Archive for the 'Workshop' Category

Felt United Fun Palace!

Come and help make a community banner
Ocean Terminal in Leith on 3 October!

  • Fun Palaces is a national campaign for community art, sciences and culture, this year falling around the weekend of the 3 and 4th of October!
  • Felt United is a global network of felters who go out and about on the first Saturday of October each year to work on collaborations and generally celebrate their craft.

In true Craft Reactor spirit we’re putting the two together in our “reaction chamber” to see what new crafty compounds we’ll discover!

With the help of the good folks at Kalopsia Collective, we’ve secured the amazing Atrium space at Ocean Terminal for 2 x two hour workshops to create a community artwork in felt, based on the theme of “Home”.  We want everyone who comes along to make a piece of flat felt for the collaborative art work and a second piece to take away as a souvenire. Everything should convey some idea of home – from your fireside to our home planet. The collaborative pieces will then be assembled by the Craft Reactor team and exhibited at the Fun Palace in Old College Quad, South Bridge on the afternoon of Sunday 4th October.

All levels of skill are welcome at the workshops, from complete beginner to master crafter. If you want to make a piece for the collaborative work please book a space so we know who to expect. BOOKING FORM HERE.  You can come to the morning or the afternoon session or both. Please bring a towel, a plastic bag and, if you want to, an apron or overall. If you have any roving, tops or other fibres you want to use or donate to the project, please bring them along.

If you just want to drop in and see what’s going on that’s fine, too. There’ll be music and science busking and an origami workshop as well as the feltmaking.  If there’s a spare table space, we’ll get you felting as well.



posted by Madeleine in Edinburgh,Event,Workshop and have No Comments

Sheep for a Day at Edinburgh Yarn Festival

Earlier this year Craft Reactor was invited to take part in the first ever Edinburgh Yarn Festival. Of course we said yes! It’s at Out of the Blue, Drill Hall, Dalmeny Street on 16 March.  see the Festival’s website for more about what happening throughout the day.

A couple of weeks ago, at a meeting with the organisers and volunteers, we hatched a plan for a fun thing to do.  The Drill Hall have a cow from the Cow Parade that Edinburgh hosted a few years ago and we have the job of turning it into a sheep for the day of the Festival.  Here she is:

The Drill Hall Cow

The Drill Hall Cow

We will crochet a face and knit leggings for her. The main  body will be covered a mesh and we’ll attach pompoms, fringes, tassels and other fleece-like yarny constructions. Now this will be a lot of wool and a lot of work so we need your help!

How to get involved

Please raid your yarn stash and make some pompoms or other woolly ornaments. Anyone can do this – not just members – the more pompoms etc the fleecier the sheep will be! [A clever person suggested that long tails should be left on your pompoms for easier attachment.]

We’d like to have some of this assembled before the Festival so please bring them to the next meet up at Hula on 5 March or email to arrange something else.  If that doesn’t work for you then handing them over on the day will be just grand too.

On the day of the Festival, we’ll need a pile of yarn for visitors to make contributions so any yarn donations will also be gratefully received in advance or on the day. Same as above for handover arrangements.

A note about colours

While it would be very authentic to keep to natural sheep colours of cream with brown and grey, we really don’t care – the Craft Reactor sheep is a multi-coloured party animal!  Use anything you have and join in!

That’s the nuts an bolts of it.  If anything isn’t clear email us at – otherwise see you at Hula on 5 March or the Festival on 16 March.

Happy pompom making!


posted by Madeleine in Edinburgh,Event,Workshop and have Comment (1)

Felt fires in public

On Tuesday last week we gathered in Hula to make felt flames.  Some of us had never made felt of any sort before but by the end of the session we’d made 12 needle felt fires on prefelt and an uncounted number of wet felted flames.  Thank you to everyone who came and took part.  I hope you had fun – I know I did.

needle felt fires

felt flame needles







I took the felt panels back to my studio and used the nuno felt technique to bond them to a piece of black silk chiffon. I added an all over pattern of flames on the back. This way both sides will look good if we hang it like a flag some time.  I also made a lot more of the individual flames to make a lovely little bundle of fire.

On Saturday 6th October, the International Day of Felt, both pieces were displayed in public in keeping with the idea behind the day.  As the main piece of work, the hanging was set up on the mirror wall in Hula Juice Bar and Cafe on West Bow just next to where we we started work on it. It’ll stay there until Monday lunchtime.  Pop in for a smoothie and see it.

12 felty fires in Hula

bundle of fire










I’ve been taking the bundle of fire to various places and photographing it in public places – the bar at Summerhall arts centre, the banks of the Water of Leith and more to come. Once I have a good photograph of each piece I’ll uploaded them to the Felt United international portfolio of this year’s day of felt to let the world of feltmaking see what Craft Reactor can do.

posted by Madeleine in Edinburgh,Event,Workshop and have No Comments

International Women’s Day Workshop

What a stitch up! – Girls, needlework and maths education
by Madeleine Shepherd

IWD logoTo celebrate the centenary of International Women’s Day Madeleine Shepherd has created a workshop on this year’s theme “Equal access to education, training and science and technology”.

Based on her research she presents a historical look at the links and differences between maths and needlework in the education of young women. There will be a short talk followed by discussion and workshop activities on the various crafts and ideas presented.

7pm-9pm, Tuesday 8 March 2011

The Library, Augustine United Church
41 George IV Bridge,
Edinburgh EH1 1E

£5 (£3 for members) to cover room hire, materials & refreshments

For information and bookings please email
(facebook event link)

posted by Stitch in Edinburgh,Event,Workshop and have Comment (1)