Author Archives: maryinnz

Things finished, and something to look forward to

Our pop-up shop in Masterton’s main street has now ended. It went well. Here are Lib and Lorraine on duty, making the most of a quiet moment. Was it a coincidence that they had used the same sweater pattern? Photo by Jutta.If you didn’t manage to get to the shop, don’t forget our members also sell their crafts in the shop at the Wool Shed Museum.

Now we start looking ahead to our Spin-in! It will be held on Saturday 7 September, in the Wairarapa College hall. More news soon!

Meanwhile, here is some eye candy – our members have been busy. Betty makes exquisite baby shawls.
Christine is knitting colourful socks.

Kath’s crochet rug is even brighter.

Mia needle-felted a very woolly little sheep (I think he’s one of those feral Merino breeds).

Some of the May show-and-tell table.

Lynley did some fine spinning, and asked Liz to make a wrap using it as weft –

and here is the result. The intriguing pattern is called Brooks Bouquet.

Jutta showed us her eye-catching weaving,

and she wasn’t very pleased with this scarf she’d been working on –

but Josie just loves it!


Do you remember the child’s sweater our team made in the Silver Spinning Wheel competition at Festival? Marion has now carefully washed it. Here is a before-and-after, which doesn’t show the change well –
and a closeup of a corner, so you can see how the stitches have fluffed up and settled in with each other:

A knitted garment isn’t finished till it’s washed!


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.


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.

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?

What we do in January

As usual, we met outside (weather permitting) during the holiday month. First we went to Josie’s farm, and sat in the shade under her lovely big trees.

Patrizia (who brought a furry companion) wanted to learn how to knit using carded sliver.
Friends provided help and encouragement –
and soon she was making good progress.

We can’t leave Josie’s without showing you her splendid sunflowers. Can you spot the two bumblebees?
(clue: there’s one in each of the smaller flowers)

The next week we were at Lynette’s, indoors because of the windy weather.
Jin the cat enjoyed the company. Doesn’t he go well with Juanita’s knitting!

Neither of your bloggers was able to go to Patrizia’s the following week but a good time was had by all, in spite of yet more wind.

We finished January by spinning in Queen Elizabeth Park, just across the road from the Wool Shed
– beside the statue of Joseph Masters, who founded Masterton. The story of his life is well worth reading.

Upstairs, it’s all about weaving

At our Wednesday meeting, if you leave the spinning and knitting and crochet behind for a bit and go upstairs, you will find up to half a dozen weavers busy at their looms.

To many of us, who can only admire the results (like this intriguing fabric and two pincushions by Jutta) the processes of weaving are a bit of a mystery.
It often seems to start with a birdsnest. Jutta is coping well with this one.

Somehow, the weaver disentangles each warp thread and put it through the correct little loop on the correct set of wire heddles. Helen is concentrating.
A warp can be simple, like this one Liz is completing –

and still produce handsome results.
Then the weft – the threads that are to be woven across the long warp – has to be wound on shuttles ready for weaving. Helen has a handy gadget that speeds up the winding of miles of fine thread.

Here is the lovely fine fabric she is creating, with the little bobbin she was winding earlier fitted into a shuttle for smooth passage across the warp. She’s pointing out that there are always imperfections to be repaired afterwards.
Janeen has been experimenting with colours –

– the result is several bright, cosy wraps. When the weaving is finished and off the loom, of course, there is still work to do. Those ends may become a fringe, or be dealt with some other way.
Texture and pattern are combined in this piece by Jutta – see the zigzags?
Myra is new to weaving, but is making great progress. Getting those edges so straight is apparently not as easy as it looks.
There’s also a loom set up for visitors to experiment with. It’s popular with children, who enjoy experimenting with the patterns. Some of the results are hanging over the railing.

Helen took some of the visitor weaving home and created a braided rug, which looks just right in the nearby display of early shearer accommodation. (No prizes for guessing what the white thing is under that uncomfortable-looking bed.)