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.
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.
Last week we had a brilliant weekend at Crafting Live (I didn't have time to get it in the last blog post). It was a fantastic show! We had to travel all the way up to the Three Counties Showground, staying in a lovely campsite down the road, and met so many wonderful people! We finally managed to get our wool batts out for sale as well as our smaller amounts of acrylic fibre to use during spinning and felting.
We even have the possibility of going up to Malvern again to do some classes in the future in spinning and weaving. I'm so excited!
We also met up with other traders for the first time in a few months, and it was great seeing some familiar faces, especially ones who were giving us some things we had ordered (look out for Lucets in our future!).
This weekend we also went to Whiteley Village, near Walton on Thames, and tried out the canopy of my camper as a tent. It was a horribly rainy day, and the show was terrible, but it was really good to try out the frame inside of the canopy....
It was our first show of the year this weekend! We had two days at Sandown Park Racecourse for Crafting Live (run by Create & Craft). It was a great show with a huge amount of interest in our spinning wheels and craft supplies! Having a show like that validates your life choices and changes to the business! I'm so pleased! We also made some amazing new friends who should add another level to our handmade craft supplies!
I also managed to finish off my stormy blue warp on my loom. This is my favourite warp so far and I just adore it! There is one I'm going to be most sad when I sell it as I love it so much.
It was a pleasure to weave and I really enjoyed doing simple patterns around the really interesting colours.
Happy New Year everyone! It's been a tough one, but we've made it through!
Yesterday was the last day of Basingstoke market and I couldn't be gladder to be at home and finally doing some Christmas eating! I'm going to have a few days with heavy lie-ins, and then it's back to work making new stock for the year!
I have so many plans to put together this year! I definitely want to get more into kits. I really love spreading the knowledge and love of all things wool! My big aim of the year is to get dry and wet felting kits together with everything you need to start out! We also want to give classes at shows in this, to give people an idea of what to do and how to use all of the equipment.
On a similar line, I have bought a tiny loom, which is exactly the same style as the one I take to shows. With this, people can have a go at weaving and make part of a scarf. All money from taking part will also go to the Rare Breeds Society Trust. This charity does such great work to make sure animal breed...
Merry Christmas everyone! We are (understandably) having a day off today, and my, am I going to enjoy it! We've been flat out at Basingstoke for over a month now and I'll be so happy to be back at home again.
This week has been pretty hectic, with panic buying on the stall! I now have nothing packed away under the table, what I have is all out on display! The weather is getting slightly milder, which I'm so pleased about.
Have a lovely Christmas, and we will see you in the new year!
It's only one more week until I get a day off! And the excitement when I woke up to snow this week! Being from Portsmouth, we never get snow.We're on the warm side of a hill and right next to the sea, but here inland SNOW! It may seem like a little to everyone else, but it's cheered me right up.
It's been a bit of a quieter week at the stall, so I have taken the opportunity to get some ordering done for next year. I have sticky labels, paper bags and new boxes winging their way to me soon! Next year is going to be a whole lot more eco-friendly, so no more plastic bags and all recycled and recyclable packaging from now on!