Monday, March 03, 2008

A whirlwind of activity

This weekend has gone by in a whirlwind of activity, pretty much as anticipated really.

Dave departed early on Saturday morning and after doing some household chores, I drove down to Warwick for the Ravelry day at Crafty Cottage. The drive to Warwick was made more interesting than usual by the high winds which kept trying to blow the car off the road. I later learnt that I wasn't the only one having scary moments due to the wind, with a couple of freight trains loosing their containers!

I arrived in Warwick, just as Jo was getting her children to cut the ribbon to start the day's festivities. Then, ribbon cut and scissors stowed, knitters began to file into the shop, at first just a handful or so and then in a steady trickle that just didn't seem to stop. I've never seen so many people in the Crafty Cottage and what is normally a spacious shop, became crowded very quickly... So I did the only sensible thing and retreated upstairs out of the way, where it was slightly quieter.

Upstairs, Steelbreeze was knitting away on her knitting machine and a local textiles artist, Emma Price from Charkha Yarns, was giving a first taste of spinning. This was popular with the other attendee's so it took me a while to work up to speaking to Emma and eventually having a go, first with a tickler and then spinning at the wheel itself.

A tickler is essentially just a piece of wood which has been whittled at both ends so it's got a point. You wrap some spun yarn around it and then use that to lead your unspun fleece onto the tickler, turning the piece of wood which puts a twist in and hence spins it. It did seem incredibly complicated to do, but once I'd had a go on the spinning wheel, the theory suddenly made sense. Using the tickler, I managed to spin up a few yards or so of wool and was pleasantly surprised to find that I picked up the essence of how to use a wheel in less than ten minutes.

If I only had room for one, I'd now be sorely tempted to start looking for a spinning wheel because it was very satisfying to see the fluffy fleece turning into yarn right in front of my eyes... And even more satisfying to know I was responsible for that transformation!

Eventually, I had to go home because I was running out of time on my parking ticket, but I did thoroughly enjoy myself.

However, I didn't manage to slip away before buying some yarn. During one of my forays downstairs in search of cake and tea, I spotted some Shades of Cashmere merino and some locally spun heavy wool. I've PM'd Jo because I can't remember the details of the local spun stuff, but it was in a gorgeous raspberry shade which I think would felt well.

Having spent money at the Crafty Cottage, I was far more restrained at the Living History Fair on Sunday. So restrained that other than some jerky and teas, I didn't buy anything at all! I did have fun looking around though and I think this fair is getting better each time I go. My one request would be that they have more craft traders, who'll supply you with the raw materials, tools and instructions to make your own things rather than just presenting us with the finished item.

After a good while, Richardxl5 and I managed to drag Dave out of the fair and we headed to a local pub for a spot of lunch before going home.


Richard said...

So you saved money by buying wool on Saturday while Dave saved his by buying 19 Orcs :), I think I was the most restrained this weekend.

Frizbe said...

Lol at Dave with 19 Orcs :-) Glad you had a great weekend Julie :-) crafting sounds very interesting. I think I was mainly tired on Saturday night, as been busy doing lots of things really, I probably seemed quieter as I was letting dh do the talking whilst I occupied dd2, a task in itself!

Esther said...

I have a spinning wheel in storage which one day I plan to have out honest. If you want to borrow it for a while though just shout.

By the way by way of being bored I did a meme I was tagged for so had to pick others to tag.. well I didn't have to but i have and you are on the list. Thought it might be fun and it would be interesting to see if I didn't know anything you put up.

Julie said...

Esther - I will keep your spinning wheel in mind, should I decide to have another go. :) I was thinking of asking you along on Saturday, but figured with your time so close, it probably wasn't a good idea. As it was, I think I was right - it was crowded and I spent a lot of time standing, so my knee was playing up on Sunday and yesterday. There is the possibility of something similar going on the first May bank holiday weekend... Let me know if you'd be interested in going along.

Mandy said...

There's something about spinning, isn't there. I can't wait for my course in May, then I'll be lucky enough to have my mother-in-law's wheel on permaanent loan, slong with all the extras. More than happy to have you around for spinning evenings!

Julie said...

Mandy - Hmmm... Coming around for spinning evenings sound interesting :)

At the mo, I'm thinking about whether to buy a small drop spindle, looking out there on the interweb, there seem to be starter kits which supply washed/combed fleece, a spindle and basic instructions. Instructions are good.

scarletprincess said...

Hi there. We missed the opening but it was such a fantastic time at the shop. The stuff she has there is amazing!