Author Archives: maryinnz

Kapiti spin-in

We love to go to other groups’ spin-ins, and recently twelve of us piled into a mini-bus and went over the hill to the Kapiti spin-in. Some members came in cars, too, so we were well represented.

The first thing one notices is usually colour: the traders’ stalls are bright and inviting, whether selling dyes or fibre or yarn or accessories.

There were all sorts of goodies to tempt a fibrecrafter.

Husbands can be useful for holding purchases, and some are wonderfully encouraging.

There were demonstrations: corespinning –

bobbin lace –
and encaustic, a technique of painting with coloured wax and heat –
It dates back two thousand years to when the ancient Romans occupied Egypt, and can give beautiful results.

Here’s a display of Kapiti members’ work – they are very skilled people! Don’t you love the sheepdogs rounding up the flock on that rug!
Another display was wonderful dolls.

Some of our members got busy at the ‘hands-on’ table, learning things to do with bits of leftover felt.

Of course the raffles are always an attraction –
and three of our members won between them four of the raffle prizes!
They, and the rest of us, came home happy after an interesting day.

Anniversary Year Spin-in

Remember all those bright yellow tufts that we worked so hard making? The golden colour was to mark our 50th anniversary, and everybody received one.

Of course there were all the wonderful temptations that we expect at a Spin-in, and our guests took full advantage! Here is a little sample.

This is just Spin-in Blog Part One, and  Janet will be along later to show you more of the traders and other delights. Meanwhile, here is a slide show of some items in the Fashion Parade. You can stop and start it by clicking on the little symbols near the bottom of each picture.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The last group of models was special. Part of our celebration, earlier in the year, was inviting members to make something involving the number 50, and some chose to make that many items – hats, gloves, scarves … So our fashion parade closed with Lynette presenting her daughter and grandchildren modelling a few of these.

We have two trophies that are awarded at our Spin-in each year. One honours Joy Millar, a long-time member who loved to spin wool blends, so it is awarded for an item combining wool and any other natural fibre(s).

Here are two of the entries – a wool/alpaca child’s jacket and a Polwarth wool/silk skein …

And here is this year’s winner Trish Carver with her amazing blanket:
It took her many months to spin, and over nine months to knit up. She used wool from several sources, and mohair and silk for the red squares. Her grandson is going to love it!

Also awarded was the plate donated by William Ackerley, for the item showing the best use of colour.
These were the wonderfully cheerful entries
and the winner was Helen Fielding with this intriguing weaving, which she says she uses to brighten up a long stretch of bare wall.

It was quite a day – lots of sore feet by the end but a good time was had by all.

Just a week to go …

… until Saturday the 7th – our Spin-in! Are you coming? There will be tempting traders (the list is here), amazing raffles, a fashion parade, yummy food (including our famous soup at lunchtime), and as always, lots of lovely people.

We’ve been very busy with preparations. Here are a few of them.

Why are we putting little yellow tufts on a spinning wheel? Because it’s a handy place to put them, of course. Spinning wheels have many uses! People have been diligently finishing up things for the fashion parade, too.

Can’t wait to see those worn!

And then there’s this – someone will win it. (But what is it?)

And finally, just so you don’t get lost, the poster and maps are here:
Poster: spin-in-2019-poster-1
How to find us in Masterton: masterton-map-new
The venue and where to park: waicol-access-2019-1


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.