So we have waulked tweed No. 9! We are feeling quite proud of ourselves, because as far as we know no other extant group has done as many full-scale waulkings as we have! Our two most recent tweeds are being marketed commercially, so we are also pretty proud that our work has been judged good enough. Click here for pics.
Our latest effort, at 8 metres, was a mere stroll compared to the 20 metres we waulked in Skye just a couple of weeks ago! We were invited by Liz of Heartfelt Studio in Dalmally to waulk at the MacGregors’ Clan Gathering. The tweed – double width, woven in Harris – was provided by Frances O’Hagan, formerly of Redshank Kilts in Inveraray. This was nice, because it was Frances who gave us the first “raw” tweed we ever waulked, way back in 2008.
Liz had split the piece up the middle to make two 8 metre lengths. We decided we would waulk only one of the pieces, as time was a bit limited. (So No. 10 is still waiting for us!) At 35 inches it was a bit wider than standard single width. We aimed at taking it in four inches.
We had a discussion about a table, as they had not been able to provide a wooden table for us. But then we had an inspiration! There were two picnic benches outside the Community Centre. Placed end to end, they sat the eight of us easily, and the wooden slatted surface was ideal, giving a great amount of friction, so the cloth shrank to 31 inches in no time at all! The actual waulking took just over an hour, with “only” ten songs!
The two busloads of Clan members attending the Gathering showed a lot of interest, and some joined us at the table. “This is what your great- great- great… grandmothers would have done,” remarked Frances. “Possibly,” answered one of the MacGregors. “No. Definitely!” was the reply.
As our regular followers know, food is important to Sgioba Luaidh, so we must record our appreciation of the magnificent lunch we shared. And best of all, when the two busloads of MacGregors departed, we were let loose on the leftovers!
Many thanks to Liz for organising such a splendid day for us. And we look forward to waulking No. 10! Pics here.