Happy new year, happy new skills

The January meeting can sometimes be a bit chancy; we’ve had snow, gales, floods – all sorts of disruptions. But happily the weather was comparatively kind to us this year, and the hall was lovely and toasty warm as well.

wheel basking

Even the wheels seemed to be basking!

As a result, our first meeting of 2014 was very lively – there was plenty to catch up on since the last meeting in 2013 – and there were lots of enthusiastic members chatting while spinning, chatting while knitting,

knitting

chatting while setting up the drum carder,

carder

and then chatting while showing a newish member how to drum card what she described as ‘very bad wool’ into something much more useful on the old Guild carder. It’s not that horrible a fleece really,

J's fleece

and is going to be used on a peg loom (found in a local charity shop) when it’s spun up. Another brand new member had her first go on the Guild wheel, with lots of valuable – invalauble – advice.

Another member brought her electric Hansen mini spinner along,

minispinner

which attracted a lot of attention (she’s spinning up a Gotland cross).

Quite a few of us were spinning fleece, and it was notable how many of us were spinning named fleece – er, fleece from sheep who had a name, as opposed to just a number on an ear tag. The drum carder was being used to spin up some from Laura (a BFL cross), and this was from

Dela

Dela, a Shetland (now no longer in the spinner’s ownership…)

Another spinner had a basketfull of Martha’s fleece:

Martha

Martha, a BFL / Welsh Mountain cross, was possibly the biggest sheep in the world – except she was all fleece. She had to be shorn early to prevent her falling over and not being able to get up again, and her vast fleece was delivered to the spinner in a builder’s rubble sack. Her fleece will be dyed when spun, and will possibly make enough jumpers for the whole Guild.

This bobbin holds fleece from Sali,

Sali

a sheep belonging to the spinner’s grandson – each child is given a sheep when they’re born and Sali is a lamb or grandlamb (?) of the original birthday sheep. It’s being knitted into a jumper in response to repeated requests – ‘Nain, knit me something from Sali’ – but is being blended with some BFL for extra softness.

In how many other Guilds, we wonder, do so many people spin, knit or weave fleece from sheep with names?

There’s a new schedule up on the events and meetings page, by the way – lots of good meetings to come…

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