We had vile weather for the drive up on Friday last (23) until North of Stirling, and equally vile when we returned on Tuesday, but the weather up there was remarkably good. We'd been booked at the apartment at Wark Farm and it was wonderful; so peaceful and still, and full of rarebreed sheep and cattle. (Very tasty sheep and cows too - there is a farmshop with their own meat). Mind you, we had to keep a beady eye on the pupz. And there was plenty of space to unload the vast amount of equipment and fibre I ended up bringing with me.
This was a view we had to stop at on the way up - Cairn o'Mount.
Of course, as usual, I failed completely to get any photographs of the workshop. We were in the village hall at Chapel of Garioch. But it was an agreeable and hardworking group: we spent Saturday working on handcarding rolags and spinning long-draw. This is my original workshop, and one of my most popular ones, being developed and growing all the time.
The second day was supposed to be looking at combing wool and spinning worsted-style. But we started off with an ad hoc fleece and wool discussion, as everyone brought out all sorts of breeds and wools and fibres for examination and discussion. I think we all learned something. I demonstrated carding with the three sets of combs I'd brought, we played with the drumcarder, did worsted spinning, some people went back to yesterday's long-draw woollen spinning, and generally had great fun.
This was just down the road from the village hall, and I managed a quick visit on Saturday morning. The Maiden Stone.
The Monday was my day off before we went home (Mark and the pupz having been pottering around for the two previous days, which I think largely involved the country park at Alford - livestock-free and lots of lawns for Hector to speed around).
We tried to find the Whitehills stone circle, but failed completely to find it in a forestry area. But look at these: flowers in logs! Rather magical.
And then we all climbed Mither Tap, the last outcrop of the Cairngorms as the drop down to the East and the North Sea, and part of an excellent leisure area run by the forestry lot.
I am very lucky that I can visit such a wonderful part of Scotland (and not one we'd ever visited before) while sharing my skills and love of wool. Let's hope I can go back.