One of my favourite parts was seeing the wool workers! Back in Tudor times, Norfolk and Suffolk were both wealthy counties because of their wool trade. One lady was spinning on a very simple spinning wheel. She was spinning rolags and was drafting the wool out over an amazing length as you can see in this photo. Her other hand was turning the wheel - there was no foot treadle. Her spun yarn was really fine too. Obviously a real expert.
Another Tudor lady was spinning using a drop spindle. I was surprised how small the spindles were compared with the ones we use today.
The children were fascinated by the colours that could be achieved using natural dyes. The two balls of yarn in this picture were both dyed with ivy berries picked at different times of the year.
As well as ivy, other plants were used - woad for blue, madder for red and weld for yellow. The colours were really beautiful.
From this coming Saturday, I hope that my spinning wheel is going to be always turning, as the Tour de Fleece gets underway. I've joined Team Superfleece on Ravelry. It seems like a nice relaxed group. I've set myself a couple of spinning targets for the TDF. Firstly, I have 375g of Corriedale fibre from Hedgehog fibres. The colourway is just beautiful, and I'd like to spin enough yardage to actually make something bigger than a scarf!
If all goes well, I have some more fibre ready for spinning. Pop back at the weekend to see how I'm getting on! xxx