If I have nightmares about drowning in an ocean of alpaca and llama fibre, crested with roving of pure white sheep wool, it wouldn’t surprise me; that’s almost how it has felt every day for the past month. We have a lot of fibre that needs cleaning and we really want to have it processed before the winter; taking advantage of the warm and breezydays to dry the washed fleeces. We also need as much fibre as possible for the workshops and exhibitions that have crammed themselves into the summer season. How did we let ourselves in for this punishment?
Most people simply send the fibre away for processing at a mill and have it all done for them, but if you really want to learn everything you can about a subject, then total immersion is the only the way to do it and immersion is just what it feels like! However, the picker design has been improved and the job has become much easier, simply by understanding more about the nature of the animal fibre as well as the animals.
Fibre Arts Bootcamp kicked off the season with an invitation to Enderby Arts Festival, where we encouraged visitors to try their hands at carding art batts on the drum carder. Just like the Pick-and-Mix sweet stalls on market day in England, people could dip into the numerous bags of colourful fibre swag and blend them as they pleased. Visitors of allages had a go and I’m very pleased to say we even had men tapping into the pool of creative genius. The art batts were then spun into some delightful yarns and the faithful old Indian Head treadle clattered out its rhythm to the accompaniment of one of the bands playing up on stage…a little too loudly sometimes!
The next show is the IPE at Armstrong, in the North Okanagan, BC between 29th August and 2nd September. Five long days of demonstrating and selling is a bit gruelling, but thankfully we abandoned our original plans to have a two or three of the llamas accompany us. A few of our camelid colleagues will be there covering that aspect, but you can still come along and see some of the photographs we have prepared of our own troop. I do hope you’ll come along and say hello and perhaps take advantage of the special show prices for Mega Knitting Hooks, artyarns and ready-to-spin camelid fibre.
Workshops are taking place at the Kingfisher Community School this year and we’re covering all manner of subjects including: how to create artistic fibre batts for spinning, Freeform crochet and colourful soap felting. Contact us for a full itinerary and prices.
So if I’ve been a bit quiet on the blogging front recently ….that’s why!