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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

From Fleece to Garment

We attended our Probus Club meeting yesterday and the speaker was Allison from the Levin Spinners and Weavers Guild.  Allison told the meeting that she started spinning in the early 1970s.   Living as they did on a life style block, she was startled to discover one of the sheep on their property was born with a partially coloured fleece.  Great for spinning, she was told, so she offered the fleece to a spinner she knew.  The spinner then offered to teach Allison how to spin her own fleece, and that is how her love affair with all things wool started. 

P5050011 Allison with some of her creations

Later on she tried her hand at felting, and with adding extra threads and fibres, it was just like painting with wool, she commented.  Allison passed around several lovely examples of her felted items, from scarves, handbags and jackets. 


P5050015 Two felted handbags

The lovely subtle shades of this hand spun, hand woven sleeveless jacket work so well together.  And being a master craftsperson, all the items are beautifully finished inside.  Allison commented that she finds it such fun to work with a fleece right through to a finished garment – so satisfying, I imagine.

P5050017Asymmetrical sleeveless jacket

Youngsters weren’t forgotten either, as we saw several pairs of cosy woollen knitted booties with hand felted soles.

P5050018 Shades of purple - felted scarf and baby booties

Allison also buys plain white silk scarves and changes the colour to autumn tones using rusty nails and onion skins!  I’ve never heard of that before! 

P5050014Silk scarves

It was great to see how she starts right at the beginning with using her own fleeces, spinning, weaving, knitting, felting, cutting out patterns and finally stitching her silk lined garments.   It was a very interesting talk of how Allison  creates such unique and individual  works of art. 

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