Wednesday, August 31, 2011

BSHG at the NYS Fair

For the second year my guild, Black Sheep Handspinners Guild has been invited to demonstrate spinning at the Wool Barn at the New York State Fair.  Last year the temps were in the 90's so we were oh so grateful they were only in the mid 80's yesterday.

Jim, Cathy and I were on the first shift, 10-2, so got there as the parking lots were just filling up.  You can see the remains of the mud from Sunday's deluge.  We bring a cart or two as the hike from the car to the booth is considerable and the wheels only seem to get heavier as they are carried by hand.
Along the way is this Sea Lion booth. I am glad to see the folks working with these animals openly love them and that the posters tell about the lives of sea creatures and explain what pollution is doing to their natural habitat.

The demo area is rather small but compact and shows many many aspects of using fibers.
This chain driven antique was one of 3 working looms.  Another is a large LeClerc floor loom and the third was a simpler rigid heddle Kromski table model.

Cathy using the hand carder to make a batt.

Second shift consisted of l->r: Ellie spinning on a Schacht Matchless, Sharon with a Baynes, Audrey and Sue Q both using Louet's.  Other guilds were also representing.  The wide range of wheels to choose from is a fantastic show in itself.
In the background are different wools donated by fleece breeders for the demonstrators to use if they so choose.

On our lunch break we stopped to watch this one-man-band who engaged the children in sounds and singing.  Notice the links on the heels of his shoes that bong on the inside of the drum.  He bounces and the cymbols clang.  What a way to earn a living!
Cotswold Cross Lamb

On our way in and out we pass the barns that house the horses and their people.  
This horse was brought out to get a wee bit of grass to munch.

It's a fun day with the opportunity to meet lots of new people who are curious about spinning and/or want to learn more about it or just connect with other spinners.  As usual the women want to know how it is done and what we are spinning while the guys want to know about the mechanics of the wheels.  I love the expressions when I tell a guy that I am spinning wool and tencel and he asks what is tencel and I get to say wood.  Of course we go on to explain it further but the incredulous looks are great.

1 comment:

Sharon Ward (WardMom) said...

I traveled that same route yesterday afternoon. I am glad you took pictures - I didn't. I met some really nice people from two other guilds who were there with me from 5-9. There were lots of questions from young and old, male and female. One boy wanted to know if the sheep were killed -- ooh, no -- glad to straighten that out. Several people who stopped were on vacations and couldn't get to their destinations because of H. Irene - so came to the Fair -- So. Carolinians on their way to Vermont.

I had a good time, walked a lot before my time slot, and was glad to get home ... so many people.