I've had a great day today, a first in a long time with my family in Cardiff. We browsed shops and allowed me a little time in my beloved vintage shop where I scored majorly on the fabric front! And then a really nice lunch at Jamie’s Italian restaurant, one of a small string of restaurants by the beloved Jamie Oliver. This guy gave me confidence in my cooking! I will write up an update soon on this but first I feel I need to write about my craft group that I’m a part of due to the questions I have received regarding this from readers.
I am a part of the Tamar Valley Working Group of Spinners Weavers and Dyers mostly based in Plymouth and the surrounding areas. We meet up once a month at each other houses where we exchange craft stories and knowledge/skills we know, show each other our works in progress or completed projects and basically sit around and craft!
Despite the title of the group being “weavers, spinning and dyers”, we are actually a very diverse craft group, so much so that we spilled over into another craft group specifically aimed at patchwork and fabrics held on another day (that I’m too am a member!). We take on members on an Invite only selection, taking in people who are keen and do crafts or wanting to learn. I was invited by some work colleagues and I love it!
Its a very creative atmosphere and a diverse group in terms of age (I’m the youngest!), skills and knowledge. We all drive each other on to complete various projects and every once in a while we do projects together or challenges so this is excellent to motivate me, what with my low confidence and depression etc...
Last night, we had a chance to work with raw wool that has been washed and dyed. We carded it using two giant brush panels, pulling the wool through in one direction to make the fibres stretch into one way to make it easier to spin into wool.
It was nice to see the more experienced members helping the not-so-sure-what-the-hell-are-they-doing members!
We all have different passions, one member quietly worked in the corner building up her patchwork collection from the many hues of fabrics she owed and already we can't wait to see the finished product. A lot of the finished works done by the members are high in quality and the hours invested into them is unthinkable...!
Someone else today bought a huge bag of Alpaca wool from a local farm she visited and as a keen knitter, she is about to turn all this pile of loose wool into the knitting wool we all know and see.
I had taken a break from working on a recent project and felt a little guilty I havent had anything to show but being surrounded by the women and their wares is so inspiring that I very much now want to get my teeth into something else!
Its a nice social event for me, all of these lovely ladies know I'm deaf, are very friendly and happy to help or repeat themselves and are open as well. They go as far as asking about my disability and how it came about right down to how is my depression/surgery planning/health is doing. I appreciate it and its nice I'm in an environment that I can feed off as well as input into at my own pace and energies.
I'm thinking in the near future of setting up a small group myself for like-minded people who just want to get together, talk craft and stuff and generall just be in a space and relax and enjoy what we are doing along with who we are with. It's a good, motivational vibe that been very helpful for me.
I'm looking forward to next month as we are having our yearly dye day where we gather at a member's huge beautiful house and gardens and just dye and play with many techniques. I now know from last year how to make up the indigo dye used to dye demin jeans and how potent and amazing woad is to play with using methods from back when woad was in use by the celts.
And this year... I will be teaching one of the workshops! *gulps*
I'm looking forward to seeing where the group goes in the future and hopefully will be creating many pieces of work to come! What do you make and create?
Give me a shout if you have any questions or are interested, leave a comment/message on here or on my facebook as normal!
Much Birdie love!