Friday, 9 October 2009


The five of us and a couple of friends have decided to start a new spinning group.

So, we would like to introduce........ The Black Sheep Spinners.
We will be based at Blaze Farm, near Wildboarclough in Cheshire.

We hope that this will be of interest to lots of people, not just spinners, all knitters, weavers, crocheters, lacemakers etc are quite welcome to come along and join us.

We are starting this group because we know people with young children, who want to learn to spin, or their children want to learn but have had difficulty finding a child friendly setting and also as a social gathering for crafters who don't like the idea of evening meetings.

It's free for anyone who just wants to come and have a look around and a chat or £3 per session if you want to sit and spin/knit/weave etc. Your first session is free.

If you are wanting to learn any of these crafts, we can arrange tuition at the group by prior arrangement but will have to charge a little extra for use of our equipment and materials.

All the information you need should be on the poster above, any questions please feel free to get in touch -

We look forward to seeing you all.

End of the summer season

Phew, at last I have caught up with blogging about our summer adventures. We finished off with our usual weekend at Cromford Mill for Heritage Open Days, which was quieter than previous years but still lots of fun, and of course, we have demonstrated every month with The Arkwright Spinsters, also at Cromford.

We did have chance to squeeze in a few day out for ourselves too, we visited Hope Show in Derbyshire at the end of August and enjoyed catching up with lots of friends that we hadn't seen lately.

We also went up to Masham Sheep Fair for a look around, I always like to see what has been entered in the spinning competitions in the Town Hall. We bumped into a friend of ours who was showing some of her sheep and of course we had to watch a Sheep Show, and find a few minutes to chat to Richard.

I have also been working on lots of commmission jobs through the year, plus making new items which I will have out for sale at next years events, if they haven't all been snapped up before then. I have also found the time to do a lot more experimenting with natural dyes recently, something I have dabbled in for a while but never had the time to really play around with. I have been getting much better results after a few tips from a friend of mine who does a lot of dyeing.

The diary for next year is filling up fast, it looks like we will be out at more places than ever. I have also been working on a few exciting new projects, news about some of them will be publised here in the coming weeks, so please keep checking back.

Late August

Friday the 21st of August we demonstrated for the Avocet Trust's Summer Hoedown at Neat Marsh Farm, Preston, near Hull. Philip had sheared their sheep a few months previously and they had saved the fleeces for us to spin at this event ( great for us as it meant we didn't have to squeeze as many sacks of wool in the car with all our other equipment!)

The event was for the trust's clients and their families and was a very fun and enjoyble day with many of the staff and vistors in costume as cowboys and indians. We met some fantastic people, all the staff, clients and families were lovely to talk to, we had one young man who sat with us all day, so we must have been interesting!

To find out more about The Avocet Trust and the work that they do, please visit their website: Avocet Trust

A few days later, on Wednesday the 26th we had been booked to demonstrate in the Joiners Shop at Home Farm, Temple Newsam at Leeds. It was a quiet day, probably due to the cold, drizzly weather but the few visitors that were there all came in for a look around and a chat and we enjoyed working in such an interesting setting.

One of the locals coming for a look around:

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Bakewell Show 2009

As we had been so busy through the summer, August seemed to creep up on me and before I knew it it was time for Bakewell Show again. I must admit it was the event I had been really looking forward to as it was the place that our Murmuring Wheel Group made it's first proper appearance.

The problem being, we had such a great time last year, we had been wondering how on earth to top it this year.

Things didn't look too promising when we arrived the night before to set up our stand, the ground was already quite wet and several of the other exhibitors seemed to be having difficulties which made it difficult for us to set up where we intended, meaning we had to have a 4.30am start the next day to get sorted out in time for the show opening. Things improved from then though and the ground dried up pretty quickly in our corner.

We had arranged to work with Richard and his Sheep Show again, which was always going to be interesting! We had already been and had a chat with him when we visited the Great Yorkshire Show back in July so had a few ideas of what we were going to get up to.

We decided that we would stretch ourselves this year and worked on two different projects, a mystery item in segments for each day plus a special surprise for Janet Bailey, the lovely Show Manager, who we thought deserved a bit of thanks for all the hard work she puts in all year round, making the Bakewell Show such a popular and enjoyable event.

Our mystery items went down well with the visitors, turning out to be a sheep on the first day:

And a teddy bear on the second, complete with costume, does it look like anyone familiar do you think?

We also managed to finish the project we had been working on for Janet, a crocheted woollen shawl, and were honoured that - although she was very busy - she found the time to come down and see us so that we could present it to her in person.

Many thanks to Lesley and Kirsty in the show office for helping us plan the surprise.

As we expected we had a brilliant time at the show, we enjoyed seeing friends that we hadn't seen in a while, who had come for a day out, and also meeting new people, lots of whom we hope to see again in the future.

We also really enjoyed working with Richard and The Sheep Show again, it's always nice to have someone else to have laugh with. Sooner or later we will know his show off-by-heart too, in fact I think I could recite most of it already!

We are already looking forward to next year and trying hard to come up with new ideas. Any suggestions welcome.

The Inkerman Buzz

On Saturday the 18th of July we demonstrated at an exciting new event in Inkerman Park, Chesterfield. The Inkerman Buzz was a community event, celebrating sustainability, environment and well-being.

The event had been organised jointly by Friends of The Inkerman, Transition Chesterfield, Chesterfield Cycle Campaign and Walton and West Community Forum.

We had been invited by a fellow home-educating family who we had met while doing a spinning workshop for Chesterfield Home Educators Group.

All the other stalls were really interesting ( though we didn't have much time to look around) and included, V3Power with - among other things - a home made wind turbine, which really fascinated us.

We were all very impressed by how well organised the event was, in fact we had absolutely nothing to complain about! We particularly liked the gazebos ( which had already been put up when we got there, what a bonus!)

It was a pleasure to meet so many people who were genuinely interested in what we were doing, including the Mayor of Chesterfield and his lovely wife who stayed for a chat with us during their visit.

We want to say a big thanks to the Buzz team who all worked so hard to make the day the success it undoubtedly was, we hope that you are able to run more events like this, and hope you will invite us again too!