#274 Summer 2020

Jenny Dean is a well-known natural dyer and this issue includes an in-depth interview with her. Jenny has built up a wealth of experience which she has shared through her books and teaching. For a completely different approach, why not experiment with Ice Dyeing? Other features include a report on a Rare Breeds Survival Trust project examining the financial viability of several breeds of ‘primitive’ sheep, with the fleeces being carefully assessed by a handspinner. In the first in a series of Technical Notes, Sonya Hammond looks at twist and explains why it is a useful measure of the yarn you make. Carolyn Griffiths wanted to explore Saori weaving and arranged a workshop; she reports on the creativity of freestyle weaving. Very different, Dinah Clements explains how she extends the abilities of the rigid heddle loom. The From Sheep to Sugar project throws light on to a little-known aspect of history. Few would have imagined there was a direct link between impoverished rural spinners and handweavers in eighteenth century mid-Wales and the Atlantic slave trade.

As I write, we are all experiencing a completely different way of living. I am so grateful that I have spinning, weaving and dyeing as an integral part of my life and to be part of a great creative community. While all the usual highpoints, such as wool festivals and exhibitions, have had to be cancelled various online activities are springing up to keep people connected and involved. I am sure we wish the the event organisers and traders well and hope they will be there when things do eventually return to normal. But at least for now, the stash is fully justified.

Thanks to all the Journal Editorial Committee who have continued to maintain our usual high standards. We have decided to suspend the Diary until such time as there is greater clarity about what events are happening; it will be back as soon as possible.

Hilary Miller, Chair, Journal Editorial Committee


An Interview with Jenny DeanCarolyn Griffiths7
Technical Notes: The Technicalities of TwistSonya Hammond12
Exploring Primitive Breeds pdfJudith Edwards and Alice Underwood13
From Sheep to Sugar – Wales and the Slave TradeLiz Millman and Prof Chris Evans17
A Personal Introduction to Saori WeavingCarolyn Griffiths20
Exploring Ice DyeingSarah Perkins24
Three-Shaft Weaving on a Rigid Heddle LoomDinah Clements28