May 18, 2015
I was lucky enough to catch the sheep show at the Ardingly Spring Garden & Leisure show this year and noticed there were some Masham sheep waiting to be shorn as part of the sheep show.
A quick chat to the shearer and he marked the ewe that had the nicest fleece, I was on spinning duty with the alpacas so couldn’t wait to see her being shorn.When I had my next break I caught the end of his show and then he sold me the fleece.
At the first opportunity I started to wash it and realised just how beautiful it was. I have washed the entire fleece now and about half is dyed. I have managed to spin some too, from the locks, no carding required. The locks are very lustrous, super soft and not very curly.
This has to be in my top 5 favourite fleeces. I think I have the fleece that I will spin up for the Masham sheep fair. I certainly won’t be selling all of it! Call me selfish!
January 24, 2015
So far we have booked many amazing artists and makers. From ceramics, silver jewellery, driftwood, textiles, crochet, knitting, wood, beauty products and cards. To celebrate St. Valentines day we are also proud to announce we will have some amazing raw chocolate for sale too. Of course there will be fresh brewed coffee on site !
November 25, 2014
We fill our homes with it, we buy it for our families and friends. Container loads of it arrive from China and heaven knows where. Shops are stuffed with it, even charity shops push aside donated goods to fill their festive shelves with stuff. Do we NEED all this stuff? We need to eat, drink and clothe ourselves, read, wash and educate ourselves but what’s with all the other stuff? Candles that set the smoke alarm off, sparkly things that sit and gather dust for a few weeks before being packed away and ending up in another charity shop. Toys for little ones that would rather play with the box it came in, girly pretty things that sit on a dressing table til next year when pink is no longer the on trend colour of choice. Lunch boxes with ‘famous’ faces on that only 7yr olds can recognise and by next year will be discarded. So many synthetic hats/gloves/socks and scarves that will make you sweat but not keep you warm. Where does it all come from and who thinks we need it all? Someone at the top of the tree needs to be told to STOP this madness, we don’t need it, don’t want it and most of all can’t afford it but all the time it’s there the vulnerable will believe they DO need it, have to have it, have to give it to their children, get in debt for it and be miserable. Eventually it will end up in a charity shop where it may be deemed unsafe/unsuitable and end up in the bin going to landfill. What is the point????
Couldn’t we just stop buying this stuff? Maybe set aside a whole week when we refuse to buy stuff except food/clothing etc. No more stuff, just a week. Have a homemade Christmas, make some biscuits or sweets, knit a hat or toy, shop in an antique shop and upcycle something that was once loved by someone else.
Say NO to STUFF!
June 8, 2014
Hectic week, delivering our entries to the WI marquee on Tuesday morning ready for judging, preparing needlefelting kits on the Wednesday, running a needle felt workshop on the Thursday, peg loom weaving with Guild of Weavers, spinners & dyers on Friday and being a visitor on Saturday. We had to stay late to collect all our WI competition entries so it was a long ole day.Of course we didn’t agree with the judges choices, not just because she didn’t choose ours!
Such organisation goes into these events, whether it’s the WI or the Guild everyone volunteers their time, the spinners & weavers turn up and demonstrate over the 3 days, their beautiful hand crafted items on display. There is no remuneration for their time and effort, we are not allowed to sell any of our items, we can only promote the Guild as a whole and encourage people to learn some of the skills we demonstrated. It was convenient for the Guild’s marquee to be next door to Plumpton college sheep shearing demonstrations so the link between the sheep and yarn was there.
Seeing all the stunning entries in the WI marquee makes me worried that it may put some members off entering future competitions, the standards are so high almost unachievable, but if everyone thought that there would be no competition! I try to encourage members of Ringmer WI to enter something and they did, I will encourage them to enter the Autumn show, it was our first ever time last year and we won several classes. The show committee work so hard to make these shows successful and they always look amazing. This year the weather was great and hopefully even more members of the public enjoyed seeing all the entries.
On my ‘day off’ I went to look at the sheep and saw a Teeswater sheep in the ring, he was in the runner up class against many other breeds, mostly meat sheep, of course his wool was the best in the class but being a bit on the skinny side not much good for the plate. Bizzarly he was next to a Wiltshire Horn sheep that had no wool at all. (not much use to a spinner). I tracked down the owner of the Teeswater and admired the 3 sheep that were there. Turned out he was interested in having them shorn so he talked to the head shearer and at 4pm the sheep were led to the college pens. A rather large crowd then watched as Thomas was shorn, thankfully he wasn’t too lively and the shearer experienced so the fleece came off without too many second cuts and Thomas sustained no injuries. The crowd applauded! 2 other sheep followed and I was very happy to be able to buy 2 of the fleece, even happier to be able to lead Thomas back to his pen, he was so gentle and his skin so soft.
A show to remember for sure!
May 16, 2014
I am going to apply once again to attend the Mini maker Faire in Brighton. It will be held on 6th Sept in the Corn Exchange. My needlefelt balls are always popular and if I’m successful the theme this year will be ‘The Big Top’. I have happy memories of going to the circus so I though it would be fun to make some clowns using pre made felt balls. Last year I made 100 balls and all were duly decorated by visitors to the faire. So send in the clowns….. (and a Ring Master)
January 26, 2014
My daughter-in-law suggested I try this Whole 30 diet 20 days ago. Considering I gave up smoking some years ago and dairy over 25 years ago I thought I was quite healthy. Seems like trading dairy for soya ‘milk’ and still having a teaspoon of sugar in my tea is not healthy. I’m ADDICTED to sugar!!!! I don’t like chocolate except the white stuff and of course that’s just milk and sugar but I love sweeties.
For 20 days now I’ve consumed nothing but meat, fish, vegetables, eggs and fruit. I’m learning to love dates, remember those things you had at Christmas time? I really like their caramelly taste now! Olive oil and coconut oil have replaced my ‘vegetable’ oil. I read even more labels now searching for the hidden sugars and nasty e numbers. My butcher and I are almost on first name terms and every week I pick up a new ingredient from the food market. This week is was a white radish. I ask numerous questions to all the market traders and explain to the vegan noodle lady why I’m not purchasing her gorgeous spring rolls and curries with noodles. Not long now I tell myself…….
Hot drinks are no longer enjoyable, I’ve tried about a dozen types of ‘tea’ and various ways to make a decent coffee at home. When I’m out with a friend I’m limited to an espresso, not the same as a soya latte!!! And fizzy water is not a drink to have in a pub!
We have a fantastic bakery in our village, the best bread for miles and the best donuts! I have to walk past it to the butchers, oh the temptation!
I have more food waste now so I’m glad our council collect and compost it, I’m not throwing away my cooked stuff it’s all the veg & fruit skins!
Just ten more days to go then I might just celebrate with an iced bun and a shandy! Soy will no longer be part of my diet though and hopefully I will be able to drink a cup of tea with no sugar without grimacing.
Wish me luck!!
May 8, 2012
During an exceptionally quiet moment at the Spring show I volunteered to spin some fibre from the gorgeous Highland cows that were enjoying the attention of many visitors to their pen. I had the chance to stroke one or two of them and was surprised at how soft they were. Unfortunately the bag of fibre I was given was not so soft but undeterred I had a go. Suffice to say I ended up with hand spun string!
December 13, 2011
A unique gift idea these crackers are full of fibres to spin or felt. Varying in size and content each cracker has been colour coordinated. Great stocking filler or secret santa gift.