Friday, 24 June 2016

Friday at Woodfest Wales

A quiet-ish start to the Woodfest Weekend - hardly a surprise as it was a weekday in term time.  As you might expect, there were a lot of older people and children under school age - and dogs of all shapes and sizes.  In fact, you could rename the event Dogfest.
A steady trickle of people made their way to the Woodcraft marquee, and could hardly miss the Abergele Guild stand right by the door.

As always, people were fascinated by spinning and spinning wheels: by the fact that something as light and fluffy as fleece can be turned into a strong "thread" just by twisting; by the ingenuity of whoever invented the spinning wheel; by the way the thing works with a simple treadle, drive band and braking system.  And, as always, everyone had their own story:  the man who was born in a woollen mill in mid-Wales; the lady who knits for her grandchildren and talks to them on Skype; the two lads (on a school outing?) who knew all about drop spindles - "the Romans used them"; the ladies who always wanted to learn to spin;  the men who remembered their mothers/aunts/grandmothers spinning and knitting many years ago.
Several people were bold enough to have a try at using a drop spindle, with a bit of help.  "Bottom hand pinch, top hand pull, top hand pinch, bottom hand let go and move up to meet top hand, and I'll look after the spindle for you".  Or in the cases of several very tiny children, "You spin the spindle and I'll stretch the wool for you".  In all cases the intrepid spindlers went away with a small length of woad dyed yarn and a sense of achievement.
Bigger crowds are predicted for the weekend, so let's hope the weather remains fine.


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