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Monday, 11 July 2011

Worms' Holiday

Sunday afternoon we packed a bag, packed the worms, packed a box of mulberry leaves, and set off for a short overnight break.  It was the worms' first holiday and they ate lots, slept a bit and enjoyed their new surroundings while the humans went off gallivanting.

We went to the wool festival Le Lot et La Laine which, I thought, was about an hour and a half north of here.  Wrong!!  It was really more like two and a half hours north, but then we couldn't find it and had a bit of a detour to ask the locals.  Eventually got there at 4:45 but luckily it didn't finish until 6:30/7p.m so we managed to get a good look around.

There were all sorts of different stalls selling wool, felt, books, dye stuffs, dye plants, fleece, spinning wheels, weaving looms etc., and there were demonstrations of spinning, dyeing, weaving, sheep shearing - not that we saw much of that, we were too late.

Anyway, want to see what I bought?

Well, the first purchase was these two woad plants.  My seed didn't germinate this year, so I didn't have any.

Must get those into the garden tomorrow (too hot today - 37 deg C).

And then I saw this gorgeous merino fleece and just had to have it.  It is so, so soft.

A little bit closer, to show just how white it is :-

And then I couldn't possibly walk past this, could I?  Especially when they're just my colours :-

This is a mixture of Romney, Merino, Mohair, Blue Faced Leicester, Tussah Silk and Banana Fibres (they're the shiny white bits).

The left-hand side of the second photo shows the reverse side.  They're lovely colours, really well put together.  Can't wait to start on this little lot.

I was chatting to the lady who had the Ashford stand, and she had some skeins of wool dyed with natural dyes.  One of them was done with horsetail, and was a lovely green.  So I told her about my disaster and the horrible colours I got.  Seems like I just took the plants too late in the season, they have to be picked in the early spring, but otherwise I think I did it right!  I'll have another go next year.

After the show we went to stay with some friends, Ian and May, who live near Cahors and had a really nice evening with them.  Then this morning, the worms packed their leaves and we all trundled back home where the cat was very pleased to see us.


  1. How exciting taking the worms on holiday!! I love seeing the photos of your haul from the wool festival - that Merino fleece looks like a particularly good find! :)

  2. Yes, it does look good. Don't think it will take much (if any) carding. I would have liked mohair too, but couldn't find any. Maybe there was some the previous day, but by the time we got there it had all gone.