Exciting news from @HLFsoutheast

We have been successful with our funding bid to produce an audio trail for #RomneyMarsh BIG THANK YOU!

We will be bringing updates via our blog and website very soon….

We are hoping that you will show your support by providing us with feedback on our previous events and activities

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We look forward to hearing from you

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Wool to dye for….

We are developing ideas for our workshop and students are beginning to create their own designs

Melanie has shared her needle felting technique using pastry cutters, she has come up with a whole range of objects and animals which she plans to turn into a mobile for her granddaughter

She has also used the technique to add motifs to her wool vessel that she made during our wet felt session last week

These ideas have inspired us to start planning to collect and forage for berries and material to use as natural dyes.

What we have in mind: onion skins, pomegranates. We are also preparing for the elderberry season…..

We talked about natural methods for keeping moths away from our wool supplies, apparently rue is a good insect repellant & a pretty herb to grow, that we need to be chatting to sheep farmers for any fleeces that might be spare, keeping an eye on hedges for wool supplies and weaving materials

Washing the fleece, it is a reasonably quick process as the dirt comes away in the first soaking. A milky tea liquid is the result of one dipping, then hanging to dry in 2stages. The timing for this is really badly judged as we seem to have gone into a rainy season whereas last week this could have dried in one day…

Ah well, back to the dyeing process to speed things up……this fleece will be mordanted and then dyed with pomegranates over the weekend….results to follow

Our group meets once a week at Lydd church, we like to reflect on our ancestors as we are surrounded by evidence of times gone by….I like this about churchyards and this week I stumbled upon a memorial I hadn’t noticed before….

These are stones that are typical of marsh churchyards , good to reflect on how hard life is and was….and important to take time out to think of those who hAve suffered loss recently

Willow stars and year 5

This week we had the exciting opportunity to work with 32 primary school children in #Lydd

We arrived with a bundle of soaked willow, a plant version and some examples of what we were planning to make….

As you can see some children really explored the concept and ended up making house, angel and sword shapes…

Great day which ended with a trip to #Dungeness to see the newly flowering #seakale…..

Spinning and spinning and spinning around….

Another great day sharing skills and exploring ideas….

Learning how to make 3 ply, what is a skein? And how to use a niddy noddy, I kid you not…….A niddynoddy (plural niddy-noddies) is a tool used to make skeins from yarn. It consists of a central bar, with crossbars at each end, offset from each other by 90°. … Wood is traditional, and most quality niddy-noddies are still made of wood

This is a traditional niddy noddy and here we all are working away in the ‘cathedral’ of the marsh………

It has been a beautiful day with glorious views of Lydd and Dungeness…

Here are a few favourites….

Spinning #wool, carding and learning new #skills

Thanks to Jean & Val we had the chance to try out a spinning wheel or 2 or 3, we also had the chance to try hand carding and machine carding. For those of us new to the subject, carding is a way of bringing the wool fibres into line, creating rolls of wool that can then be spun.

this is called a staple, the length of the hair basically. Good to know that Romney Marsh wool has a long staple and so is very easy to processThis is Val demonstrating hand carding

This is machine carding and speeds up the process

We were really impressed with how much equipment Val and Jean brought along to our session. It was a great treat, we tend to be quite low tech in our classes. I have to say we did spend some time thinking about our ancestors and the development of these tools and techniques. What an amazing industry and certainly we decided cottage industry probably mainly women and children producing spun wool.

We all had the opportunity to have a go and some of us were very adept , especially the spinning . The combination of pedalling with one foot and feeding the wool into the wheel with both hands is quite a skill and one to be practised. Like riding a bike , in time it could be a very relaxing and useful technique. We were all enthused enough to think about how and where we could keep a spinning wheel. Jean and Val’s are a very portable size, food for thought…..We have invited them back next week to have another go…the story continues…