Sunday, May 13, 2007

A Plethora of Spinners

I'm not sure what the collective noun for a group of spinners would be but yesterday there was definitely a lot of us!

It was the annual open day held by the Derbyshire Weavers, Spinners and Dyers Guild, and what a lovely bunch of people they turned out to be. As a newish spinner this was my first event like this and I wasn't sure quite what to expect.

Well, I had a great time. They had laid on a fantastic event in a lovely hall. There were stall selling fibre, and dyes, and books, and beautiful hand-turned spindles and other woodwork. There were beautiful examples of handspun, handknitted and woven garments and wallhangings and bags and all manner of things.

I guess in total there must have been about 50-60 spinners in the hall, from all over the midlands. And they were all so friendly, and they didn't mind a bit if you just had to have a feel of their jumper and ask them how it was made.

Here are Mona, Catherine and Jan from my local spinners group (Walsall Handspinners) -

And here is the Scottish Fibres stall where there were all manner of lovely goodies for sale -

I took this photo while everyone was eating lunch (otherwise you wouldn't have seen the stuff for the spinners). Oh, yes, the Guild had laid on a fantastic spread for lunch and then even more for tea in the afternoon. We were so well looked after.

And here's Maggie, discovering just how addictive spinning can be once you find a wheel that suits you - Check the look of total concentration on her face. I wish I had got a photo of the excitement on her face later when she had in her hand her very first small plied hank of handspun. All her own work. And thanks to the lady, who's name I missed, who loaned Maggie her new Kromski wheel to try, and who really ought to be on commission as I gather everyone who tries it wants one.

I was very restrained with the shopping. But I did buy a few bits (well, it would have been rude not to, wouldn't it). So I did buy a bag of shetland fleece, and a nice pile of back issues of US knittings mags, and a back issue of Spin-Off. I totally resisted the piles of multicoloured merino, and all the many different rare breeds, and the silk and camel and yak and alpaca and angora. All of which I petted and put back. I resisted the rosewood and ebony circular and sock needles too, although that was hard as they were very nice. It was the books that really got me (that will not a surprise to anyone who's ever met me, or who's been reading the blog regularly), there were so many books that I wanted, on lace knitting, and dyeing and spinning and sock knitting. I could have spent an absolute fortune. Anyway I just noted a few titles for my wishlist ready for my next birthday or christmas or whatever.

So anyway a good time was had by us all. It was great to see what everyone else was spinning and be able to ask them questions. And there were so many beautiful wheels of many different makes, some old, some new. And a great variety of spinners too spinning all different things in different ways. I got some great ideas for things I'd like to try. A really inspirational day.

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