Thursday, July 16, 2009

Men in Skirts!

2009 Skagit Highland Games - Spindrifters Sheep to Shawl - - -

We had front row seats from the spinner tent - the pipers were on the left and the games were on the right with the Celtic stage right in the center. There were some great guitar and fiddle music acts on the stage until 2:30 when the pipers started. We are in range (within 60 miles north) of some of the best pipe bands IN THE WORLD - I didn't go to our Bellingham games this year, so I was glad to hear them -

We were all settled in our "spot" when look who showed up! Our friend and friendly wool mill mistress, Gretchen from Gretchen's Wool Mill in Monroe. It was so fun to sit and visit with her while we were spinning. She even wore her clan sash over her pretty summer dress! Turned out the the woman across from us was a new customer of Gretchen's and another one of her customer's stopped by for a visit (and to sit in the shade of our tent for a while - whew it was hot! - about 85 degrees!) We all forgave her coming to the games and not spending the day in her mill -

They were supposed to use one of our Shetland fleeces that had been provided especially for the event, but after putting together the warp for the loom in blues and purples, the committee decided that it wouldn't look good with the brown fleece - so they will use our fleece for the sheep to shawl that will happen at the NW Washington Fair in August. I suggested that they put out a call for greens and golds for the warp yarn - they would look good with the brown.

So we used a white romney fleece that Deb had purchased at Black Sheep last year.

People were picking and carding this floofy wool into batts that we were spinning from -

I'm mad at myself that I didn't take a picture of the yarn that I spun up - it looked really nice and I got some very nice compliments from some of the other spinners.

They said that it takes five spinners to supply one weaver.

So, while the wool was being picked and carded, spun into singles and plied, other ladies were warping the loom.

There was really a lot of interest in the spinning - both from men and women. I think the men like the "mechanics" of the wheel - lots of questions about why there were so many different types of wheels, etc.

Kids liked feeling the floofy batts - and since I had brought along some Shetland to work with in case things got slow, I'd give them a feel of the Shetland too. Personally, I thought the romney was pretty easy to spin, but very scratchy. The kind of stuff that gives wool a bad name.....

The weavers wove their magic and look at this - a beautiful shawl is taking shape - we sold raffle tickets - the funds will probably to towards speaker fees for our 3rd Annual Spin-In that will happen in the fall.

Even with the heat, it was a beautiful day - there was a bit of a breeze blowing through the tent and that kept things a little cooler.

The Shepherd bought me a steak and mushroom pie for lunch - yum, yum, yum. I don't know how they make those things but they are delectable!

The worst thing was that the breeze brought the enticing smell of Kettle Corn - about every 20 minutes or so! But I'm happy to report that I was a good girl marched right by the Kettle Corn tent and didn't buy any. (although it might have had something to do with the fact that I was headed towards the Porta-Pottie on a very important mission...ha, ha, ha)

I guess I'll just have to make plans to go to the fair so I can work on that pretty brown fleece.


vlb5757 said...

I love festivals. Kettle Corn is enough to push anyone over the edge! We have a yearly sheep to shawl at a festival in November (but now has been moved to Sept). I love seeing the Lavender lady, the Bee guy, the soapmakers, spinners, knitters and the pottery people. How can anyone not have a good time? Festivals are the best because they are the people who have a passion for what they do. Sheep peeps are no exception!

Sharrie said...

That is a cool idea having everything it takes to make a product with wool right in front of you. I have never seen that around here.