For two weeks before I went to England, I tried with various emails to get in touch with a spinning guild near my daughter's house in England. I had no luck at all. It seemed that every time I got near, it turned into a dead end. Three days before I left America, I got an email back from a spinner who lived 8 miles away from Hyde Heath. Hallelujah! Her name is Beverley Thompson. And what a contact she was. She is an avid spinner and she took me to a guild meeting in Amersham, England. Very cool. The guild meeting had a speaker that day who had written a wonderful book called Creative Spinning by Alison Daykin (which I bought). The book talks about the creative spinning process and how you get where you want to go with your spinning. We have talked about this in our fiber guild meetings and this was a photo tutorial on how to access the creative spinning side of your brain.
Beverley also arranged for the two of us to have lunch at a guild member's house who is a fiber artist who was participating in their local open studios. She made a lovely lunch for us and gave us a tour of her studio. I was so impressed. What a nice lady. How many of us would go to that much trouble for someone they had never met from another country?
Beverley also put me in touch with a local farmer who raised Ryland and Black Welsh Mountain sheep. He was quite willing to allow me to buy a fleece from him although he had to go to some amount of trouble to do so. He had his fleeces all wrapped up to sell and had to break into the bundle to pull out the wool. What a nice man: Alec Moir. He gave us a tour of his farm and introduced us to the two sheep he had on premises. He had about 100 more head of sheep located on a remote piece of property nearby. So, I took the sheep back to my daughter's house and over the next few days, began to wash it. It was lots of fun. I gave most of the fleece to the spinning guild over there. The Ryland fleece is a bit coarse and I don't think I will have a use for it but it was a lot of fun cleaning it and giving it to the guild. He did give me some of the Black Welsh Mountain fleece as well but it was very short and seemed quite soft. I think it may have
already been felted as it felt quite solid. I should have tried to take some of it out and spin with it before cleaning it to see if it was felted. But when I washed and dried it, I could see that it was hopelessly felted. I, unfortunately, had to just toss it. Such a shame. I would loved to have brought back a sample of it.
Beverley also sent to my daughter's house a largish package of samples of spun wool on several cones from Jamieson & Smith and lots of bits of different kinds of top to play with. She also arranged for a store called Colourmart to send me samples of their yarns.