Ah gentle shepherd, thine the lot to tend,I'm rather smitten with the 'fleecy tribe'. And I couldn't help but notice the Lakeland sheep as I drove towards Woolfest on Friday, huddled unhappily under the field walls and hedgerows, assail'd by the deluge falling from a decidedly untrustworthy sky. In little danger from crow, fox, or dog in such weather they were instead at the mercy of the storm!
Of all, that feel distress, the most assail'd ...
Observe the lurking crows; beware the brake,
There the sly fox the careless minute waits;
Nor trust they neighbour's dog, nor earth, nor sky ...*
Adown falls streaming rain ...Okay, so it wasn't quite that bad. But having survived the long drive through the monsoon** I was picking my way down the steep and muddy
Fast tumbling brooks on brooks enormous swell,
And sudden overwhelm their vanish'd fields.*
Such are the perils, such the toils of life!*So, there I was, dripping wet, covered in muck from the waist down, and limping a little. Oh, the embarrassment! But I took my cue from Dyer again - Ye advent'rous mariners, be firm; take courage from the brave* - and soldiered on. And people were lovely, they all pretended not to notice. Well apart from the chap who asked where the mud wrestling was. That was when I decided to hang out with the sheep for a bit. Very non-judgemental, sheep.
Sheep don't snigger when you delve into your bag for your camera only to discover that you've left it in the car, the car that's at the top of the muddy slope you just sailed down on your backside. These are my images from Woolfests past. No way was I venturing out into the torrential rain again until I was on my way home!
There was a little shopping - a niddy noddy, a few balls of dark Hebridean 4 ply deliciousness, some soft grey alpaca yarn from Town End Alpacas, and an old copy of Fancy Needlework Illustrated c.1913, of which more another time - but I think I spent most on consolatory cups of hot chocolate. Not that I was having a bad day you understand, perversely I rather enjoyed it!
Why so little yarn? Because I'm suffering from stash guilt, that's why! I know it's important to support UK spinner's and dyer's, I know that my stash is as much about possibility as actuality - dreaming about all the things I might knit is my cure for insomnia - but it's time I started choosing my projects on the basis of the yarn I already own. Because I own a ridiculous quantity of the stuff. A stash diet! Can I do it? I have no idea!
Continuing with my 'Welcome' footnotes, giving a shout out to all who comment for the first time, or follow knitsofacto here and elsewhere ... Hello! to Sarajan at fleaChic, Cayte at Pisky Cove, Grammy Braxton, and Karen. And also the lovely Ellen at Growing Gills, Isobel at The Home Nest, Andi at My Sister's Knitter, and Barbara at Busybusybeejay, all of whom were lurking in the wings.
You can now follow my blog with Bloglovin and at hellocotton.
* John Dyer, 1757, The Fleece
** You think I'm exaggerating? Rainfall figures for that day in the Northwest of England hit 100mm in some places and even the less affected areas were averaging 40-50mm.