Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Lots of Lovely Fibrous Goodies

So, yesterday I said I would tell you about my trip to Wingham Wool Work. I'd not been before but I'd heard tales of the wonders to be found in their "sheds".

Still, I'm not sure I was quite prepared for what awaited me. I got there just after they opened on Sunday and was given a little tour of the aforementioned sheds and their workshops which were just brimming with stacks of fleece and other fibres waiting to be processed. There was the shed with the huge carding machine which they use to make enormous batts. And there was the blebing machine which they use to combine lots of different colours and types of fibre into beautiful rovings.

Then there was the Merino shed - full of big coils of the 125 different colours of merino they hold in stock. I selected a few colours that I thought I could use but really I wanted all of them. Anyway I picked out some deep red, and a rusty colour and a bright turquoise and a pale green and an olive green plus a mid-green.

And then there was the British Wools shed, full of all the different types of wool from British breeds and a few others all undyed in their natural colours. I bought some Light Grey Cheviot which is for a particular project I have in mind, and some Grey Norwegian, just because I couldn't resist the colour. Also in this photo is a bag of Tussah Silk and some scoured kid mohair, which came from the main part of the shop.

But the very best bit for me was what they call the "rainbow shed" which is just stuffed to the rafters with bags full of beautiful, rainbow coloured blended merino and silk. What happens is that they will custom blend merino for you (and add silk if you want it) and they do it on a one-off basis, just for you. And as they almost always process more than the customer has ordered of a particular blend it goes into the rainbow shed and is sold to customers who go there in person (you can't buy this online). For someone like me who loves seeing the colours blended together it was just heaven. I was a bit spoiled for choice, and also it started off a chain of thought about which colours would be my ultimate combination. You can use up to 6 colours I think (any of the 125 they have in stock), and they will blend them for you.

I did buy a couple of bits (are you surprised).

There's 200g of this, 100% Merino with black, dark blue, turquoise and magenta. It's a little darker than the photo in real life. I think this will be the edging and cuffs for the Williamsro cardigan I was blogging about last week.

I did buy some stuff with other people in mind. As soon as I saw this I thought it would make a great pair of socks for Pete -

It's also 100% Merino and it's a mix of at least 2 possibly 3 different blues with grey and green.

There there is this which I knew I had to have as soon as I saw it -

It's a Merino / Tencel mix which gives it a beautiful sheen in places. I have tried to identify all the colours in this and there are just so many - reds, blues, purples, mustardy yellow, oranges, greens. Here's a close up so you can see for yourself -

So, I now have at least 4 or 5 different spinning projects lined up. That should keep me quiet for a while, don't you think?

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