Become part of the circle sharing inspiration for spinning and other fibre crafting. It is a warm and reassuring place, sort of like a favourite chair near a cosy fireside, where beginners and experts come and go as they please. It's a place to share what we know, learn from each other and display what we've created -- while supporting and inspiring each other on the wonderful journey associated with handspinning and wool-related crafts.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Dawn - Woolly Wednesday adventures

It's good to be back for Woolly Wednesday! I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome Lydia and Claire who have joined the Spinspiration team. I am looking forward to them sharing this space and reading their writing.

I hope everyone had a lovely Summer, anyone who reads my other blog will have seen we had lots of fun and enjoyed some lovely weather during the school holidays. Now though it is most definitely Autumn here, time for dark cosy evenings in front of the spinning wheel. Bliss. I hadn't spun at all over the summer holiday.

September has seen a revival of the wheel spinning though and plenty of time spent spinning at public events encouraging and inspiring others to take up the crafts. It has been fun, and I have even sold on my first Spinning Wheel - my trusty Ashford Traditional that started off my love of spinning. It has sat unused for a while though, except for a short loan period to a friend until she bought her wheel. So it was time to say goodbye and pay forward the opportunity to somebody new to spinning to buy a wheel at a very reasonable price, after all I bought her very reasonably too. The new owner has also joined the guild, so our paths will no doubt cross some months.

 My first wheel ... now someone else's first wheel

So spinning - the first spinning I did in on return to the wheel was some Romney Marsh spun on my Wee Peggy wheel. I started spinning this at The Romsey Show - an agricultural show that the Guild are represented at each year. I loved it this year, amongst some good friends with lots of chatter and laughter ... oh the laughter! It was a gloriously sunny hot hot day too, and the show was very busy. We had a great day, lots of visitors and many of them really interested in spinning and dyeing and weaving. A great opportunity to show people how the wheel works, the history of spinning, the fleece to yarn process ... visitors young and old. We even won a prize for our interactive dempnstration areas.
 Me on the left with friends having a great time
(towards the end of the day hence not many visitors around us!)
Our rosette and certificate proudly displayed

It was wonderful to be able to give the opportunity to many to have a go at spinning too, their eyes lighting up when you ask "do you want to have a go?". I still remember being asked that question years ago, so am always keen to offer the same opportunity.

Romney Marsh carded fibre

I spun a bobbin of the Romney and then decided I'd like to n-ply it so sat and plied it before going on to spin more of the fibre. A joy to spin, really lovely fibre with a little lanolin still there making it lovely for the hands too - the best hand "cream" ever!

My navajo plied skein awaiting washing

I continued to spin the Romney Marsh the weekend after at our Guilds open day/taster day. I ended with another couple of full bobbins which are waiting to be plied. I need to decide if I will n-ply these or make it a 2 ply for another project, I have more to spin so may see what yardage I'd get with either plying. I'm not that good at planning for projects, but trying to improve on that now as the handspun stash grows.

2 more bobbins of Romney Marsh singles

As mentioned earlier I took along the Ashford Traditional wheel too, initially set up for people to come and have a try at spinning as it is such an easy going wheel to learn on. I had a for sale sign ready to pop on after a while, although had to quickly remove it after Imogen (my daughter) stuck it on my Wee Peggy! No darling, this one really is not for sale, and not at that price! Most definitely not, although it raised a laugh and a smile amongst friends. Quite a few people had a go on the wheel, some who had recently acquired wheels and were not sure where to start, others interested in getting into spinning.

And then a friend asked if my wheel was available for a lady to try and I saw that little spark or something and thought to myself - I think this lady is going to love and buy this wheel. She was hooked right from the start, loved it, and was very good at grasping the drafting and treadling. She sat with us for a long time, spinning more and more, occasionally acknowledging her daughters who were there too and loving trying out lots of things. But she was determined that she was going to spend her time here with the wheel. A message to the husband about where it might go, quashing his crazy idea that it could go in the garage! We had fun chatting, and yes she did buy the wheel. I gave her some Jacob roving to keep her going too and she picked up some fleece at the sales table. Her daughters were as pleased to know the wheel was going home with them, I think they had all fallen for the spinning bug! It was lovely to have been able to offer the wheel to her - and making friends with a new member, and two new members signed up to the Youth Guild too.

Me on the right spinning on the Wee Peggy
The Ashford Traditional on the left with her new owner

A good month for spinning and meeting new friends. Next month our Guild meeting welcomes Wingham Wool Work who fill our hall with goodies to fondle, sample and buy. I must remember to buy more spinning wheel oil. I have sat and labelled a lot of my spinning samples and skeins in a view to linking them up to a project. I have a lot of fleece and fibre to use so can't see me coming home with much from the day, except maybe some samples and some of the more unusual fibres out there that I've not spun with much yet.

Looking forward to catching up with what everyone has been up to, come along and share anything woolly - we love to be inspired. Join us for virtual spin (or other woolly crafts) and chat, with a virtual coffee and cake!