The Vernal Quarter


Can you believe that it is already a quarter of the way through 2019? No, neither can I!

The Guild we have been busy…..

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January’s meeting saw us planning our up-coming Exhibition which is to take place at the World Heritage Site’s centre next to Durham Cathedral during September. Our theme is Fleece to Fibre to Fabric.

We decided a while ago to have three elements to the exhibition. Firstly to promote Durham guild as a group, including the creation of bunting with our guild name emblazoned! Secondly to spin a range of “fleecy, fluffy goodness”….sorry…. natural wool fibre from a range of British Sheep breeds producing a mini skein of wool and a knitted or woven swatch of each for display so visitors can see the process from start to finish. And lastly, to display a range of completed items created by our guild members.

To this end we found a pattern for the knitted bunting and decided that we would incorporate any font and colour combination and members signed up to knit the letters. We also chose fleecy, fluffy goodness to spin……

We had quite a range of different breed fluffiness to divide up, and it really was fun to choose. No fibre was rejected or “left till last”, rather we had to restrain ourselves not to take too much in our keenness to fulfill the brief!!

I can’t wait to see the final display. Items have been coming in already and some of the work is simply stunning!


We also put our thinking caps on as to which items we will display as completed projects – that is always a hard task for a crafter as there is so much to choose from and we are always a little reluctant to show-off our wares! But, our list grew quite quickly so now we are hoping we will have enough space to display it all!


Our February meeting included our AGM which went very smoothly! Our Chair had decided to step down after years of working so willingly for the guild, and we voted in a new Chair and Vice Chair to take our guild into the future. As our new Vice Chair said…it’s a hard act to follow, so “Thank You” for all you have done leading our little band Angela, you have been amazing! Diana and Josh will be a great team!

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Our lovely, supportive, founding-member, Ann decided to retire from the guild committee after an impressive 40 years of continuous service! What dedication! Thank you Ann, you are an inspiration to all of us.

In the afternoon we were treated to a talk by Shaun from Harcourt Rare Breeds. And it really was a treat! We also got to “acquire” more fluffy, fleecy loveliness for more spinning! Some of us managed to resist the temptation (though it was hard!) and restricted ourselves to looking and feeling and coveting and wishing…. Thanks to Shaun for a brilliant talk and display!

Saturday March the 16th was our annual Open Spinning Day. Our promotion online through social media took the word far and wide and we had lots of good wishes from other guilds and people for whom the journey would have been too much. We did have visitors though and welcomed some new members from those, and we had a great turn out from our membership too.

It was, as is usually the case, a full day of chatter and laughter. We had so many spinning wheels that we even had two which were exactly the same…a rare thing! Spinning wheels are just so appealing and the sound of whirling, laughter and conversation took over the day.


Our shared lunch was particularly yummy with homemade goods and treats. Far too much food for us really but we made a valiant effort trying to clearing it! By the end of the day we had done so much, eaten so much, talked and laughed so much that our contentment was palpable.

As well as our monthly visits to the World Heritage Centre, Saltholme and Ustinov next up at the guild gathering in St Oswald’s we have a talk by the lovely Penny Hemingway on Viking Textiles. Penny came to visit last year with her Great Wheel and we loved it…..we are excited to see what she has in store for us in April!greatwheel-0054

Do come and join us on the 20th, you’d be so welcome. We know you won’t be disappointed!


1 thought on “The Vernal Quarter

  1. Fantastic blog as usual. Capturing the essence of Durham Guild so succinctly. Thank you.


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