on the Cldye for the Red Nose day boat race. For pictures of that go to the Urbanclansman blog here. Laryna, Sarah-Jane, Verene and Anneruth stayed in Fairley Street for some peace to work on things in peace and quiet for a wee change.
Verene had washed the wool she had spun on the drop spindle and plied on the wheel, and was now ready to wind it off into balls for knitting or weaving. Alas the skein winder is stil broken, but Laryna took pity on it. :-)

Sarah-Jane had managed to edge away from college (end of degree show coming up soon!) and at long last got a real good shot at the rug loom, christianing the rug 'harvest colour'.

Anneruth (another at long last!) finally got down to start felting the berret with the drum carded batts of moorit Shetland wool. Here you can see Helen, who has popped in from rowing on the Clyde to top up the teapot for the sailors, pretending to help Laryna to put the final fulling touches on the berret.

When the red nose rowing gang came back, as proud winner of the 3rd price, the day ended with fish supper galore!

Saturday, 7 March 2009

week ending 6-3-09: lots happening!

Meet Jerry, who has been looking after John's Hebridean flock on Iona this wild winter, and who is over the moon to see how we are processing their fleeces into beautiful rugs. So we got straight down to fulling one for him to take back to Iona:

Which, at this Friday's Stakeholder meeting, meant Galgael Stakeholders were able to have a go at it as well!

Having a go at rag-rug weaving was the interest of many folks that day too. Here is a good old friend, Miriam the murial artist, looking close as Laryna demonstrates.

And then, inbetween, it was time for a song or two by Jerry, paying homage to the Hebridean fleeces - that one there is right now being processed (stitched & needlefelted, the stage after the washing and before the fulling) by Ali, and this one here is for Barmaddy, the Galgael venture in Argyll.

watch a wee clip of Jerry's homage to the Hebridean fleece by clicking above

And whilst you are on you tube, you might also like to catch a brief glimpse of Laryna dancing her heart out at last and some others too. {Just click on the embedded links!)

Or you might like to take the opportunity to more fully see that very special event of this Friday, the poem-song writing, music making, performance gig of Luke Concannon with Manjinga 7 at Galgael. Click here for the youtube playlist and here for the photos.

This Friday was really a wonderful opportunity to collect and display our creative projects, too, such as Jackie's Hebridean felts: the mittens and the baby booties.

Laryna's luxourios green bag and the stylish wristwarmers:

This beauty here, young David's vessel (remember him from the felting at Liz event last November?) we finally managed to capture -

You can see more shots of it and the other modest and mighty master pieces of our members on the photoalbum here:

And here over to Laryna: who wrote:

We had a great day on Friday the 6t in GalGael. I loved especially the afternoon activities with the gorgeous band from Bristol. Such talented guys and full of inspiration, joy and love. They inspired us guys from GalGael to make our own songs out of words we gain by a brainstorming process written on a huge piece of paper. "There is so much talent in the room!" inspired us to do our very best. Later the band on stage was brilliant and eventually Luis was the first dancing and pulling everybody on the dance floor. I had great fun dancing. Then it became very noisy, because everybody was playing an instrument, mostly percussion ones. Fun was in the air!!!! I could feel the love and the joy and the fun of everybody.
GalGael, I am happy to be part of you!
From the wool ladies Anneruth, Alison, Lynsey and me have been there in the afternoon. Verene needed to go to another dance event with Biodanza.