Guild on show at Shelswell Festival

Village festival-goers had a chance to see what we do, and have a go at spinning, weaving and braiding when they visited the Bucks WSD guild stand at Shelswell History Festival in July 2022. The colourful display of samples attracted lots of visitors, while others were attracted by the equipment being used. Guild members endeavoured to answer the myriad of questions asked and encouraged potential new members to come to a meeting where they will be sure of a warm welcome.

Guild stand at Shelswell History Festival with members demonstrating spinning and weaving

It was a delightful, varied festival with a bit of everything – vintage vehicles, re-enactment groups, a pipe band and traditional games. The ice-creams were particularly delicious!

We were delighted to be invited to this local festival and hope to be able to show off our enthusiasm for textiles at plenty more events in the future!

Spring Activities and competition

There was egg-citement in the air during our March meeting, when members took part in egg-related activities and brought their competition entries for judging (details further down page). There was a choice of natural dyeing eggs using onion skins and leaf masks, needle felting egg decorations and two methods of Dorset button making, all instruction given by members of the guild. Most people had a go at everything, with some lovely results. Plus there were some beautiful finished items on display this month, including the prize-winning lace shawl shown below.

Blown eggs dyed with onion skins using leaf masks
Handmade Dorset buttons, some beaded too.

Prize-winning knitted lace shawl displayed for show & tell

Spring 2022 Competition – “It’s Eggciting!”

Basket of dyed and paint decorated eggs.
Inspiration for the Spring 2022 competition

Pardon the dreadful pun, but please take part in our latest members’ competition.

Your project must focus on weaving, spinning or dyeing (or any combination thereof). Beyond that it’s up to your imagination. Sign up £5 at the February meeting. Judging will take place at the March guild meeting, because the April meeting clashes with Easter Sunday.

Sustainability matters

Guild meeting 20th of February 2022

This meeting incorporated our AGM which was quickly dealt with. The reports are available on the website in the members area. 

We then had our fibre swap which was held over from the Christmas meeting where members brought wrapped packages of either yarn or fibre to swap with other members – everyone seemed pleased with their swaps.

During our show and tell session Arianne showed a crochet shawl that she had made recently whilst learning to crochet. Fiona showed us a number of knitted hats that she had made using a Fairisle Fisherman’s Kep pattern and Christina showed some cloth woven from a stash-busting spin.

Our talk was given by Karen Adams of KAIA Clothing – a company that she set up just prior to the pandemic.  Karen creates ethical clothing using natural materials created with the least possible pollution. Alongside this Karen is on a mission to inform people of  the high cost of fast fashion as it creates around ​1 billion tonnes of CO2 per year and uses polluting processes that contribute to further loss of biodiversity.  She demonstrated identification of  a few fibres, small pieces of cloth from wool, bamboo, banana leather & polyester,  using a burn test. In simple terms natural fibres, whether plant or animal based, in burning will turn to ash. On the other hand petroleum based products – and these are in around 70% of new fabrics in the form of polyester – burn with smoke that smells like chemicals or burning plastic and turn into hard lumps.

When buying fibres, yarns or fabrics, Karen advises looking for transparency around the product journey and certification of origin. Also for cellulose products look for production being in a closed-loop system.  If simply described as aco with no further explanation the likelihood is that it is not sustainable produced.

Alison’s Adventures in Knitting – January 2022 meeting

Alison Jolley gave a really interesting talk on the history of leisure knitting, told through her collection of knitting paraphernalia. Some of this collection has come to her through generations of knitters from her family, so there was a real personal connection to the talk. Many viewers recognised items from their own hand-me-downs which led to discussion of when certain tools had come into use. The talk came right up to the present day, with the explosion of resources available to us now and where to source vintage tools we might like to add to our own collections. Thank you Alison!

A recording of this talk is now available in our Members Resources

In addition to the talk, members shared their newest completed projects, asked for help with ongoing ones and the latest guild competition was launched.

Bucks Art Weeks June 2021

We were delighted that Bucks Art Weeks went ahead this year. During June some of our members exhibited and sold their work at Freya Jones Art & Craft in Stoke Mandeville. It was a lovely venue with two other galleries on site, so there was plenty to see.

Click on the photos to see a larger view of the exhibits.

Spinning Competition – January 2020

Landscape silhouetted against sunset and reflected in water
Inspiration for Spring 2020 competition

You may be inspired by the colours, the textures, the mood, the shapes – who knows? Let it be a springboard for your fabulous creativity.

Your finished article MUST include hand spun of some description, the rest is up to you. You may want to leave it as a skein, or knit it, or weave it, use it in couching and embroidery, felt with it – the list is endless.

You may use any fibre content you like but do write down what it is for your submission.

In your submission please include as much information as possible –

What inspired you and why?
The fibre content
The style of spinning – short forward draw, from the fold, long draw?
How many plies and how you plied it – 2 ply, 3 ply, Andean, Navajo or chain, unbalanced ply etc.
The resultant thickness – 4ply, DK, Chunky etc.
Anything else that you’d like to say!

The competition will be judges at the May 2020 Guild meeting

Encouraging the next Generation… Demonstration at Elangeni School, Amersham

Report by Maggie Brooks

Last Friday, 22nd November 2019, six of us met at Elangeni School, Amersham to introduce some practical textiles into the curriculum for year 5.  This is the sixth year Marjorie has done this at the request of the school, it was my first time and I enjoyed it.

Marjorie started with a short introduction to different types of fibres with an excellent range of samples for them to feel, Beverley showed how to create a thread with a drop spindle, Steph showed how the spinning wheel worked,  Mavis introduced them to Viking braiding and Arianna demonstrated weaving. Then it was time for them each to try.

While they were waiting their turn, each had some Viking braiding to be getting on with and some got remarkably tangled up with it, but the overall response was great.  Some even gave up some ‘playtime’ to make sure they had their turn. The end result was that each of them went away with a bit of spun thread, a section of weaving, plain weave and twill, and the beginnings of some Viking braid.  The teachers will be able to build on these in their classes. 

It gave us the chance to talk to the children and ask them if they had seen spinning and weaving at museums, had they got grandparents or great grandparents who had been weavers, what did they think of the colours (each could choose their weft and the warps were brightly coloured).  At a time when schools are so short of time to do anything creative, it gave them chance to ‘do’ something. The teacher did comment that practical skills are diminishing as children spend more time on computers.

Marjorie did a huge amount of preparation – threading up looms, preparing spools for the weft,  sorting out samples and being the main contact, and gave us all a delicious lunch!! 

The school has sent the Guild a generous financial contribution in thanks for this.

 To raise the profile of the Guild I wonder if there are any more of our members who have contacts with schools who would welcome doing something like this.

Marjorie Waye,  Beverley Thompson, Stephanie Robinson,  Ariana Odell, Mavis Hands, Maggie Brookes  November 28th 2019

Report on Oxford Guild’s Fleece to Finished Garment Day

Wendy Fowler, July 2018

On 21st July I went to the Oxford guild to take part in their fleece to finished garment day. This was held at one of the members farms at Chilton near Thame. What a beautiful venue and the weather was amazing.

Continue reading “Report on Oxford Guild’s Fleece to Finished Garment Day”

Welcome to the Bucks Guild

A message from our Chair, Freya Barcock-Jones, January 2019

My what a year we’ve had, The Bucks Guild started 2018 facing a bleak outlook but with the hard work and passion from the members both past and present we have been able to turn what seemed an impossible task into a very happy outcome. Continue reading “Welcome to the Bucks Guild”