1 November 1996

Dye is cast in Heart land

IT WAS so good to see Fay Gibbs and her mother Phyllis again when they hosted the Heart of England FWC meeting in October. Carla Moss gave an interesting demonstration on dyeing and spinning wool.

To random-dye unwashed fleeces, a mixture of water, washing up liquid, vinegar and various coloured dyes were all put in a bowl and heated over an electric ring. The smell of the heating vinegar permeated the room as we learned of all the different stages of spinning and handed around various fibres that can be used to spin a yarn. A discussion ensued about unusual articles of clothing made from such diverse animal hairs as from corgis to alpacas. We also were reminded of some of the lovely names that are connected with this craft such as The Flyer, Lazy Kate and Niddy Noddy, to name but a few spinning accessories!

Carla showed us how to card the wool and then spin it, allowing some brave members to have a go. It certainly is a test of co-ordination working the wheel with your feet and using both hands to feed the wool in. At the end of the demonstration we admired the beautiful rainbow effect of the dyed wool – from deep purple through to red.

Jean Howells

Contact leader Fay Gibbs looks on as Carla Moss explains some of the intricacies of spinning wool.