24th April 2010 - the day I made my first ball of wool on a spinning wheel!
Clevedon is a beautiful rather genteel seaside town, sort of Clifton by the sea. Unless you live there, or work there it is the sort of place that is easily bypassed in the rush to go to the heady delights of Devon, Cornwall, or Wales, or even, scurrying to the shops in Bristol and Bath. However, it is a little gem of a place, not the least because of one particular shop - The Spinning Weal.
To be truthful, it is quite an adventure for me to get there - negotiating Bristol's own version of "Spaghetti junction" at Cumberland Basin and then along the windy B something or other. That is fine as a passenger - the views are spectacular at some points, but is is quite unexpectedly bendy and narrow in parts. Now this would have been fine, except there was a cycling group testing their fitness levels en route. Well, I can tell them now - they are fit! Believe me there is one great big long hill in the way between Bristol and Clevedon. The long cold winter has left the road full of potholes on the nearside, so negotiating round the cyclists, whilst they were negotiating round potholes, made the journey quite interesting!
The effort was not without its rewards. I spent the day at The Spinning Weal learning how to spin with a wheel.
Here are the results of Sarah's expert and generous tuition, copious supplies of tea, biscuits and conversation, and my labours.
I learnt - well began to learn - I can see this is a skill that is learnt quickly and perfected over a lifetime - spinning with a spindle, hand carding, spinning on a great wheel and a smaller wheel. I used Portland tops, some undyed and some dyed which I blended and made some Navaho ply - possibly more correctly termed at this stage - blue eyed squaw's knotting.
So THANK YOU Sarah, I had a great day in lovely company.