This weekend was Bristol’s Wool Fair ( http://www.bristolwoolfair.co.uk/ ), and I was lucky enough to be able to attend on Saturday.
The weather held out really well and I got to see the Viking battle, some sheepdogs herding ducks and talk to lots of interesting crafty people. I also managed to buy a “Knitter” badge for one of my friends who I think needs it as she is never without her knitting. I also saw some excellent small crafts, and fantastic felting like this fox:
As part of the event, there was a Viking settlement setup in the field. I got talking to one of them about blacksmithing and Viking boats, which was actually really interesting. Apparently the boats were built in a way that meant they flexed in the water. Something that particularly caught my attention was the Viking sea chest. It’s a chest that was designed like an upside-down V shape, to help make it stable on rough waters. It also had feet to keep it’s base raised from the deck, which may have had water flowing over it. It would have held supplies including blacksmiths tools – blacksmiths being vital to Vikings for repairing weapons, tools and chain-mail.
There was a sheepdog display on Saturday at half past one. I didn’t manage to stay for the whole event, but was very impressed by the herding of ducks. There was also audience participation! Check out the website for information on the kind of displays they’re involved in. It actually looked kind of fun, maybe next time they’ll let adults get involved – I’d love to try and herd some ducks! http://www.sheepdogdisplays.co.uk/
I met Nicola from Wayward Weaves, who was lovely. She is a Saori weaver who has a studio which has recently opened in Stroud. Saori is a freestyle form of weaving that originated in Japan. It’s really interesting how it allows you to express yourself, or use scraps of wool or other materials in creative ways. I managed to get talking to her about Cheltenham Hackspace, which I’m a member of as well as some of the Cheltenham craft groups which I’m a member of. I’m hoping that between the groups in the area and my friends we can book some on site workshops. I’m very much looking forward to trying the weaving out soon! Check out the website http://www.waywardweaves.co.uk/.
Coldharbour Mill is a spinning mill in Uffculme, Devon. It’s a community owned mill built in 1799, which was bought and turned into a museum in 1982. It contains a number of period steam powered machines which are fired up on bank holidays. I want to go and visit – if I do I’ll post a more detailed blog about it. In the mean time you can find out more about the mills history and events on their website http://www.coldharbourmill.org.uk/.
I met Arthur, the Angora rabbit owned by a member of an Angora rabbit club. There’s a website http://www.skyrackangoras.co.uk/ which has information on welfare that they passed onto me. They’re part of a group of angora rabbit owners who share the left over fur from their rabbits and sell it in small quantities. They highly recommended Bigwig Andora as a UK supplier of Angora wool http://www.bigwigsangora.co.uk/ as they treat their rabbits well.