Saturday, 17 March 2012

A Demo and a Windfall

Somehow I feel like maybe I lost a day this week. Not sure how else it got to be Saturday night again, already.

Thursday was entirely taken up with the first demo of the season, at the Ottawa Farm Show. It was actually the third and last day of the show, and the OVWSG had people there all three days, but today was the only day I went.

Historically, I gather, the show has been at Lansdowne Park. This year, they had a new venue, the brand-new and modern-looking CE Center out near the airport. Trekked out on the bus in the a.m. with my wheel. No question of whether I was in the right place - the parking lot was half pick-up trucks, and there were several pieces of farm machinery parked along the front of the buildings. Inside, a huge floor space with booths for everything from livestock breed associations to wood furnaces to equipment dealers with wagons and things parked on the floor like a car dealership. A couple of the smaller conference rooms were appropriated to antiques and associated crafts and 4-H, and that was where we were parked for the day.

Dang, that was a fun day. Watch all the farmers in their plaid shirts and ball caps and boots wandering through the tile-and-glass entryway. Chat with people, and be amused by the security guard asking if I was old enough to be allowed to spin, and the guy who wanted to know (in jest) whether we could use steel wool to spin and knit a bumper for his truck. Show the kids how to use the drum carder. Wander about for a bit after lunch and see the booths.

Rare Breeds Canada had one of the booths, and in the afternoon the lady who was there came by to visit us and ask if we could spin some samples of fleeces she had for an upcoming talk at the Ottawa Knitting Guild. So we said, sure, lovely, no problem. And 5 feedbags of raw fleece turned up for us shortly thereafter. On discussion of whether she was giving us all this, when really you'd only need a fraction for the samples, she did take part of two fleeces back, but left us with three bags full, or almost. Some for samples, some to play...
Showing the others at Fleece Spa yesterday what we had gotten, we decided since everyone was excited about the fleeces, that samples of each fleece could be prepped and spun by each person, and have a variety of styles of yarn to show for the talk. My front entry smells like sheep right now, since I was lucky enough to get the bulk of each sample - the perks of having no job right now, I have the time to do more with the wool. So excited! There's a chunk of Border Leicester, one of Romney, and a Clun Forest (new to me, but seems med-fine and crimpy and soft) in white, a pale-grey Shetland lamb, and a lovely Cotswold in silver and pewter shades, with a sheen and swirl like mohair locks. I can't wait to get started.  

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