Tuesday, 26 April 2016

When Crafters go on Holiday

When crafters go on holiday, I wonder if they all do what I do which is generally to look out for crafty things.  We recently had 6 days/5 nights in West Wales and it was absolutely stunning.  Here is just a little of the craftiness:

Sheep's wool caught on barbed wire.

Amazing patterns in the sand left by the retreating tide.

A visit to St Dogmael's Abbey:

Wood carving above the door to St Dogmael's Abbey (probably an image of St Dogmael).

Bright, bright coloured stained glass and beautiful paintings below (St Dogmael's Abbey).

Statue of St Dogmael.

A visit to Cilgerran Castle:

Enormous wicker man at Cilgerran Castle.

Very imposing.

A visit to the National Woollen Museum:

Huge chair and huge knitting at The National Wool Museum of Wales.

I wasn't sure if the public could carry on this knitting.

Lovely model of women gathering sheep's wool.

It must have been back-breaking, slow work.

I think I would rather have been the shepherd.

Two buildings cleverly joined together to create a new indoor space.

How sheep were shorn before electric shears.

A delightful model showing the difference in number of sheep shorn per hour with hand shears and electric shears.

Bunting made from fabric produced at this mill.

Very appropriate decor.

Examples of the produce from the mill.

One of many machines from the mill - I am unable to name the vast majority of them.  This one seems to be a press of some kind.

This one also seems to be a press - quite a serious one too.

The Hot Press Stand

This is how I knew its name.

A fantastic old wooden cart full of ...


This wheel had lots of little spikes to collect up the small parts of fleece.

Beautiful weaving.

A work of art in itself.

I think this was the other end of the machine with the wheel with lots of little spikes.

Glad to see I'm not the only one who makes a mess.

How much fluff?

More beautiful weaving.

I think this machine stretched the bits of wool out into longer strands which had a special name which I've forgotten.

This makes it look easy - I don't think it is though.

Wool and languages all mixed up - perfect!

Look at the lovely red.

A coracle - different type of crafting but still very admirable.

Using a coracle to get into the river and wash the sheep - hard work.

There were lots of these signs - for some reason I really liked them.

Spinning before all those machines.

Very fine work.

Enormous loom.

Couldn't help thinking about all those little Victorian children running back and forth, risking their lives ...

Beautiful craftsmanship.

I think this was for pressing/stretching the cloth.

Fantastic square yarn holder/wheel - never seen one of them before.

This little trap door in the upstairs floor was used to pass up bolts of fluffy yarn from the floor below, ready for it to be thinned out.

I think these were the 'sausages' from the carding.

Such clever architecture - this was the view from the bridge taking us from one building to the other at first floor level.

Absolutely enormous boiler - you can tell its size by the chairs and bench near it.

Clever roof windows ...

a craft in themselves.

This is part of the tentering machine with its tenter hooks (another language/yarn combination).

State of the Art in its time.

Outdoor tentering.

Stunning array of patterns.

Set up like an old 'back of shop'.

Pretty, pretty, pretty.

I could easily snuggle up in any or indeed all of these.

Part of the old shop display.

Just look at all that work.

Huge quilt - makes my eyes go funny.

This was all I could find on knitting.

If I remember correctly this was made from parts of the cloth made at the mill.

I think this was called a memory quilt.
Now, this amazing museum was not the end of my crafting experiences on holiday, I was also very blessed to get to see the Fishguard Tapestry.  I knew nothing about this extraordinary piece of work, nor even the invasion it commemorates, but I'm far more educated now.    The light where the tapestry is displayed wasn't conducive to photos, so I'm afraid I'll just have to tantalise you with this:

And you'll have to take my word for it when I say it is well worth a visit.  30m long and of a similar height to the Bayeux Tapestry it tells the tale of the last invasion of Britain (no, not the Battle of Hastings) in 1797 when the French invaded, landing in Fishguard.  It was only a matter of days before it was all over, but there was plenty to be embroidered.  As well as the tapestry there was a DVD (approximately 30 minutes) being shown on a loop telling how the tapestry was made - wow, what a lot of work went into it, and what inspirational people who made it happen.

Finally, a picture of Cardigan Island as the sun was setting - a piece of work by the Great Crafter.

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