Monday, 22 September 2014

Hooking, hens and hand spun wool

Looking out of the kitchen window I am greeted with a scene which reminds me we are moving towards Autumn.  Summer posts haven't been a feature of this blog despite my best intentions, nonetheless, I have had an action packed crafty time.

The summer craft fair at the Town Hall during June and July went well and kept me busy right up until the last day.  Hats seemed to be the most popular item.  As I sort through my stash for the next event in October I realise that my knitted and woven scarves also went well.  I  need to build up my stock for the various fairs to come - the local schools parent council event in October and two Orkney Arts and Crafts Fairs in November.

August saw a flurry of activity centred around Show time.  I joined in a modified version of the Back to Back Wool Challenge at the East Mainland Show.  The idea is to have a fleece clipped (not shorn) from the back of a sheep, spun, knitted and on the back of a person as quickly as possible.  There are exacting rules around this activity which have to be followed.  Google Back to Back Wool Challenge to read more about this.  Other search engines are available.

We didn't follow the rules to the letter as we weren't mounting a serious/official challenge.  That said we weren't that far off either.  It was with mixed feelings that a group of three spinners and four knitters sat in a tent in the middle of a field and set to work.   Five and a half hours later, or there about, one of the happy spinners holds up the completed garment.  We did well and it could be looked on as a practice run?


In quieter moments one of the knitters was also demonstrating an antique sock knitting machine. 

All in all it was a good day.  I didn't see any of the animals but spoke to lots of interesting and interested people. We took £170.97 in donations which went to a local charity.

A few days later at the Shapinsay Show I was again sitting in the middle of a field spinning.  This time I was on my own and the only challenge was sorting out a firm base for the chair and wheel.  Heath Robinson eat your heart out.  I managed to raise roughly £27 for the RNLI.

Since then I have been hooking pictures with my hand spun wool.  There will be two hens in this picture and some sort of border I think. I drew the image from a photograph I took of my friend Gill's hens.

I have also done three smaller ones which are roughly three and half inches by four inches.  Yes I can count, the missing picture is a hen.

I will sew the hooked pieces onto calico and then stretch them over a canvas board. 

I have also been experimenting with heart shaped wreaths made from wire and small pieces of felted jumper.  More about these efforts the next time. 

Until then Keep Calm and Keep Crafting.