Sunday, 26 October 2008

Baa baa blacksheep.......

- have you any wool? Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full.......




- plus another three, plus the nine I have already.....LOL I got these six at the Guild yesterday. They are all the same, Jacob cross, but quite nice, lots of crimp and a nice mixed colouring, which should spin up to a nice overall shade. They were on offer for a donation of 50p per fleece; I gave a pound each, then the woman who broguht them said she had another three in the car, and if no=one wanted them, they were going to the dump. How tragic is that? Couldn't let that happen, so broguht them all home. It is a national disgrace that wool is such a berated and underrated resource in this country, a lot of whose wealth was built on the wool industry. There was an Act of Parliament passed to revive the then flagging woollen idustry, dictating that everyone had to be buried in a woollen shroud. The money a farmer gets for a fleece from the wool board (not sure of their current correct title), but it's pence, not even enough to cover the cost of shearing. Coloured wool is not even wanted. Sheep owners are despearte to get outlets for good wool fleeces - I can now have access to enough for the rest of my life without having to pay a penny for them. This is so wrong. Yes, they can be turned into insulation, or sued as a mulch, compost, etc, but my God, what a waste. I wish I knew more spinners who I coudl share with, but I feel it really is a dying art. Teh other bone of contention is trying to get folks to part with a realistic price for handspun wool and garments/articles made from it. There are very few spinners younger than me in the Guild, Bean being one of them. Breaks my heart. Any spinners reading this? Any views on how to resolve the issues?

7 comments:

Greentwinsmummy said...

If you can sort me a few more hours in the day I will give it a crack at learning :o)
seriously tho I agree the whole thing is a disgrace.So much heritage & tradition has been tossed away by this country,ever seeking a generic one size fits all hey buy this & be cool culture....
gaack :oS

As to why more people dont spin? I suppose thats all relevent to each person,as I said mine is time,theres only so much I can do,but maybe it doesnt get enough *coverage* for want of a better word?maybe not enough people hear about it or see it being done?Hopefully it will go thru a revival as knitting has,few years back some folks would never have knit,yet now they are clacking away ferociously!

Featuring mre on spinning in your blog will get more people reading about it :o) more people reading,then maybe even one migt be spurred to think I can do that!

As to something like the Guild,having never been I dont know if this is the case but some groups can feel edgy or threatened or downright stick in the mud when newer folks try to get their toe in which closes ranks & makes the newer person think pah thats not for me.Has it been discussed at the guild as to how they could get new members in?
GTM x x x

aromatic said...

I wholeheartedly agree with greentwinsmummy... I seriously do not think enough people know about the subject. I for one did not realise you could go and purchase fleeces so readily and at giveaway prices, which I too agree is a crying shame. In my mind you had to be a business of some sort to even be able to get ones hands on a fleece. I am totally ignorant to the whole thing. Sadly as I have harped on about it before I cannot even knit... well maybe a little bit... but very badly!!! And as for spinning well what a wonderful art, but for me it seems a million miles away!!
Maybe with the credit crunch and more people starting to knit again and becoming self sufficient in making clothes etc, it would be a good time to bring this art to the forefront again! It would certainly help the sheep farmers.....
I also agree with greentwinsmummy about some circle's/clubs been very clicky... (excuse the pun) its very hard to fit in at times. I have attempted this in the past (not for knitting but other things)I guess they close ranks because they do feel threatened by an outsider and because of this I have only gone the once and never gone back.... you just know its not worth the effort of even trying to fit in....
I think more colleges should think about this type of thing.... maybe they do I am not sure to be honest. I have a niece that attended a textile/design course and not once did she ever mention using a spinning machine and producing knitting wool. Its certainly an art that needs to be resurrected!!

Mrs C said...

I too had no idea about this and am quite shocked to hear about it - such a big shame.

I'm not a spinner, but am a knitter and appreciate the beauty of fleeces like this. I think the Guild question is an interesting one - sadly the "old fashioned" impression of some of these groups do put some people off. In may case my only excuse is lack of time - there aren't enough hours in the day to do all the things I want to whilst still working. Shame that I still need to work to pay the bills...

hen said...

Well, I'm desperately trying to learn the traditional skills of Britain. Mainly because they make me feel whole again.

My main thing is basketry, but I am struggling trying to learn how to use my new spinning wheel. Any help appreciated!

I haven't looked into any 'guilds' yet as I am only just starting to learn and would feel a bit daft approaching a guild. However, when I'm actually able to spin a skein, I would approach for more help/advice. Reading that back it seems a bit daft, the wrong way round maybe! Should I approach them now for guidance do you think? I am committed to learning to spin.

I'm looking out for a course I can attend, as I'm really struggling with my wheel, any suggestions?


love frum,
hen
x

urban_forager said...

I spin!! I also make felt, and am teaching myself to make proddy mats. All of which use wool, which is in desperately short supply where I live in suburbia. If you really do have wool going spare, or know someone who does, I'd love a bag or two. I can pay postage or do a swap for something I have you might want. I make soap, candles, beaded necklaces, or could swap almost anything :)

I've been spinning for about 2 years, and used to spin quite regularly on the train on my way into work. It's amazing how many people are interested in the craft. I've had an older woman say I've reminded her of her childhood when as a child she watched women spin, and a university professor comment on the historical aspects of spinning in ancient Greece, but had never actually seen someone doing it. I even taught a small girl to spin once when our train was stuck for a couple of hours...

I think people are more interested in these crafts than we might realise; it is often access to a teacher or lack of self confidence that is the issue.

For me, icanspin.com and a Yahoo group called Spindlers really helped me out, but I still didn't really believe I could spin until I knitted something "proper" with my handspun - what a thrill that was! :)

Dalesgirl said...

I'm a spinner and starting next month am hosting spinning days at my house. I'm asking people to club together and we hire a teacher. I find that people are reluctant to go to a Guild meeting cos they are beginners or 'not very good'so I hope that by doing this I'll begin to spread the word.

My hubby keeps being offered fleece for me when he's out and about at work (he's a carpenter) so I too have a free supply but would happily pay for my fleece if it meant supporting a dying industry.

I until people can see that spinning is a worthwhile thing to do they just aren't going to bother - such a shame.

Auntie Noo said...

Have just found your blog via a link on Libby's....... round and round we go! :) This post caught me particularly as I have found that there is a growing interest in spinning and spindling (maybe more the latter) I hope it continues and grows. Meanwhile you got a bargain! :)