Monday, 26 April 2010

Sherwood Forest Farm Park

Get in a Spin as the Sherwood Sheep Strip for Summer.

Not a bad title for an event don't you think? My first idea was Sherwood Forest Farm Park Strippers but maybe that gives the wrong impression!

What I'm going on about is our forthcoming Shearing and Spinning Demonstration at Sherwood Forest Farm Park, Edwinstowe, Nottinghamshire on the 5th and 6th of June. The poster above should tell you all you need to know, and feel free to send it to anyone you think might be interested as we want this to be a brilliant family event.

Philip will be shearing the park's sheep and we will be rifling through the fleeces to find a nice one to spin and knit.

For the spinners out there, you will have the opportunity to buy a lovely fresh fleece to take home with you. Any budding spinners are welcome to come along and have a go too!

We have been visiting Sherwood Forest Farm Park ever since I was really young so I'm thrilled to be able to demonstrate there. There is plenty more to see once you have got bored of us, including Pigs, Cows, Goats, Llama, Water Buffalo, Wallabies, Sheep (obviously!) Poultry, Waterfowl, Rabbits, Indoor and Outdoor play areas and a miniature railway. Something for everyone.

Mangalitza pig and piglets, their hair can also be spun, in fact I was asked to do some once, but that's another story. Wouldn't mind an excuse to spin some though!

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Odd looking spinner?

The more observant of you will have noticed that the above photo is NOT one of us spinning, yes it is in fact a meerkat. A meerkat at Wetlands Animal Park near Retford where we did the last of our Easter "batch" of demonstrations on the 11th of April.

We love being invited back to demonstrate at Wetlands as it is a great place run by lovely people and the visitors are always happy to stop for a chat on their way around. We like it so much that we are going back again, on the 31st of May - put it in your diaries!

We will be doing our usual spinning demo in our favourite spot, under the trees near the deer pen, but you will also be able to catch a shearing display from The Singing Shearer too, shearing all five of the Wetlands Sheep, including the famous Knobby!

Too good a day to miss!

Saturday, 17 April 2010


This was it, the big event that I had been planning for ( and stressing about) for months.... After a 2.30am wake up to make sure we got everything done in time, The Murmuring Wheel set off down the motorway at 3.45 am on our way to Countrytastic at the Three Counties Showground. We arrived on the showground just before 7am and just had time for a bit of breakfast before setting up.

We had taken 11 spinning wheels down with us. It was the first outing for one of them, our 17th century English Great Wheel, which was operated all day by Nancy.

We had lots of other equipment with us too to give the kids plenty to have a go at.

We were set up and ready by 9am and had time to chat to a few of the other exhibitors before the gates opened at 10am, a good thing we took the opportunity really as when the visitors started to arrive we got VERY busy - hence the lack of photographs, nobody had a free minute to take any. We found out afterwards that there had been over 4000 visitors!

Lots of children and their parents and grandparents had taken advantage of the glorious sunshine to enjoy a day out and we discovered quite a few promising young spinners and weavers among them. When they had been around our stand there was plenty more to keep the kids entertained, including The Sheep Show presented this time by Stuart Barnes, who we hadn't worked with before but who went down a treat with the audience.

Other attractions include a sheepdog display, terrier racing and a play area of hay bales and sawdust ( I think most of the kids liked the last one best of all!)

Adam Henson from The Cotswold Farm Park and BBC Countryfile was also at the event with his family, I persuaded Adam to have a go on my Great Wheel, which he did, producing a very........ interesting yarn. His daughter Ella also tried on mum's wheel and spun a bit of very nice wool.

If Adam happens to come across this blog ( not likely I know!) then we have a message for him:

" We hope your spinning has improved by next year as we will be back again. Get that spinning wheel out of the loft and get some practice in, who knows maybe we will save you a chair and you ( or Ella) can come and join in the demonstration!"

And if I get a reply to that I will be rather shocked!

We had a fantastic time and did actually get some work done. After seeing the sheep sheared on the Sheep Show, visitors could see us spinning and crocheting. We managed to make a crocheted a shawl during the day which we gave to Show Manager Doreen Smillie.

We want to say a big thankyou to everyone who organised the event, particularly to Doreen and to Education Officer Sue Hodgson-Jones. We were honoured to be part of such a well organised, fun and educational event and it was clear that you had put such a lot of work into making it the success it was.

We are looking forward to next year, it's the 21st April 2011 for anyone who missed this year and wants to catch it next time around.

Sorry that this post is a bit lacking in photos readers, but if you look here: Newsdesk there is a very nice one of Philip at the bottom of the article, we hope that the Countrytastic Gallery will be up on the TCAS website soon too.

Easter Saturday and Sunday

Easter Saturday and Sunday was spent out in Lincolnshire at St Stephens Church, Hatton for the Srping Fling, organised by Artinvision.

We were rather subdued for the first day as we had been separated!!! We were spread out into two different marquees, so couldn't banter like usual, we rebelled on day two though and all grouped together up near the church.

We shared the marquee with a very friendly woodworker who had come along with the Lincolnshire Tree Services team.

The weather had turned out beautiful and a lovely lady from the refreshments tent ( Jenny?) kept us well supplied with tea and cake. Like last year we spoke to lots of interested people, including some who were spinners already. For such a small village it is surprising how well attended this event has been for the last two years.

Good Friday

Good Friday was a Smallholders day at CWG Worksop. The warehouse was filled with various creatures including sheep, pigs, alpacas and poultry, while we were spinning just near the entrance of the shop.
We were well looked after by the staff who were fantastic - we couldn't persuade any of them to have a go at spinning though.

The place was incredibly busy, in fact I had a permenant spectator!
We really enjoyed the day, and bumped into lots of people we hadn't seen for a long time. Hopefully we will be spinning there again soon.