Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Bristol Wool Fair

Well I have just about recovered from another busy weekend helping my good friend Helen at the very first Bristol Wool Fair. What a great time we had too! The weather was sunny and quite warm with only one heavy shower of rain on Saturday morning, but that didn't spoil things one little bit. We met some of our fellow stallholders we see at the others shows we do and met lots of new friends as well.

Helen had an Ashford Sample It loom warped up and demonstrated weaving on it which attracted a lot of attention. The men (and one boy!) were fascinated by the mechanics of weaving whilst the ladies/girls liked the colours and sparkly bits! All we were keen to do was pass on the message to give weaving a try!
Of course I had to make a few purchases while I had the chance. Here are just a few choice items....
Pirkka-lanka yarn from Finland to knit a shawl with and some Lithuanian linen from Midwinter Yarns.

Some merino/silk fibre and some dyed carrier rods from Wheeldale Woolcrafts. I also bought some wool blanket bundles for rug making from Phillipa too.
And a selection of wool rovings from Adelaide Walker. As I said at the top of this post I had a great time and look forward to next years event. I'm off on my travels again this weekend as I'm heading north into Yorkshire for the Reeth Rug Retreat. This a new thing for me especially as we are staying in a Youth Hostel. I'm sure I'll have lots to say in my next post. Until then....Happy Crafting.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Another spindle and another day trip

Well it's September already and, although I don't like to say it too loudly, let's hope the weather is better this month! What a dark and cold month August was and it seemed much worse as we had such a lovely hot July. Let all those people who moaned about the heat keep quiet next time! But I digress. I have recently added another wonderful spindle to the ever increasing spindle collection - number 24 no less! After a lot of pondering I decided to treat myself to a Golding spindle...

This is one of their 3" spindles with a lovely sheep decoration called Flock. It weighs slightly more than my other spindles and after a bit of a test spin I am going to do some sock yarn with it for starters. I'm sure there will be more Golding spindles added to the collection in the future.
  A couple of days ago I went on a day trip to West Wales - Mum coming along for the ride - to see a lady who keeps Llanwenog sheep. I discovered the delights of this particular breed a few years ago as the lady I bought some Polworth fleece from also kept Llanwenogs. Of course I had to get a couple of fleeces and after some sampling decided I needed some more before I could plan a suitable project. Alas the lady had sold her flock of Llanwenogs by the time I had got back in touch with her a year or so later. What a pity. But last week I was browsing Ebay over coffee and came across some Llanwenog fleece for sale in small lots. A quick email conversation later and a trip was planned to see some fleeces. Yippeee! Luckily we had good weather as we needed to cross the Welsh hills and head towards Lampeter and we wouldn't have been able to enjoy the lovely views in the rain. I did spot some fields around the village of Beulah where I am sure there were some Beulah Speckle Faced sheep grazing? Another breed I need to get some fleeces from in the future.
   We got to Lampeter in time for some lunch and have a quick stroll around the town. We have never been to Lampeter before and we were both surprised by how many shops were there and what a cheerful place it seemed. It was even better after we came across a wonderful knitting shop called  Red Apple Yarn. This is not your average knitting shop filled with bright, cheap acrylic yarn. The owners, Jude and Ceri, are keen crafters and are very selective with what they sell. I could have spent all day there hunting through all the little jars of buttons, stich markers and bag findings etc. I did have to buy something... some new sock pins, stitch markers, buttons and a skein of yarn.
We will certainly be making a return trip later this year. The added bonus was their lovely dog.....
Meet Vinnie a Cockerpoo!! He is a hearing dog but also helps out in the shop. Next we motored on to meet Patricia and Bryan Cobbold of StarChild Alpacas where we were greeted by another new canine friend.....

This is Yin a Tibetan Terrier who looks exactly like my dog Toby! Sadly his friend Yang is no longer with us and rather amazingly he was black like my dog Jack!! Spooky!!! After a lovely long chat over a cup of tea we had to make our way homewards over the hills but not before buying 2 fleeces. Unfortunately all the chatting meant we didn't get chance to see the sheep or the alpacas but next year I'm sure I will be going back for more! It was so nice to meet all these lovely people - and their dogs - and see such lovely countryside, which seemed a bit different to where we live, it felt like we had been on holiday for a week! I have a busy weekend ahead as I'm with Helen at Bristol Wool Fair selling yarn so I am off to pack my bags and head off later this afternoon. I will let you know what went on in my next post.