Tale of the Gansey

Another busy month.

On 15th October we were delighted to welcome Rita Taylor, local knitting designer and writer, to be our speaker.  She told us The Tale of the Gansey – working in the round; the use of Norwegian words in knitting; the Herring Girls who travelled down the coast from Shetland bringing with them their word-of-mouth, fishing-inspired patterns.

Guernsey licence to import wool early 16C.
Purl stitch invented n 16C ?
900 g Worstead to make a Guernsey genseren
Norwegian words used in knitting
Patterns not written down, word of mouth.
Herring girls – Shetland to Sheringham
Stitch patterns not
Sheringham 13 sets and 19 rows to one inch – very fine needles 17s
Not true that a port had its own pattern
Sheringham famous for ganseys

So much knowledge . . . wonderful stories . . . all generously shared and explained using perfect, tiny samples.




22nd October saw us back in Aylsham Parish Church and this time joined by friends from Slow Food, the Country Market and the Heritage Centre.

Apple and Fleece Day flier or poster Aug16

Apple & Fleece Day enabled us to celebrate the harvest season, and bring our love of woolly crafts to children and adults alike.  

Not surprisingly, tea and cake loomed large at both events !

Worstead Weavers Weekend Success!

Our ‘Worstead Weavers Weekend’ was a great success with a fantastic number of visitors and a whole bunch of lovely new members signed up. We were featured in the Eastern Daily Press newspaper and you can see our write up online here.


The Worstead Weavers Weekend was all about just ‘having a go’ and making new friends.  We succeeded in both of these having received more visitors than we expected, which was wonderful and we now have several new members.

Visitors were able to try out a wide range of weaving looms and spinning wheels for free and Guild members volunteered to be on hand to give advice and demonstrations.

We had visitors of all ages willing to have a go.  Our youngest visitor (4 yrs old) was able to treadle a spinning wheel all by herself and plied some yarn with help from her auntie and our member Sharon.


Here she is with her ball of yarn and a prize for matching the fibres to the animals and plants- clever girl 🙂


These two industrious visitors were determined to weave, and weave they did! They made incredible progress and are shown here with their first pieces.

girls trying out weaving with Ellie J

It was great fun to meet so many enthusiastic people and to be able to share our knowledge.  A big thank you to all our visitors for your interest and another big thank you to all our member volunteers who made it such a success.

North Walsham Infants demonstrate their creativity and skills

We love going out to visit schools.  It is always a pleasure to meet local children and give them a chance to share in our enthusiasm for our heritage crafts. Our member volunteers Sandra and Tim Martins, Sharon Fisher, Margaret Brooker, Margaret Gilham and Ellie Jones spent three afternoons with the North Walsham Infants.  What a lovely bunch of children!  They were all so very polite and willing to have a go at all the activities.  Some were very industrious to say the least!

The children learned all about how to prepare wool for spinning and how introducing twist into fibre gives yarn its strength.  The children could see first hand how a spinning wheel worked and had a go at plying yarn to make bigger stronger yarns.  There were godseyes, finger sticks, peglooms, tapestry looms and more advanced looms available for experimentation.  The children achieved a great deal between them and produced several wonderful pieces to keep.

We were so very impressed by the children’s creativity and skills – well done to them all 🙂

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