It’s been a very busy day for us spinners in Caithness today as the spinning group I attend had a spin along with another spinning group in Port Stanley, the Falklands. Via all kinds of complicated satellite thingys we were able to see them and vice versa, it was all very exciting!
It had been organised by Ann, our spinning ‘leader’ (she hates being called this!) as she has a link with a woman who spins in the Falklands and it was agreed that both groups would start with a local fleece, this would be carded, spun, plied and finally knit into squares to make cushion covers that we would swap.
Above you can see the baskets of washed and carded wool that we used. It is a cheviot fleece from a flock at the Castle of Mey, where Prince Charles stays when he visits Caithness each summer (by coincidence he was staying today as it was also the Mey Highland Games).
The Falklands are 4 hours behind us so we started at lunchtime, as this was fairly early for them! We were fortunate to be visited by Lady Thurso who introduced our group on the satellite link and spoke a little about Caithness and Castlehill Heritage Centre which is where the spinning group is held.
There you can see the screen showing the Falklands group. It was so interesting talking to them, it is wintertime there and they was saying it had been very very chilly, so strange to think as we have had such lovely weather this summer. Like us, some of them had been spinning for years and others just a few months and they were all very warm and friendly.
As I try to manage my energy because I have M.E., I left before the end so don’t know if the whole cushions were completed today (I think probably not as we all spent a little too much time chatting, drinking tea and eating biscuits!) but it was incredible to be part of something so simple in some ways but so complex in others. What I learnt was that spinners, wherever we are, love sheep and real wool, are passionate about our craft, and love to blether!