Monday, 27 April 2009

Wonderwool Wales

Spent the weekend at Wonderwool selling my yarns, fibres, hats and various other bits and pieces and generally catching up with all bthe lovely people who come to one of my very favourite fibre events of the year.

This year, I shared a stall with Jenni Stuart Anderson, who makes the most wonderful rag rugs and who happens to be a cousin of Gareth's. It was lovely to have company on the stall and it meant we could take it in turns to go for a wander round and do things.

Heres the stall, all ready for business on the first day:

I was very very good and hardly bought anything, just some fibre to keep me going when I ran out of the supplies I had brought with me. And yes, I know it makes no sense to be stood behind a stall full of fibre, then go and buy some from another stall, but it seemed somehow wrong to break into the 'for sale' stuff.

Most exciting of all, I collected Gareth's 'new' wheel. He's never had a wheel of his own before, and this was offered for sale a while ago and I just had to say yes. Not the best angle on the picture, but we're fairly sure its originally from Finland, and having had a good look at it now we're guessing its about a hundred years old. Needs a little tlc, the footman is broken and it only has one bobbin, has a missing distaff and hasn't been used for many years so a good scrub and oiling is in order, but its lovely, and I did consider, just for a moment, changing my mind and keeping it for myself, but rallied at the last moment and handed it over. Needless to say he was thrilled with it, and has spent time in the workshop today turning new bobbins and mending the footman. I expect you'll hear more about the wheel as he fiddles with it and makes it his own, I suspect we're going to end up with something with all sorts of extra twiddly bits by the time he's finished.

I didn't take part in the 'sheepwalk' fashion show myself this year, but I did manage to get a photo of the show staff modelling assorted dwarven battle bonnets and gnome hats of mine, so that was a very cheerful moment. I was also very proud of myself for managing the van all by myself, I had been very worried about manouvering it without someone to wave me into tight parking spots, but she behaved beautifully and all my fretting was in vain.

I have a couple of weeks off work now to try to get over a series of persistent colds and generally being very run down, so I'm hopeful that I'll be able to find time to do some spinning, maybe even in company with Gareth on his own wheel, and enjoy doing some fibre crafts just for the fun of it.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Distaff and Spindle

We cut the overgrown privet hedge last week and a certain twig just screamed 'distaff' at me, so it had a week drying out and today, himself debarked it, straightened a kink by playing a blowtorch over it then bracing it whilst it cooled, and oiled and waxed it for me.
(Excuse the hideous pic of me)
the top of the stick is just a neat fork:
distaff top
The spindle is also one he made me, this is in slate, and its my favourite spindle
Overall, the distaff is the perfect length to tuck in my jeans pocket, but it also wedges into the sofa cushions perfectly for spinning in front of the tv. :)

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Thrummed Sailor's Cap

I was recently asked to make a thrummed cap based on a type worn in the seventeenth century and popular with sailors because the thrummed surface creates a very warm cosy hat.

The basic shape was very straightforwards to knit, then I covered the surface with short lengths of yarn before fulling the whole thing. This picture is after one fulling, and I think it will need a second as its a little large still. I do love the 'cuddly pet monster' effect. Please excuse the obvious anachronism, I should have made him take his torc off first.

There is an image of a sailor in a similar cap here, taken from Habiti Antichi e Moderni by Cesare Vecelli, 1600. (Tincey, p 22)