This week I have been setting my mind to writing instructional books and getting all of the templates ready. The plan is to have books written on spinning, weaving, knitting and crochet by the end of the year, all ring bound for easy use and on card for hardiness!
This week I have been writing the 4 Shaft Table Loom, Spinning and Fleece Processing booklets in readiness for the summer. It's been going really well and I've only got to take the photos for the fleece processing booklet to go!
Unfortunately with shearing being so late this year, we are only just getting the fleeces to start dyeing and carding to sell!!!
This week we went to the South of England Show for the second time. This show was a complete dud for me! There were loads of people, but just not buying from me or anyone in my tent!!!
The weekend was made much better though, from the amount of local smallholders wanting to find a home for their fleeces, which I am always open to! I also saw a lady I met last year who said she was so inspired by my passion for weaving, that she had bought her own Ridged Heddle loom, and was now looking for a 4 Shaft to progress to. I have never been so pleased to see a returning customer in my life! It's so nice to know that you've changed someone's life in that way! She was also a Circular Sock Machine Knitter, and I'm having real trouble setting mine up, so she gave me some tips and communities to look into on Facebook. The weekend wasn't a total loss after all!
This weekend we were at the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum's Living History Weekend. I have never seen so many different types of re-enactors in one field! Medieval, Viking, WW1, American WW2 and more! This all led to a very full weekend of events throughout the site.
One of the Medieval re-enactors was using weaving sticks and kept being asked where to get them. This lady had heard that I was selling peg looms at my end of the field and sent everyone across. As a result, I don't have any peg looms left for sale and my weaving sticks go hit a bit too! Time to get my Dad back to work making me some stock!
We sold another spinning wheel this week too! A lovely lady bought our Wee Peggy and was given an afternoon of lessons on spinning, plying and washing her yarn. We've told her to absolutely take her wheel to Guild meetings, as so many spinners go all gooey over a Wee Peggy!
This week was a new event for us at Nonsuch Park. It was run by Classic Events and was brilliant. The weather was wonderfully hot, and we had been placed under the only oak trees in the entire field, giving us a lovely amount of shade! We gave classes in spinning throughout the day and demonstrations on weaving. We know we made another spinner in the world as we sold a wheel to a lady from Lincoln so there is one more of us in the world now!
We weren't planning on staying at the event, I had my small campervan with really uncomfortable beds, we had no clothes, no blankets and no food. I'm in the process of selling this van, so there was nothing in it! No gas, no washing facilities and no pillows. However, the weather was so nice that we decided we had to stay. We spent the evening having a chat to a farmer from Essex who we have organised to take all of his fleeces after shearing, and sat with a group of American War of Independence Re-enactors at their camp.
It's been a busy week, this one. From Thursday we have been at the Devon County Show until Saturday, and on the way home we dropped into Rowdeford School in Wiltshire for their annual Summer Garden Fayre.
The Devon County Show was rammed! Even with football, Exeter playing in the rugby and the Royal Wedding, over 90,000 people came to the show. I'm amazed! We had a really nice time there meeting some really interesting people, especially a lady with Alpacas who lives down the road from our woodland! I also met a man looking to find a home for his Teeswater sheep fleece, which I was very happy to take him up on, and even some Dorset Horns.
On the way home we went to Rowde Shool for their Fayre. This is always a lovely event, raising money for the school and is always full of cheerful, happy family of the students. The school is under threat of closure due to funding cuts, but hopefully it will power through and still be open for the event next year!
I know I said show season has begun, but I might have been a bit quick to say that. I now have a weekend off... But it really does kick off next week, I promise!
So this week I have been playing with wet felting for a bit. We are trying to get the classes and instructional booklet going for making wet felted flowers, but that takes a bit of trial and error and testing with complete beginners to make sure our instructions are good enough! These are the results and I'm quite happy with how well the instructions went across! Just a few tweaks and we will be right there!
We're getting things together for the needle felting kits too! First things first: thimbles! I know how clumsy I am, I'm not letting my fingers go in there unprotected!
Finally the show season has begun! It's brilliant to be out on the road again, pitching up to events and getting to do classes and demonstrations! We're really getting going on this blue warp! It's my first really long warp which can do 8 scarves. 8! I've really go to get my ideas going to make them all look different!
The first show of the season was at the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum and was so HOT! We set up the stand in the hot at 8am, and it only got worse! By Monday lunchtime we were really flagging!
We were really happily situated next to a field of Southdown sheep, they look like teddies, unfortunately it was so hot for them that they hid on the other side of the enclosure in the shade of the tree and ignored us most of the time.
It was great to see some of the regular customers and hear how their journeys into weaving or spinning are progressing and help other people begin theirs! There are definitely going to be some new spinners in the world soon!
I cannot overstate how exciting it was to go to Wonderwool for the first time this week. It was absolutely brilliant (and I spent so much money)!
We met so many wonderful people, including Paul Britain from Classic Carders. We have one of his Drum Carders and absolutely love it. I always recommend his carders to anyone thinking of getting a drum carder or hand carders as they are so much cheaper than any others on the market and work wonderfully, so it was brilliant to actually meet him.
We learned so much about different weaving techniques, especially relating to peg looms and weaving sticks and bought an inordinate amount of wool (both yarn and fleeces).
We camped across the river from the event and foolishly walked to the show. This meant when we left, with 5 huge bags of purchases we were a bit stumped with how we would get back to the camper van! Thankfully, a lovely lad offered us a lift down the road and we thought better of walking the next day.
We still aren't into show season yet and I'm starting to get twitchy! I want to go travelling and meet people. Soon. Soon.
This week I've been getting my knitting stock together, having had to find a new supplier for my bamboo needles. I'm really pleased that I can offer straight needles, double ended needles and circulars now! Next on the list is Tunisian crochet hooks, I've only got metal ones at the moment!
All of these items are for sale now! Knitting needles are £2 a pair, or £14 for a set of 2mm - 10mm in any style!
I'm still warping! I'm now onto the warps for my small loom, that travels around with me, so only 300 ends this time! This first one is a blue, but I've also measured out a lovely browns and cream warp to make some less shocking scarves than I usually do, and a black and white striped one for later. I really liked the browns when they were on the cones, but now put together, I love them!
Really excited about this one and how it will turn out. I feel some plaids in my future!