February 2019 – Cables and colourwork

The first half of the meeting was spent discussing proposals for the Association AGM. After this was dealt with, we moved on to fibre!

First we discussed cables; different ways to work them, including without a cable needle, and mock cables, and how working cables at the selvedge of a piece of work gives a nice neat edge. We also talked about converting celtic knots into cable patterns. Slightly unrelated to cables, but still on the theme of threads crossing over one another, we discussed sprang and looked at a wonderfully stretchy bonnet that had been made from handspun using sprang.

After this, conversation moved on to colourwork. Two colour knitting using two hands was discussed, as well as different ways of dealing with floats in knitted colourwork. Then we talked about different ways of using colour in our knitting, pairing a very colourful space dyed yarn with a neutral to showcase the colours, samples of all these techniques were passed around.

September 2018 – Fancy Yarns

Kim Morgan from the Saori Shed in Diss gave a wonderful talk and demonstration on how to make fancy yarns. She begun by showing how she uses the drum carder to mix various types of fibre, ‘sandwiching’ the lumpy stuff between layers of smoother fibres before feeding in. Then she demonstrated how she spins different yarns from these batts, showing how to make a corespun yarn, and various ways to ply the amazingly textured singles this makes.

She brought along many examples of different art yarns, some of which had been woven in the Saori style.

Thank you Kim for a wonderfully interesting and inspirational talk!



August 2018 – Fibre prep revisited

This month’s planned meeting on synthetic dyeing had to be postponed due to a scheduling conflict, so Susan took over and led another meeting about fibre prep. She demonstrated using a drum carder both to prepare fibre, and to blend ready prepared fibres, and talked a little about the difference between carding wool and alpaca. Members who had previously expressed dissatisfaction with their carding technique realised the benefit of slowing down and doing a little extra prep work beforehand to end up with some really nice batts. She also gave a short demo on how to use the combs with a wonderful Mule X fleece brought by a member.

The information on how to use a drum carder will soon be available on this website.

July 2018 – Plying

This month’s meeting was lead by Maggie, who discussed different types of plying and their structures, and demonstrated Navajo plying. The benefits of navajo plying in relation to preserving colour sequences was also discussed and demonstrated in a lovely sweater spun from natural colours of Jacob fleece, and various samples.

What to do with leftover singles was also discussed, leading on to talking about Andean plying. Many members brought their wheels and both had a go at navajo plying, and worked on their own projects.


May 2018 – Preparation for spinning and felting

Preparation of Fibre for Spinning. 

Members were treated to an excellent talk and demonstration on this topic today by fellow member Susan Pearson. Susan had numerous examples of fleece of different qualities as well as a variety of finished examples of knitting from her spinning. She  covered hand carding , drum carding  and using wool combs to produce a variety of prepared  fibres, both naturally coloured and involving blended  colours. Her attention to detail and preparatory work before the carding process was a delight to see and clearly showed itself in the quality of the yarn produced. Many Thanks Susan, we were only sorry the session wasn’t longer. 

Before the session, Susan’s enticing range of carding related delights.

The show and tell contained a special item, Gwen’s nearly finished Inkle loom which she has made herself. Well done Gwen.

Gwen – with her Inkle Loom


April 2018 – Weaving with a loom

This meeting focused on weaving with a loom. Members brought in many different types of loom to discuss and try out. We had inkle looms, tapestry looms,  rigid heddles, table looms, a Saori Piccolo 2 shaft folding floor loom, and a loom set up for tablet weaving, all set up and ready to play with. The for sale table was popular with members and visitors alike, and all the linen yarn there was rescued from the tip!

Show and tell featured a year’s work in the form of a wonderful hand knotted rug, two beautiful Saori pieces, and a sample showing ten different twill patterns all from the same threading.


March 2018 – Knitting and Crochet

This meeting had a variety of activities all under the heading ‘knitting and crochet’. We watched snippets of a video of 2 Shetland Knitters, talked about how we hold the yarn, had the chance to have a go at using a knitting belt, saw Tunisian knitting/crochet, learnt the basics of the continental and Portuguese methods of knitting, discussed crochet stitches, perused through vintage patterns and finished by watching the basics of machine knitting being demonstrated. The cake fairy visited again and we enjoyed another super cake, this time involving weetabix. There was the usual interesting show and tell and tempting items on the sales table.

Portuguese knitting, notice the clip- this style of knitting seems to make good use of a thumb

and we had crochet, this looked gorgeous:

February 2018 – Off loom weaving

We met upstairs in the Jon Cousins Room, for the first time and appreciated the inbuilt kitchen area. After the business and show and tell parts of the meeting we all joined in with the activity. Janet described how this mini workshop had come about and how the idea had been developed for Diss Guild. She talked us through getting as far as a half warped loom and then we took over with our individual looms. To save time these had been started for us and members enjoyed weaving them with the yarns we had taken. At times you could hear a pin drop with the concentration. Towards the end we were shown how to finish of the basic ‘little bag’ and ideas were given on adding a cord or closure of we wished. Some members used Mackintosh inspired colours enabling them to part of the Open section for the National Exhibition.

As always the show and tell section is inspirational, including this time, other items for the Open section. We are hoping for a significant Diss entry this year.

January 2018

Many of us have met twice this year already. Many Thanks are due to Jen for hosting the ‘before 12th night’ Guild lunch. We had a lovely time and besides the great food Jen’s Christmas Tree was an unexpected treat with its unique decorations.

The January meeting was well attended. There was quite a bit of ‘arranging’ related to our various invitations during the year to demonstrate our skills and exhibit items at events.

We had our own ‘show and tell’ of completed items and textile related Christmas presents which as always spans a wide range and is always fascinating.

Pauline’s spinning of dog coat:

We also had home made cake during a brief interval in proceedings.  Anne gave a brief introduction to the Japanese Art of Kumihimo (the making of braids) accompanied by a boxful of wonderful examples. There is an opportunity to attend a workshop about this at Maker’s Month. Diss Guild has workshops on Tuesday afternoon (March 27th).

Just some of Anne’s braids.

The five Norfolk Guilds will be at the Forum from 26 March to 31st March, each day there will be demonstrations and bookable workshops. This is part of Maker’s Month at the Forum Norwich which has a vast number of different activities  on offer between 12th March and April 6th. Do look at their website.