Excursion around parts of mid western NSW
Eight of us met at 8am on Wednesday May 9 and boarded our hire bus to head for Katoomba, and then on to Bathurst where we spent the night. Next morning on to the Adagio alpaca Mill at Orange, where we were given an interesting and informative tour of the mill. It is great to see small businesses starting up to process our Australian fibres in Australia.
Top left: setting off. Top right: The Adagio mill in Orange
Lower left: Lunch in Molong. Lower right: We had a Show and Tell of our purchases every evening.
Then we went to Molong for lunch. What a great little town. So many interesting places to visit.
Dubbo was our second night, and we visited the observatory there, just after dark. The balmy weather we had enjoyed thus far suddenly disappeared. Next morning we went to the local show, to see what they have in their spinning and weaving sections - a small fraction of what we show at the Morisset Show!
Then off to Rylestone for lunch and a wander around that pretty town, before we all descended on the Convent and Chapel Wool shop. What a feast of fibre. I dont think any of us left there without adding to our stash.
Back to Mudgee for the night, and after a look through the great craft gallery at the Old Mudgee Railway station, we ambled back home, taking a lunch break at Merriwa.
On May 1, we did a mini-workshop on stick weaving. A dozen or so members gathered their stick and some rug wool and began weaving.
Lynette was a successful first prize winner with her felted scarf at the Royal Easter Show, and Jean won first prize for her lace knitted handspun scarf at the Newcastle show.
Below: Lynette's felted scarf. and Right Jean's handspun lace knitted scarf.
On April 3 and 10, Rod Byatt visited and taught members how to make temari balls. Much fun was had by all participants.
Below: Some of the groups completed temari balls
On March 13 we took a convoy of cars and visited Feltfine at Jilliby. Clare had a wonderful range of fibres and yarns for us to browse, and of course, buy. It is always fun being able to replenish your stash!
Our Annual General Meeting was held on March 6. Our new President is Helene, and Carol is Vice-President. Lorraine remains as Secretary, and Beryl as Treasurer. Other committee members include Gill, Mwyf, Gloria, Lorelle, Francine, and Anne Mac.
The Encouragement Award this year was awarded to Marge. A member of our group for over 30 years, she has been a great source of advice and support to many of our members.
Left: Gill presenting the Encouragement Award to Marge.
At the Morisset Show we were given a fleece by the people who were demonstrating shearing. On Tuesday Feb 27, some of our members skirted the fleece, ready for us to work with in the near future.
On February 20th, we held a suprise birthday luncehon for one of our life members, who has just turned 95. Marge is loved and admired by us all, as she has so much to offer the group. We had a great time helping her celebrate. Ann S made a delicious cake, and decorated it with woolly sheep and some knitting. Others brought in plates of delicious finger food to share.
February 6: We all brought in our items to exhibit in the local Morisset Show the following weekend. The items were all catalogued, and readied for judging and displaying.
Friday 9th: Several members, and our judge braved the heat to facilitate the judging and then set up the display in the Pavilion. We had a variety of colourful and interesting items on show.
The Geraldine McCulloch Award, the prize for the best in our Section went to Lorelle for her creative felted vessel attached to a kelp stalk.
The Hazel Cashman Award for creative use of colour and or texture went to Lyn Abbott for her blue mohair buttoned
There were lots of visitors to our display over the two days of the Show. We had our Piccolo Loom available for people to try, and it proved very popular, especially with children, and a few more senior people who had always wanted to try their hand at weaving.
We returned to our new premises on January 9. Numbers were a bit low the first couple of weeks, as quite a few members were away on holidays. Unfortunately we have found the Showground is unable to offer us storage for our equipment at this stage, and it remains in a storage lock-up in the Industrial Estate. We are able to use a couple of locked cupboards in the meeting room, and these are currently being modified to take most of our books and other everyday equipment.
The Spinning Study group met on January 23rd, and the Weaving Group on January 30th.
Christmas Lunch: Despite the upheaval of moving, we all relaxed at the TreeTops restaurant, Martinsville on Tuesday December 9, and enjoyed a scrumptious lunch and end of year celebration.
A BIG Move
After 33 years meeting at the Morisset Hall in Yambo Street, ongoing issues created between the local Council and the Hall management committee we have been forced to move. Fortunately we have found a comfortable new home at the Showground in Ourimbah St Morisset, and will have our first meeting there on Tuesday December 5.
For members who do not know the location, you turn off Dora Street at the Roundabout near McDonalds. Drive ahead into the Showground. The road turns left toward the pavilions. There is a covered way between the pavilions (on your left) and the meeting room (on your right.)
Our equipment and library from the storeroom at the Morisset hall have been temporarily placed in storage, and will be retrieved and moved to our new storage area at the Showground when we resume our meetings on January 9, 2018.
Other than Maccas at the end of Ourimbah Street, there are no local eating places within walking distance, so we suggest you bring your lunch with you if you stay to lunch, or pop out and buy some take-away locally.
Rod Byatt visited us for the afternoon on November 7, to teach us how to do basic braiding. He brought enough foam discs for a dozen of us to work with, and a range of colours in 4 ply cotton. All the participants made a 2 colour braid for their keys, or the handle of their scissors. We are looking forward to having Rod back some time next year for a full day workshop teaching us more complex braiding patterns.
Rod also brought a variety of Temari Balls to show us. He us doing a workshop at the NSW Guild Summer School in January teaching people how to make Temari Balls.
The instructor for our Mini-workshop on November 7 was Helene, showing us all how to do Fair-Isle knitting. We were fascinated at how easy it was to create complex multi-colour patterns.
Right: Tracey celebrated a Big O birthday in late October, and we all helped her celebrate, sharing a great cake made by Ann S.
Below: Lorelle attended a felting workshop held south of Sydney. She produced two beautiful vessels.
Lynette recently extended her range of felting techniques by attending a workshop in Geelong on Eco Printing. Eco printing - felt to print or print to felt - is a direct contact print of leaves and other vegetation onto silk, wool etc. Materials used in the workshop included wool, silk, un-dyed cellulose fibres - flax, bamboo, soy silk - as well as gum leaves, rose leaves, casuarina.
The workshop was run by Nicola Brown, who runs regular felting and Eco printing workshops in Ireland, Northern Ireland, the USA, Canada, and Portugal. She was invited by TAFTA to run the workshop in Geelong.
The pieces Lynette created at the workshop were beautiful.
Our Mini-workshop on October 3 was run by Dawn, who showed a variety of crochet stitches, and taught participants how to read crochet patterns.
On September 10, 4 of our members demonstrated spinning and weaving at the Yarramalong Country Fair. It was a beautiful sunny day, and lots of people came to watch what we were doing, and to talk to us about it.
September 5: Members of the Central Coast Guild brought their picker up for us to use:
On September 5, Lyn A brought the picker from the Central Coast Group for us to play with for the day. All the bright fleece we had dyed was fed through the picker ready for us to spin a variety of novelty yarns.
Open Gardens and Art Trail
Several of our members exhibited their weaving at the Lake Macquarie Open Garden and Art Trail on September 2 and 3. The event proved a very successful fundraiser for the Hunter Medical Research Centre.
It was a busy Stashbuster day on August 8. We also brought in the fleece we had completed dyeing from last week.
On August 1 we had a dyeing day, where we dyed up a large amount of a fleece we had been given, ready for next month's workshop where we use the Picker, being lent to us by the Central Coast Group for a day. The Picker will roughly card the dyed fleece.
Lots of bright colours were called for.
On July 11 Rod Byatt presented a talk on braids and braiding. He talked about the styles of braiding which have developed in different parts of the world, and brought hundreds of samples to illustrate his talk. We are all looking forward to some braiding workshops in the new year.
Trudie Dekeijzer's Indigo dyeing exhibition opened on July 8 at Patonga. Several of our members visited the inspiring exhibition.
The Handweavers and Spinners Guild of NSW held a celebration to celebrate their 60th birthday. Several of our members particpated, or went to have a look.
Our exhibition was held at Wollombi on June 3, 4, 10, 11, and 12. Twenty of our members submitted works to the exhibition and our display at the Old Fireshed G allery looked great. Lots of positive comments, and a satisfying number of sales.
Above: Children and adults alike are drawn to the Piccolo Saori looom.
Right: Our stall at the Wollombi markets where we were able to display some of the items which we did not have room to display at the Gallery.
Biggest Morning Tea:
On May 9 we hosted a Biggest Morning Tea fundraising event for the Cancer Council. Anne Mac and her happy band of helpers turned on a great feast - a classic High Tea, with fine china and crisp white tablecloths. The food was delicious - savouries, cakes, slices and cucumber sandwiches.
We were entertained with "Fibre Bingo" followed by a quiz.
The event raised over $250 for the Cancer Council.
Marilyn celebrated a Big O birthday during the previous week, so we helped her celebrate!
Women's refuge presentation
On May 2 Jennifer came along to tell us about the local women's refuge. This is our chosen charity, and we donate funds to it every year. Supplemented by proceeds from a couple of charity shops, the refuge is reliant on donations like ours to continue operating. We are proud to be involved in supporting the wondereful work they do in providing emergency accommodation to women and children who are (mostly) victims of family violence. It was interesting to hear about way the refuge provides short term support for families going through such trauma and disruption.
We had completed a rug made from woven squares our weavers undertook as a project several years ago, and raffled the rug. The proceeds were presented to the Women's refuge as a "mid year" top-up to the money we send at the end of each year. And the rug was won by our most senior member - Marge.
Below: Gill presenting the cheque for the womens refuge to Jennifer Below: Marge with the friendship rug
April 25: A Spin-in was held at the hall to spin some fleece from the store-room. More prizes for the Biggest Morning Tea coming up.
2017 Royal Easter Show: Jean and Helene were both successful exhibitors at the Royal Easter Show.
April 18: Excursion to Feltfine. A group of us went by bus to Jilliby to visit Clare Thornley, the new owner of Feltfine. She had a great display of fibre goodies set out for us, and we all indulged in a bit of a spending spree. Then we went on to the Old Dairy Factory at Wyong for lunch, and to browse the chocolate and cheese factories. A good day out.
April 4: Lindy Boshler, an Ashford representative visited, bringing loads of luscious goodies for us to peruse and buy. She demonstrated the Ashford Carder and rigid heddle looms.
April 2/3: Six of our members attended the Saori workshop run by Kaz Madigan of Curious Weaver.
The Gathering was held on March 7, hosted by the Morisset Baptist Church Craft Group. A fun day with lots of items exhibited, a fashion parade, and a delicious lunch.
Below: Lyn A showing her new coat Amelia wearing her knitted dress Beverley modelling her lorikeet beanie
Encouragement Award (below): The encouragement award donated by Beverley was awarded this year to Anne Mac. Anne has been expanding her skills and is now weaving, spinning and learning various other crafts. She also shares with Jan the responsibility for keeping the kitchen stocked and in good order.
Weaving Workshop with Liz Calnan January 21st and February 4th
Eight Silk Weavers and Four Beginners participated in a two day workshop with Liz who set us some challenging weaves to try. Our beginners all made a woollen scarf and as a result all have already commenced or finished their next scarf.
Left: Beginners work on Looms
Right: Busy Warping and Weaving
Above: Silk Samples
Morisset Show was on the 11th and 12th February. We had a good display as usual with Jean winning the Geraldine McCulloch Award, Gill winning the Hazel Cashman Award and Sarah winning the Novice Exhibitor.
Group Entry to go to Royal Easter Show. Scarf by Carol. Felted Vest by Lorelle. Knitted Jacket by Noni
Above Left: Jean's Knitted Shawl won prize for Best in Section and Geraldine McCulloch Prize
Sarah's Pink Woven Scarf won Best Novice
Gill's woven silk scarf won Hazel Cashman Award for Creative Use of Colour and Texture
Christmas Lunch was held at Jules at Rathmines with approx. 30 attending. We also celebrated a Dawn's Big O Birthday.
Cooranbong School Fair
On Sunday 27th November, we were invited to participate in the Cooranbong School Fair.
Anne, Gill and Lyn went off to demonstrate and show some of the work we do. It was very quiet and even though not many around we did get a couple of enquiries.
Anne did her Weave it squares, Gill showed the Inkle Loom and Lyn did her spinning and Sample-it weaving.
We all had a great day together and showed the Morisset Spinners & Weavers off to the best of our ability.
Blocking Completed Woollen Items
Helene demonstrated how to block completed work.
She used a sample of knitted lace and stretched it out to its full capacity.
She also showed how to steam a knitted jumper without stretching out of shape.
Scarf Exchange - Items received by Participants
Scarf Exhibition at West Wyalong
On the 29th October four of our members drove to West Wyalong to see the exhibition of completed items from the scarf exchange.
Over 230 items were received from England, Canada, USA, New Zealand and all Australian States.
The quality of the items was impressive ranging across many different techniques.
The Bland Spinners and Weavers did a great job at displaying these items and entertained us for afternoon tea in a beautiful local garden.
Mini workshop on Weave-it square looms
Anne D ran a mini-workshop in October on using weave-it square looms. Anne uses weave-it square looms of various sizes to create a range of items and garments.
Left: Anne demonstrating ways to join the squares.
Above:The warped loom ready to insert the final weft rows.
Right: Weave-it square vest.
We said farewell to Eleanor on Tuesday September 27, as she and her family were moving to Victoria to live. Eleanor has been a popular member of the group since she joined several years ago. Eleanor has two little girls, Mirabelle and Auden, who have been acming along with their mother each week, much to the joy of lots of "foster" aunts and grandmothers. We will miss them all.
Eleanor has promised to visit whenever she can, and to bring the girls baby brother when he arrives in a few months time.
Right: Eleanor cutting the farewell cake (made by Ann S) with Auden getting ready to tuck into a piece.
We have finished our scarves and these have now been posted off.
In October a group of us will be visiting West Wyalong to see our efforts displayed in the exhibition and look forward to seeing the scarves we will receive in return.
Mini Workshop on Dyeing Cellulose Fibres
Lorraine gave a demonstration showing how easy it is to dye with
Drimarine K Dyes.
These work on cellulose fibres
and Lorraine dyed three skeins of cotton.
Mini Workshop on Reading Graphs
Helene gave a very helpful presentation on how to read knitting graphs and how you can see the pattern in the graph. She explained how to convert a written pattern to a graph and gave out illustration on how to do this.
Kurrajong Handspun Craft Group Open Day
Twelve of our members travelled to North Richmond to attend their open day. Funds raised were to go to Beyond Blue. A number of Traders were present and we all came back with additions to our Stash. Raffles were held during the day and most of our members were lucky enough to win a prize. Delicious lunch was served as well as Morning and Afternoon Tea.
Congratulations Kurrajong for organizing such a great day.
Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show - Congratulations Tracey
Tracey won second prize in the soft furnishings section at the 2016 Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show. The weft of her handwoven table runner runner was dyed with lichen she had collected from the bush near her home, and the warp dyed using coreopsis flowers growing along the roadside.
Tracey is one of our newer, younger weavers, and brings a fresh innovative style to her weaving. Another of our new younger weavers, Ann Scanlon won the same prize at Bendigo in 2014.
It is great to see a new generation of weavers becoming accomplished at this ancient craft.
Several of us have been busy knitting and crocheting squares to make rugs for charity.
Then came the task in June of arranging squares and stitching them all together.
This batch to rugs went to Ronald McDonald House.
June Mini Workshop - Inkle Loom
We had a very busy morning helping three new Inklers warping up their loom and will be weaving three different style bookmarks.
Our new Inklers have been working on their looms and Carolyn has made a braid incorporating plain weave, pick up and finishing off with braiding.
The Biggest Morning Tea
A great day was had by all and we raised over $500 for Cancer research.
We had Tea Tasting and all failed to identify brands.
A Raffle was held with lots of fibre prizes.
A round robbin Story Telling created a lot of fun and laughter.
The table groaned with beautiful food for morning tea.
A big thank you to all who participated and attended.
On May 3 a group of us enjoyed a bus trip to Feltfine at Dunns Creek, near Paterson. This is becoming an annual event! Gary Sheen demonstrated microwave dyeing, and then started up his big carding machine for us all to watch. He then took the carded bat to his pre-felting machine, where the bat was lightly felted. After that we all went on a shopping spree, entranced by the huge variety of yarns, fibres, and stunning colours.
Above:The carding machine in action; Right: what to choose?
Then it was off to Largs for a tasty lunch, and on to the Maitland Art Gallery to see an exhibition of Cresside Collette's fine tapestries.
Big 0 Birthday
Mwyf recently celebrated a Big 0 birthday, which was celebrated in style on April 12. Anne Mac and Maria formed and impromptu band and played Happy Birthday on a piano accordian and violin, and then we all helped polish off the birthday cake.
We spent one morning spinning wool for our Biggest Morning Tea Raffle.
The challenge was to spin a designer yarn.
Yarns spun were - Spiral Yarn, Gimp Yarn, Chain Plyed Yarn, Pigtail Yarn,
Cable Yarn. All were successfully and fun was had by all.
Royal Sydney Easter Show 2016
Our best three Wool entries from the Morisset Show were entered as a Group Entry and won second prize.
Helene won second prize in the Lace Knitting Section.
Eight of our members are participating in the 2016 Scarf Exchange to be hosted by the Bland Spinners and Weavers at West Wyalong in October.
A three day Bus trip is planned to visit exhibition and other venues on the way.
Picture on right is of fibres we received to work with
The Gathering 2016
The Gathering held by Central Coast Guild was well attended by our group.
Jean and Maria both won prizes for their entries in the Spinning and Tapestry competition.
There were many purchases made and many of our ladies were lucky enough to win prizes in the raffle.
Some of our members participated in Newcastle Show and all won prizes.
The major prize 'Alice Filson Memorial Prize for Weaving Excellence
for the Most Outstanding Exhibit in Weaving' was won by Lorraine with her wall hanging.
Annual General Meeting
This was held on March 1, and the committee was largely unchanged.
A Life Membership was presented to
for 30 years continuous membership
and service to our group.
Beverley Timms presented the Encouragement Award trophy to Carol Doubleday.
Carol joined the group about three years ago, and has tried her hand at most of the crafts and workshops we have covered over that time. Over the past year she has improved and experimented with her spinning, tried her hand at felting, and is now learning to weave.
Morisset Lake Macquarie Agricultural Show
Our section of the show was well supported, with over 60 entries from our group. There were more prizes than usual, as the NSW Handweavers and Spinners Guild contributed prizes.
Well done Mwyf King for winning the Geraldine McCulloch award/grand champion prize with her small seamless hot water bottle cover. Lorraine Banks won the Hazel Cashman award for innovative use of colour and fibre.
The NSW Guild prizes went to: Jean P for best handspun ($20), Anne MacDonald for best novice spinner (Membership voucher), Mwyf King for best garment or article made using handspun ($20), Ann Scanlon for best felted article ($20), and Ken Hall for best article made by a novice (Membership voucher).
Thanks to all those who helped in setting up and taking down the display, and monitoring/demonstrating over the two days. Attendance at the show was well down this year compared to previous years – perhaps the sticky heat and threat of thunderstorms kept people away.
Xmas Party December 8, 2015
A lovely lunch was served at Jules at Rathmines with members and partners attending.
As Elaine has now retired from weaving we thanked her for her considerable contribution to our group and presented her with a book displaying her many and varied weavings.
Left: Gill welcomes the group to Christmas lunch
Right: Elaine opens her book
Knitting Workshop October 6, 2015
A knitting workshop was eagerly attended by many member and one of our youngest members was taught to knit.
Helene demonstrated many ways to cast on and cast off with samples for all to see.
As several members had recently shown interest and purchased a drop spindle. Myf gave a lesson on the finer points of using this equipment.
Using simple equipment spinning is easily portable and able to be done anywhere.
We again participated in the Annual Scarf Exchange, where participants send 200 grams of fibre of their choice to a central location - this year it was Perth. The fibre is then distributed randomly to other participants to spin and make into a finished item - usually a scarf, but it may also be a bag or a hat. It is then returned to the original owner.
Left: the fibre our members
received to work with
Right: The items we sent back
Hat Felting Workshop August 12, 2015
Lucky members who registered had a wonderful day making a felted hat.
Not the easiest skills but with Sandra McIlveen's help, patience and great teaching skills members at all levels took home a hat with which they were happy.
Morisset Library Presentation on August 4, 2015
A talk on the History and Practice of Spinning and Weaving.
Several members took part and demonstrated spinning, spindling, weaving and other aspects of our craft to an audience of approximately 20 people.
Felting Mini Workshop July 7, 2015
To prepare for our Hat Felting Workshop in August a practice mini workshop was held.
As you can see this was a hands on productive morning enjoyed by all those involved and those watching.
Bonaton Alpacas: June 16, 2015
A wonderful morning with Karen Tan talking about her Alpacas many of them part of her family as her children train and exhibit them at shows.
She explained the differences between the Huacaya and Suri fleeces and had a variety of fleeces to show us. We all learned how to pick a fleece for spinning, felting and what to throw out.
Karen is holding a felted Alpaca made by one of her daughters. The toy is very soft and cuddly and no problem with washing.
Karen does not wash her fleeces before spinning as she finds any dirt or vegetable matter shakes out easily because Alpacas have a dry fleece which is not coated with lanolin as in sheep.
Inkle Loom Mini Workshop: June 2, 2105
We had a very successful day with nearly everyone participating. All commenced a small braid with plenty of help from Myf, Nerida and Gill.
Some finished braids
Felted Bag with Inkle Loom Strap by Lorelle.
An exhibition of Fibre Works by our own Lorraine Banks
Lorraine had a very successful exhibition at Wollombi Old Fireshed Gallery over the June long weekend..
Her woven Ruana was a stunning exhibit. The colours replicated here do not do it justice.
Helene also exhibited her fine lace shawls which attracted many comments on the exquisite handiwork.
Natural Dyeing Mini Workshop Talk
with Asa Walquist: May 5, 2015
We welcomed Asa this morning who has spent a lifetime exploring natural dying.
She is a keen naturalist and gave a wonderful talk on how she dyes with natural materials, keeps records, experiments and then designs and knits her garments.
Pictures are some of Asa's garments, coloured with natural dyes.
2015 Scarf Exchange
Seven members of Morisset have entered in this years Scarf Exchange.
As you can see there was a was a wide range of fibres received which will give those participating a challenge.
The theme this year uses Chinese Zodiac sign, the element for year is wood and lucky colour is green.
2015 Newcastle Show
Members of Morisset participated in the recent Newcastle Show and both Helene Taylor and Ann Scanlon were featured in the Showcase of Excellence.
Display at Library
We exhibited a sample of our works in the Morisset Library for two weeks in March and will be doing so again in July/August with a Demonstration and Talk.
2015 Morisset Show
Members of MSW enjoyed participating in the recent Lake Macquarie Morisset Show and several members did very well with their spinning, weaving and knitting entries. The Geraldine McCulloch Award in memory of our late member was awarded to the best item in the spinning and weaving section, a beautiful table runner woven by Anne Scanlon. Anne's hand-dyed project was inspired by the colours of the native Eastern Rosella.
It was with sad hearts that members of the group farewelled Hazel Cashman who passed away on September 15th 2014. Hazel was a founding member of Morisset Spinners and Weavers, an active participant and a talented craftswoman. A memorial service for Hazel was held in our meeting room and, as requested by Hazel, she was sent off with a guard of honour by our members and a final cheer in her honour!