Tag Archives: Rolag Club

March Rolag Club: Carling Sunday

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March Rolag Club: Carling Sunday

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Welcome to Forgotten Festivals Rolag Club!

This month we are Celebrating Carling Sunday on the 13th March

“Tid, Mid, Miseray, Carlin, Palm, Pace-Egg Day”

So goes the Northern saying, which helps people remember the various Lenten Sundays. Tid comes from the Te Deum hymn, sung on the 2nd Sunday. Mid and Miseray are from the Mi Deus and the Miserere Mei, sung on the 3rd and 4th Sundays. Palm Sunday is the 6th Sunday in Lent and Pace Egg refers to Easter Day, Pace being a corruption of Pasch, from the Latin and Greek root of ‘Easter’. And that leaves us with Carlin.

Many people will know the 5th Sunday of Lent as Passion Sunday, but in certain areas, most particularly the North East of England, it became known as Carling, or Carlin, Sunday after the peas which were traditionally eaten on that day.

No one seems to know why this food became associated with this festival. Carlins probably originated in monastic gardens, and pulses formed a large part of the monks’ diet. Pea dishes were often eaten throughout lent as a good (and ‘approved’) source of protein. There are lots of myths and stories about the carlin pea and how they became associated with the northern regions. Here is a typical example:

Carlins are said to have rescued the people of Newcastle-upon-Tyne during the civil war. Newcastle, a royalist city, had been under siege by parliamentarian allies for four months and food supplies were becoming exhausted. Legend tells of a cargo ship from europe which managed to evade the blockade, and whose cargo of carlins saved the people from starvation.

To celebrate Carling Sunday, your rolags are inspired by purple, the traditional colour of passion,  and the rich greens of the pea plant. Your handspun mini skein was inspired by the colours of pea flowers. I have included a recipe for carlings, and though I tried to source some pea seeds, it seems you can’t, so I have included information on how to adopt this variety. Your tea reflects the themes of Passion Sunday, and the unfortunate after-effects of eating large quantities of pulses … Finally we have two guest makers this month. Jennifer from Forest Valley Designs has made the unique stitch markers, and Becca from Get Hooked Crafts has made the stunning WIP bags.

I hope you enjoy it all.

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“Passion” and “Greens” rolags, inspired by Carling Sunday.

In this box you should find:

  • 20g rolags in “Passion” – 77% Bluefaced Leicester, 11.5% Bamboo, 11.5% Faux Cashmere and a hint of angelina.
  • 10g rolags in “Greens, shoots and peas” – 84% Merino, 16% Ramie and some wool neps.
  • The story of Carling Sunday
  • A handspun mini skein in “Pea flowers”
  • Tea in ‘Love’ and ‘Stomach Ease’ blends.
  • Stitch markers from Forest Valley Designs.
  • WIP bags from Get Hooked Crafts.
  • A recipe for carlings
  • Adopt the carlin pea
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“Pea Flowers” handspun mini skein.

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Stitch markers by Forest Valley Designs

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WIP bag from Get Hooked Crafts

 

There are several recipes recorded for the carlin pea. I have also discovered that the day after Carling Sunday was known as Farting Monday, so don’t say I didn’t warn you! Though I did include some Stomach Ease tea.

 

Carlings

225g dried green peas

50g fresh breadcrumbs

1 onion, finely chopped

½ teaspoon mixed herbs

Salt and pepper

25g butter

Soak the peas overnight in cold water. The next day, drain and put into a large saucepan. Add 750 ml water and bring to the boil. Boil steadily for 2 hours until the peas are tender. Leave to cool. Mix with the breadcrumbs, onion, herbs and seasoning to make a stiff mixture. Shape into cakes and fry in the butter until brown.

Reference: Cattern Cakes and Lace by Julia Jones and Barbara Deer, Dorling Kindersley 1987

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The carlin pea in flower.

 

February Rolag Club: Collop Monday

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February Rolag Club: Collop Monday

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Welcome to Forgotten Festivals Rolag Club!

This month we are celebrating Collop Monday on the 8th of February.

Many of us may be looking forward to pancake day on Tuesday. Some of us may still use its traditional name of Shrove Tuesday, and remember the reason we like to cook and eat pancakes on the last day before Lent starts.

Lent is the traditional Christian fasting period for the six or so weeks before Easter. The word is of Old English derivation, traced back to the word for spring and possibly referencing the lengthening days at this time of year. Prior to Lent comes Shrovetide, and the old verb ‘to shrive’ means ‘to seek absolution via confession and penance.’

Part of preparing for the Lenten fast involved using up the rich food during Shrovetide. Shrove Tuesday’s pancakes use up the eggs, milk and sugar, but Collop Monday was the last day to eat meat before lent, and cooking the collops (traditionally made of bacon) provided the fat for the coming pancake feast. The traditional breakfast on Collop Monday consisted of the bacon-collops and eggs. It turns out this is a great excuse to create a whimsical “Full English Breakfast” themed rolag box!

With thanks to our guest makers, Sarah from Setting the Twist who has made this month’s mini skeins, and Kirsty from Buttons Be Good who has made us some beautiful mushroom-themed buttons.

I hope you enjoy it!

In this box you should find:

  • 20g of rolags in “Flesh” – 70% Corriedale, 15% Faux Cashmere, 15% Soya Bean Fibre
  • 10g of rolags in “Fowl” – 67% Romney, 33% Corriedale
  • The story of Collop Monday
  • A handspun mini skein from Setting the Twist in “Tomato”
  • Mushroom buttons from Buttons Be Good
  • Mini chocolate eggs
  • Beans by Jelly Belly
  • Tea in English Breakfast and After Dinner blends
  • Knife and Fork stitch markers

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“Flesh & Fowl” rolags – inspired by a traditional Collop Monday Breakfast.

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Mushroom buttons by Buttons Be Good

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Knife and Fork stitch markers, made by Imogen.

Tomato mini skeins by Setting The Twist

Midnight Clear

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Midnight Clear

Background:

These mini skeins were spun as part of January’s rolag club. January’s rolags were inspired by the seasonal skies, and the “Midnight Clear” minis complemented the theme, inspired by the clear starry night skies that we are treated to on those cold winter nights.

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Story:

Watch the universe:

Star scenes play ancient dramas.

A winter night’s gift.

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Information:

Title: Midnight Clear

Composition: 70% Merino, 30% Trilobal

Weight: 15 WPI / Sports weight

Length: 40m per mini skein

Care: Hand wash only. Dry flat.

Details:

Date: January 2016

Skein code: 0084

Fibre: 23 micron merino and rainbow-dyed trilobal nylon

Source: World of Wool – “Glitzy Ocean”

Status: Sold

Jack Frost

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Jack Frost

Background:

These minis were spun to accompany December’s rolag club, and are seen in action here:

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Story:

Wake to frosted land,

A world of washed-out colour.

It cracks under foot.

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Information:

Title: Jack Frost

Composition: Falkland plied with glitter thread.

Weight: Sports weight to heavy laceweight

Length: 40m per mini skein.

Care: Hand wash only. Dry flat.

Details:

Date: December 2015

Skein code: 0081

Fibre: 100% Organic Falkland

Source: Wingham Wool Work

Status: Sold

January Rolag Club: Plough Monday

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January Rolag Club: Plough Monday

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Welcome to Forgotten Festivals Rolag Club!

I hope you’ve all had a good break over the festive season. Now it’s a new month, a new year and time to get back to work.

This month we are celebrating Plough Monday on January 11th.

Plough Monday falls on the first Monday after Twelfth Night. The traditional Christmas celebration was a full twelve days of feasting, culminating in a huge and rowdy party on twelfth night, the 5th of January. So what better way to mark the return to work, when ploughing would begin for the next crop … than with a feast?

In villages around the country there were a variety of traditions. Leaping dances were held, with the young and fit encouraged to leap as high as possible because it was though the height they achieved marked the height of the forthcoming corn crop. In some places, a “fool plough” was decorated and dragged around the streets to encourage villagers to donate money, sometimes under threat of having their garden ploughed if they were less than generous!

Inspired by the theme of ‘back to work’, this month’s rolags reflect  January skies, and the box contains a mixture of extras to help you get going at the start of the working day, and help you relax at the end of it. I’m particularly thrilled to introduce our guest maker, Leanne from Solocro who has made one of your treats. I hope you enjoy all of it.

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In this box you will find:

  • 30g of gradient rolags in “Shifting Skies” – 42% Corriedale, 19% Falkland, 19% Gotland, 11% Rose fibre, 9% Milk protein fibre, and a hint of sparkle.
  • A mini skein in “Midnight Clear” – 70% Merino, 30% Trilobal.
  • The story of Plough Monday.
  • A set of stitch markers.
  • Tea in ‘Refresh’ and ‘Revitalise’ blends.
  • Bath, or foot bath, salts.
  • Handmade hand cream from Solocro.

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“Shifting skies” gradient rolags, inspired by the January weather.

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“Midnight Clear” mini skeins, inspired by the starry winter sky and spun as my favourite style of gently thick and thin singles.

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Bath salts from the old apothecary in Haworth.

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Handmade handcream from Solocro

Tutorial: Spinning Seed Beads into a Single

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Tutorial: Spinning Seed Beads into a Single

December’s rolag club, seen here, featured ‘Evergreen’ rolags and ‘Holly Berry’ beads. I have done quite a few beaded yarns in the past and there are several ways to add these kind of inclusions into yarn. In a plied yarn it is easy enough to thread your beads or sequins onto a thread and ply that thread along with the singles, as in this yarn, or you may be able to thread your beads directly onto one or more of your singles, but sometimes you want to spin your beads directly into the yarn. Here’s how:

Assumed knowledge

  • Staple length of fibre: refresher available here.
  • Basic Spinning: refresher available here.
  • Park and Draft for the Wheel: refresher available here.

Materials

  • Fibre
  • Beads
  • A beading (or very fine) hook if you have one, and
  • Cotton thread if you don’t.
  • Something to spin on! A wheel or spindle.

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Method

I don’t have a hook fine enough for seed beads, so I am going to show you a method for threading beads onto fibre using ordinary sewing thread.

  1. Cut a length of cotton, around 20cm long.
  2. Thread the bead onto the cotton, just as if you were threading a needle.
  3. Pull a reasonable length of thread through the bead, so that the bead sits roughly in the middle of the thread.
  4. Now take the end of the cotton once more and, leaving a large loop, thread it back through the bead. Take it slowly at first, and leave yourself plenty of length on either side of the bead.
  5. Now you should have a seed bead threaded such that you have a large loop on one side, and two ends of the thread on the other side.

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Now let’s consider the fibre:

  1. Take the fibre you wish to spin and draft out a few fibres from one end.
  2. Pull out a few fibres. Just pinch at the very top as you pull gently, so that the fibres removed are a single staple length. Your bead will sit in the centre of this staple length.
  3. Twist them with your fingers, just as if you were spinning them, to make them easier to handle.

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  1. Carefully thread your twisted fibres through the loop of your cotton thread.
  2. Move your bead along the thread, towards your fibre.
  3. Pinch your fibre back on itself, such that your bead can slide from the thread to the fibre.
  4. Move your bead along and then gently pinch one end of the fibre, so that the bead cannot come off, and ease the other end of the fibre right through the bead so that the bead ends up placed in the middle of your staple length of fibre.

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Here is a close-up showing the bead being threaded into the fibre. You can see that, having twisted the fibres, they show a clear distinction between each end of the fibre, as if it were a thread. The loop which has just passed through the bead has distinct ‘legs’. As you hold one end of the fibre, pull gently on one of these legs. If you feel a firm tug on the fibres you’re holding, try the other leg. It should connect to the free end of the fibre and allow you to pull that free end right through the bead.

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Follow this procedure for each of the beads you want to spin into your yarn:

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Now put the beads aside and start spinning your fibre. Here I am attaching my fibre to my leader:

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I like to get the spun single established first before I think about spinning in the beads. Here I am checking the gauge of the singles yarn against the commercial yarn (a worsted weight single spun yarn) that I am using in my project.

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Now it’s time to start adding the beads into the yarn:

  1. In order to control the spin, I will stop the wheel when I get to the point of attaching the first bead, just as in the Park and Draft for Wheels video, seen here.
  2. When I want to attach a bead, I stop spinning the wheel and draft some fibre out to my desired thickness, just behind the pinched off twist.
  3. I take a pre-threaded bead. (It is easier to handle these by picking the beads up, rather than by picking the fibre up.)
  4. I hold the end of the fibre that passes through the bead with the thumb and fingers that are holding the twist in place, and lay the beaded fibre parallel to the section just drafted.
  5. I restart the wheel and allow the twist to run up the drafted fibres, capturing the bead and the fibre onto which it was threaded in the process.

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  1. Repeat as often as desired, and the result is a beautifully beaded singles yarn:

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Adding beads whilst spindle spinning

This is slightly trickier as you have to control the spin, as well as the beads, with your hands. Review the technique of Park and Draft on the Spindle, shown here. I would spin this sitting down so I could hold the spindle between my knees to keep it still when needed.

Follow the steps as above, to the point you want to add your first bead into your yarn.

  1. Stop the spindle and hold it still.
  2. Make sure you have your pre-threaded beads to hand.
  3. draft out a length of fibre to your desired thickness.
  4. Pick up a bead and lay the threaded bead alongside the freshly drafted fibre.
  5. Position your hands such that the finger and thumb that are pinching off the twist can hold one end of the threaded fibre in place, and you have other fingers available to stabilise the other end of the threaded fibre.
  6. Use your free hand to restart the spindle spinning and let the twist travel into the drafted fibres, capturing the bead as you go.

A video tutorial will follow as soon as possible and I will add it to this post.

December Rolag Club: Tolling the Devil’s Knell

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December Rolag Club: Tolling the Devil’s Knell

December 24th: Tolling the Devil’s Knell

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Welcome to Forgotten Festivals Rolag Club!

So many traditional celebrations fall in December. It seems almost universal for a culture to need a cheering festival of light as the days reach their shortest point. With so many festivals remembered and still celebrated, it has been a challenge to choose a forgotten one. This celebration is not so much forgotten as lesser-known outside of the local area.

This month we are celebrating Tolling the Devil’s Knell on December 24th.

Tolling the Devil’s Knell is a tradition local to Dewsbury in Yorkshire and dates back to the middle ages. The legend tells that in 1434, Sir Thomas de Soothill, in a fit of rage,  committed the  murder of a servant. As penance for his crime, he donated a tenor bell to his parish church in Dewsbury. The bell came to bear his name, being known as “Black Tom of Soothill”. Sir Thomas is credited with starting the tradition of tolling this bell, once for each year since the birth of Christ, ending at midnight, just as Christmas day begins. This was probably not such a mammoth task in the time of Sir Thomas as it is in 2015! The tradition continues each year at Dewsbury Minster, only pausing during the war years. Dewsbury Minster’s website lists all the bells in its bell tower and their inscriptions. The tenor bell, “Black Tom”, is inscribed:

I shall be here if treated just

When they are mouldering in the dust

Bells are the dominant theme of this box, inspiring one set of rolags, the stitch markers and the extra treat. Further inspiration comes from the traditional sights, scents and tastes of this season. I hope you enjoy it.

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In this box you will find:

  • An introduction to the tradition of “Tolling the Devil’s Knell”
  • 20g of rolags in ”Medieval Metal” – 60% Merino, 25% black diamond bamboo, 7.5% gold stellina, 7.5% bronze stellina.
  • 10g of rolags in “Evergreen” – 60% Shetland, 40% Bamboo.
  • Seed beads in “Holly Berry” – be careful when you open these!
  • A Handspun mini skein in “Jack Frost” – Falkland plied with glitter thread.
  • A set of stitch markers.
  • Tea in “Three Cinnamon” and “Spicy Chai” flavours.
  • A winter-spiced tealight.
  • A chocolate bell.

 

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