Sunday, September 02, 2007

fifty-seven - the Saanich Fair

It's called Sheep to Shall. It requires some spinning wheels,

some spinners,

wool or in our case mohair, a loom, a weaver,

and a lot of happy people.

This is how I spent my day at the Saanich fair. We arrived fairly early in the morning and started spinning right away. The bagpipes from the highland dancers provided us with a suitable rhythm to start us off. We chatted with each other, we chatted with the public, I cursed at my wheel a little bit (that squeak I thought I fixed came back - apparently wheels need grease - I'm just saying this as a hint for all my fellow new-spinners out there - grease is good, sometimes).

The sheep to shall is the chance to demonstrate to the public what it was like before commercial machine made yarns were readily available. We start with the loom already prepared (the hand-spun warp (I think it's what it's called) already on it), and as we spin the fibers into yarn, the weaver, or in this case, weaver's assistant, takes it from us and winds it on the weaving-thing-a-ma-bob (shuttle bobbin?). Then, using magical weaving motions, which I hope to learn some day, the weaver makes yarn into fabric.

It was a great deal of fun. Lots of people stopped by and asked questions. I think that I liked the children the best. Most of them watched so closely and the expression on their faces said, "I bet I could do that, now I wonder what that spinning bit is for." Whereas, the expression of many of the adults faces said, "wow, that looks very hard, oh, and time consuming."

The woman also put together a display of what pioneer life was like. I especially like the distaff and the selection of plants that can be used for dyeing.

There was also a section where entries were judged. There were all sorts of knitted objects,

woven objects,

and even spun objects. (these photos are only the smallest sampelling of all the wonderful things people made)

Mine's the drab looking one in the middle. I was coaxed into submitting something. I knew it wasn't any good, but I thought, "If I put this in there, it will be my good deed for the fair. It will make everyone else's look so much better." And it did. Mission accomplished.

Here's my lunch. I won an apple for knowing the difference between egg chickens and meat chickens.

I had a quick look around some of the fair. There were all sorts of things to see and I don't think I saw a tenth of it. There were even pheasants.

I saw some rabbits but I couldn't find any angora ones. Nor did I find any sheep, although I could hear them from time to time. I did find a caff with a similar name to me, Brenda (the wonderful woman who taught me to spin) pointed him/her/it out. I think the calf was a bit overwhelmed by all the new sensory stimulus.

There was also a moth. I'm told it's not the evil kind, but I'm still a little suspicious of it. Why else would it be around all the wool? It did however, have a wonderful design on it's back. There are suggestions that it would make a good sweater pattern.

Anyway, today is a day for resting, deep-cleaning the house, having Y over to make us Japanese food, knitting a little, and didn't I mention, playing with RAVELRY! I'm in! My name there is trampledbygeese, so if you are 'in', come and see me.


Brenda said...

Looks like a very fun day!
Glad you're on Ravelry. Going to go add you to my friends now, and also send you an invitation to a group I started there, "Van Isle Fibre Lovers."

~Tonia~ said...

Sounds like a fun filled day. Be prepared to spend tons of time on Ravelry. You can spend hours on end and not realize it. ;)

TinkingBell said...

Loved Saanich when I was there - looks like a great day - Lucky you in Ravelry -Sigh - still waiting for my invite!!!