February saw Guild members meeting in person at the Methodist Church in Diss after a period of two years, due to the pandemic. During this time Guild members participated in Zoom meetings, met up in various members’ gardens during the summer months and have kept in touch via the wonderful, monthly newsletter that Pam and her daughter Kathryn produced.
However resuming our monthly meetings again in February was wonderful and we were pleased to see current and new members. Everyone who attended bought something to the ‘show and tell’ that they had been doing during the last few months. These items included knitted and woven items, hand spun yarns, felted bags as well as embroidery using threads dyed at the Indigo workshop held last Autumn. Members were particularly interested in the hand spun yarn, dyed using purple basil, which Karen showed us.
March has seen Diss Guild participating at the Makers Festival along with five other regional Guilds. The Norfolk Spinners Weavers and Dyers had a stand for three days at the Forum in Norwich and volunteers from the Norfolk Guilds helped to man the stand and demonstrate a variety of skills. Members from our Guild demonstrated back strap weaving, Inkle weaving, weaving on a four-shaft loom, stick weaving and spinning. Mary’s Covid coat was exhibited at the stand along with Pam’s hand spun, hand knitted angora scarf and Anne’s hand spun, natural dyed, knitted and felted bag.
Mary’s coat, which used hand spun, natural dyes and different knitted patterns, was much admired. Mary gave an interesting talk to the Guild at the March meeting on the different knitting techniques used, the natural dyes and mordents she used to dye the fleece and hand spun yarn. She went on to describe how she assembled the coat once she had knitted her samples. Mary bought a wonderful array of knitting pattern books to show us and to explain where the patterns came from.