Promoting Spinning, Weaving, Dyeing and Allied crafts

We have had a really busy year this year – so much has gone on and we haven’t had time to talk about it until now.  So here’s a whistle stop tour of the year – with a few photos.

We started off by going back to basics so as to better understand our fibres and how to prepare them – culminating with a visit from and to  Griffiths’ Mill – what a pleasure that was.

We decided to focus on braidning in July –

Braiding Session

Quickly followed by our Dyeing day.  It must have been one of the hottest days of summer – and yes you guessed it – we were literally cooking – both fibre and ourselves

Dyeing Day

Our ‘introduction to weaving’ night got a few more members hooked and we’ve had some beautiful results from the felting day.

All of this meant that we had some wonderful items to display on Spin in Public day and at the other events we attended – here’s a flavour


Thank you for reading this far – hope you’ve enjoyed this little tour of 2014

We’re going to be looking at how you can make the most of the fibres you come into contact with.

First we’ll loook at how you can start with fibres that can be recycled , then how to do it and finally – we all have a bit extra in our stash (go on you know you have more than you’ll ever be able to do something with !) so why not pass it on to someone else and get to see the results!

Cash free fun – go on, you know you’ll love it!  Come along to our meeting on the 28th May!


YarnGathering invites all Local Crafters to a ‘CrafterDay’ or ‘CrafterNoon’ or ‘CrafterHour’ at Stone Station in Stone, Staffordshire.
DATE :- June 1st 2013
TIME :- 10.30 – 15.30
WHY :- Just thought it would be good for all us crafty folk to have a meet and natter, to put names to Ravelry members we see online. To share our knowledge and skills and admire projects and generally have a fun time. Oh, and of course eat cake :)
COST :- Adult £3 Child £1

There will be no commercial aspect to the day.

There will be a CHINESE – AUCTION see for how-it-works details. So bring along your unwanted craft items.  Proceeds will go to p/hop.

A most deserving and appropriate charity for all us crafters.

There will be drinks and cake and cookies and you are very welcome to bring along your lunch if you want to make a day of it.
Children are welcome.

It would be wonderful to have broad range of crafts there so please anyone who is a spinner, weaver come along if you can. No electrical equipment is allowed without a current PAT Certificate.

Stone Station is a wonderful community centre, very easy to get to with one level accessibility and excellent parking.

Road access is off Jct 14 of the M6. Postcode is ST15 8ER.

We had the good fortune to be asked to participate at the Woodland & Country Craft show at Stafford Castle on 12th May. We had quite a few visitors to our tent despite the weather (it was a tad cold but at least the rain held off for most of the day).  Hope you had chance to pop by – the photos show a few rare, quiet moments :-)

Stafford Castle 12 May

April 2013 – Update

We had a great night – here’s a quick look at what we did

23 April 2013

April 23rd sees us having a go at stick weaving – a very effective and quick way to introduce weaving concepts (great for kids too) and weaving on a peg loom.  Chris will take us through the basics for stick weaving and Carol has volunteered to show us how to warp up your peg loom and also how to make a quick scarf

We will be playing host to Laura and Linda of Brampton Valley Alpacas on Saturday 16th March 2013 from 1pm to 5pm, at Hyde Lea Village Hall.  They plan to tell us all about alpacas and their fibres.  We’ll also have a chance to learn more about spinning alpace fibre, and if time allows, how to needle felt.

Places are limited so please contact us to check if there is space before coming along – there will be a charge of £10 for non-members (includes refreshments, access to equipment and fibre samples).

A wonderful evening was had by all those who attended.  Just check out these photos

Feb 16a

Feb 16b

February 2013

Dora will be taking us through the basics of long draw spinning.  She’s bringing along a couple of her wheels, including her great wheel, and has promised to let you have a go.

Long draw spinning is a really useful technique to learn – it’s the best way of spinning very short fibres (such as cotton) and makes a lovely, soft, fluffy and warm yarn with wool – very good for snuggly sweaters.

Hope to see you on Tuesday 26th at 7:30pm

January 2013

Welcome to 2013 – hope you had a great festive break

Our first meeting of the year will be on 29th January (postponed a week due to the snow)
It’s to be a skill share night with an option to get advice on how to overhaul/maintain your spinning equipment if you have any
We’ll also be explaining our programme for 2013 – for more details click here or on the link at the top right of the screen

Do hope you can come along


The snow cleared, the hall was warm so we were finally able to meet.  We shared in a wonderful moment when a ‘newborn’ joined our ranks – an Ashford Traveller that had sat in it’s box for 30 years finally began it’s journey into being a fully functional wheel – hooray!! We can’t wait to see it in it’s full glory!

Do hope it’s finished in time for it’s owner to learn long draw spinning in February :-)

November 2012

You are cordially invited to our Open Evening

Open Evening 2012 Advert

October 2012 AGM

This is our Annual General Meeting night – sounds very officious but you do have to remember that we’ll have spinning wheels going round, knitiing needles clicking and lots of other crafty things going on whilst we decide what we are going to do next year.  It’s a very informal formal night (if that makes sense :-) )

We’ll ask you about what we’ve done so far this year – what you liked, disliked, want to do again and then for any ideas for next year.  This is your chance to get your favourite topic into our programme so please come prepared. And of course we’ll be asking for volunteers to help with organising what we do.

Look forward to seeing you

September Update

We had two events this month:-

Our evening session was all about how making a good start and end to your knitting will make your projects more successful. Many of us hadn’t realised that there was more than one way to cast on or to cast off your stitches. We learnt about the different methods and when to use them – hopefully none of us will suffer from too tight necks on our sweaters from now on!  We also had a go at invisible seaming – it was ladder stitch all the way

Our wet felting day had us all exhausted, soaked but in good spirits by the end of it.  Not everything worked – it seems alpaca fibre needs to be treated in a certain way to make it felt.  We’re waiting with bated breath to see the completed bags and needle cases – they do take a few days to dry out

August Update

This month our skill share night was held with a back drop of photos from the Association  of Weaver’s Spinners and Dyers exhibition. We were thrilled to be able to send 5 rings to the unselected section of the exhibition – photos will follow ….

July Update

This month we learnt how to do triangle weaving on looms carefully made by one of our members – we had great fun getting our fingers and wool in a jumble.  It inspired one of our members to go away and make her first shawl using her handspun yarn.

Our skill share night was used to review our colour blending techniques and to prepare some fibres.  Our newer members were continuing to improve their drop spindling skills

On the 10th June we celebrated 25 years of Stafford Knot Spinners meeting as a group with a party for more than 70 people.  We had a wonderful band, fantastic food and brilliant company – and the sun shone.  Everyone attending was challenged to wear a handmade/hand decorated hat and the highlight of the day was the ‘hat parade’

A massive THANK YOU goes out to everyone who helped to make the day such a big success

We had an impromptu demonstration on how to us a drum carder and how to blend colours on it.  It’s a great piece of equipment for preparing large batches of fibre.

This year we had the chance to be part of the Adult Community Learning Fund exhibition in the foyer of the new Stafford Council Buildings. Some of our work was on show for the week.  We also attended to the opening ceremony in true spinners’ style, with our wheels and drop spindles. Everyone had a great time – there were so many different skills on show – from singing, to lace making, to belly dancing and many others.

April News

We’ve made a change to our programme – our April evening session (24th) will be spent looking at modular knitting (the triangle weaving session will now be done in July).  So please bring knitting needles and some coloured yarns (the brighter the better)  – we will make sure that there’s lots of different ideas for you to try out!

Also – do remember our beginner’s spinning day on 21st April.  We plan to start just after 10 and aim to finish by 4 pm and in-between we will cover the basics of hand spinning – from how to obtain and prepare fibres, to spinning and plying them into a yarn that is usable for a given project.  We’ll also take a quick look at the different types of tools and fibres that are available today.  Don’t worry if you are not a beginner, we would love you to come along – the day is open to everyone and there’s always something new to learn!

Looking forward to seeing you soon

March Update

Our March evening was truly fascinating and inspiring one.  Ruth Winterbottom came along to share her experience of studying for the Certificate of Achievement in Spinning from the Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers.  She was awarded the certificate in 2011 – and truly deserved it

She gave us an entertaining and detailed insight into the time, effort, energy, will power and perseverance that is required to succeed in obtaining the certificate.

She talked us through the two main phases of the certificate, technical skills (50%) and design skills (50%), using her wonderful samples, detailed documentation of her working methods and her final show piece.  A really inspiring evening

Until next time

We had a wonderful time creating various little creatures, pictures and objets d’art under the watchful eye of Rachel, our instructor for the evening. Some beautiful new objects were created out of ‘thin air’,  well,  fleece and felt using only the power of our imaginations, some fantastic guidance and a lot of stabbing with a sharp needle.  Check out the photos below for the results of our efforts

Well done to everyone who took part

A bit too early for spring cleaning?  No – we’re always ready to encourage spring to arrive more quickly – who knows, maybe sprucing up our wheels helps the winter to realise that its past it’s best and that it’s now time for the warmer weather to have a chance (okay, okay – it was worth a dream for a moment).

Those of us who did the wheel maintenance now have wonderfully clean and smooth running machines – yay! and we had chance to catch up and prepare for the year ahead.

Welcome to 2012

Happy 2012 to you!

Where did the time go – Christmas has been and gone in the blink of an eye! Now we’re looking forward to our own Jubilee year, yes – the Stafford Knot Spinners are 25 years old and we plan to celibrate in style this summer.

Our 2012 programme is here.    We hope you find something of interest – note that the entries in bold are our meetings, the other entries are for events that we plan to be involved with in some shape or form.

Enough for now – don’t hesitate  to contact us if you have any questions


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