Sunday, 15 September 2013

Wildcraft Spin-in 2013

Last weekend I had the joy to attend the Spin-in at Wildcraft Fibre. When I fell into the Spinning World, my first spindle was a beautiful resin one (and the fibre) that was made by Karen and I did not even know that she was so close to home.

The event is held in Marquees in the fields and runs from Friday afternoon to Sunday. When I arrived everything was bathed in glorious sunshine.

I ventured into temptation... The shop was filled with delights and I enjoyed them so much that I forgot to take more photos. I liberated a little fibre over the weekend - enough to spin for yet another cardigan. 

Karen now makes the most beautiful support spindles and bowls too and it was very hard not to acquire one after I saw them in action over the weekend.

Next to the shop, the workshop area looked very inviting for the 2 dyeing workshops that I had chosen to attend over the next 2 days. 

I love the hay bales even though they made the surface a tad uneven and my table partner's bright red dye ran away over the top and attempted a coup of my fibre. 

With quick action by Karen, it failed. Seeing the red fibre later, I was a little sad that it did not succeed. We all coveted that gorgeous red fibre.

As you can understand, photography and playing with dye don't necessarily compliment each other but at the end of the afternoon, I had a bucket full of lovely dyed fibre ready to be set in the steamers.

At the luxury fibre workshop the next morning, I stalked other participants in an effort to photograph the methods and attempt be a better blogger. 

First we squirted dye onto the fibre.

The fibre is placed on cling wrap first. This is the first silk braid in the last photo.

Once the fibre is decorated to one's delight, it is wrapped in the cling wrap, ready for the dye to be set in the steaming process. This is a gradient that I dyed. It came out beautifully and my daughter has her eye on it.

After the streaming, the fibre is rinsed and left out to dry. The two blue bits are what I dyed the day before. The red is the one that attempted the coup. Isn't it gorgeous?

By late afternoon, there was a rainbow drying

while we sat spinning and chatting and enjoying the country air.

We had sheep to share the conversation and in a rare moment of stillness, I caught Karen communing with her flock. She is so tender with her animals.

In the late afternoon, the view from my wheel as the shelter was deserted as everyone went off to visit the sheep.

The Saturday afternoon drum carding workshop was run by Longdrawjames and it was a joy to sit and spin listening the chatter and laughter that emerged from the Marquee. 

Even though I did not attend, I watched 2BAnnaB using her skills on Sunday and it was very interesting. It had me reconsidering drum carding as the Alpaca fiasco has me not very amused with them, but that is a different story.

2BAnnaB hosts a podcast I listen to.  She has an Etsy shop and had her beautiful stitch markers on sale  and I may just have come home with some. These are super light and glide over my needles like a dream.

On Sunday morning an impromptu spindle class happened while we were waiting for the next workshop to start. Karen was a great teacher in the dyeing workshop but she excelled herself teaching the ladies to spin.

I took the morning workshop about spinning luxury fibres with James who is a relaxed and patient teacher. He made me want to tackle that bothersome silk spinning project gain. Again I was so engrossed that photos were forgotten.

I left after lunch with a clutch of fibre that I had dyed and spread it out to dry when I got in.

The braids are as follows, the first 4 are from the 2nd workshop, and the last 4 from the first.

1 Silk - yes, it started off with yellow.
2 Blf/silk - the gradient from earlier
3 English wool - which I learned does not take dye very well - those colours were rust and dark blue!
4 Camel/silk - also did not take the depth of colour as the dye was deep purple
5 Bfl - blue is my favourite colour.
6 English wool - that was teals and turquoise
7 Bfl - my attempt at pastels which I love
8 Falkland - I love this one

I had a fabulous weekend and it was good to meet lovely new people and spend lots of time sitting in a field spinning to the sound of baa-ing sheep, laughter and chattering. We had some typical English weather and it made no difference at all. 

I will be attending this fun event again.