2020 Programme

To see the 2021 programme please see here



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 ‘Onliners’ do too! The start of a new year seems a good 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 size pieces, so let's all make a date to meet at the beginning of January and start those baby steps.


India and its Saris
a talk by Cheryl Hardy

In these talks I hope to share my enthusiasm for Indian textiles and saris in particular. I will combine technical analyses of the construction, dyeing and spinning of particular modern day saris with background information about their use, origins and the part they play in modern day Indian society. Talks are illustrated by photographs from my own trips to India over the last decade.

These presentations are about the making, selling, wearing and ‘recycling’ of saris; about their cultural significance and about people, places and processes who make and use them. Questions such as ‘What is a sari? Who makes them? How are they made? How are they worn? Are there different types of sari?

Where do they come from? What is a typical life cycle of a sari? are addressed. Join me on a journey through towns and villages of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh and meet some of my Indian friends.


Paper making and weaving
with Debbie Bamford and Jane Deane

This workshop will be divided into two parts:


Paper has been known in the Western world since the Middle Ages. Making your own paper can be great fun and use up lots of waste cotton or linen rags or even used to shred your private documents. Paper is made by the layering of short vegetable fibres to form sheets. Originally made from linen rags, most types of cellulose fibre can be used. These need to be shredded down to the individual fibres and then the pulp mixed with water to be able to form the sheet on the hand mould. Once formed the paper is turned out onto a sheet of felt. This is repeated to form a stack of paper and felts. The water is then squeezed out and the paper put out on a line to dry as slowly as possible (so they don’t crinkle).

Paper as Textiles

This short workshop will look at paper used in textiles. Paper can be woven and spun, providing a challenge to all disciplines we cover – dyeing is not part of the remit of this fortnight. Although I am not recommending it, commercially produced paper can be washed up to 25 times at 40C°, so a much more durable material than might be thought.

Week 1 will cover spinning and will be an opportunity to try various sorts of paper and maybe reach a conclusion about the best to use for a particular project. Week 2 will focus on weaving with paper and exploring how to use its particular qualities to best advantage.


Fibre Spinning Challenge
with Cath Snape

In Autumn 2018 Barbara Scott lead a very successful weaving design challenge which pushed many of us outside our comfort zones and encouraged us to learn new techniques. Barbara gave us random colours, techniques and yarns etc to challenge our usual thinking patterns and open new design opportunities. She also wrote about using chance to help with design ideas. The response to her workshop suggested that many of us welcomed thinking in different ways.

Transferring these ideas to spinning made me think about colour, fibres, texture, spinning techniques, diameters of yarns, end use and of course our inspiration. To enable spinners at all levels to participate this challenge would be tiered, with increasingly complex fibres and spin techniques, so whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced spinner there should be something to interest you.


Knitted gloves
with Angharad Thomas

Knitted gloves, endlessly fascinating, come in many shapes and sizes. This workshop will enable you to explore this variety, to learn some key techniques for glove knitting, and to make plans for a pair to your own design. Depending on available time, you might complete a pair!

The workshop will encourage you to make use of on line resources. You may already be a member of Ravelry, but did you know there are on line videos demonstrating techniques, and on line catalogues and exhibitions? And what about 18 years worth of archived workshops for the On Line Guild? Links will be provided to a selection of these during the workshop.

You do not need to be an expert knitter to join this workshop as there will be chances to practice techniques on a sample.


Eco dyeing/printing
with Debbie Tomkies

In this workshop I’ll be introducing you to the magic that is transferring beautiful patterns, shapes and colour onto a range of fabrics using different techniques. We’ll focus mainly on silk but over the 6 weeks we’ll also touch on other fabrics that lend themselves well to these techniques. During the course of the workshop you will have the opportunity to explore a range of materials for simple prints, tools and skills for print-making and you’ll be able to try your hand at overdyeing and a variety of resist techniques. At the end of the workshop you should be able to take your learning forward and experiment to your heart’s content, exploring what nature has to offer!


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.


The Llan-Gors Textile - an early medieval masterpiece
a talk by Louise Mumford

Louise Mumford-Senior Conservator, Archaeology, Museum of Wales, will talk about the Llan-gors textile. This small fragment of fabric was found buried in mud in a welsh lake. It was painstakingly restored to reveal an early medieval masterpiece of weaving and embroidery.


Iris and echo Weaving
with Marian Stubeniski

The course is meant for an 8-shaft table- or dobby loom, because there are tie-ups with many treadles. In the course you learn to develop a threading out of a pattern line, with pencil and squared paper. The warp will have 4 colors, that have to be chosen carefully, with support of the teacher. After beaming and threading, at least 6 different weave structures can be woven on this warp. Each time there will be a new explanation and instruction to design the tie-up and/or the treadling.


with Sally Reckert and Matty Smith

According to the Tate website “Collage describes both the technique and the resulting work of art in which pieces of paper, photographs, fabric and other ephemera are arranged and stuck down onto a supporting surface”. Artists such as Braque, Miró and Picasso created collages as a distinctive part of modern art.

In this workshop we will be looking at how collage can be used: either as a technical tool, to generate patterns and cartoons for textile crafts from concepts and ideas; or as a design tool using textile pieces to create an original piece of work.


Festive Exchange/Greetings - Stars, recycled or from stash

The theme for 2020 is “Stars – recycled or from your stash”. We invite you to be creative and either share a photo of your star with us in the Festive Greetings album or for those of you who enjoy gifting your creation, you may join in the Festive Exchange. The Festive Exchange will begin in October when you can express an interest in joining in. At the beginning of November you will be paired with a likeminded member so that you can swap your stars in early December and then photograph and share with us all the star you have received.


Annual Challenge - Trees

Trees are the focus of this years challenge. Whether you are a tree hugger or not, most of us have an affinity for trees. They lend themselves beautifully to our disciplines with their changing colours, range of shapes and sizes, branches and bark, foliage and flowers. You can use them literally, or to spark your creativity in weaving, spinning or dyeing or in combination. Let your imagination run riot. At least one of our core skills must be used and the deadline for submission will be 30th September 2020 with a Certificate of Completion for those who meet it. All submissions completed by the end of the year will be included in a dedicated eBook.


2021 Programme


Design - it depends on how you look at it
with Norah Ball

I like to play to devise designs. I may use them or not, but usually learn something – be it good or bad.

Design is universal – an idea may be adapted and interpreted in all sorts of media. It depends what your interests are, how your mind works and how far you want to stretch it. Set aside your preconceptions and explore. Where will you get to? You may love or hate the journey, but I hope you can take away something from it.

Creating a design
There are many approaches. We will try three that I sometimes use.

What to do with a design when you’ve got one!
Don’t imagine the design on your drawing board is set in stone: you may need to adapt or develop it as you work on samples. In weave, using hand manipulated techniques can help understand difficulties in matching design to technique.

But if you enjoy other textile crafts too – knitting, crochet, felt, embroidery, patchwork or applique for example – your designs may suggest other options. Have a go! You might find new areas to carry forward into your work.


Tatting for beginners

with Katy Barratt

This workshop is aimed as an introduction to the art and craft of tatting. In this workshop we will use a simple shuttle, thread and one stitch/knot to make complex looking, lace-like pieces. You will discover that, although the traditional uses for tatting might be termed ‘old fashioned’, there are plenty of exciting and innovative ways in which it can be used to present it as a more modern craft.

As a self-taught tatter I hope to show you the basics of the craft and by the end of the workshop help you to be able to produce simple motifs and small projects. For the more ambitious and fast learners I will also be giving some hints and tricks to enable more complex pieces to be made.


Ecclesiastical textiles
a talk with Andrew Johnson

The plan for this talk is that I will explore the development of ecclesiastical textiles over the years. I will explain the thinking behind their design, terminology, symbolism and use. We will look at some of the techniques that have been used to create them.


3D tapestry
with Heather Seddon

This will be a six-week workshop for tapestry weavers with some experience; that is, you can warp your frame, start and finish effectively, and weave weft-faced tabby in discontinuous wefts. If you are unsure of your skill then you could visit Margaret Parker’s workshop in Files, Workshop Notes, 2002, 02-10 Tapestry Weaving for a refresher.

Tapestries are normally woven flat, with great care to keep the surface even and avoid buckling or distortion, and are then displayed flat as wall hangings or mounted as pictures. However, it doesn’t have to be like that. Tapestries can be woven with raised, textured or uneven surfaces. They can be made to be deliberately wavy or buckled. They can be freestanding objects. This workshop will begin with a brief survey of 3D methods in use. Then we will focus on four methods: weaving on a 3D support; leaving open warps to be pulled up later; adding layers; making twists.


with Jeanine Schlauch

Nalbinding is a fascinating textile technique that predates Knitting and Crochet by thousands of years. It has been used by people all over the world to make everything from hats, gloves, scarves and bags to sweaters, jumpers and even dresses. It involves looping yarn via a Nal (needle) around through itself, creating a knotted fabric that (with only a couple of exceptions) will not unravel.

Like all skills, some people will pick it up quickly, others might take a while. I crocheted for 40 years before finding this technique, so it took me a bit of time to get the hang of it. However (again like most skills), with continued practice and lots of test bits and pieces all over the house, I am able to create some lovely and functional items – and I know you will too.


Subtle shades from acid dyes
with Sonya Hammond

Acid dyes tend to have a reputation for creating bright and bold colours. While occasionally there can be a need for fluorescent yellows or in-your-face scarlets, as dyers we are often looking for a bit less stridency in our colours. In this workshop we will explore the different routes to obtaining subtle shades and blends with acid dyes. We will be working with a combination of protein fibres and yarns to investigate how the application of dyes at different stages of fibre preparation affects the final results. Also how the choice of dye mixes themselves will have an impact. Additionally, we will consider the use of the colour wheel in guiding our blends and helping us to match pre-existing colours. Each week we will build on the results of our previous dye batches to create a broad portfolio of techniques to enable you to branch out and experiment further. No previous experience with acid dyeing is required to participate in this workshop, as all materials and methods will be fully described, but if you are already a more experienced acid dyer, hopefully you will find some new and interesting approaches here as well.


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.


Production work: weaving and dyeing

a talk with Teresa Ruch

I am going to talk on production fiber work. Production work varies with the environment around you. I live on the west coast of USA, in Portland, Oregon on the 45th parallel, in a temperate climate zone much like England. My water supply is city but from a rain shed (Bull Run/Mt Hood). Meaning not hard water with an almost neutral PH value. Why is this information important? It is because in production work your environment changes the way you work and the choices you make. This environment includes the loom you have, the space around it, the heating, cooling and humidity will affect the items you weave. This environment also includes the other commitments and care you give to others and the shared space you live in.


Foundations in spinning
with Amanda Hannaford Characteristics of different types of fleece will be discussed, and their suitability for different styles of spinning. Students will be encouraged to gain experience in both wool combing and carding. They will also be taught how to take measurements (twist and size) both during spinning and of finished yarns, so as to be able to keep good records – essential to spinning for the yarn you want to make.

Advice will also be given on what tools and fibres are required for different types of yarn, should you need to make purchases for use during the workshop. This will be in the form of an introductory file giving more details of the course content.


Exploring tunisian and broomstick crocheting
with Fiona Morris

This month’s workshop will cover two of the less well known crochet techniques, Tunisian Crochet and Broomstick Lace Crochet. In recent years there has been a lot more information published about Tunisian Crochet and the various stitches you can work using this technique including working in colour and lace stitches. Patterns include garments as well as blankets and soft furnishing. Broomstick lace can be worked as a feature with other crochet stitches or as a technique on its own.


Festive Exchange



Annual Challenge - Going Green

This year’s annual challenge title ‘Going Green’ can be understood in many ways; a straightforward consideration of colour, a link to envy, or an invitation to reflect on environmental issues. There are sure to be many more approaches and thoughts than those mentioned here. However you interpret this title, enjoy the process of translating an idea into a finished item.

At least one of our core skills should be used. The deadline for submission is 30th September 2021. All submissions completed by this date will be included in a dedicated eBook. Late submissions can be added to the 2021 Annual Challenge photo album.

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