Posts Tagged ‘Princetown’

This weekend the sheep were at a Textile Fair at Duchy Square in Princetown. I was given a large bag of Devon and Cornwall Longwool which was longer than the fleece I already have. This will make it easier to spin, I hope! The bag also contained some D&C Longwool and Dorset cross which is softer and not so curly. Both fleeces need a good wash so I’m waiting for a sunny day to catch up on fleece washing’ duties. 
I also received a small amount of Herdwick (dark and light), Scottish Blackface, and Welsh Black. And several sheep, including two that have been knitted by the children of a local primary school.
All the fleece was given free of charge which is very generous but also indicative of the value this fleece has (or hasn’t).
The number of sheep is now around 175 with a few on the production line for sewing up and finishing. We’re getting close to 200 which would be a fantastic achievement and down to the hard work of my volunteer knitters.
As soon as we get to 200, I’ll make another video but in the meantime don’t forget the ‘trailer’ of the first 50 sheep here.

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From 8th Match to 10th April, GFAC will be at the Duchy Square Centre for Creativity in Princetown, Devon. I’ve a ‘pop-up’ shop there so will also be selling knitting patterns, books and embroidered items. The sheep will be on display with free pattern and ball of wool for anyone who wants to knit a sheep.

I’ll usually be there every Thursday to Sunday 11am to 4pm with the exception of Fridays 18th and 25th, and Saturday 26th.

There’s also a textile exhibition on at the centre and a Textile Fair on 1st and 2nd April. Hope to see you there.

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This weekend GFAC was at the Textile Fair held at the Duchy Square Centre for Creativity in Princetown on Dartmoor. The art centre is a fabulous modern building and has workshops for resident craftspeople, gallery spaces and craft shop.

It was a two day event and was attended by suppliers from the South West and further afield. Fiery Felts came down from Wales, and the Handweavers Studio came from London. Local textile artists were also there, as well as the resident craftspeople. Both days of the event were busy and I saw lots of familiar faces from local spinning and knitting groups, as well people that I’ve met through teaching workshops, especially those at Spin A Yarn in Bovey Tracey. I was there selling my own range of knitting patterns and books, and also promoting GFAC. I took along my collection of local fleeces and yarns, and the sheep of course. I gave away sheep patterns and individual balls of yarn so people could start knitting straight away.

Here’s a photo of my stand; I had a workshop all to myself so was able to display plenty of sample knitted items and books, and have room for GFAC too. The two windows at the end of the room gave fantastic views across Dartmoor and the skylight let in plenty of natural light.

Duchy Square textile fair
Duchy Square Textile Fair
The sheep at Duchy Square

The sheep at Duchy Square

 This is the display I did for GFAC; the flock were carefully arranged by my mum (who ‘volunteered’ to help me on the Saturday) but they didn’t remain so tidy for long. The sheep are very tactile and people wanted to have look at the labels to see what type of wool was used.

Many people arrived having seen GFAC in the newspapers, so already knew about the project. I spoke to wool producers who are struggling to find a market for their fleece, knitters who are enthusiastic about supporting local wool, and people who took details of the project to pass on to friends with fleece. There were  people on holiday from the Midlands, Dorset and Wales who all said that they would be interested in starting up their own local flocks. This is one of the long term ambitions of GFAC; to encourage others to start flocks and support their own local wool industry. It would be fantastic if all flocks could eventually be exhibited together as a huge UK flock. I handed out about 100 patterns so hopefully there’ll be sheep arriving through the post soon!

I had a visit from two representatives from The Grey Faced Dartmoor Association, who brought in some fleece for me to try to handspin.  The fleece is quite coarse so it will be interesting to see how the yarn turns out. If anyone has experience with this type of fleece, I’d love to hear from you.

Grey Faced Dartmoor fleece

Grey Faced Dartmoor fleece

They are unsure of how to use their fleece and spoke about using it for insulation and carpets. This started me thinking about all the different uses for fleece that doesn’t make good knitting yarn. I’m going to start a list of companies making products that use wool so we can give people like the dartmoor association more ideas and possible sources of advice. If you know any companies or products, or you run such a business, please get in touch.

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