It’s that time of year again, the Rare Breeds show at the Weald and Downland Museum is coming round again. I think it must be six years since my first entry, which was made using a spindle created from a CD and a chopstick!
I have one project well underway, but I’m hoping to get a skein of polwarth ready to enter as well. I bought a small amount of locks a few months back, have washed them and started flick carding them. They were not really dirty to start with, but a gentle soak and rinse made the locks look like something out of a washing powder advert!
In attempt to keep my hands from complaining too much about overuse, I am swapping between carding and spinning. Spinning this fleece is a pleasure, I must remember to take my time plying as that is where I tend to get impatient and it all goes horribly wrong…
The annual Rare Breeds Show took place yesterday at the Weald and Downland Museum in Singleton. The Museum is a beautiful place and can look like this:
Thanks to the joys of the British summer, much of the day was spent looking at a view more like this:
Even the sheep took shelter:
Although the weather did spoil things somewhat, there were plenty of animals to admire.
I had the chance to catch up with some of the members of Chichester Spinners, as well as meeting up with a few people I had only previously chatted with online. I thought there were far fewer fibre/spinning related stalls this year though, which was a shame – I had money in my pocket and most of it stayed where it was, I only bought a Jacob fleece and a tiny pack of dyed silk totalling a whopping £7!
As well as the displays there were the handspun classes, which filled plenty of tables:
I had a very pleasant surprise – the mixed colours of Gotland fleece that I entered in the natural coloured skein class won not only first prize but a special award from the judge!
My entries for the Rare and Traditional Breeds show at the Weald and Downland Museum in Singleton, which takes place tomorrow, are finally all ready to roll. Most have been ready for a while, they just needed labelling up and skeining nicely. I was shocked to find how much energy just doing something that simple took, it looks like a very slow journey back to being the old me 😦
Here are some photos of three of the skeins of yarn – the entry form says ‘neatly wound’ but I couldn’t quite figure out how that would apply to tailspun locks!
I had a lovely day yesterday. The sun shone, I enhanced my stash a bit and bought two spindles from IST Crafts.
I started spinning using a spindle, an Ashford one that is about the size and weight of a small country by comparison to these! I made a few spindles myself out of wooden wheel, CDs and bits of dowel and they all worked well enough, but weren’t that well balanced. When I first got my Ladybug wheel I put the spindles to one side, but these are so pretty and spin forever. I’ve had a quick go with both of them – I bought some oatmeal BFL/silk blend which I tried out on the drop spindle after a rather nice picnic, then tried a silk hankie on the turkish spindle (after a few hours on one layer I had to admit defeat and go to bed, leaving it for another day).
I did manage a rosette yesterday – my Shetland Fern scarf as awarded sixth place which I am delighted about! The fancy yarn class was great, and it was a skein of coiled yarn that picked up a first place so I will have to keep in training for next year!
I’m lucky enough to live near the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum which has a Rare Breeds Show every July. I’d been regularly, but last year it took on a whole new slant as I had been spinning (spindling?) for … at least six weeks! I didn’t let that put me off, I entered two items in the novice classes and came away with two rosettes. I guess I better point out that there aren’t too many novices out there, so the competition was not exactly fierce. I got prize money too – I think a first and third place earned me about £4.50 (so I made a profit – it was £1.5o for each entry)!
I’ve upped my game this year and am entering three classes – Shawl/Stole/Scarf, Natural Skein and Hat/Gloves/Other. I’ve just put the tags on and am ready to roll in the morning.
I agonised over how to attach the tags. Is it bad form to use a safety pin? Would it be showing off to use more handspun yarn – or should it be co-ordinated with the item? I hope I can’t hear them sniggering as I leave the display tent…
I’m hoping I will manage to buy some lovely spinny things too. I have my eye on a spindle from IST crafts and there were quite a few other fibre stalls last year so I’m sure that won’t be all that I come away with.
I bought some buttons today and am about to start frantically sewing them onto my newly felted bag (then adding a lining and some sort of closing device). I couldn’t find any flower shaped buttons, I had a picture in my head but maybe I saw them at the Lewes Guild show in October, not in the shop I went to? I want to take the finished bag on its first outing tomorrow to a suitably fitting event, so hopefully I can post a picture of the finished project tomorrow morning before I go.
I am much happier with my second attempt at dyeing this weekend. It’s cheerful and bright – my daughter said it was like summer flowers. The fibre was what was left from my original purple sock yarn project – around 150g of superwash merino/nylon mix. I think this will again turn into sock yarn, possibly turning into some socks with a feather and fan pattern.
A brief thank you to the local Brownie pack – again I was able to spend dyeing as they were keeping me child-free for the day! It’s a hundred years of Guiding this year, so I get another day to play in a few weeks time when it’s ‘Party in the Park’ – just in time to top up with fibre for the Tour de Fleece.
I also dyed a silk hankie – I’m not so sure about how that turned out. I might have a go at spinning the silk on my drop spindle rather than my Ladybug. I am eyeing up buying a new drop spindle from IST Crafts (http://thewoodemporium.co.uk/dropspindles.php) who will be at my local Rare Breeds Show next month. I’ll have some time away from home later in the year, so will be wheel-free and it would be good to keep spinning. Have I given myself enough excuses to spend money yet? 🙂