2017 Programme



UnFinished Objects
with Alison Daykin

Like most people who make textiles of one sort or another I have UnFinished Objects (UFO's) and I'm sure a great many of Onliners do too! The start of a new year seems as good a time to try and finish your UFO's or at least pick them up again and move them along towards the finishing line. I will be looking at what I've got unfinished in my studio, show you how I get motivated to complete them and I'll be here to help you, too.

At the end of the month we will have:

  • sorted through our UFO's,
  • looked at what needs doing to complete, undo or re-purpose them,
  • placed them in an order that makes the task less daunting and
  • finished some of them.

Of course the UFO's don't necessarily mean actual objects, they could be sorting your workspace (often neglected or put at the end of a long list). I will encourage you to start in a small way and continue in small bite


Photographing textiles
with Derek Hannaford

The workshop will be broken down into four (approximately) weekly parts.

  • Week 1 will cover the necessary equipment (camera, tripod, reflectors/diffusers, light-boxes, and props).
  • Week 2 will cover camera settings (focus, exposure, white balance/colour temperature and lighting/flash).
  • Week 3 will be all about the actual photography (whether for submission for exhibitions, illustrating an article, creating a pattern, or use in online shops etc.).
  • Week 4 will encompass making use of your photos (understanding pixels and pixel counts, manipulating/editing – that is correcting and enhancing colours, cropping, rotating, saturation, brightening, optimisation and uploading. Also covered will be printing, use on Ravelry/Etsy/Facebook, use for exhibition submissions, illustrating pdfs etc.).

Bio - Derek has been interested in photography since being allowed to play with a box Brownie at around the age of eleven. graduating to a 35mm film camera in his early teens. Since then he's never gone anywhere without a camera, and he made the shift to digital photography about 12 years ago.


Medieval cloth
with Erica Jones

This is a 2 week activity

This talk will take a look at several extant pieces from the 2nd-16th C. Each piece has been studied in person by Erica. These pieces range from taquete to lampas. Taquete is a weft faced plain weave, often described as summer and winter weave without the tabby picks! Samitum is the twill relative of taquete. Lampas is a type of luxury fabric typically woven from silk with gold and silver thread enrichment with a background weft, often seen in taffeta. There are often supplementary wefts (the "pattern wefts") laid on top and forming a design, sometimes also with a brocading weft.

The talk will include information about the textiles studied, Erica's weaving explorations based on her studies, and video demonstrations of the weaving techniques; including weaving damask on a drawloom.


Spinning for a purpose
with Anne Fisher Rhodes

This is a 6 week workshop

This workshop is participant led. To start the workshop you will have a textile project in mind.

For a successful fabric which is fit for purpose it is wise to spin the right yarn - and from the right fibre. Together we will look at the various properties needed for your project's successful creation. I will then guide you through the different choices, and help you understand how to select the appropriate fibre, preparation, and qualities of yarn, before you start to spin.

Initial fibre and yarn selection is a starting point, not an end point. Sampling is key to success. It enables you to see whether those first decisions are the best; whether the yarn and techniques are actually suitable for the project, and for you as a spinner. If something doesn't work in practice, we will work together to find a suitable alternative.

Once you start spinning proper I will be able to answer questions as they arise, and help you overcome any hurdles on the spinning techniques which may present themselves as you work.


Small stash projects
with Workshop programme Support Group

The purpose of this workshop is to explore ways of managing those collections of small bits of fibre or yarn which seem to accumulate after workshops, meetings and visits to suppliers. Designed for spinners, knitters and weavers of every skill level, we will explore strategies and small projects which use those treasures and turn them into useful or decorative items. Members of the Workshop Program Support Group will share their ideas and suggestions, and will welcome input from all participants. We hope everyone will make something during this workshop and feel proud to share their work. Help will be available for those unsure about uploading images of their creations.


Six weeks of blue
with Ulrike Bogdan

A close look at Indigo: how it works, the science behind it and what we can do with it.

We will explore different vat methods - participants willing to experiment can try one or two different fermentation vats, and we will have a look at how indigo dyed fabric is changed when over dyed with other materials like ferrous sulphate, tannin etc.

We will also look at how different fibre and materials behave in an indigo vat and how different materials react to post processing methods. And how we can use indigo as a pigment to paint with!


Annual Guild Discussion Week

A time of evaluation for the Online Guild. This week features an open discussion in which all members are encouraged to participate.


Silk from Source to use
with Jane Deane

This is a 2 week activity.

The way that silk is created is as miraculous as the fibre itself and unlike any other that we spin. We will look at how the silkworm develops, grows and how the silk comes to be formed. All moths make a silk cocoon but the vast majority of them are not useful to us as textile practitioners. There are, however, many more options than bombyx mori, the cultivated silkworm. We will look at some of the alternatives.

Most silk available to handspinners is actually waste from the commercial silk industry. Industrial producers are mainly interested in silk reeled from the unbroken cocoons of the silkworm and the waste from this process appears in on sale as a variety of weird and wonderful forms! I will take you through the industrial process so that we can see how these products come to be and then show you how to deal with the ‘waste.’



Exploring 4-shaft and 8-shaft twills
with Janet Phillips

6 week workshop

Twills create cloths with diagonal, zig-zag or diamond type patterns. They are the most logical weave to develop structurally. This course will cover:

  1. The construction of the three 4-shaft twills: 2/2 twill, 1/3 twill and 3/1 twill.
  2. The development of a multiple sectioned sample blanket to explore design possibilities.
  3. The construction in general of the many 8-shaft twills.
  4. The development of a multiple sectioned sample blanket to explore design possibilities.
  5. Exploring the effect that colour and sett have on a cloth.
  6. Looking at 8-shaft Overshot, Echo Twill and Honeycomb.

I hope to do this learning with interactive discussion between participants who will themselves work out the answers to the design possibilities. This workshop will follow the method described in my book: Designing Woven Fabrics. ISBN 978-0-9557620-1-7. I look forward to discovering more about these weaves with you all.


A professional finish to garments
with Janet Major

Introduction: You've spun the wool, knitted or woven the garment and yet when you put it on, you do not like it. Perhaps you have a stash of such items. Sound familiar?

This is such a shame, but you might be somewhat relieved that it doesn't just happen to you. In this workshop, we will go through (and try out) a number of tips and techniques which you can use so that such frustration will be a thing of the past. I will aim to cover a range of skill levels so that even if you are an experienced maker, I hope there will be something for you to think about – I also expect to learn a few things too!

The workshop will be divided into four sections. I am going to assume the garment is for yourself, but if not you will be able to translate to others easily. I will draw on my style and image training as well as my textile skills in leading this workshop to enable you to have a personalised course (as much as is possible given the online constraints).

We will start by looking at your present wardrobe and getting a good 'fit' for you. We will then spend some time on knitted garments and features and techniques particular to these. This will be followed by considerations of woven garments. Finally, we will look at resurrecting things when the garment has already been made.

Before the course, I will suggest some samples to have available and indicate a few particular additional items you might like to purchase. If you have any specific questions about this course, I am happy to answer them in advance


Festive Greeting

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