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.


Thursday, 5 March 2009


Well, the biggest event surely this month was the birth of Isobel Lucie on Sunday the 8th of February. It happened quietly, and blissfull new mum Anna is still keeping very quiet, but she and sleeping beauty are well and send this photo. Can you see the edge of the Shetlandwool blanket Anna knitted in midwinter? And below you can see the Alpaca blanket Anneruth spun, wove, sewn and felted ready now too for Isobel's pram in spring. The needlefelted Alpaca is onion skin dyed and is truly lumionous in colour sheen: what a miracle Alpaca is! Thank you Breeze (that is the baby alpaca whom you can meet here too)

Babies and mothers was the theme of that week: Here is Alison making a fairy for her soon to be born nieceAnd here is Samantha and son trying out needle felting for the first time.

Helen has been asked again to provide input into the local nursery at Bellahouston, and she is doing it all by herself this time. Good on you, woman! You were the young mother last February, weren't you?! (we must get a new picture of them!)

Otherwise this month was mainly taken up with forward planning of our big baby: the woolcraft at Galgael group. We have tried our luck in putting a funding application through so that we can build a more solid base for proper outreach in the future. There is just not enough space and time, but the demand is clearly there, and it is so good to be a vibrant part of a vibrant Galgael, and to now be even part of the big Operational Plan.
We have started to take part a little in the Thursday evening drop-in sessions, which got kicked into action also partly because of our pesterpower. See more about them here.
However, the space we would need is not quite available on the Thursdays either... so we are still looking, and also thinking of making use of our local members homes and gardens :-)
Meanwhile, another big baby of the month:
The upright tapestry has been given space at Galgael! Hurray!
It seems that everybody wants a shot at making rugs of the tartan offcuts from the Isle o Lewis - but right now when to camera was ready to shoot - it stood just proudly waiting next to the other big loom in the foyer now: