Invite: Christmas crafting in October

Our thoughts are turning to Christmas crafting this month.

Yes, yes I know, but it’ll be here before we know it!

For our meeting on Monday 20th October, we’ll have four exciting Christmas crafts for you to try. There will be buttons, felt, paper and clay to play with and you can move between tables or concentrate on learning one new technique.

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Rag Hags

The Rag Hag points the way to the Rag Market

Thanks to the hard work of Vanessa Kay and Sue Mellis the Hebden Bridge WI is renowned for its Rag Markets, an opportunity for crafters and vintage lovers to pile their (already large) stashes of goodies even higher.  The latest Rag Market took place place over 2 days at The Town Hall, Hebden Bridge and folk from far and wide were attracted by the opportunity to purchase vintage fabric, haberdashery bargains and unique bits and bobs.

The Rag Market starts to fill up
Inspecting some hand spun yarn

Some of the people that came along were more than stallholders, like Leone who gave a spinning demonstration and talked people through her process for dying yarns.

The fleece that Leone turns into yarn
Leone spinning
The finished yarn

The Hebden Bridge WI also uses the Rag Market as an opportunity to encourage young entrepreneurs with an interest in crafting to sell their wares and undertake some market research on the popularity of their idea at a Pedlars’ Day.  This year the school aged entrants were of a very high standard and many went home having had an excellent day of trading.

This pedlar had a very good day of trading
Some a pedlar’s wares
These paper flowers proved to be very popular
This pedlar brought her gorgeous handmade aprons, bookmarks and napkins

The next Rag Market is at the Town Hall, Hebden Bridge on Sunday 13th October.  See you there.

Written and posted by Amy

The Human Fruit Machine

The perfect day for a fun day at Salem Fields Archery Club

The committee had an idea at the last meeting to get a human fruit machine to take to all the fetes we’re asked to attend.  Although we’ve got a healthy membership in the Hebden Bridge WI, we don’t want to constantly ask them to make jam, chutneys and cakes, but at the same time we don’t want to say no to the community events that take place around Hebden Bridge.

The whole committee agreed a human fruit machine sounded like a top idea and Maxine, one of our talented members, offered to knock one up for us in her spare time!  The machine had its inaugural outing this weekend and we had a constant flow of excited participants.  We raised £150 for Living Well, a charity in Todmorden that supports women with cancer.  We’re pretty pleased with our work.

A humongous thanks goes out to Maxine for her talent, time and energy.  We are so lucky to have a passionate group of gals who dedicate their time to take part in weird and wonderful things, thanks all.

Can you tell what it is yet?
Up and away
Says it all
And we’re off…
Magnificent Maxine
We raised £150 for Living Well
There wasn’t even time for a ukulele sing-a-long


Written and posted by Amy

Hebden Bridge All The Way

In the summer we were asked by the Hebden Bridge Junior Band to knit scarves to go with their new winter cloaks and hats, and so off we went…

Armed with one of their fabric badges we headed off to Jacksons of Hebden Bridge, who kindly donated the wool, and colour matched the scarves to the rest of the uniform.  We used the request as an opportunity to hold a skill swap at our September meeting.  With a gang of talented crafters who willingly shared their knowledge and patiently guided the novices through their first knitting steps we handed over a pile of completed scarves to the junior band last week.  We can’t wait to catch the band’s next gig.

Written and posted by Amy

Community All The Way

Bridget and Ness serve happy customers

A big thank you to the crack team of tea makers and cake bakers who recently helped out at the community fair at The Town Hall, Hebden Bridge.  It was a day to celebrate all the fabulous community groups in the town and we were proud to be part of it.  We also managed to raise over £100 for Overgate Hospice, our charity of the year.

Cakes courtesy of members Ruth Ainscough and Lynne Burns.
Our members will craft any where, any time, any how.


Written and posted by Amy

Our Charity of the Year: Overgate Hospice

Overgate Hospice in Elland

We’ve decided that 2012 is the year the Hebden Bridge WI is going to support Overgate Hospice as many ways as possible.  So at our January meeting we welcomed Caroline and Beth from the hospice’s fundraising team to talk through how the people of Calderdale already help and how we can make a difference.

Caroline from Overgate Hospice
Beth from Overgate Hospice

We’ll be helping Overgate with the numerous supermarket bag packs around Calderdale (dates are on our meetings and notices page), but we’re particularly excited at helping with a corker of an idea… we’re going to knit a Christmas Tree and can’t wait to get started.

Written and posted by Amy

Hebden Bridge WI Rag Market

What a fine day and substantial turnout we had, despite the dreary weather! Thanks to the organisers, stall holders, caterers, and customers for a truly fab day. Here are some pictures by Sarah Mason:

If you have photos that you would like to include here, please send them to

Sue is looking for feedback on the rag market, so if you would love to share your thoughts on the last one or desire for more, please do so here or on the facebook group.

We’ll see you at the next meeting, which is Monday 20th June at 19:30 at Hope Street Baptist Church. We’ll be knitting and crocheting for the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival Yarnstorming event. Please come along, even if you don’t know how to knit or crochet – you can learn with lots of support, or just eat cake and watch!

Written and posted by Erin

May Meeting Update

We had a huge turnout of 64 women last week for our stroll workshop! A stroll is a line dance that doesn’t require a partner, so you can cruise out on that dance floor with confidence and get busy whether you have a date or not. Now is the perfect time to be learning strolls, with all of the brilliant vintage-themed dances, fairs, and festivals going on.

Helen, Caroline and Amy taught the New York Stroll, the 1940’s Stroll, and the Charleston Stroll to some swell classic tunes. Here are some fab pics by Sarah Mason:

Well done everyone, now you need to get out there and practice! If you’re looking for lots of beautiful vintage inspiration and general good times, check out Rose & Co, The Marvellous Tea Dance Company, and maybe even The Wet Spot. Those of you who’ve really caught the dancing bug should get talking to Amy, Caroline or Helen at the next meeting about the many dances and dance classes happening nearby. And yes, there’s burlesque fun to be had too.

Upcoming Events and Reminders

This Sunday the 29th of May is Spring Fling, an afternoon of vintage fun brought to you by the Sunday Afternoon Appreciation Society (ie Amy and Helen). This is a good chance to practice those strolls! DJ Red Helen will be spinning her top tunes from the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s and you can have a right good dance on the big shiny dancefloor. The Marvellous Tea Dance Company will be there serving their delicious tea and cake, and there will be an enormous knitting and crochet circle. We’ll be making lots of stuff for The Hebden Bridge Arts Festival Yarnstorming event, including knitted bunting, knitted yarn chains and cupcakes galore. It’ll be fabulous fun! Come to St Michael’s Church Hall (Enterprise Centre), Church Lane, Mytholmroyd – from 14:00 to 18:00.

Don’t forget about the Hebden Bridge WI Rag Market on June 5th, at the Masonic Hall on Hangingroyd Lane in Hebden Bridge. We’ll be there from 12:00 to 16:00. If you have any crafty donations that we can sell to raise money for the WI, please contact Amy, Erin, or Sue Mellis.

Monday June 6th is the first meeting of the HBWI Book Group, which is happening at Bar Place at 19:30. We’ll be deciding what style of book group to be, as several members have discussed the merits of a book swap style versus a more traditional style reading group. All HBWI members are welcome!

Thanks to everyone who signed up for Ruth’s cake rota! We’re just about covered for the next two meetings, but we’ll need more members to sign up at each meeting. Don’t be nervous little darlings, you don’t have to bake! We just ask that you bring enough cake or biscuits to feed at least 10 people, and we don’t care if they’re bought or homemade.

We’re still taking orders for the WI newsletters, of which there are 5 issues left this year. The cost is £1.45 (for all 5) if you’re happy to collect the newsletter at the monthly meetings, or £3.05 if you’d like it posted to your home. If you’re interested, please contact Erin directly as soon as possible, as the order for July needs to be placed this week.

Written and posted by Erin