Thursday, 2 December 2010

Cutting down the 3 rugs

A big moment that day: the taking 3 rugs of the loom: months of individual and team effort: the rugs are                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 ready to be getting the last final touches!

watch it as film here
"They have been many months in the making by many merry hands - and now is the time for the truth: what will they look like on the floor|/ But, first more steps need to be taken: such as.....
see on


Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Thursday eve: Teasing plant dyed sheep's wool

We had a lovely gathering in the bothy last Thursday night: On Tuesday Heather and Alison were dyeing different shades in yellow, using onion skin. Heather brought the yellow wool into the bothy and spread it on the table. It looked so very beautiful when the sunny yellow wool was spread out. (Sorry, I didn't make a photo of it, but will take one next time.) Sitting around the table everybody got involved in teasing the wool to prepare it for carding and then spinning. A crowd of happily chatting women were filling the bothy. It was a very relaxed evening.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

why when? aye see : Weaving the Clyde is done!

Slowly but surely, or actually fastly and vastly, the Weaving of the Clyde nears completion at last:
the last stages for the  "Weaving the Clyde" tapestry,
At long last:
The "Weaving the Clyde" Tapestry is nearing completion. on the 19th September it looked  like the above, and on the 19th October it looked like this, as Gillian completed what Mary had left unfinished:

Now only the threads and edges need to be tidyied up and the backing needs to be mounted. Watch this space!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Thursday evening gathering in the bothy

Hi, Lynsey here with my first ever blog! Woohoo! I just wanted to say a wee bit about last Thursday evening at Galgael, I have pics which I will add soon and you will see for yourself but the work happening in the bothy was amazing. Ali and myself were the two main maembers of woolcraft who were in ans as they were showing the freestate film we hadn't really planned to do any woolcraft, but a couple of people asked and by the time dinner was served there were about ten people sitting and standing in our wee bothy doing card weaving and making gods eyes! It was really cool! I taught three girls how to weave and then they passed the skills on to others and so on and they all kept coming back to me for help and thanking me! It was sooo lovely, there were moments of complete silence and tranquility and moments of sweet laughter and I felt all proud and warm inside!!!
7 October 2010 20:46

Thursday, 16 September 2010

“Family Fibre Craft Fun Day at Penicuik House” on Sat. 4th of Sept. 2010

This was a drop-in workshop, planned in single sessions about 45 minutes, offering wool carding, spinning, weaving and dry and wet felting for children and adults.

Another sunny and warm day was inviting us, using the space outside. There were 2 spinning wheels, a drum carder and a peg loom standing outside in the open air. Anneruth, Marjorie and I were demonstrating how to use these tools for wool craft so that folks could have a go on them.

After a slow start at 10am it got really busy about 11.30am until after 5pm. There were many interested people from all ages, participating in one or even two workshops to have a go and learn about using and processing wool. They were spinning a thread, weaving a rug, felting beads and brooches, little pictures and woolly animals like bears, hamsters and sheep. Beautifully dyed merino wool or natural coloured wool from scottish sheep inspired young ones and adults to be creative. What a joy for a child or an adult to take something home, made by themselves with their own hands!

The participants were looking like having real fun and having learned excellent new skills during the workshops in Penicuik House! We wool crafters were enjoying two brilliant days with lovely folks. Thanks to you all, it was amazing!

Big thanks to the Scottish Lime Centre Trust being a great host for the workshops.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

One-Day Felt Making Workshop in Penicuik House on Fri, 3rd of Sept.2010

Two fibre craft workshops were held in the beautiful surroundings of Penicuik House
, on the 3rd and 4th of September 2010 as part of "Making Space" and the Penicuik Art Festival.

Anneruth from Penicuik and I, Laryna from Glasgow were offering a one-day workshop for beginners and advanced in the wonderful technique of wool felting.

There were 8 participants doing various projects with natural coloured and dyed sheep's wool in needle felting with a special needle and wet felting with warm soapy water and friction. Before we started with the felting, we were exploring different fibres from plants and animals. Amazing how different fibres can be! We explored the varieties in colour, fineness, fibre length and strength, in softness, in lustre and elasticity. We then used sheep wool, which is the only fibre with the amazing ability to felt that means it shrinks from a fluffy bunch of fibres to a lose, or even strong fabric. Some participants started with needle felting, using a special needle. Others started with layering wool for wet felting a picture, beads, flowers, a soft fabric for making a brooch, smaller and bigger bags and even more. It was a busy and creative atmosphere! So interesting to look around and see the many different projects, colour shades and patterns!

The room, we were working in was really looking like a craft workshop. The felted and other woolly products on the wall and in the display made it even more looking as if we have always been here, doing crafts.
The day was warm and sunny and we were enjoying a lovely lunch break sitting outside.

Afterwards the felting went on with starting another project, or finishing a picture or handbag. Besides fun and creativity there was sometimes quite hard work involved: When it came to the rolling of the felt, using a bamboo blind to make the felt even stronger and tighter, muzzle strength was needed!.
After a great and enjoyable creative day, the participants left, proud and happy with their beautiful handmade felted products.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Galgael's Woolcraft Women on video

Come and see us here

( direct Video-upload has yet again not worked here so pleae click on link here or youtube url above

Video is accompanied by "Fisherman's Dream" sung by Capercaillie

Orcuan in Millport Bay...
and Laryna's first proper sailor felt hat on Ian's head!

We need more pics of that master piece Laryna - can you upload some ;-) ??

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Sail 'n Oar and mega Galgael Galore

What else is life about than being on a boat on the Ocean of Life?
Seeing land, and holding an oar in hand and knowing all landing there is but a passing moment on our journey towards becoming what we are embedded in: the Ocean of Life.

Yes, it might seem like much strife, building the boat and weaving the sail ..... ah - do you know how much work all that is!?! If not, you have not really lived, and you have not really danced! ;-) ;-) :-)
But somehow you might just know what it feels like to go to sleep in a rocking open boat with nothing but the stars above you head and the bare boards for your cradling bed..? Breathe deep and go to sleep ....... breathe deep and awaken anew, and see the new morning view....

The above depicted boat, the ocean faring curragh Columcille sailed smoothly across from Ballycastle (NI) to Millport in 3 days this week and back... and the weather was at ease for her and her crew...

Well, here you are, Woolcraft at Galgael, embedded in this other boat and its nets, the Galgael Clan. Were art and part of calling the Celtic boats to shore for 3 wonderful days and wild nights...! I hope everyone's weary heads are now all resting on some soft shipskins, and the winds are kind to your boats embedded afloat in the Ocean of Life, and that the threads of destiny you spin in the great web of life will be doing us all proud.

click here to see the video

"Wee Glimpses of Dorna on Saturday 14th August"

I certainly was proud being a tiny part of this great and mad Galgael web of waves on the Ocean of Life, a Galgael web that spans many a land on this and the other sides of that Ocean of Life. This event certainly was sending many a ripples all round.
And the locals loved it, too, and wonder whether you come back next year :-)!
Maybe then I will stay all weekend, because it was a shame on Saturday to have to go back to the East when West was Best in the lap of the Sun!

For more pics of the Saturday, go and see and read more here.

More video will be uploaded soon on both the Urban Clansman and the Woolcraft at Galgael Youtube channels.
And, with a bit of luck, full footage of this mammoth event will be found via Galgael blogs etc.

You are dancers, ye Galgaelians all, on the Ocean of Life for a sounder touch....

Especially of course when Albannach gives the beat!

Best wishes to you all from the East Coast!

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Proud to be Galgael at Portsoy 2010

What is Alex Salmond saying to you here, Gillian? Pray, tell us!
Proud to be Galgael all were as can be seen here: the Portsoy 2010 story told in pictures! (Thank you Gehan for upoading them so quickly)

Hey, folks, keep the story flowing and going here: gee us mer blether!

And our pure bred Galgael Clan maiden just looks the part, too, at the country spinner celebrating its second year at Portsoy (remember how the sturdy double treadle landed with us exactly a year ago?)

some news links:


Saturday, 27 March 2010

T in The Pot @ Galgael

Alison, the group facilitator, writes:

The whole aim of the starting the group on a Tuesday was to make a comfortable place for woman to get together, chat, laugh, relax and make something with their hands.  It was of most importance to create a nurturing place for woman first of all then give the materials to be creative.  In the Tuesday Group they get a warm and nutritious lunch, soup and salad then a sweet afterwards.  The group runs from 11am to 2pm.  Alison comes in around 9 - 9.30 to help prepare the materials and go shopping and make the lunch for the woman.

The Tuesday Group consisted of Women from the local Govan area, they came through a local charity in Govan that supports woman either through crisis or gives some moral support.  The charity is called "T in The Pot" who Alison got in touch with and who runs the group on a Tuesday.  Initially the main plan with running the group was short term.  Running from 3 to 5 weeks depending on the response we where getting.  I'm happy to say that the Woolcraft group is getting a great reputation.  2 women came in to Glagael to find out about the Tuesday Group.  Not only had they heard about us through T in The Pot but also through a mental health charity called Car Gomm.  This is evidence that the Woolcraft group as a whole is making an impact and starting up the Tuesday group makes it more accessible for women who can't make it any other day. 

The initial plan for running the Tuesday group was to teach an introduction to felting.  This was to include making our famous but very easy felted flowers and then move on to a bigger project individually.  After the first week the woman decided they would like to make a banner for T in The Pot.  Rather than just each woman making individual projects they now wanted to work as a team.  And so to make a basis for the banner we mended and felted a Hebridean fleece, this was a great introduction for the woman in getting involved with the more traditional crafts.  Afterwards we started dry felting the logo of T in The pot. This is still ongoing and I'm happy to say that the group is growing more in strength.  Unfortunately the only barrier to the group is the number of women that can be taken, it's 5 maximum.  

For more pictures see

Friday, 12 February 2010

what a lovely heart warming event: our Imbolc Coffee morning

Verene said:
Our coffee morning was a very special event in the history of the Woolcraft group at GalGael. Four new people were introduced to the magic of felting but it’s the warmth of our hospitality – many of us baked cakes or sweets –, the sacredness of our small candle lightening ceremony and the care with which we collectively prepared the event that moved me most. That morning we truly embodied the spirit of GalGael by creating beauty & friendship as well as giving everyone an opportunity to work with their hands & learn a new skill. 

Please visit
to see and hear more about this wonderful inspirational occasion



Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Invitation to an Imbolc Coffee morning

February is coming again - the month of new beginnings for woolly lambs, and a woolcraft@galgael event:

'Imbolc' is a name for on old Celtic country festival, where the women, and men!, gathered to celebrate womanhood, and all the good nurturing qualities that we like to see to come with it: skills in making garments and food, tools and decorations, giving birth, and also protecting the family or clan. The patroness for that has always been 'BRIGHID', a figure mythical and divine in all times and for all ages, and at this time of the year especially for the young woman.

Somewhere there is in all of us a young woman, an eager to learn, bright and fresh part of our self. Now is the time to remember her clear vision, keen senses and clean hope, and to recommit to her. Around us here in the Northern hemnispshere the little snowdrop is a symbol of that cold withstanding fire of life, as well as the fire in the hearth. In the Outer Hebrideans Imbolc (1st of February) was the day when the hearth was cleaned and for the one and only time in the year it had no fire in it so it could be freshly lit. Later traditions placed the candles instead of the heartfire as the centre of celebrations.

One ancient craft symbol, the woven reed cross, Bridghid's Cross, symbolising the balance and perfect movement of all things, also still remains a much loved staple of making and saning at this time of the year, Imbolc, or Oimelc, 'the first flow of ewe's milk'.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

slow in catching up

To all our dear readers -
a very happy New Year to you all!
time has just flown this last half year - and also some dear 'old' members have flown away to new work and other countries, and the new members are still learning how to weave on the blog loom here, being very busy with getting down to woolocrafting first of all. You can see that also from the picture above, our new bothy cupboard - a very inviting sight to encourage the many Galgael visitors to stop and dream (and to buy maybe too :-)?), and the newcomers of our growing group to get hands on. You can always see more up to date updates on our famous picasa site  

And soon there will be more catching-up-posts here about the happenings of the past months, such as the Christmas Fayre, - see here :