Cuteness in March

Some of us have been very busy making little Comfort Dolls for the Masterton Branch of the Wellington Free Ambulance, to give to children at unhappy times. Here are some of them :

Comfort dolls

A pile of cute

The pattern is basically a simple rectangle, and the doll takes shape in the finishing. There are any number of “comfort doll” patterns and pictures on the internet – click on Comfort Doll for a PDF file of the one we are using.

In our monthly show-and-tell, there was more cute – we were enchanted by the litle top Helen B spun, knitted and embellished for her one-year-old great granddaughter.

Embellished top

Another cute

Helen didn’t stop there. She needle-felted a minuscule teddy, who now adorns her spinning wheel.

Cutest of all? This picture is just about life-size.

There was something else, not exactly cute but stunning – Hugh had given Jutta some of the amazing yarns he felts from combinations of leftovers. She wove a wall hanging, and presented it to him. Kindness coming back with interest!

Wall hanging

Hugh was delighted with his gift

Lastly, some news for all our friends. Our Spin-in this year will be held on Saturday 2 September, in the Wairarapa College Hall. There will be more spin-in updates later. We’d love to see you there!

Change is afoot!

We knew it was coming

We knew it was coming

But it still took us aback when we returned to the Wool Shed after the long summer break

But it still took us aback when we returned to the Wool Shed after the long summer break

One of our favourite parking places –

One of our favourite parking places –

... gone!

… gone!

The roof will go on soon. We can watch from the windows of our meeting room.

The roof will go on soon. We can watch from the windows of our meeting room.

The space is much needed by the Wool Shed Museum. And we do seem to be managing to find parking.

In other news –

Lynette hosted spinning and a barbecue on Waitangi Day, New Zealand’s national day,

A quiet moment in a lively gathering

A quiet moment in a lively gathering (photo: Trish Carver)

Partners were included, and even put to work!

Partners were included, and even put to work! (photo, and the next one: Lynette Teahan)

Well, some were working

Well, some were working

Jutta has been busy –

She wove this lovely cushion from some of Helga's handspun

She wove this lovely cushion from some of Helga’s handspun

And a charming little floor rug

And a charming little floor rug

rug2 If only computers could let you feel it - so soft and cosy for feet!

If only computers could let you feel it – so soft and cosy for feet!

We’ve started a series of little workshops once a month –

This time, a challenge to identify the fleece of different sheep breeds. Can you pick the English Leicester in front? (Click the photo to enlarge.)

This time, a challenge to identify the fleece of different sheep breeds. Can you pick the English Leicester near the front? (Click the photo to enlarge.)

There is no excuse for anyone to be bored!

Summer gardens

As usual, we have enjoyed members’ gardens on Wednesdays in January, instead of our regular meetings. Don’t forget you can click on a photo for a better view!

On the first Wednesday we relaxed around Doug’s splendid log house.

Look at those massive posts and beams!

Look at those massive posts and beams!

Under the verandah is lovely on a hot day

Under the verandah is lovely on a hot day

Quirky and cute!

Quirky and cute!

Then there was an excursion to Patrizia’s farm. She loves her animals, and they love her in return. (The next 3 photo are by Trish Carver)

Patrizia is feeding a Gotland ewe, The rest are Romney/Corriedale crosses, with a little goat poking its nose in on the left.

Patrizia is feeding a Gotland ewe, The rest are Romney/Corriedale crosses, with a little goat poking its nose in on the left.

Can you sort the sheep from the goats?

Can you sort the sheep from the goats?

Shire horses are Very Very Big! Patrizia and Rob brought this one’s mother Gypsy from England when they moved here.

Shadow, the young Shire horse (full hame Grandborough Rewa Shadow Aotearoa). Born on 27 October 2014, he has still another two years of growing! Patrizia and Rob brought his mother Gypsy from England when they moved here.

Meet Shadow, (full hame Grandborough Rewa Shadow Aotearoa). Born on 27 October 2014, he has still another two years of growing!

On a day of strong gusty winds, we went to Marion’s, and sat outside in the shelter of the splendid trees.

Not a breeze troubled us

Not a breeze troubled us

in front of the garage, colourful things were happening. It wasn't quite so sheltered there, hence the brick.

in front of the garage, colourful things were happening. It wasn’t quite so sheltered there, hence the brick.

Several people had birthdays, which we had to celebrate

Several people had birthdays, which we had to celebrate

And finally the weather jinx struck again, with wind and rain, so we didn’t spin in the park on the 4th Wednesday. No photos needed – we all know what wind and rain look like!

A tuneful party

We had a special treat at our Christmas party – music! John MacGibbon (who conveniently happens to be married to our secretary Liz) had unearthed the sheet music of a spinning song composed in World War 1 by a Wairarapa woman, Jane Morison. As in World War 2, spinning like knitting was a patriotic activity, because there was a shortage of yarn but a demand for knitted socks and other comforts for the troops. Our performance, accompanied and encouraged by John, must have been almost the first since 1918.

Some of he committee rehearsed beforehand

Some of he committee rehearsed beforehand

Spinning

We cannot all shoulder a rifle
But there is the spinning wheel
And work must be done
The war must be won
For home and our country’s weal
We cannot all enter the trenches
Nor fight on a battle field
But we can spin yarn
With wool from the farm
The distaff and spindle wield

Chorus:
We are spinning, spinning, spinning
And so busily we spin
While the World’s Great War we’re winning
Till the World’s Great War we win

‘Tis not the desire for conquest
‘Tis not the desire for gold
We’re fighting away
With ships of grey
And warriors true and bold
It is to protect our Empire
And flag of red, white and blue
So we’ll work with a will
The reels to fill
For we have our bit to do

Chorus:
We are spinning, spinning, spinning
And so busily we spin
While the World’s Great War we’re winning
Till the World’s Great War we win

Carols were sung too, and certain other songs as the evening wore on. There was no shortage of food and drink, and an errant cork even embedded itself in the ceiling insulation:

The cork is still there and looks likely to be a permanent feature

The cork is still there and looks likely to be a permanent feature

There were gifts, of course …

gift3
… after Santa made sure everyone had been good!

gift4


The sheet music of the spinning song can be downloaded and more information about its composer Jane Morison found at https://nzspinningwheels.wordpress.com/2016/12/17/spinning-song-from-world-war-one/

spinning-song

A and P and AGM

A number of our members entered lovely things in the handcraft classes at the Wairarapa A&P (Agricultural and Pastoral) Show. Here are a few of them, photographed by Helen Simonsen.

Two attractive flowers, by Marion and Liz

Two attractive flowers, by Marion and Liz

A colourful blanket by Helen ...

A colourful blanket by Helen …

... and another ...

… and another …

... and another, natural colour, by Phyllis

… and another, natural colour, by Phyllis

Lovely spinning by Trish

Lovely spinning by Trish

Handsome weaving by Helen

Handsome weaving by Helen

A cute teacosy by Josie (who'd have thought those colours would work together! - but they do)

A cute teacosy by Josie (who’d have thought those colours would work together! – but they do)

A crocheted hat of character by Helga

A crocheted hat of character by Helga

"Cottage art" – a hooked cushion by Liz

“Cottage art” – a punch needle cushion by Liz

"Something new from something old" - woven by Helen from recycled woollen jumpers

“Something new from something old” – woven by Helen from recycled woollen jumpers

We’ve also just had our Annual General Meeting: there were two good things about it. First, it was short.

Patrizia (treasurer), Lynette (in the chair) and Liz (secretary) getting organised. But what's that on the table behind them...?

Patrizia (treasurer), Lynette (in the chair) and Liz (secretary) getting organised. But what’s that on the table behind them…?

And second, it was followed by a truly interesting talk. Laurie Boniface (wool judge and longtime teacher of wool courses at Massey University) told us what to look for, and what to beware of, in choosing fleece.

Laurie had our keen attention

Laurie had our keen attention

He told us about breaks in wool, staple length and how it should be pretty much the same over a fleece, and contamination with vegetable matter – one thistle head can break up in carding and contaminate a whole batch of wool. Colour is important (this applies mostly to white wool, of course) and he had a splendid example of bright yellow canary stain, a big problem in our climate and one that doesn’t wash out.

A good sound lock of wool

A good sound lock of wool

He showed us examples of different types of wool, and discussed their different uses. Samples were passed around.

This was Perendale, nice and bouncy – a garment made from it would hold its shape well

This was Perendale, nice and bouncy – a garment made from it would hold its shape well

Afterwards, lunch was rather delayed because so many of us wanted to ask more questions. We gathered round these three fleeces, from two of our members.

Laurie (and most of us) particularly liked the one in the middle.

Laurie (and certain covetous members of the audience) particularly liked the one in the middle

Rarely has an AGM attracted such lively interest!

Three rugs and a birthday

There is original talent among our weavers. Doug, for example, sits unobtrusively at meetings spinning miles of yarn on an electric spinner. The yarn is to feed his looms – and every so often he will come along with a rug that astonishes us all with its inventiveness and beauty (often describing it modestly as “just an experiment”).

Crazy paving in wool

Crazy paving in wool

Diamond rug winning the "Best Use of Colour" trophy at our spin-in

Diamond rug winning the “Best Use of Colour” trophy at our spin-in

Another weaver who likes to try new things is Helen. After the initial frustrations of chenille (remember chenille?) she persisted and created this with its rich colours.

She calls it her "caterpillar rug"

Helen calls this her “caterpillar rug”

And Helga (who also creates original masterpieces, though most often with wheel or needles) had a significant birthday. Look what she and Hugh brought to celebrate!

Mmmm...

Mmmm…

Hugh looked on with pride (or was it partly anticipation?)

Hugh looked on with pride (or is it partly anticipation?)

The cake was every bit as rich and delicious as it looks.
Thank you Helga and Hugh for sharing this special occasion with us!

 

Spin-in – colour everywhere!

The big day at last!
Thanks to John MacGibbon for some of the photos – his are the ones labelled (J).

Our fibre friends from near and far joined us for a feast of craft and colour (J)

Our fibre friends from near and far joined us for a feast of craft and colour (J)

The traders' bright display lured us all

The traders’ bright display lured us all (J)

Colourful fibre everywhere

Colourful fibre everywhere

It all had to beadmired

which all had to be admired (J)

and choices made

and choices made (J)

after careful discussion. (J)

after careful discussion. (J)

There were dyes, in case you wanted even more colour

There were dyes, in case you wanted even more colour,

and equipment to try.

equipment to try,

and techniques to experiment with - how about felting around a stone? (It amkes a cute little bag.)

and techniques to experiment with – how about felting around a stone? (It makes a cute little bag.)

Of course we showed off our work - with this display

Of course we showed off our work – with this display

and with a fashion parade. Three members just happened to have made the same jacket pattern. (J)

and with a fashion parade. Three members just happened to have made the same jacket pattern. (J)

Our friends the Wairarapa Felting Group have been making jackets too. (J)

Our friends the Wairarapa Felting Group have been making jackets too. (J)

We can't end without the usual food photo - this is just a tiny sample.

We can’t end without the usual food photo – this is just a tiny sample (and half eaten already).

It was a great day, hard work but so worth it.