April DSA Meeting Report by Joan Hinds

Talk by Carmarthenshire Spinners and weavers Association

A very humorous and interesting talk was given by Sheila and Ann from the Carmarthenshire Spinners and Weavers Association. Between them they gave demonstrations on their spinning wheels and weaving looms that were incidentally, made in New Zealand. There is only one manufacturer of spinning wheels left in Britain but they are the old traditional style which are really too cumbersome to lug around the shows.


Sheila said she started with a few in- lamb ewes and asked a neighbour what she had to do next, “Feed them cake”. Her reply was that she had some Fruit Cake- would that do!! Then she wanted to know what to do with the wool, and as she hadn’t a very high opinion of the Wool Board, spinning was the next option.


What do you do when it’s spun? Weave it or knit it. Over the years when Sheila saw sheep of varying colours that she liked, she bought a few. Sheila now has 3 looms and a couple of spinning wheels, and a lot of stored wool. Interesting to note she doesn’t get a moth problem although the fleeces are only washed but not treated with anything. She stores the wool in pillow slips.


Some beautiful garments were on show and for sale, as well as bags and shawls. Sometimes a mix of fibres is used and although dog fur makes a nice weave, it isn’t used because the smell of wet dog never goes away! Sheila belongs to the Guild of Spinners and Weavers and they go to many shows in Britain, Ireland and France. Most of the time we were all in fits of laughter because of the way Sheila told the stories…

all in all a great evening.