Tomorrow my friend Laura and I are jumping into the car and driving 250 miles to be with hundreds of other wool enthusiasts at Wonderwool Wales. I should be packing and tidying the house (nobody wants to be judged by the cat sitter) but of course I am finding lots of things I'd rather be doing instead, like chatting on the blog.
As I at least mentally prepare ( I have made a list...) I am drawn to thinking about how, even though it is only April, so far this year I have packed up and headed off to different corners of the country to spend the weekend with fellow knitters, crocheters, spinners and other sorts of textile artists and enthusiasts at least four times. This doesn't include afternoons and evenings I have spent happy in the company of fellow knitters. There was a time when knitting was something I did at home at the end of the day, usually on my own or at best with women from my own family. Now, it has become a major part of my social life and the means through which I have met some of my very best friends.
The most recent of my knitting and spinning related excursions was to Eggesford Barton in Devon, organised by the lovely Terri. This is a wonderful former farmhouse and associated buildings which have been transformed int self catering accommodation for large parties such as ours. 17 of us, plus Syd the chocolate Labrador spent a really warm and wonderful (and I'm not talking about the weather) weekend doing the things we like best, eating drinking, spinning, knitting, laughing and chatting.
For a country girl living in the city, living a busy life, trying to make a living from her craft it was blissful to be in a gorgeous, tranquil environment, making things amongst other people who are also quite happy to spend half an hour discussing the merits of different forms of cast on without thinking that this is in any way unusual.
Being lovers of knitwear, when challenged to go for a picnic despite the unseasonable chill we were not to be thwarted. Thank heavens for good cake, hot tea and the insulating properties of wool...
Our little getaway wasn't just about sitting around and making things, we also went out on a little trip to visit the Natural Dye Studio who have recently moved to a location not far away. It was lovely see how Amanda, Phil and their daughter Daisy have settled in to their new abode after a few ups and downs to say the least and can give their full attention to what they do best, producing gorgeous, naturally dyes yarns.
Wonderful flashes of colour from yarns and other 'bits and pieces'
Juxtaposed with the tools of the trade.
I may have brought back one or two souvenirs....
The weekend was over far too fast and we're alreay planning to come back next year.
Good grief - look at the time! And no, I haven't packed yet. Better get on with it!