Just got back from History Boot Camp. Well, “just got back” in the sense of: arrived, unpacked car and trailer, put stuff away, got some laundry on the go, had baths to scour off the grime and mud, got a curry in and tucked into a glass of wine in front of Foyle’s War. (This is being written in the breaks).
What a fab weekend! I’ve tried all sorts of things, brought back interesting things (and mud) and am totally exhausted. The weather was gorgeously warm and sunny, during the day, at any rate. The nights were still somewhat nippy, as you’d expect, but a good excuse for a roaring campfire.
The weather was just a bonus. I’d originally put my name down for an all-day bookbinding course on the Saturday, but unfortunately, the chap due to run it fell ill and couldn’t make it. This was rather a blow, as I’d planned to bind a copy of Oscar Wilde’s The Canterville Ghost for my DD’s birthday next weekend. Still, nothing to be done, so I had a look at what else was on offer and, having set up my own stall and left DH in charge, decided to kick off with the Cheesemaking. Consequence: I have Rennet and Culture in the fridge and a nice wooden cheese press (I keep calling it a cheese mould, but that is something else altogether) to follow in the post.
Next, after catching up with some fellow traders and general stall-minding, (though it wasn’t exactly hectic), I had a bash at various forms of weaving and braiding, which I took to like a duck to water. I’ve done some tablet weaving and (standard) lucet braiding, so heddle loom weaving was a doddle, the 4-pronged lucet didn’t take long to master and the braiding wheel was quick and easy. Needless to say, I now have a heddle (that can be used on the tablet loom my DH made me) and braiding ring.
I thought that was it for the day and so after a little more stall-minding, we headed for the beer tent. However, outside there was a forge (no, metal work really isn’t my thing!) and a pole lathe (but, wood is!), so I couldn’t resist trying some turning on a pole lathe too.
This morning, I had a go at spinning, both with a wheel and spindle. I didn’t really take to the spindle, though I may have to revisit that since I picked one up for 50p, but I loved the wheel and was spinning quite fine and not excessively erratic thread in no time. The wool wasn’t very well carded so a bit tangled anyway or the results would have been better I think. Can’t claim great talent, but as a beginner, I think I did pretty well and so if anyone has or sees a spinning wheel going begging, I’ll have it ;D
Incidentally, the children were with us, technically. They made some friends and went feral as soon as we got there so we barely saw them aside for the odd token visitation and rounding them up for bed. My 9yo DS proudly showed me his whittling efforts from this afternoon – taught him by a 10yo! My DD was dragged away from the pottery throwing (the car was already in the exit road by the time we found her) elbow deep in clay and covered in mud anyway (the standpipe was a major fascination). So, I think it can safely be said that a good time was had by all in a very vintage way.