We were invited to join in with this fascinating project (see previous post for more information to provide half term heritage activities for the volunteers who come each week to weed the flax field.
This was the plan we started with, which began on Monday with a spinning workshop. The weather was absolutely perfect and we enjoyed spending the day spinning, some learning to spin, some returning to it. The plan was that the yarn that we spun would be dyed by Justine from the Wild Dyery using natural dyes and then woven into the banner that would be the entrance to the flax field.
It was such a special week. For us, we know the benefit of these crafts on people's wellbeing, we see each time we take a workshop that people fall in love with the craft or connect with it. At Blackburn that happened again, there were people of all ages and backgrounds who were able to share their experiences, their family's history of weaving. Some people had never spun or woven before and to hear the words 'this is just so exciting' and to know two of the volunteers have gone on to find spinning wheels is fabulous.
We each took a section of the workshops, I led the spinning, Jessamy the rigid heddle weaving and Sofia the frame loom letters.
The woven banner consisted of six lengths of woven fabric and 18 handwoven letters sewn together for the completed piece. This was unveiled on a chilly summers day and covered by BBC Look North West and Radio Lancashire.
The banner will be displayed for the fortnight Textile Biennial in October in Blackburn. We will give more information nearer the time about where exactly it can be seen