York & District Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers
(Reg. Charity No. 519097)

March Newsletter 2017


Please note that the "@" symbol has been replaced by
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Programme of meetings

15 July Bishop Wilton Show, Bishop Wilton
15 July ***PLEASE NOTE**** Talk on Bedouin weaving has been cancelled. The day is now a skill share day
August 6 Tockwith Show, Tockwith
August 13-20 Association Summer School, SParsholt College, Winchester
August 16 Danby Show,Danby
August 19 Skill Share
September 2-3 Dunnington Fayre, Dunnington
September 16 World Wide Spin in Public Day, Sewerby Park, Bridlington. Skill share, Murton
October 9-15 British Wool Week
October 21 Turn around when possible .... Stone Creek Textiles. Shared lunch
October 21-22 Countryside Live, Great Yorkshire Showground
November 18 Skill share
November 23 Knitting & Stitching Show, Harrogate
December 2 Christmas lunch, Dunnington Reading Rooms. Shared lunch
January 20 Alpaca - fibre of the Gods, Teesdale Alpacas. Shared lunch
February 17 Skill share
March 17 AGM. Shared lunch

Meeting Day - Unless otherwise indicated, the room is open from 10 am. The Guild meeting starts at 10.30 and ends by 12:30. The talk normally starts at 1:30 and ends by 3:00. Meeting Days usually include a shared lunch where members bring items of food to share. Check the schedule for any changes to this pattern!

Skills Share - The room is open from 10 am and the day ends by 4 pm. There is normally no shared lunch. Times of any workshops will be specified in the notice if it is different from the times above.

Guild News

The Committee
  • President: Beryl T
  • Chairman: Lesley J
  • Secretary: Madeline Evans
  • Treasurer: Ninan C-R
  • Membership secretary: Pauline C
  • Shows Secretary: Anne B
  • Programme Secretary: Dawn B
  • Equipment loans: Gwen T
  • Sales and Publicity: Louise B
  • Refreshments: Eva F
  • Co-opted: Jenny C
Non-committee helpers:
  • Library: Mary C
  • Newsletter: Beverly U
  • York Yarns and website: Margaret P

Guild Library Guild library books are stored on one wall of the Guild area in the upstairs room at Murton.
Just a reminder that our library is normally open every Saturday when we meet. Up to 4 books can be borrowed for 3 months. Members should ask the librarian or assistant librarian to fill in the card found in the front of the book. This records the date and borrowers name. When the book is returned the card is again signed and dated and returned to the book. If you are unable to return the book on time, please ask the librarian for an extension or email . Librarian Mary Carbert. Assistant Librarian Mary Richardson
There are books covering all of our interests and lots of related areas. Do drop in and have a look. The subjects are:
A WeavingA1 Weaving history   B Spinning   B1 Spinning history
CD Colour and dyeingCR CrochetDE DesignFT Fibres textiles
G General textiles   K Knitting and crochetR Rugs and general textiles

Now that we have sold some of the duplicate or less used books, there is potential to buy some new ones. If you have come across any really special books related to our crafts, let Mary know!

Equipment News
Gwen has developed a new system for our equipment loans. She has created a catalogue which shows each piece of equipment and a file for loans. If someone wants to borrow a piece of equipment, it must be recorded in the file. The form has space for the name of the borrower and the name of the approver. The approver can be any guild member. When the item is returned, the file form should be dated, signed and the condition noted.
Important! Only guild members can borrow equipment!

Please bring items for the raffle. There is a box upstairs for prizes, but it is getting very low. It is nice to have things related to our crafts, but all items are welcome. Help raise money for the guild and make it a fun raffle for all.

Facebook page Gwen has set up a Facebook page for members who want to join in and share things. Guild members can use the link here and can request to Join Group. 

Textile Groups
Norton Spinners Group: A friendly group meets the last Tuesday of every month at 2:30 at the Norton Library. Just 50p for tea. Lots of conversation for free!
Wolds Spinners: The Wolds Spinners meet monthly at the Wetwang Village Hall. Contact Liz S for details on 01377 288180. Upcoming dates are 14th Feb., 14th March, 11th April, 9th May, 13th June, 11th July, 8th August, 12th Sept., 10th Oct., 14th Nov., 12th Dec.

Mary R passed this along: Norfolk Horn fleece at £5 per fleece will be ready early June. Please contact Karen if interested. (Karen works with the Hebridean sheep grazing Yorkshire Wildlife Trust land and I met her at a 'Lambing day')

Speaker report

Teacher and author Alison Daykin’s talk today was entitled
Spinning in the Twenty-first Century.
As a child, in the sixties, Alison had been fascinated with the practical work her older sister was doing at school which, unusually, offered O and A level courses including Weaving, Pottery and Sculpture. Once, at the school herself, she recalled learning on a box loom and still has the first piece of weaving she produced. As well as pottery and sculpture (which she didn't enjoy) her course included weaving, natural dying, yarn construction and spindling. All of which meant she had a good background in textiles. There were comments about how unusual it was to have textile courses in schools and how sad it did not continue. Alison told us the only other person she knew with O an A levels in either spinning or weaving was Ruth Gough at Wingham Woolworks.
Life then intervened as it sometimes does and it wasn't until 1981 that, at her husband’s suggestion, she joined the Derby Guild. Alison was initially disappointed that, at that time, the majority of yarns being produced were natural colours and strictly only balanced yarns. There were none of the vibrant colour and crunchy textures she would eventually become known for. In 1989 she attended a summer school being run by Bobby Cox. For ten days she did dying, tapestry weaving and spinning, and told us it was full of colour. She described it as revolutionary and the most liberating class she had attended.
From then on she felt free to produce and use her hallmark coloured and fancy yarns. Alison quoted Mabel Ross saying it would be good if everyone used just a little bit of fancy yarn in their projects. Alison explained she had fallen into teaching spinning almost by accident, when the college she worked at needed someone who could spin to teach a course. Although she said she felt she was only a short step ahead of her students most of the time, the course went so well the college did agree to buy spinning wheels and other equipment for her. She decided to do an HNC to develop her own skills in textiles and as a teacher. Over the next twenty-five years, Alison developed her courses to include colour blending, textured yarn making, experimental and fancy yarns, mixed fibres and textures etc.
When someone suggested she should write a book about design for spinners, Alison said she was daunted by the publishing costs that were estimated to be in the region of £5,000. However, later she did embark on producing her book ‘Creative Spinning’ saying she felt there could be a whole talk about its production. She explained that she collaborated with her friend Jane Deane to produce the book, which entailed writing 15,000 words and producing swatches and designs for thirty projects in six weeks.
In the last part of her talk, Alison said she thought spinning should be a gentle relaxing art and recommended you try many different fibres until you find what suits your own style. Alison said she has a great dislike of any man-made fibres, as they are not environmentally sustainable. She advocated colour blending, either using combs, carders, a blending board or a drum carder. The resulting fibre, whether that be a matte fleece or one with sheen, has much more depth than flat dyed samples. The blending process should be a fun thing to do. She suggested you experiment, for example, trying a sample of 50/50 blend blue and red fibre, which will give you a purple that can be spun up into slubby yarn or mixed with other fibres to create texture.
In bringing together the large amount of ground she had covered in this enjoyable talk, Alison answered questions from the floor. These were on everything from the history of the production of boucle fibre in the blanket industry to its use in Chanel suiting, then to her dislike of brown fleeces. Is there a need to spin with more twist for weaving? Alison says not. Finally, she explained the technique, using six buckets in rotation, she uses to wash her fleeces.


There are loads of shows coming up over the summer. Do have a look at the schedule for dates and let Anne know if you can help!

Anne will continue to coordinate shows. She still needs your support to keep our busy schedule full and spread the word about our guild to all the people we are able to meet and talk to at shows.

Association News

Summer School 2017

Summer School 2017 is being held at Sparsholt College in Hampshire. All of the courses are now filled.

Summer School 2019 being organised by our Region (B)
Our region, region B, is already starting to organize Summer School 2019, which will be held at Leeds Trinity University from 4-11 August 2019. A working party has been formed with representatives from several guilds in the region. We already have a core group of volunteers but we’ll need more hands when the event happens. If you think you might be willing to help with this event, please get hold of Beverly who can provide more details.

The Association on Social Media
Follow the Association on social media:

Shows and Exhibitions

Chris Ofili: Weaving Magic, London
A Turner Prize-winning artist has collaborated with Dovecot Tapestry Studio to translate his designs into handwoven tapestry. Sunley Room, National Gallery, admission free. The exhibition will run from 26 April to 28 August
Ten Plus @ Salford, Salford
An exhibition of contemporary textile art by northern based collective Ten Plus Textiles. The work includes hand and machine embroidery, needle felting, quilting, beadwork, patchwork, weaving and 3D pieces. Rich, luxurious and ornate in texture and colour, the pieces on display represent a fusion of traditional textile methods with original and inventive ideas and creations. The exhibition will run from 29 April to 5 September at the Salford Museum and Art Gallery


Floor loom 4 shafts, 6 treadles, minimum weave width of 36 inches. Please contact Sian. Loom must be located in Yorkshire please.

Floor Loom Hollie Ward is a recent Textile Crafts graduate from The University of Huddersfield now back living in Hull. She wants to get started and buy her own loom to help progress her work after leaving university. She worked with weaver Heidi Lichterman in Cambridge on her placement year. She is looking for a jack loom, preferably 8 shaft, if not 4 would be a good starting point but she is interested in any type of looms other than a table loom as she already owns one. Email Hollie

For Sale

(Please contact the webmaster for further information)

New additions
Margaret H has some items to sell. She is raising funds for a trip to the Shetland Isles! Email her. Ref MH4417

  • Rug loom, 8 shafts, 32inches width, 2 back beams. It is a Hawkhurst loom by Edwards a Harris type.
  • Several reeds and rug wool available. £450
  • Scarf loom, 2 widths 5ft. £30
  • Ashford Traveller spinning wheel with bobbins in good working order. £150
  • Inkle floor loom £50
  • Several frame looms made especially strong for tapestry weaving.

Nicola Ingham has an Ashford Traditional wheel for sale for £150. It is located in York. Please contact her on nicola.ingham@googlemail.com or 01904 541666. Ref NI4417

Fleece for Sale. Ref JS4417
Washed and combed Teeswater fleece
Jessica (07956411743, jesssellers@hotmail.com) writes: I have a small flock of rarebreed longwool Teeswater Sheep in Yorkshire and have some pure Teeswater fleece for sale - it is a blend of 1st and 2nd year clip fleeces. It has been professionally washed and combed and is pure creamy white. I don't make a profit on my sheep i sell the fleece to cover costs of keeping my sheep, shearing and preparing the fleeces.
Prices are as follows:

  • 250g - £10 + P&P £3.50
  • 500g - £20 + P&P £5
  • 1kg - £40 = P&P £7.50

If you'd like any more photos of the fleece please just ask. I look forward to hearing from you.


Please also be aware that large and bulky/fragile items may be on a "buyer collect" basis only.

Harris folding 8-shaft floor loom, 8 pedals, 75cm weaving width. £400 or sensible offer. Price includes ½” raddle, 8 epi reed, new Texsolv heddles and tie-up, two new Gunnar Anderson boat shuttles. In storage at the Loft Space, Standedge Visitor Centre, Waters Road, Marsden, Huddersfield,HD7 6NQ Can be seen by appointment, phone 01484 847091 or email plainweave@hotmail.com

Harris Loom. Table top - four shaft. Needs some attention and the heddles are rusty.

Ashford Spinning Wheel. Upright, dark wood finish, excellent condition. Various sundries - carders, wool, etc. included in sale. Offers invited. Please reply to Jane Kennelly (01904 639133 or j.kennelly@virginmedia.com).

Spinning equipment

  • An Elizabeth spinning wheel
  • A niddy noddy
  • Several spinning bobbins for the wheel
  • A pair of carders
  • A number of drop spindles
  • A fleece ready for spinning - a blue faced leicester cross
  • A small bag of brown fleece - bought from ebay
I would like £200 for the lot. I live in Castleford and would like these to be collected. Mary Dowling Tel: 01977 551648 Email Mary

Alpaca Fleece for sale
Low Catton Alpacas - cones of yarn available. They are all from home grown alpacas and commercially spun by Halifax Spinning Co. of Pollington. The price would be £40 per kg
Natural colour: 4 cones in total and all 3 ply. 1@ 1.25Kg (£50); 1@1.3Kg(£52); 1@1.6 kg (£64); 1@1.7 kg (£68)  We are open to sensible offers
Natural Dark Brown: 2 cones in 2 ply (lace weight) 1@1.08 Kg  (£43);  1@1.25Kg (£50).
Also 9 x 50gm (approx.) balls . £2.00 each.
All to be collected.
Contact tel. number 01759 373133 and/or email
Swedish spinning wheel, made specially by Erik Lind of Nor Jarvso for the original owner, numbered 4707. Good working order with distaff. £200 ono. Leeds. Ref MEP071212 Ashford Traditional wheel, carders, lazy kate and niddy noddy. New in 1995. Good working order though has not been in use for some time. Offers invited to Jane Kibble, 01347 888675 (Easingwold)
Ashford Traditional spinning wheel
4 bobbins, 2 bobbin holders, 2 sets of carders, £150
Haldane Orkney double drive spinning wheel
3 bobbins and niddy noddy. At least 40 years old but great for fine work and doers not take up loads of room. £75
4 shaft table loom (Varpapuu)
Stand and adjustable bench. 32" weaving width. Comes with all necessary extras inc. warping frame, raddles, various reeds and shuttles as well as cones of wool and seven weaving books, £450
Contact Liz Tredwell, Pocklington or also on 07488 864939 for the three items above

Hand made double band spinning wheel with 4 bobbins and integral lazy kate/bobbin storage. £ 150 ono. Ref D.SED030813

New Ashford Warping Board £ 60.ono. Ref D.SED030813

Weavemaster loom, 2 heddles 10" weaving width £30 ono. Ref D.SED030813

Oxford Down slivers £5.00/100grms, Email David Fisher, Hotham, or tel. 01430 425435, after 6.00pm

Floor inkle loom excellent condition £30.00. Hull Ref S.RAW Buyer collects.

32" 4 shaft table loom with heddles, sticks, etc. £150 ono. Whitby. Ref B.THO

Singer Sewing machine model 1507, 8 Stitch Patterns Including an Automatic 4-step Buttonhole: £80. York. REF S.ARCH061012

Shetland fleeces - natural colours. Ref R.KIT

Shetland sheep - 8 ewes, 2 wethers, all colours, registered and prize winners. R.KIT

White wensleydale shearling fleeces (2) £3.80 per kilo. Debbie Wardell

Inkle loom. £30. Bridlington. Buyer collects. Ref A.FAR111014

Traditional Ashford Spinning Wheel with lazy Kate (total 4 bobbins), spare flyer, drop spindle and original assembly/instruction information. The wheel is in dark stain, a used item with minor superficial marks that do not interfere with the functioning of the wheel. Included in the price are a selection of related books (all in very good condition):

  1. EILEEN CHADWICK - The Craft of Hand Spinning (Batsford)
  2. PATRICIA BAINES Spinning Wheels, Spinners & Spinning (Batsford)
  3. ANNE FIELD - The Ashford Book of Spinning
  4. BETTE HOCHBERG - Handspindles
  5. BETTE HOCHBERG - Handspinners Handbook
  6. JOHN MERCER - The Spinners Workshop (Prism Press).
  7. ELIZA LEADBEATER - Spinning and Spinning Wheels (Shire Albums)
  8. NEEDLECRAFTS - Spindle Spinning (Search Press)
  9. HETTY WICKENS - Wool Spinning (Dryad Press)
  10. JO BURRILL - Spinning on the Wheel (Dryad Press)
  11. DEE DUKE & R. EDLIN-WHITE - The Insatiable Spinner (Woolgatherings for dyers & spinsters)
  12. VERA MILES - Practical Four-Shaft Weaving (Dryad Press)
Offers around £225 and can deliver, free from delivery charge, within the Yorkshire region. (Ref JJ 300514)

Ashford Traditional wheel, carders, lazy kate and niddy noddy. New in 1995. Good working order though has not been in use for some time. Offers invited to Jane Kibble, 01347 888675 (Easingwold)

Haldane Spinning wheel in working order and but needs a new peg for the wheel (it has one and there should be two) and the flyer and shuttle need an overhaul and some oil. The leather is in good condition. This is a real bargain for someone who can do the work. £50. Contact Jane on 01904 639133

Harris 4 shaft table loom. The shafts are rusty and would have to be replaced. The rest of the loom solid. £50 ono. Contact Jane on 01904 639133

Large tapestry floor loom Built by Don Porritt for Kate Russell. Packs away flat and easy to reassemble. Offers to Susie Barrett

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The York Guild Committee has established a list of advisors in various areas. Please see the guild membership list for contact details. If you have a skill and are willing to help fellow guild members, please get in touch with anyone on the committee to be added to the list.
Liz SSpinning
Rosemary KWeaving
Enid PWeaving
Margaret PInkle weaving
Dot STapestry weaving and dyeing
Mary CNatural dyeing