Monday, June 28, 2010

28 June: Lake District part 2 - Woolfest

One of the reasons for our week in the Lake District was to visit Woolfest for a little stocking up on fibre and fibre-related items.

I collected my new inkle loom from Michael Williams - isn't it gorgeous? Really substantial, made from oak and maple.

There is the usual assortment of sock yarn, undyed and dyed from the Yarn Yard (I wound it into balls when we got home), some batts and "wild fibre" from Wingham, and some plain white fibre from P & M to blend it into, a lucet with bobbin from Ziggy Rytka (who was later spotted playing a hurdy-gurdy in the music area), a circular knitting needle, some buttons, and a book.

Oh, and 2 Shetland fleeces, straight from the sheep-owner. After my adverse experience with fleece when a novice spinner, I have avoided it and used prepared fibres, but these fleeces are so lovely that I decided it was time to have another try.

Then yesterday I was demonstrating spinning at an event which included sheep-shearing, and seem to have come home with a further 2 and a half fleeces - the half because 2 of us liked that particular grey colour. The grey and one black one are Shetland and the other black one is Hebridean.

The rest of today I shall be in the garden, combing and spinning fleece.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

27 June: Lake District

The weather was glorious in the Lake District all week, with farmers making hay in every valley.
We were staying near Tarn Hows, so that was part of our first day's walking -

Another day we walked from Hawkshead over Latterbarrow to Lake Windermere, then returned up through the woods of Claife and across fields. This peaceful-looking lunch spot was actually beside a path popular with walkers and cyclists.

This was near Coniston - again, admiring the fells from the valley below -

Another walk in the woods, another attack by clegs; this time Grizedale Forest, with its sculptures.

See how it comes back round to sheep and wool again? Of course, Friday was spent at the Woolfest in Cockermouth, where I collected my Michael Williams inkle loom, and bought a quantity of tools and fibre, including 2 Shetland fleeces! Dipping a toe into fleece preparation again, this time with a bit more idea of what I'm doing.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

13 June: World Championship

Today we competed in the Fifth World Wand Championship at Raby Castle, a longbow competition. It rained. The morning was taken up with the Championship itself - 13 ends of 3 arrows each, shot from various distances from 20 yards to 50 yards.

This is the set-up before shooting started -

The wands are 4 inches wide and the scoring area is about 40 inches top to bottom. The winner scored 18 hits, and was presented with the magnificent silver trophy. My Dear Husband and I did not distinguish ourselves, nor did we disgrace ourselves; we enjoyed both the shooting and meeting friendly archers from other clubs, some of whom we met at the last shoot at Raby.

The Castle made a scenic backdrop to the event, and the staff laid on an excellent lunch for us.

After lunch we had first a proper wand shoot, with everyone trying to hit inch wide and about 3 feet tall sticks stuck into the ground, from a distance of about 25 yards; there were a surprising number of hits.

Then it was the sudden death competition, in which everyone shot an end at 20 yards, then non-scorers dropped out and scorers went on to shoot at 30 yards; repeat at increasing distances until there is only one archer left. This took a while, as it reached a point where the few left in the competition all missed, and then there were several more ends needed to decide the second and third places.

It took far less time to dismantle and pack up the wet equipment than it had done to set it all out in the morning, then we came home to dry out our own kit and have a nice lie down after all the excitement.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

6 June: Back to the wool

A few more inkle bands have been woven - here are two of them in use securing my carders -

Recent spinning has included a bag of wool/linen , which was not very easy to spin, but which has an interesting texture. It has now been dyed and wound into balls, ready for making into something or other.

More spinning, this time a bag of Jamieson and Smith's Shetland fibre in a range of 14 different shades. About 25 gms in each little skein, about 20 w.p.i.

And then yesterday was spent demonstrating spinning with the Guild at a local Medieval Fair - a sure sign of summer. Unfortunately, I have no photos.