Sunday, 17 October 2010

Wool Week and other things

This last week has been the first Wool Week.
Things were kicked off on Monday by sheep in Saville Row in London! and here in Somerset we had sheep in Glastonbury by the Market Cross.
They were very cute and didn't seem to mind being the centre of attention. The shepherd said that the sheep were mules, that is crosses between two breeds. The ones with the speckled faces are Swaledale/Leicester crosses and the ones with the black faces are Sussex/Leicester crosses. He explaned that by crossing then he got good atributes from both types of sheep.
A contingent from the Somerset Guild of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers had a display of spinning and fiberiness and there was also a wheel available for people to try out spinning on. A couple of ladies had a go and were converted; they did really well for their first attempts.
I met up with a couple of friends, Liz and Andrea, and we had coffee and cake while we spun, spindled and knitted away, it was fun. The picture above shows Liz helping a newbie spinner have her first go at spinning.
Later on I went for lunch with Liz and then we got the dye pans out!
 We bubbled and simmered away, drank tea, did a spot of spinning and this is what we ended up with.......
Mine is the teal blue in the big white pan (which is some of the fleece that I recently washed) and the browny/pinky colour in the baking tin (which is a skein of shetland that I recently spun on Nimue), Liz did the greens, the red and the pink. We used food dye and acid dyes and they seem to have come out pretty well.
During the week Postman Paul brought a couple of yummy items. First he brought this.....
It's a drop spindle made by Enid Ashcroft; the whorl is Yew and the shaft ebonised Beech. It spins very well and for a long time. In fact I like it so much that I've bought another from her which is on it's way in the post and should be here in a couple of days time.

Postman Paul also brought a parcel from the Ravelry Scrap Swap #5 which contained this lovely array of colourful fibers
I've started to spin the blues first and here is what I have so far. Its quite thin as I would like to make a shawl/wrap out of it; there's about 300g of scraps in all. I could Navajo ply it or I could ply it with a neutral colour, maybe grey or grey/blue, not sure yet.
So to the end of the week and this Saturday was Guild day so Jen and I packed up our wheels and headed off to Hatch Beauchamp in her Dolly 2 CV. Everything fitted in with a bit of jiggling and joggling. The talk this week was all about plants for crafting so there was a bit about dye plants which was interesting; I'd like to try growing Madder, Woad and Weld next year. Andrea made it along for her first visit and brought her wheel along with her; one of the Guild ladies gave it the once over and got her going on it. She hadn't been using it but now she has renewed enthusiasm! brill:-)

In knitting news I'm sticking with the edging on the cowpat which is coming along slowly, maybe I'll have some pictures of it soon.

Take care, Em:-)


  1. Oh I am so very envious.....
    I would LOVE to try spinning and dyeing. I did it at school as part of my A level and loved it. Really would love to take it up again.
    It looked a wonderful day out!
    Karen x x x

  2. I had every intention of trying to make the day, but life got in the way. Brilliant that you had such a lovely day of it.. and love the dyeing..

    hugs Shani

  3. I love your photographs for this post, I wish I could have been there! Great post it sounds like you had a fantastic day.


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