Felted Robin Workshop

A good project before Christmas. One of our members, Janet Armstrong, showed us how to make felted Robins, or we could make a mouse too. We all went for robins.

Janet had made a felt ball for each of us to base our robins on, and had made flat felt for us to cut out to make the robin.

Felted Robin workshop1

Felted Robin workshop2

We had to sew darts in the main body piece and then sew it onto the ball, leaving the head area unstitched. It was a bit of a walk down memory lane remembering how to do blanket stitch.

Felted Robin workshop3

Felted Robin workshop4

We stitched around the wings and attached them. Sewed the 2 tail pieces together, stuffed the tail and sewed it to the body.

Felted Robin workshop5

We stuffed and sewed the head and added beads for eyes and a black felt beak.

Felted Robin workshop6

Then we had to make wire legs, and wrap them with crochet cotton, it was quite fiddly:

Felted Robin workshop7

There was a bit of wrangling with a scalpel and a large pair of scissors to insert them in the body, you don’t want to see pictures of that, we all felt a bit sorry for the robins at that stage, and when we needled-felted their red breasts on. They all emerged looking chirpy and Christmassy though:

Felted Robin workshop8

Felted Robin workshop9

Felted Robin workshop10

Felted Robin workshop11

There was even a Chris mouse!

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Border Union Show 2015

It was damp and cold at the Border Union Show on the last weekend of July.  You will notice from the pictures below how many people were wearing wintry clothing – and lots of sensible people had their wellies on!  Despite the inclement weather, it was a busy day out – lots of people bustling around, and lots of interest in our Tweed Guild crafts.DSCF7930 editedThere was some confusion as to where the show authorities were going to site us.  Various places were mooted, and we ended up at the far end of the industrial section.DSCF7926Tantalisingly the entries were all sitting behind chicken wire.  Perhaps some of this tasty jam would have gone walkabout otherwise?!DSCF7987

The Guild stands looked very attractive with lots of contribution from members, and a display of naturally dyed fibres on the right.DSCF7935Members of the Guild were on hand to demonstrate spinning …IMG_2616DSCF7951needle-felting …DSCF7950carding and weaving …DSCF7949There were spinning lessons for children …DSCF7963and adults.IMG_0965Meanwhile, outside the industrial tent, it got wetter and muddier …DSCF7982All things sheepy in other parts of the showground … DSCF7977judging sheep …DSCF7972prizewinning sheep …IMG_0949prizewinning fleeces … (oh how tempting!!)DSCF7975and even sheepy performers (a dedicated audience here … look at all those hoodies up!)DSCF7945The show was its usual mix of the traditional and the new.DSCF7980At the end of the day, the chicken wire came down, and the silverware was handed out.DSCF7983None for the Tweed Guild – but still smiling faces here!


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Natural Dyeing Workshop

One of our members, Mary Watt, brought along her expertise, equipment and materials for a Natural Dyeing Workshop. These are her dye recipe swatches, showing which mordants and ingredients combine to make which colours:

Dye Recipe swatches

This is Mary dyeing with onions skins:

Draining Onion Skins

We tied tags to our swatches to write the details of the mordant and dye used:

Dyeing in progress

Dyeing in progress:

Yarns dyeing

Rose Madder dye:

Rose Madder

Rose Madder Yarn

Here is some pre-dyed tied mordanted yarn:


Here it is after dyeing with sandalwood:


Here are some of the other dyed yarns from the workshop, lovely colours:

Dyed Yarn

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Nuno Felting

On May 23rd  Anna Turnbull (Biteabout Arts) joined us to deliver a Nuno felting workshop. Many of us were keen to learn this technique of felting onto silk chiffon.

We all did a small test piece first to understand the technique, then we had the opportunity to make a scarf.

Coloured fleeceLots of lovely coloured merino fleece for us to play with.

Nuno workshop1Red scarf blue scarf1
Red scarf blue scarf2
Nuno workshop2Laying out the fleece on the chiffon

Red and Black scarfFelting in progress

Danielle Ray decided to experiment with felting onto different fabric to see the effect and how well it worked. She tested plain cotton, cotton muslin, nylon chiffon, netting and voile, with varying results:

Danielle experiment1Danielle experiment2

Here are some of the finished scarves:

Ruth red scarfRuth Churchman’s scarf

Miranda blue scarfMiranda’s scarf

Liz Scarpa scarfLiz Scarpa’s scarf

Thanks to Anna for all her help, advice and creativity. A very enjoyable workshop.

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