A significant birthday

Our Guild turned 50 last month! Of course we had a party – a “High Tea” at beautiful Lansdowne House.
The excitement had been building for quite a while, after a challenge was issued to members to create something in wool that referenced “50”. We were also challenged to provide 50 little wool hats for premature and newborn babies. So there had been much making – in the lead-up to the big day, we admired 50 skeins
50 gloves
(including a rogue one)
a crochet rug with a golden L woven through it
a cheery rug proclaiming our age
and a colourful hanging.

Trish let us preview (but not pre-nibble) her chain of 50 links.
Here’s what she wrote about it:
50 chains celebrating this wonderful guild
50 stitches to hold us all together
50 sweets giving us strength to ALWAYS support and learn from each other.

At the party we saw even more, beautifully displayed. As usual on special occasions, we showed off Doug’s welcome rug 
50 baby booties pretended to be cupcakes
and 50 babies will have cosy heads this winter.
We could show you more, but one always has to leave room for food, specially food like this:
We were a cheerful crowd of fifty-five members and ex-members, as well as the mayors of Masterton, Lyn Patterson, and South Wairarapa, Viv Napier, who celebrated with us.
Our founder and first president, April Bamford, cut our anniversary cake, and spoke of how the guild was first formed. Here she is flanked by our two life members, Marion and Lynette, and Josie who made the cake.

Oops, nearly forgot – there’s a very special 50-inspired treasure in our shop. A doll in clothes of 50 colours, made by Helen B, is the prize in the raffle. The coming week is the final one before the shop closes, so if you aren’t too far away, do hurry along and have a look round (and maybe buy a raffle ticket)!

Most of the photos above are by Janet.



Here’s the shop!

Yes, it’s open!

This is just a tiny amount of what a hard-working team organised into colourful displays.

As you can see, there is plenty to tempt the spinner, knitter or weaver. But that’s just the beginning –

A variety of garments for little people and big people, many of them hand spun as well as hand knitted.

The weavers as well as the knitters and crocheters and felters have been busy.

There’s no need to be cold this winter. Woolly hats, socks, gloves, scarves … all kinds of cosiness are here!

So if you’re in Masterton in the next couple of weeks do drop in and say hello, opposite Food for Thought. We promise not to tempt you – well, perhaps a little.

See the previous post for details of hours etc, or find the poster here: shop-notice-2019-2.
A big thankyou to Lorraine who took these photos.


Our Pop-up Shop Opens Soon!

Wairarapa Spinners and Weavers are happy to announce that the Annual Pop-up Shop opens on the 27 May opposite Food for Thought in Queen Street, Masterton. We will be open 9 am to 5pm weekdays and 9.30am to 2pm Saturdays. Sorry we will be closed Sundays and Queen’s Birthday. Last day is 15 June.

As per usual the shop will be full of garments and other items handmade by our very crafty members.

There will be raw sheep fleeces, carded sheep fleeces and hand spun yarn for you to buy.

Here is a photo from last year’s shop

Creative Fibre Festival Part 2 – Fleece to Garment and more

A few weeks ago I wrote about the practice sessions for the Fleece to Garment Action Challenge. This time its about competition day.

Many years ago my aunt talked about the Silver Spinning Wheel, fleece to garment competition. She was a member of the West Coast Club. I was excited to see that the Wooly Westcoasters won the first competition in 1968, although my Aunt wasn’t part of the team.

Fast forward to 2019, and my…. nothing has changed. The teams were given a fleece each and they needed to card, spin, ply it and then knit to a specified tension. This is how it was done in the 1960s, no eSpinners or commercially carded fleece to be seen. Of course some of the wheels were of new design, and this was the only difference between now and then.

The Wairarapa Spinners and Weavers team called themselves the Y Rappers and when members came to watch and cheer the team along we rapped a verse or two.

How many people does it take to knit and sew a child’s jersey? It takes six people to do the finishing touches to one small sweater. Janice and Lynette are sewing-up, Marion is knitting the neckband, Kay is ready to hand anything needed, like scissors, Loraine is keeping the garment spread out conveniently and Josie oversees.

The team, Marion, Lorraine, Josie, Lynette, Kay, and Janice commenced work at 9.00am, and with a short break for lunch was the first team finished.

The team proudly showing the jersey.

And a close up of the completed jersey.

Well done ladies.

I just loved the display by the Black and Coloured Sheep Breeders Association. Here is our Pyillis surrounded by some of her pieces of work. Love the blanket.

AND, the array of traders in the Merchants Mall was amazing. wonderful yarn, beautiful yarn, carded fleece, books, wool crafters treats… you name it, it was here. A small selection of the traders…

Creative Fibre NZ Festival 2019 – Part One

Some of us ventured to Palmerston North to enjoy this biennial event.

Before we even got in the door there was this –
and what would our members do if they walked in to be welcomed by a row of empty chairs and spinning wheels? Sit down and spin, of course.

The Exhibition, as usual, was full of colour,


exquisite skill

and even cuteness.

The Fashion Parade included interesting garments seen at previous Festivals, for this was the 50th anniversary year! We got to see them displayed the next day

Among the current year’s entries, this multiple prizewinner was stunning on the catwalk but sad in the display. The strip of white around the hips shouldn’t be there – it’s the bottom part of the dress form showing through.

Here is a striking outfit from the group challenge –

And that’s all from me, Mary, but it’s not all that went on at the Festival. Janet will be along later with Part 2.

From Fleece to Garment Action

Did you know that the Creative Fibre Festival will be held in Palmerston North over 25 – 28 April 2019? It’s Creative Fibre’s 50th Anniversary this year. There are always neat things to look at, lots of traders and the Fleece to Garment Action Competition is really exciting to watch.

Each team consists of six persons, some spinning, some plying, some flick carding the raw fleece and some knitting. Each team is allocated a fleece and we know that the pattern is provided on the day. The tension is to be 11 st to 5 cm. There are a lot of other rules which you can look at here…

The Wairarapa Spinners and Weavers are entering a team. The following photos were taken at one of their practice days.

Here’s Marion and the practice fleece, she also has some patterns from the past
The team, Janice and Kay are busy spinning, Lynette is doing the plying
Janice concentrating on spinning a yarn slightly thicker than she would normally
Kay spins a single for Lynette to ply with Janice’s single.
Marion consulting the Rules

The Rules state that penalty points will be awarded for incorrect tension. And I like this Rule – only a small portion of the marks are for speed, the teams will profit from quality of work.

If you are at Festival on Saturday 27 April come along and cheer the team along.

Just some random pictures

Nothing special has happened in the last little while except the making of some lovely things. So here are a few photos.

Several stunning blankets are in progress. There’s this one by Adrienne:

and this by new member Helen (I envy her skill but not all those ends!):

We’ve seen some super sweaters. Here’s one for a child, by Tracy:

and this is by Josie, from her handspun:

It’s my photo that’s wonky, not this admired cardigan by Caroline:

Caroline has been busy – she felted this gorgeous scarf too:

Below is another beautiful scarf, with a story. Margaret volunteers in a charity shop, and when an eyecatching silk scarf was donated, she realised they couldn’t sell it as it was badly torn. But she thought it might work for nuno felting, so she gave it to Pat who somehow managed to make this – and gave it back to an astonished and delighted Margaret.

The last picture is particularly random but I can’t leave it out – Jutta’s clever woodworking husband Graham made a little pincushion/scissors-holder/thimble-holder:
Isn’t she cute?