Meet the Trader – Plant Dyed Wool

Today we meet Jane, from Plant Dyed Wool (http://plantdyedwool.co.uk/).

Hello, please could you tell us about your business?

I run workshops teaching wool processing, plant dyeing, peg loom
weaving, spinning, Brinkley loom weaving and felting.  I also sell the
wonderful and so simple to use Brinkley loom.  It takes 5 minutes to warp
up!  All my items for sale are dyed with plants from my garden.  And colour
is my passion.

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What can we look forward to seeing at your stand at ESGWSD 2015?

I will have an array of colourful woven shawls, scarves and throws on my
stall.  I will also be demonstrating my Brinkley looms and will have plenty
for sale.

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What are you looking forward to most about the event and/or visiting Lewes?

I have never been to Lewes so have no idea what is in store, but love
being near the sea.

See you in a few weeks, Jane!

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Meet our members – Chris

Hello, I’m Chris.

I have been a member of ESGWSD for the past five years. I took up spinning as a hobby after having lessons with Daphne (another guild member). I borrowed a spinning wheel from my next door neighbour of  27 years, Ruth. Ruth, who sadly passed away this year ten days before her 100 birthday, had been spinning for the past 40 years. Whenever I popped round to see her she was either in the garden or spinning on her Ashford spinning wheel that she had brought back from one of her many trips to New Zealand. I soon decided spinning was for me, and then I heard about dyeing – wow! What wonderful experiments you can have with an old saucepan, some dyes and washed fleece; this was truly satisfying. I soon had various hats and scarves in wonderful colours all spun and dyed by me!

Merino rolag hand-dyed using goldenrod

Merino rolag hand-dyed using goldenrod

Two years ago, I decided it was time for me to have a go at weaving and I joined Val’s weaving class at Clayton. Val lent me a loom and off I went (or should that be wove!). Now, weaving is a lot more complicated than spinning and dyeing; there are ‘Rigid Heddles’, four shafts, eight shafts etc, warps, wefts, raddles etc., etc. So for me, weaving has been a real challenge, with assorted pieces of poorly woven, if interesting, pieces of fabric! But finally, I am getting ther – I have made a few scarves and cushions. A hand bag (fingers crossed) will be my latest creation, which I hope to exhibit in our Exhibition.

My new loom

My new loom

Being part of East Sussex Guild has been a real inspiration to me; not only have I learnt to spin, dye and weave, but I have met some wonderful truly talented people. This year I organised our stand at the South of England Agricultural Show, with a lot of help from Sheila and Val, and we won ‘Third Prize’ in our section – amazing!!

A table runner woven using Japanese Washi (paper), which you can wash at 30 degrees centigrade!

A table runner woven using Japanese Washi (paper), which you can wash at 30 degrees centigrade!

So come on, visit our Exhibition, join our Guild and make lots of wonderful friends and learn some exciting skills.

Meet the Trader – Owena’s Farm Produce

In the next installment in our series with the traders who are supporting our October exhibition, we meet  Owena Lewis from Owena’s Farm Produce (www.owenasfarmproduce.co.uk)

Hello, please could you tell us about your business?

Baulcombes Barn produces wool from my Shetland and Jacob flock on a small care farm at Hamsey, near Lewes, East Sussex.

What can we look forward to seeing at your stand at ESGWSD 2015?

I shall be selling locally produced wool supplies;  I shall have brown and black fleeces from my shearling Shetland sheep; natural coloured knitting yarn, sliver and roving for spinning, felting, knitting and weaving; peg looms.  Plus some lovely tanned sheepskins.

What are you looking forward to most about the event and/or visiting Lewes?

I am looking forward to being at the fair surrounded by lots of wool and wool products!

See you in October, Owena!

Weaving silk scarves for our 2015 raffle

Our weaver members are still hard at work creating their handwoven silk scarves for our 2015 raffle. Today we meet Dot, who is one of the weavers in our silk scarf team, and gain an insight into her weaving process.

Dot weaving close up

Dot first learnt to weave at school in Australia. She took up weaving as a serious hobby 30 years ago and is “still learning”. Dot has been a member of the East Sussex Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers for 15 years; she also spins and, during the Summer months, can be found dyeing wools and silk in her garden.

Handspun silk ready for the loom

Handspun silk ready for the loom

Weaving silk scarves is Dot’s favourite weaving item and she especially enjoys the planning of a new project and redeveloping ideas and processes. Over the years, Dot has woven a few scarves for the ESGWSD Exhibition and keeps keeps copious notes to see how the project works out and believes this is very important.

Here, Dot has used 64grams of silk for the warp on her scarf. The weft used is silk (60/2 times, 2 different colours). The pattern used for the weave is “Plain Weave” at 20 ends per inch (epi). The scarf edges on the warp are the same colour and the rest of the warp is threaded randomly, she uses a floating selvedge to give a neat edge to the scarf.

The loom set up and ready to go

The loom set up and ready to go

Starting to weave

Starting to weave

Meet the Trader – Romney Marsh Wools

This week we meet Romney Marsh Wools (http://romneymarshwools.co.uk/).

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Hello, please could you tell us about your business?

Romney Marsh Wools is a family business which sells a wide range of products made from our own fleeces from our family farm. All of our products are made in the UK.

What can we look forward to seeing at your stand at ESGWSD 2015?

Our range features throws and cushions, toiletries containing Lanolin, handmade gifts, knitting yarn, our natural sheepskin moccasins and more!

What are you looking forward to most about the event and/or visiting Lewes?

We are very much looking forward to meeting fellow wool enthusiasts and making contact with producers who work with sheep fleeces!

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See you in October!

Meet the trader – The Threshing Barn

This week we meet Janet Phillips from The Threshing Barn (http://www.threshingbarn.com/).

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Hello, please could you tell us about your business?

Hello, I’m Janet Phillips and I relocated The Threshing Barn to a converted spinning mill on the border of Cumbria and Yorkshire Dales, so I have a perfect location to live and work  surrounded by the fells and sheep. I retail my spinning, weaving, dyeing, and wool supplies directly from the workshop,via my website, visits to guilds and textile events.

What can we look forward to seeing at your stand at ESGWSD 2015?

I shall be bringing a selection of new products such as the new Louet concept spinning wheel, the Strauch ball winders, swifts and drum carders, Glimakra rigid heddle looms, weaving yarns such as cotton, alpaca  and my hand dyed wool tops.

What are you looking forward to most about the event and/or visiting Lewes?

I love coming to the Guild event to meet friends and customers and eat in lovely restaurants in the evening. I also enjoy the exhibition of your members work which is always of a very high standard.

See you in October, Janet!

 

 

Meet the trader – DT Craft & Design

In the first of our new series on the traders who will be attending the East Sussex Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers’ Exhibition this October, we meet Debbie Tomkies from DT Craft & Design (www.dtcrafts.co.uk)

Hello, please could you tell us about your business?

We are specialist suppliers of dyes, yarns, fibres and equipment for hand-dyers and textile artists. I have over 25 years experience as a dyer, spinner, knitter, crocheter and felter so I’m always happy to answer questions and advise on your dyeing and textile-related conundrums!

What can we look forward to seeing at your stand at ESGWSD 2015?

We’ll be bringing our extensive range of dyes to the event – procion and acid dyes, Kool Aid, natural dye extracts and Botanical Colors liquid natural dyes. We’ll also have a wide selection of gorgeous yarns and fibres specially selected for dyeing (or using as they are, of course!). For knitters and crocheters we’ll have needles, hooks and notions and we’ll also be bringing a lovely range of books and my exclusive pattern designs.

What are you looking forward to most about the event and/or visiting Lewes?

We always look forward to the exhibition – the wealth of talent is nothing short of inspirational (and I’m still hoping to win a raffle prize one day!). The people are always lovely and so welcoming and Lewes is a charming town. And of course it would be remiss of me not to mention the cakes – it’s interesting how textiles and great baking always seem to go hand in hand!

See you in October, Debbie!