Author Archives: janettim

Spin In 7 September 2019

Its been a while since I last wrote, having had surgery on my right hand, that has made things like typing a bit of a challenge. Many thanks to Mary for keeping you all up to date with what has been going on.

I did think that after our 50 Celebrations, Pop-up Shop and the Creative Fibre Festival that we could have a rest. But no, the Guild is busy making garments to show at our fashion parade at our Spin in.

We find that Wairarapa College Hall is such a good venue that we are going back again this year. We have a wonderful array of confirmed traders…

  • Sue Grayson – Kaihi Wools
  • Sheen’s Sock ‘n’ Wool Company
  • Yvonne and Don Monk – Raydene
  • Lyn Evans – Earth Palette Dyes
  • Sara Thorburn – Kane Carding
  • Shona Harris
  • Patrizia Vieno
  • Tracy White – Inspire Fibres
  • Anna Gratton – Little Wool Company
  • Almo’s Books

Here’s a couple of photos from other years – just a teaser to show you what might be there.

So you know how to find us, maps are attached below.

See you on the 7th September 2019.


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…

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.

Tuesday Evening Group

Did you know that the Wairarapa Spinners and Weavers Guild has a group that meets on the first and third Tuesday evening each month? This is a small but dynamic group where one can learn new skills or just come along and chill.

Some of us spin, some knit and some of us just sit and chat. We have access to all the things that the day group has. Our extensive library, show and tell, raffles and when practicable, education sessions.

The Tuesday evening group was primarily for those of us who work, but many of the day group members enjoy the companionship of the night group.

There’s lots of laughter, the odd joke, sales table and plenty of advice. You take what you will as far as the advice is concerned.

Sorry, no photos as we have really only come back from the summer break.

Creative Fibre our national body was founded 50 years ago and we celebrate our 50th anniversary this year too. We have two challenges. The first is a Guild Challenge where each member is challenged to make an item of head wear for a new born. With over 80 members we hope to be able to donate at least 50 items to new borns in the Wairarapa.

The other is is simply ’50’. It can be 50 of anything as long as it is made from fibre that is animal or plant. It could be a piece of woven cloth with 50 warp threads, it could be a felted 5 and 0.

Here is a preview of what I am doing.

Merry Christmas 2018

Aren’t we the lucky ones! Not one but two Christmas functions. The first was a pot luck dinner held in The Woolshed Museum and the second a catered lunch at the Services Club in Masterton.

Lynette shared with us her stunning nativity. Lynettes-Nativity.jpg

Carol and Carl greeted us on arrival. Carol-and-Carl.jpgBetween main and dessert Trish had some of us up line dancing. Whew, I was pleased I was on camera duty. Lift those knees girls!

Line dancing

After dessert it was present time. Here Santa Win and Elf Herta discuss who was naughty and who was nice and how best to distribute the parcels. That’s a big bag of presents.

Win-and-Herta.jpgSuch a fun night.

Then a week later we had a very lively lunch at the Services Club in Masterton.

Lively gathering

Mary and Bev, just two of our hard-working group.Bev and Mary

And what do you do between courses?

Between coursesYou continue with those projects.

That’s 2018 over for Wairarapa Spinners and Weavers. We will be back early next year and will meet at various homes until we come back officially on Tuesday 5 of February at 7.00pm and Wednesday 6 February at 10am at The Woolshed.

Mary and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Travel Safe.

Foxton Spin-In, Blocking a Shawl … and Block Party

Early in October a bus load of us traveled to the other side of the island to the Foxton Spin-In.  Lots of yummy wool, lavender products and soy candles to name a few of the goods on sale.  The morning and afternoon teas were scrumptious! Why else do we go to these things if not for eating and buying?

Most years at our Spin-In we have a fashion parade. As we had invited Elizabeth and Richard Ashford to speak at our Spin In, we decided not to have our usual fashion parade. So, I was interested to see what the folk at Foxton were up to in terms of fashion. Their fashion parade was not entirely of their members work, but the work of selected people from all over. An ‘eagle eyed scout’ gives everyone a look up and down as they come through the door and those chosen are later asked about their item and if they would be prepared to model it. Some were garments that had been made many years ago, others completed in more recent times. One of our members, Helga was invited to model her multi-coloured cardigan. Congratulations Helga!

The title of this blog is Foxton and Blocking a Shawl, and you are wondering why the connection.  One of the garments proudly shown was Tracy Henwood’s Seafoam Crescent Shawl published in Issue 29 of the Wheel. When I saw the shawl in the Ashford’s magazine I knew it needed to be on My Bucket List.  It is simply knitted with a garter stitch section at the top and a feather and fan section at the lower edge. The shawl starts at the centre back, with six stitches, and is increased at the end of each row. If you have knitted a shawl in this manner you will know that a triangle is formed.

This didn’t make a lot of sense to me as the garter stitch section is knitted first and is worn by the model in the magazine with the garter stitch section at the top. So, like many things we are unsure of we put it to one side. Shawl 2 Blog

Well, the pretty shawl shown at Foxton galvanized me into action. After all, I did have the lace blocking wires and the blocking pieces that linked together sitting waiting for me to undertake the Blocking Adventure.

Here is a photo of the shawl unpressed and unblocked. Not really fit for the purpose.  Well, not like the pattern picture. The method of increasing formed a fairly tight edge, which made me somewhat nervous about the whole thing. Let alone how the pointy bit at the start was going to become a straight edge!Shawl 1 Blog

I did what I do best and consulted Mr Google and Mrs Pinterest and discovered that a long soak in water was required and that wool has an amazing amount of stretch when wet, which I had previously learnt the hard way. Into the tub went the shawl and the mat laid out on my new guest bathroom floor.

Shawl 3 BlogIt took awhile to stretch it out and to pin every section out.  I left it for two or three days and then unpinned it and took the wires out – NOW my shawl looks the right shape.

What did I learn? – I learnt to have faith in both the pattern instructions and myself. If you too, are unsure about blocking a piece, just get on with it and do it!

Here’s two pictures of me modeling the shawl at spinning a couple of weeks ago.

I bet the Block Party in the heading got you excited too, wondering if I was going to share with you a party where there are lots of blocks – if you are a quilter you will have lots of experience with ‘Blocks’. In knitting we tend to think of blocks as ‘Squares.’  More about blocking. Sorry to disappoint, this party was centered around the street block.  You could say this is the  cultural centre of Masterton.  It’s where The Woolshed Museum, Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History, Conart, King Street Artworks and Masterton Library.

You probably know The Woolshed is where our club rooms are located. The Block Party took place on the Saturday of Labour Weekend. We decided to sit outside and spin and other members sat outside a yarn shop and knitted. But prior to that we did some yarn bombing. We had a largish space to cover and not a lot of yarn.  It was a great way to lift our profile. Three of us sat beside the footpath and spoke to almost everyone who walked past – some don’t make eye contact, so had to speak with them. One young lady commented that if there was a power outage we could still continue to spin, which is why she liked the idea of spinning.


Mary found this yarn bomb around the corner.

Mary's tree blog