The weather forecast for Thursday was not good – the return of winter was predicted – and we were to host a sampling day with Wingham Wools. Not only did they have to get to us from Yorkshire and return home safely, but we also knew that spinners were planning on coming from other North Wales guilds. Happily the worst of the weather was delayed, which was just as well…
We can use two rooms in the Penygroes hall, which meant that Winghams had plenty of room to spread out their goodies,
and the spinners had plenty of room to set up their wheels or twirl their spindles.
There were over 30 wheels in the end, and quite a few spindle-twirlers.
So what did we find to play with? Plenty:
like these merino/silk blends, with very helpful samples of them spun and knitted up – thanks, Ruth.
Or how about buying yarn for dyeing,
or extending your range of equipment?
or trying out different fibres, from yak to crab to milk protein?
(Putting your hand into the cashmere / silk blend was like touching clouds. Only dry.)
There were all sorts of added extras – books, needles, embellishments, threads:
and some yarns, such as those made from recycled sari silk.
(And not just for knitting – what about unwinding these and blending them with other goodies on a drum carder, or using them in felting, or embroidery?)
Then you could make up your own blends of merino, or select colours for felting or just enjoying:
The colour range was an incentive to try something new and different. Most of us gravitate towards particular colours, so why not try autumn hues if you usually choose pinks, or vice versa?
And if you’d rather work with undyed fleece, there was plenty of choice of that too. Gotland, Shetland, BFL, Herdwick – plenty to fondle and decide upon.
But in the end, the huge advantage of a day like this lies in what it really is, quite apart from an exciting retail opportunity. It’s a sampling day, and boy did we sample.
And spend. Well, once tried, some things just had to be bought. Really!
Thanks to Winghams for such a lovely day; to our visitors and people from other guilds, notably Gwynedd and Abergele, and Dolgellau Sunday Market Spinners, for coming along; to all the members of our own guild who helped make the day such a success – and to the weather, for holding off with the return of winter for just long enough!
(And by the way, the Abergele Guild are having a friendship day on 14 April – all welcome, check out their blog: http://abergelewsd.blogspot.co.uk)