#288 Winter 2023

Why do you spin, weave or dye or have an interest in these craft skills? In her history of weaving and wellbeing on p.16, occupational therapist Lesley Lougher provides five ideas as to what it is that these skills can provide, not just in the context of occupational therapy but for all of us who enjoy them. We expect you will be able to relate to one or many of Lesley’s suggestions.

Foraging is often thought of as being TV restaurateurs going out with a guide to find unfeasibly small amounts of foodstuffs in the context of catering for dozens of people; their exploits often followed by a beach barbecue or other al fresco method of consumption. But experienced natural dyers Deb Bamford, Jane Deane, Susan Dye & Ashley Walker and Isabella Whitworth point out on p.8, that natural dyers forage for many of their materials. Consequently, they need to consider best practice in their gathering. But there are more questions than answers and their six conclusions open the way for more research.

Indigo, modern sheep breeds, universal tie-ups for floor looms, the history of the merino sheep, tartan, dyeing with coffee grounds and safflowers are amongst the many and varied topics included in the wide range of articles by this quarter’s contributors. Whilst the nights are long and outdoor activities like gardening can be put on hold, we hope that you will find something here to inspire you for a winter of weaving, spinning and dyeing and give hope for what the new year will bring.

One thing to look forward to in Spring 2024 will be our next special issue, dedicated to the subject of sustainability within our crafts. It promises to inspire, interest and explore a variety of ways in which we can make our work more sustainable and kinder to the planet.

Lesley Fidler and Sue McDaid (who are temporarily sharing the JEC Chair’s role)



Third EWA Study Tour to Finland May 2023Gillian Thomas3
Foraging for ColourDeb Bamford, Jane Deane, Susan Dye & Ashley Walker4
Spanish Sheep Breeds — Part 1 pdfTeresa Cabellos14
Weaving and WellbeingLesley Lougher15
Understanding Weaving Drafts — Part 3Stacey Harvey-Brown24