Monday, 20 August 2012

Celebrating British wool in Glastonbury

The famous Glastonbury Tor dominates the view for miles around but we had other plans as we drove into the town centre.

The crowds were gathering along the high street waiting in anticipation for

the Alpaca and sheep run. The Alpacas, however, were reluctant and kept lying down in the road.

Eventually they finished their lap 

and the sheep came trotting along behaving themselves this year by not trespassing in any of the local stores, as they have done in years past. The Festival of Bristish Wool was declared open and people rushed off to the town hall to examine all the festival wears. The Saint and I retired to a lovely coffee shop first. We have our priorities straight.

This is a wonderfully small relaxed event and we had plenty of time to enter the first hall and enjoy what it had to offer.

I loved all the different natural fleeces and was very tempted but reigned myself in and just enjoyed looking.

Some was dyed and knit, spun, woven or felted into beautiful pieces.

There were many wheels spinning away merrily. 

The second larger hall held all kinds of treasures too.

I was to shy to attempt the Great Wheel and I regret it now.

And then I met my nemesis.

I was caught in the act too! I came home with 2 sweater's worth of dyed tops to spin up. I am currently plying my second sweater's worth from WonderWool in April so I will need more now, of course.

The next purchases came from this beautiful booth. Some of the batts on the right hand side may have found a new home.

The lovely lady at this stall is currently felting a handsome chap. I think he is gorgeous with his gotland hair and soft corridale body. I loved his axe and shield too.

Having assisted with the teaching of felting to the children at Hilliers during the summer, I am gaining a new respect for felted objects. It is a great deal of hard work and skill. I just don't have the time to add yet another craft to the bunch I practice already! There were many felted objects for sale and on display.

This display is the one that impressed me the most. It is a study in British Wool undertaken over 3 years so far, to spin yarn from as many breeds as the spinner has been able to collect. This is dedication. These are full size skeins.

After a lovely morning we settled back at a coffee shop for lunch where we were joined by a fellow guild member and her husband. He and St Grant did not get a word in edgeways as we chatted away until it was time for the fashion show in the afternoon. Sadly the barn was very dark and my photos did not meet my quality control.

I did, however, meet this wonderful character who was a member at the rural museum and he was very impressed that I knew what an inkle band was. When I told him that we teach the children at Hilliers to make the braids on cardboard, he informed me that cardboard would only be invented in 300 years time!!!

His outfit is true to a time when clothes where precious and one had to be able to adapted to whatever the weather threw one's way. Here you can see his detachable knitted sleeves ready to be donned as needed. I am grateful to live in modern times with all the modern facilities.

Before attempting the two and a half hour drive home, we retired back to the town square to refresh ourselves with a wee ice-cream. We are having some quite heated days again in the UK.

No summer visit to an English village is complete without Morris Dancers performing somewhere. 

It was a delightful day out and one I will repeat again next year if possible.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

1. Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers - Exhibition of Handmade Textiles

Here are the exhibition blogs and promised. These blogs celebrate the work of the wonderful artists and crafts people who created the selected works. Thank you for your hard work.

The photos are in no particular order.

Blog 1 - mostly knitting and handspun
Blog 2 - mostly weaving
Blog 3 - mostly tapestry
Blog 4 - (July) The Rings

I know I have missed some work and accreditations so I apologise in advance if I have left any one out or have made any mistakes. It is completely my failing and no reflection on the beautiful work you produced.

I have included the typed accreditations where possible. They hang at different angles and are placed in some challenging places! Some photos are blurred and if you can enlarge them you will be able to make out what was written.

Taking photos in a crowded room comes with its own challenges. It is a vast undertaking to record and edit it however I want to share it as I was so in awe of the wonderful work exhibited.


Missed the 'before' box of tops here.

Here is my cardigan that was chosen for this exhibition. :)