We’ve been industrious

One of our Guild’s duties, as part of our relationship with the Wool Shed Museum, is to demonstrate our crafts to visitors, and quite often these are families or school groups. We usually give the children a little project making friendship bracelets, which some of you will recognise as a sort of rough-and-ready kumihimu.

First we take any firm cardboard, and cut out circles or 8-sided pieces (easily made by cutting the corners off a square). 8 little equidistant slots are cut into the edge, and a hole is poked or punched through the middle. This rough diagram is about 2/3 actual size.

Then we take seven lengths of scrap yarn, each about elbow-to-fingertip length, knot them together near one end, and pull the long ends through the central hole with a crochet hook or the hook from a spinning wheel. Finally we put each strand through one of the slots.

On Wednesday a group was hard at work preparing some. Gwen, standing at the back, is our leader in this: she makes sure we keep up the supply, and is always one of the first to show children how to use them.

They have to pick up the second strand from the empty slot and move it over into that slot. Then again the second strand away into the empty slot, and so on around. Soon the little braid can be pulled down through the hole, and with perseverance it becomes long enough to remove it from the cardboard and tie the ends together into a colourful bracelet. These two young visitors are making a good start.

We have also been experimenting with something new to most of us – dyeing balls of wool.

The wool has been wound loosely on a ball-winder

– and various colours of cold-water dyes are injected into it with a syringe.

It’s possible to use a rolled-up skein instead of a ball (this will be bright!)

It looked pretty good even before it was kept in a warm place for a day or two and then rinsed and dried.

The people at the Tuesday evening meeting had already tried it, with great success.

Soon there was dyeing again, at Marion’s with acid dyes this time.

More lovely results.

And in case all that wasn’t colourful enough, here on the floor being blocked is a chevvron blanket Trish made for her granddaughter.

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