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Winter Wool Fair 2017

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by Gary Brown (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer and photographer from Sydney who has now had five books published on fishing. I also write for the Fishing Monthly Group and Australian Fishing Network. I also like to travel and experience new things to do.
Event: -
You will be so amazed at what has been created
Weave-It Loom, Tapestry Frame, Ashford Traditional Spinning Wheel, Lazy Kate, Drop Spindle, Bobbin, Calico strips and Weave-It Needle are all names that are associated with different types of equipment that the members of the Sutherland Shire Spinners and Weavers use to create an amazing variety of fibre craft/artworks, including woollen, silk, cotton, alpaca, soya, bamboo, cashmere and mohair creations, to name a few!

Winter Wool Fair 2017 is one Fair that should not be missed.

The Two-Day Winter Wool Fair is an annual event and it will commence at 9.30am on Friday the 2nd of June and carry through until 4.30pm on Saturday the 3rd of June. This event is an opportunity for the members to highlight their creative skills on articles that they have produced for sale.

Like me you too will be amazed at what has been created by the Sutherland Shire Spinners and Weavers members. Image courtesy of Iris Horoch.

On offer for sale will be a range of handmade articles including wearables of all sorts for adults and children, soft toys and other items. Artisan yarns spun and dyed by the members, as well as commercial yarns and other supplies, including books, relating to the arts of hand spinning, weaving, felting, knitting, crochet.

While you are there you may like to purchase a few tickets in the raffle to win a great prize. All proceeds from the raffle this year will go to Amelie House, a women's refuge in Sutherland Shire.

You will also be able to witness first-hand the skills of the members as they spin and weave their way to fantastic creations. While there you will be able to chat with the members and learn more about what they do.

Spinning for 52 hours to produce enough wool to produce a jumper just blew me away. Image by Gary Brown.

Once the fleece is washed, dried, bushed, combed, dyed and spun. It then has to be knitted into the final product. Image by Gary Brown.

Entry to this event is free and it will be held at the Sutherland Uniting Church Hall in Flora Street (directly opposite Merton Street), Sutherland. It is just a short walk from Sutherland Rail Station and the venue has wheelchair access.

What's even better is that they are located next to the Shire Farmers Market so you can come say hello to them at the Winter Wool Fair, either before or after purchasing your fresh produce.

Another thing that the Sutherland Shire Spinners and Weavers is renowned for is their scones, slices and light lunches, which are available on both Friday and Saturday.

Throughout the year the Sutherland Shire Spinner and Weavers hold their monthly meeting at the Como School of Arts on a Tuesday between 10am and 2pm and you are welcome to come along and see what they are up to.

While at their latest meeting I was introduced to some of the members who spun, knitted and weaved. Image by Gary Brown

I decided to pay a visit to the Sutherland Shire Spinners and Weavers meeting last Tuesday to see what the ladies get up to. When I arrived I was great by Iris Horoch who introduced me to around 25 of the members who had turned up for a day of spinning and weaving.

An example of a well kept manual spinning wheel. Image by Gary Brown.

Some members prefer to use electric spinning wheels. Image by Gary Brown.

While there I was amazed at not only the fantastic work that these ladies were working on, but the young age of some of them. There were many in their eighties and some in their nineties.

I was also amazed that it takes around 8 hours to spin up about 230 grams of wool. That means to produce enough wool (1.5 kilos) to knit a jumper it takes about 52 hours. This is after they have brought the fleece, washed and combed it, and pulled it apart ready to spin. Then once this is all done they have to sit down and knit the jumper. I am just tired thinking about it.

Not only were the members there spinning and weaving, there were also a number of them giving one to one tutorials on how to weave.

Extremely talented members share their knowledge one to one with other members. Image by Gary Brown.

I can't wait to see the end results. Image by Gary Brown.

There was also a class in another room where some of the members were learning how to make felt flowers.

Members volunteer their time to teach others their great skills. Image by Gary Brown.

The Felting class was in full swing when I got there. Image by Gary Brown.

Members creating their own masterpieces. Image by Gary Brown.

Surfing through the Sutherland Shire Spinners and Weavers website you will be able to view some of the exhibitions that they have held over the past 18 years and I couldn't believe that they have a library of 359 books on offer for members to build up their skills on everything from colour dyeing, feltwork, knitting, crochet, embroidery, needlepoint and much more.

Catch up on some reading in the Wheel magazine. Image by Gary Brown

Maybe it is something that you have always wanted to do. If so, ask about becoming a member of one of the oldest established associations in the Sutherland Shire; their first formal meeting was in 1971. They are a diverse and friendly group of creative people from many walks of life, who have one thing in common - the love of fibre.

This tapestry is hanging in my mother-in-law's house. Image by Gary Brown.

They are also involved in many other festivals and events where you can go and see/buy their beautiful work. For more information click on the following link to find out where and what they are up to. Calendar.

This Two Day Winter Wool Fair is an annual event sponsored by Sutherland Shire Council and it's one that you should put on your to do list.
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Why? Buy yourself or someone an amazing creation from the Sutherland Shire Spinners and Weavers.
When: 9.30am to 4.30pm each day.
Where: Sutherland Uniting Church Hall in Flora Street (directly opposite Merton Street), Sutherland.
Cost: Free to enter.
Your Comment
Lovely article :)
by Romy Page (score: 2|308) 308 days ago
Thanks Gary for the great images of Sutherland Shire Spinners and Weavers working their fingers to the bone. Lynne
by lynne (score: 0|2) 308 days ago
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