Thursday, March 26

A whole new experience

by Tamzin


by Matthew

by Evan
I had a lovely couple of hours on Monday. One class at Denholm Primary School are studying how the Vikings lived and they have been doing some simple weaving with wool yarns. I was chuffed to be asked to come along and demonstrate carding and spinning so that they could understand the process from fleece to yarn.

This was my first viewing of the new school - the old one was demolished by fire a few years ago and the teachers and children had to make do with a very few temporary buildings in the yard of another school in Hawick until the great day when their brand new school was opened. This one is so well designed that it is a treat to spend time in. Great facilities for the four different classes and views of the Borders countryside from every window.

Anyway, teacher Diane was very gentle with me, and the children were impeccably behaved and sat crosslegged in a semi circle as I talked them through the process. Later they divided into little groups and we had some 'hands on' with fleece and tops and carders.
Then yesterday what was waiting for me when I came home but a thank you letter and a little drawing from each and every one of them! Here's a small sample of their wonderful artwork. I'll save you from viewing the accompanying photograph of me spinning.

Monday, March 9

Wool Heaven

I'm just coming back to earth after a great day at the Woolfish Wool Festival on Saturday, a small but perfectly formed textile treat in tiny St Abbs. Louise and her daughter Trudi run the rather fine Woolfish - a shop of sumptuous yarns, nicely placed beside the wonderful Number Four Gallery and the tearoom - and last November Louise ran the first Woolfish Festival. It was a success (of course!) and this time I managed to grab myself a table to spread out my wares. If I looked out of the high windows behind me (old school building, now the community hall) I could see these critters:

Angora goat kids playing on their straw bales, and alpacas posing nicely for the camera. Behind them you can see bunting and after that there's just the North Sea! Well, there's a harbour too but you get the gist.

Anne over at Frayed at the Edge was busy with her camera so you can see my wares there, and Louise and some good shots of St Abbs - in fact, she tells it all much better than I am doing!

There were lots of lovely woolly enthusiasts there, stallholders Laura, Janis, Natalie, Janice, Fiona and more besides- like Robin Elliot whose wool throws are definitely going to be making an appearance in our cottage when it's ready to let. Then there were the equally delightful customers! I met folk whom I've only known on Ravelry and they were enthusiastic about my 'stuff' so I came away at the end of the day tired but very happy.

I'll leave you with a shot that means a HUGE amount to Hugh and me - this is evidence that, after a year without central heating, we now have a wood burning stove in the kitchen and three big solar panels on the roof, all connected to a new hot water tank. Sadly at the moment the existing radiators refuse to give out any heat and Hugh has the delightful job of disconnecting each one in turn and flushing it out then reconnecting it, in the hope that this clears whatever blockage is stopping the hot water circulating. So we are nearly there - a warm kitchen and hot water so far, and any week now, warmth in other rooms too. Ash and Midge are fairly happy about the whole stove thing too...