Saturday, 30 April 2016

Wonderwool 2016

Just back from our post Wonderwool Wales break, and a few photos:

Mark looked rather spiffy on both days. The gansey was worn practically every day as well as at the show, as we've had some very cold weather.

 I was pleased I'd thought to pack the tree coat. Although the showground halls warmed up during the day, I was very glad for lots of woolly layers at both ends of the days. I was teaching from 1200-1300, an Introduction to Hand Carding, and the rooms that were used for the Wool Schools were very warm. They seemed to go well.

I'd bought a bag of each colour of Qaria Cashmere from Amanda Hannaford's stall at last year's Wonderwool, and this is what it became. I asked Amanda if she wanted it for her stall, so when she said yes a sudden bit of emergency invisible mending was required when I found a hole!

This was the knitting I finished in the car on the journey down - the edging for one side was done on the journey, the rest the day before the show. I ended up washing it in the sink of our cottage and drying it flat on the dining table the night before Wonderwool. Once more, I was glad of another woolly layer.

Another lovely, social show - I think Wonderwool is possibly the best of the big wool shows for meeting people. There's space to gather and chat and catch up without getting in the way of other shoppers/wanderers. I managed to restrain my own shopping too - two cones of undyed Frangipani gansey yarn, a bag of ends of cones of the same yarn, some Cambrian Yarn 4ply (only five balls in their splendid colours), and two fleeces (a pale grey Gotland for dyeing, and one of Olwen's splendid Corriedales in a dark rich moorit,for me).

And then we spent another week in Wales in our lovely cottage - resting, walking, catching up with friends, doing touristy things. The red kite feeding at Gethin Farm is greatly recommended. 

And yes, I managed to get everything in the Disco both going down and coming home this morning. Only just, mind. I am an expert packer.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Hallamshire Guild of WSD - Long draw woollen spinning workshop

Excellent day teaching at Hallamshire Guild yesterday. Mark was a sweetie and drove me there and back, and was looked after beautifully before he took the pupz off the the day and plied with coffee and biscuits.

I wasn't on top form, this cough I'm suffering under is improving but I was not entirely sure my voice would last the day. But this was a special Guild meeting just for my workshop, so I didn't have to speak over any chattering people in corners.

This is also my original workshop, which I enjoy teaching the most, and also the best one for watching people suddenly 'get it'. So satisfying.

It was also the first teaching outing for my new to me reversed Haldane Lewis wheel, which performed in an exemplary fashion. And it took until well into the afternoon before someone looked at it properly and realised it was set up with the flyer on the right.

So we looked at yarn samples and some of my shawls and a sweater or too, discussed the different between worsted and woollen spinning and the yarns they produce, and hand-carded rolags until lunchtime, using a nice down-type fleece I'd brought.

In the afternoon we spun our rolags and then tried other fibres and preparations, and ended up with a nice session of people throwing me fibres and saying 'how would we/you spin this'.

And Mark turned out to have taken the pupz to Bakewell for the day. He turned up (in time for more coffee and biscuits, of course) having stocked up on various flours from Caudwell Mill and a pudding from the Bakewell Pudding Shop.

The voice survived, though I spent the evening coughing. Oh well, I'll recover. And it was a splendid day's teaching.