I had a timely reminder of the lovely Wool n Stuff community group when I received a friend request for the group’s Facebook page .
The initial impetus to set up Wool ‘n’ Stuff had been to explore wool crafts in the ambient surroundings of Kendal Museum. When we gathered for the first time in the autumn of 2006 to the strains of ancient Viking music (I couldn’t help myself…) in the midst of medieval and Roman artefacts little did we realise that we would be celebrating the woolly textiles that are our Cumbrian heritage for many years to come. But as they say in these parts ‘Pannus Mihi Panis’, wool is our bread.
While based at Kendal Museum each activity was run by a Wool ‘n’ Stuff member and between us we covered tablet weaving, drop spinning, knitting, and prodded rag-rugging.
Following a reduction in staff and hours at the museum we had to find a new home which we did thanks to the kind folk at Kendal Library where we resided for a couple of sessions – looking at different fleeces and holding a quiz about our woolly friends (the four-legged varieties).
(Un)fortunately we were a mucky lot and sought out a new venue – the YWCA – where we could branch out into the messier crafts of natural dying, felting, and tye dye. We also held sessions on easy-weaving, tubular tablet weaving, hooked rag rugging, spinning wheels and crochet.
When building work meant another move we found ourselves in the marvellously grand surroundings of Kendal Town Hall until we were finally ensconced in the Art Room of Castle Street Community Centre where we worked on individual projects and group activities,
and held small sales of our own-made goodies (very popular at Christmas):
Time passed people’s lives changed and while there had been few woolly groups about when we began many more local ‘knit and natters’ had sprung up around us. It was great to see such a revival of interest in wool crafts and homespun community activity but as the need for a group like Wool n Stuff receded the small core of people that kept it running felt it was time to wrap Wool n Stuff up.
Sadly not long after the last session one of our key members Linda was suddenly taken from us. Yet even now she has left us a happy little legacy which I had almost forgotten about in the tumult that followed her short illness. Together with her son MF, much tea and hilarity we had created a Facebook Group for Wool n Stuff. Now as we look forward to celebrating Linda’s huge contribution to community and woolly activity during Mintfest might be the time to revive it.
Each Wool n Stuff session was full of support and friendship, rich with laughter and probably more biscuits than were good for us. It might be difficult to supply virtual biscuits but….
…being reminded of our Facebook Group by our newest member made me wonder if Wool n Stuff could be re-invigorated virtually. Perhaps it can be a home for us crafty types to share what we are working on, come to for help with tricky bits, gain solace for disappointments and congratulations for the things we are proudest of. Anyway crafters its our little bit of the universe to use …. enjoy.
Until next we meet. Moke xx
PS I hope the links work. If you have any problems try typing out the address afresh in your web browser. Mx
PPS Apologies to non-Facebookers. Mxx