2017 Programme

To see the 2018 programme please see here

 

January

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

Febuary

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.

March

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.

March/April

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.

May

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.

June/July

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!

July

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.

September

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.’

September/October

 

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.

November

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

December

Festive Greeting

 
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2018 Programme

January

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 size pieces, so let's all make a date to meet at the beginning of January and start those baby steps.

Febuary

Embroidery to the rescue
with Giuliana Bond

This is a 4-week workshop in which we look at embroidery in a slightly different way.

We will take a glance at history and how embroidery was used, where it was used and what materials were used.

We will look at embroidery threads and yarns and at fabrics suitable for embroidery; what is traditional and what we can include of the more modern fabrics.

Next, we will look at embroidery stitches and develop our own small “sampler” of stitches that we might want to keep and use as our own reference “library” Finally, we will look at how embroidery can enhance, our weaving, knitting and crochet work and even “rescue” damaged items or some which have minor mistakes, even such mistakes as skips and double throws in weaving

March

Speaker

This is a 2 week activity.

This event is still in the planning stages, so details will be released once they are confirmed.

March/April

Dyeing for effect
with Elizabeth Chin, Kate Horner & Ulrike Bogden

This is a 6 week workshop

Katazome with Ulrike Bogdan

Katazome is the traditional resist dye technique from Japan. It uses a rice flour paste called Nori, which is applied on fabric either through a cut stencil or freehand with a kind of pastry tube. After drying the fabric is either dip dyed in indigo or painted with fibre reactive dyes or silk dyes.

Since the traditional tools are very expensive to get outside of Japan, we will make our own tools with contemporary materials. Katazome is a fabric dye technique especially well-suited for linen, cotton or hemp fabrics but can be used on silk as well. In the first week we will learn how to make the stencils. And in the second week we will learn how to make and use the rice paste.

Mud Resist with Elizabeth Chin

Using mud as a resist is a very ancient way of resisting colour on cloth in Mali. We cannot replicate the conditions there but by following the steps involved and using the materials we have to hand we can learn about these ancient techniques and traditions. We will attempt to use tannins and mud from our own environment but if you are not able to source these from your surroundings you may use purchased materials (see file Collecting Mud and Tannins).

The first week will be spent preparing our fabric, tannins and mud before learning how to apply the designs in the traditional manner. We may also apply the mud in a more contemporary fashion before also dyeing the cloth.

Batik with Kate Horner

Batik uses wax as a resist. Traditionally this was molten wax, but George Weil sells a product called "cold liquid batik wax" that is an excellent product. This works with a range of tools you will have around the house, and on a range of fabrics. Do not confuse this with cheaper paper batik waxes that will not work on fabric.

In the first week we will explore a range of tools and marks we can make with the wax, and then apply the dye to reveal the pattern. In the second week we can build up a picture using layers of dyes and marks. I will use fibre reactive dyes, but you could use silk paints or dip in an indigo vat. It will be a home studio introduction to working with a traditional technique with a contemporary twist.

May

Complex shapes in woven tapestry
with Matty Smith

Very often, in woven tapestry, we are wanting to weave quite complex shapes – figures, faces or objects. Because of their complexity in colour, line and form, these shapes present real challenges to the weaver.

This workshop will focus on the weaving of faces – either human or animal. We will look at how to tapestry weave complex shapes. We will consider the overall design of the tapestry. We will look at how to decide what warp sett to put in place to capture the various elements that make up faces. We will learn about the role of the cartoon in guiding the weaving and at other tools and techniques available to the weaver, that can ensure a successful outcome.

June/July

Preparing and spinning plant fibres: cotton and flax
with Carol Leonard and Andrew Johnson

To open this workshop, Carol will guide participants through spinning cotton.

After reviewing the forms in which cotton comes, our first cotton spinning in the workshop will be done on small spindles before trying wheel spinning, giving a quick look at charkas on the way. We will make punis and spin from them, and then spin sliver. We will have a look at coloured cottons, spinning from a seed and last, but not least, finishing cotton yarns. Most importantly, Carol hopes to debunk the notion that cotton is difficult to spin, but rather is a fun and fascinating fibre to work with.

Andrew will open his portion of the workshop by examining the forms in which we receive flax and other long fibres.

Subsequent topics will include preparing flax, spinning from a cone- shaped distaff, spinning from a truncheon style distaff, spinning from a towel, and spinning tow. Blending, wet and dry spinning, plying, and finishing will all be covered as will the sizing of linen for weaving, and washing, beetling and cold pressing linen fabrics.

This promises to be a busy and exciting six week event.

July

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.

September

What inspires contemporary weavers
with Stacey Harvey-Brown

This is a 2 week activity

Weaving may be an ancient craft, but contemporary weavers are anything but ancient in their approach to the medium!

In this two-week presentation, I will be looking at twelve different weavers and what inspires them, from tapestry to fine silk weavers who are inspired by subjects as diverse as maths, colour, materials and nature. From the UK, Europe, America and New Zealand (I had to stop somewhere!!), we shall look at their thinking processes behind the work, whether practical items like scarves, clothing, and soft furnishings or art-forms.

With a mix of interviews, question-and-answer sessions, and commentary, you will meet familiar and not-so-familiar faces and gain an insight into the many complexities of these fascinating weavers’ brains!!

September/October

 

Shadow weave
with Jane Flanagan

6 week workshop

This workshop follows on from the Colour and Weave workshop from 2014, in so far as Shadow weave can be seen as a form of Colour and Weave.

In Shadow Weave, two contrasting yarns alternate in both the warp and weft, and this, combined with the threading, lift plan/tie up and sequence of lifts/treadling, can create a wide variety of striking three-dimensional effects. The most basic of these is Log Cabin, but there are many, many more!

The workshop will concentrate on designs for 4 shaft looms, although those with 8 shafts and above will also be encouraged to use the basic principles to create their own designs. A minimum of 4 shafts is required to fully explore and exploit the possibilities of designing with Shadow Weave.

As the weave structures are generally, though not solely, a form of plain weave or twill, the workshop will be suitable for beginner 4 shaft weavers who are confident at warping up their loom, but who are looking for a simple structure which appears much more complex than it actually is! Starting with the basics we will look at sampling, moving on to encourage more experimentation with design towards the end of the month for those who wish to do so. Other weave structures that can be used to create the shadow effect will also be looked at

November

From fleece to felt
with Jane Robinson

A very therapeutic craft which does not take up a lot of space and can easily be done in short time steps. It does take longer than you think to create the finished article but worth it. For the spinner is it a good way to use up those left over small pieces of fleece that you are not sure what to do with.

Needle felting is the process of felting/ tangling pieces of wool together using barbed needles to interlock the wool fibres. As the felting needle is moved up and down the barbs on the needles catch the scales of wool and entangle them creating the material called felt.

Two types of needle felting

Appliqué felting: attaching wool yarn, wool felt or wool roving to a flat piece of wool fabric or felt
Sculptural felting: creating a three dimensional piece of felt from wool roving or small pieces of fleece

The workshop will be developing sculptural felting techniques.

Objective :

To develop the skills of dry needle felt using fleece (or tops) to create a 3d figure (no particular form but will be giving examples of sheep/ dog/ mice)

Aims.

  1. Identify the tools and equipment required for dry needle felting
  2. Create a basic piece of needle felt
  3. Expand the skills to create a body form
  4. Make head/legs/ ears for your chosen object to add to your body form
  5. Develop the body form with ‘features’ e.g. legs, noses
  6. Finish the chosen subject
  7. Investigate other methods of creating a stable body form and further techniques of needle felting

December

Festive Greeting
with Workshop Programme Support Group

Every December, Online Guild Members celebrate not only the season and its festivities, but friendships and shared activities that have been engaged with over the previous twelve months. Using at least one of our core skills of spinning, weaving or dyeing, we create, photograph and post images of Festive Cards and/or Festive Decorations into a dedicated Festive Album for all to enjoy.

Throughout the year

Annual Challenge
A sense of place

The places we live in have a special significance for us for different reasons. This year’s challenge is to identify something about where you live as the starting point for a design or project. Look at the past, present and future of the house, town, or region in which you live and see what inspires you to spin weave or dye. Perhaps you live in or near a place of historical importance such as a building or event that took place in the past. Maybe there is something happening right now, where you live, which might fire your imagination. Or perhaps you are inspired by plans being putting in place now for the future of the place where you live. Develop your ideas into whatever format you wish as long as one of our core skills of spinning, weaving or dyeing is involved.
Deadline for submissions will be September 30th, 2018

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