This morning I 'happened' to hear on the radio of a fibre fair being held today at Virginia Farm Woolworks in Annangrove. WM, DD and I packed a picnic lunch and off we went!
I didn't know what to expect and, at first, I was little disappointed; there didn't seem to be much to see. However, WM engaged the owner, Jenny Dunn, in conversation about skein winders and soon we were talking about spindles. Jenny spoke as if we knew how to use one and when it became obvious that we didn't, she demonstrated. But she went way beyond that, she gave us two spindles and some fibre and encouraged us to play. We soon learnt why they are called 'drop' spindles! LOL
I tired very quickly, one has to stand to use them and I found it to be a slow, monotonous process. However, DD and WM were having a great time (so much so that WM did too much spinning and didn't take any photos!).
I went out and sat in the sun (such as it was) and talked to Susanne, a fellow member of the BM Knitters' group and Knit4Charities. She was demonstrating spinning on a double-pedalled wheel and making it look very easy. The fibre she was using was 100% merino tops which she had dyed. Also demonstrating was Caroline, using a portable spinning wheel and working with wool straight off the sheep's back, lanolin and dirt included - this would explain the drop cloth on her knee! Caroline was wearing a beautifully knitted cable jumper in natural colours, made from wool she had spun herself.
We left at 3pm, when the fair closed - we means WM and I, DD was by this time seated at a wheel and giving spinning a try. She took to it very well and we couldn't move her. We went out to the car, had a sandwich and a cuppa (it was too cold by then to picnic outside) and finally DD joined us. She gobbled down some lunch and stayed in the car long enough to convince us to loan her some money to buy a spinning wheel (the same one she had been using - talk about 'puppy dog selling'!!) Almost an hour later, DD and WM put the wheel in the car - I don't know what they had been doing all that time (I was in the car knitting) but DD was pretty excited. She sat at that spinning wheel for four hours when we got home; she didn't produce much usable yarn but she had a lot fun and learnt quite a bit about her new 'toy'.
I can heartily recommend Jenny and her business - and am looking forward to their visit to our knitting group at our October meeting.