Thursday, 15 August 2013

Guild Summer School Trade Fair

Last Saturday I headed in a south- westerly direction and across the hills of Mid-Wales to the Guild Summer School at Carmarthen where I joined up with Helen of My Fine Weaving Yarn. This meant a really early start in order to be with Helen before the Trade Fair opened up for business at 9 am sharp. The roads were clear of holiday traffic thank goodness and I had a trouble free trip over the cloud covered hills and came down the other side into sunshine. Business had been good the day before as the students on the various courses had the opportunity to buy from the Trade Fair before members of the public had the chance to buy on Saturday, so we were hoping for another busy day. It was lovely to meet some of our customers from Woolfest who had bought yarn from us specifically for the courses they were doing here. We had a great time chatting with them about their time at Summer School and Helen managed to visit a few of the classes later that day to see some of their work. I did a little bit of shopping too!

I bought one of the new Zoom Looms that Schacht make from The Threshing Barn along with some more Gaywool dyes and some wool roving with dyed nepps. As you can see once I got home I had to have a play with the Zoom Loom and I must say it has great potential!
I also couldn't resist buying a couple more spindles from my favourite spindle maker IST Crafts. The one on the left of the picture is a Tibetan spindle made from Ebony on Sycamore with an African Blackwood shaft with a matching bowl. The spindle on the right is a bottom whorl made from Birds Eye Maple with an Ash shaft. I'm having such fun using my other spindles that I can't believe I haven't spindled before!
Our next outing with My Fine Weaving yarn will be at the end of September when we go to Skipton in Yorkshire and the new show called Yarndale. Before then I will be off to another steam rally and then we are off across the Chanel to Germany in our Mk II Jaguar on the MSA Euroclassic - more about that later!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Not More Steam?

Yes I'm afraid 'tis so! This time we all drove off in the pouring rain to South Cerney near Cirencester to yet another steam rally trusting that the weather forecasters had got it right and that our destination would be dry. They sort of got it right but it was not a rain free day by any means. However, we still managed to enjoy the day despite the frequent showers.

There was the usual display of steam rollers and their living vans.
Plus the usual assortment of showman's engines, road engines and steam lorries. Next to a lovely fairground organ was a showman's living van with this inscription on the door....
I didn't know my sister had a living van? She's kept this rather quiet. I looked inside to see if she was at home...
It was decorated with lots of lovely vintage things to give the flavour of the late 1940's when the living van was busy going around with the fairground. I must say Catherine has done a good job!
Our next steam event will be at the end of August when the plan is for us to join John Sankey with the road roller.
One of my favourite fibre related books in my vast collection has to be " The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook" by Deborah Robson and Carol Ekarius. I love looking at it during a tea break as well as referring to it when I have an interesting fleece to spin. I have even started my own rare breed project as a result of reading this book and also watching her DVD published by Interweave Press. Any spinners reading this who have not got this book and/or the DVD shame on you !! You don't know what you are missing. Anyway, reading a recent post by Hillevis Tradar  she mentioned that Deb Robson has a new project in mind and that there was a fund raising campaign to help Deb achieve this. Deb wants to travel over here to the U.K. to research Shetland sheep but needs funds so a few of her friends have put together Dreaming of Shetland which is an ebook collection of knitting patterns inspired by Shetland and the purchase price will help to fund Deb's research. I have bought the first section which is available at the moment and it looks very good, looking forward to seeing the other sections when they are published. I'm also hoping that I may get to meet Deb when she visits Fibre East next year to teach classes. If you are interested in rare sheep breeds, Shetland sheep or the islands of Shetland can I urge you to buy the ebook and help Deb out. You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

A steamy weekend

Last Saturday we all went along to a steam rally at Welland near Malvern which is just over an hour away from home. We have never been to this rally before as our trip planned last year had to be altered as the show was cancelled due to the rotten weather. It was a surprisingly large site with the usual mixture of steam engines and classic cars. The weather was a bit warm with hazy sunshine so the light in the photos is a bit flat. Anyway here is some of what we saw.

We had a pleasant time strolling around all the different sections and met up with the lady who owns the living van which so inspired us last year when we saw it for the first time that we have bought one for ourselves to renovate. At the end of the day we shopped in the food tent and came home with local sausages and duck burgers for the barbeque and local breads. The best thing though was some local ice cream - mmmm! Lemon Ripple made by Kelsmor Dairy. I've never tasted such lovely ice cream before. It's made with the tartest lemon curd they can get hold of apparently and the result is a sharp but at the same time sweet and refreshing ice cream.
On Sunday Nicholas was invited to a steam up with his friend John Sankey who was taking his newly restored steam roller to a local beauty spot for the day. I went along with Mum later on that morning to have a look at the roller and as Nicholas said "She's beautiful"!
Nicholas got the chance to drive the roller a couple of times during the day and hopefully later this summer I'm going to have a ride too!
The lilies mentioned in a previous post have continued to flower and surprisingly in a different colour!