Yesterday was Open Farm Sunday this year, and – a real bonus – a glorious day. Last year we were invited to spin at a local National Trust farm, the wonderful Hafod y Llan near Beddgelert – and we evidently did something right, because we were asked to return. The setting cannot be bettered,
and neither could the weather. See, it doesn’t always rain in Snowdonia!
We found a place to line up our wheels which had two advantages: it would start the day in at least some blissful shade, and it was very close to the refreshments (mincemeat flapjacks – yes). Soon we were spinning away
and attracting quite a bit of attention. As usual, children were fascinated and some badly wanted to have a go. Despite distractions, some of us even managed to get quite a bit done and one – you know who you are – was ambitiously three-plying:
We had taken some finished items ranging from a fine lace scarf to a rug to demonstrate what you can create, along with some examples of yarn
but there’s no doubt that it was the actual spinning which interested people the most. We often get comments along the lines of ‘I didn’t think anyone did that any more,’ and it’s good to demonstrate that people definitely do (and that we’re not all in fairy stories or folk museums).
There were other wooly demonstrations too:
from some truly wriggly sheep (Romneys and Welsh Mountains), and some proper sheepdog trials. ‘Proper’ in the sense that these were local farmers and local dogs and not – generally – the ‘One Man and his Dog’, perfect trialling candidates. Dog handling you can aspire to rather than be dumbstruck by, in short,
though it does have to be said that by the afternoon the sheep were getting a bit – er, flighty and disinclined to co-operate. After all, when a wolf is trying to chase you through a gate, why not jump over a six-foot wall instead?
We were certainly getting a little hot ourselves and inclined to seek more shade so we migrated into a barn,
which was happily even closer to the teas and the mincemeat flapjacks. What a great way to spend a Sunday (even if some of us did end up with sunburnt feet)!