Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Cranleigh Show

I spent this Saturday with my local Guild of Spinners Weavers and Dyers on their stand at the Cranleigh Agricultural Show. They have a stand there each year and demonstrate a mixture of spinning and weaving (dyeing is a bit impractical). I went along hoping to sell a few of my felted items and get to know some of the guild members better. I didn't sell anything but I was taught to spin by the lovely Jo, she made it look so easy and I'm sure I made it look unnecessarily difficult. But in my defence you are trying to control 3 different elements simultaneously (keeping the foot treadle going so it spins in the right direction, thinning out the roving with your right hand while holding and feeding the thinned roving with your left), all far too much for my tiny brain to cope with!

This is the outcome of my labours.... a bit chunky and uneven (I call it "art yarn" ;o) ) but at least it has not unravelled.

Rosemary also attempted to teach me how to use a drop spindle. This was a little easier but my results were a tad disappointing. I clearly need more practice...

Here is our West Surrey Guild of Spinners Weavers and Dyers. You can just about make out a couple of my felt handbags hanging on the back wall of the tent. We were busy like this all day.

And a few more photos from the rest of the show.

Another bonus from this trip was picking up my first fleece to scour and prepare for felting (2 fleeces in fact), I'm afraid I forgot to take pictures while I was working on the first one but here is the second one (a Jacob) all neatly bundled up.

And partially unfolded, the sides are still folded in. The neck of the fleece is on the left. I was rather pleased to find it was mostly white wool (it's much easier to dye different colours).

I spent this morning cutting off the dags, picking out bits of grass and dead bugs and separating the colours into separate buckets ready for scouring. It was nice (if a bit smelly) to be sitting in the sun playing with my fleeces.

I noticed on my first fleece that I still have small waxy lumps in the fleece even after soaking in detergent overnight and rinsing. Those of you who have scoured your own fleeces - do you have a preferred detergent or method for getting rid of the build up of lanolin?


  1. That's what my yarn looks like when I spin it. I hear that when you get better, it is hard to get this look :)

    What temperature water did you use? I think that makes the most difference on getting rid of the lanolin. I use Dawn dish detergent.

    1. In that case I will make sure to appreciate all my lovely "art yarn" in anticipation that one day I won't be able to make it any more ;o)

      The water I used for scouring was just above "hand hot" (I could only put my naked hand in it for a few seconds at a time. Maybe I did not use enough dish soap?

  2. My yarn is similarly lumpy, but still has its uses. :)

    When scouring I use Fairy liquid and water just off the boil. Add the fleece to the water rather than the other way around to prevent it felting and always rinse in water at the same temperature as the wash water.

    Love your dyeing method - I'll be giving that a try! Thanks.