Tuesday, May 06, 2008



Just before I found out I had got the funding for the felting project I went to Wonderwool in Builth Wells. I had my knee surgery 2 days before and was told not to drive for 2 weeks.....in fact the pale and pasty indoor type surgeon (who is very nice really!!) had said I wouldn't be doing much farming for a few months........what planet does he inhabit.....us self employed folks don't get sick pay and the sheep won't feed themselves!.........Anyway off I went with the most splendid person as my co conspirator....Lucie Wilby sheep artist extrodinaire!

I must explain..........when I booked my stand at Wonderwool I had a double stand including a pen for some sheep booked. I was due to exhibit the Ouessants but due to the Blue tongue movement regs could not. I had a brainwave (it occaisionally happens) that if not real sheep some pictures would be good....and the artist responsible sitting painting them too!
So Lucie and I set up our wares and retreated to an amazing b&b with the best hosts ever thouroughly shattered!
On the following morning we were back at the showground bright and early and sampled some of the foodie delights as the show was sharing with the Mid Wales Mouthful starring Anthony Worral Thompson........and yes he is very short and very plump!!!
After a very hectic busy day selling a lot more than we could have hoped for we had some dinner and followed a fellow sheep breeder (coloured sheep and Ouessants) back to her remote Welsh farm to look at some rams with a thought to buy.
Now I live in Wellies and am even seen in the supermarket in them.......but of course both Lucie and I had our glad rags and shoes.....we had not even contemplated buying sheep. So whilst Lesley sent her sheep dog over a distant mountain to find the rams we found ourselves in a boggy field being approached bu a herd of Dexter cattle intent on loving us and rubbing their heads all over us. Well I was still not to steady on my feet so rather than be knocked over by the amiable cattle we climbed a gate into the next field where we had 2 stark choices 1. go back through the cows who were convinced we were bearing gifts of food and were all looking longinly over the gate and were too tame and friendly to be shooed away or 2. ford a small stream that in our normal wellied state would be easy but was like crossing the Nile in new shoes!!
Lucie decided to do the stepping stone hop.....and promptlu slipped and got her feet soaked. I decided that as I could neither jump nor hop due to my knee a cold paddle was in order and removed socks and shoes and waded across much to the horror of the flock of sheep who were making up the spectators!
Eventually we both got to solid ground, the sheepdog found the rams and I agreed to purchase Josh a Wensleydale x Charolais x Icelandic coloured ram and I also put my name on a nice little Ouessant ram to be collected at weaning.
Sunday passed with hectic sales and Lucie and I returned home tired but happy with several purchases too! I bought some icelandic wool tops to knit and felt into bags, some dye stuffs and a skein of Colinette yarn that I took a fancy to trying out as I am having some of my wool made into slub yarn later this year. I made a cosy for my coffee pot and am making a tea cosy with the rest........as you can see I am a wool producer not a knitter!!
Thanks all for the very positive response to the felting project.........its going to be amazing and will hopefull raise the profile of wool!

4 comments:

Fr. Peter Doodes said...

Great to hear that the knee op went well Val, and almost good to hear that the funding for the project came through. I am sure that we ALL look forward to hearing more.

With every best wish for a swift pain-free recovery.

Fr. Peter Doodes said...

What I meant to write was (deleting the 'and') "almost as good as to hear"

Sorry Val, its an age thing....

Goosey said...

I have just happened to find you blog, it's lovely and as we have a thought to buy a bit of land in a year or two it's interesting reading. We live in Dorset but love your area too.

Goosey said...

Hello Val, Your comment about the Hunt family is interesting, my husbands family are from Sturminster Newton, and villages around that way and I have ancestors from Hazelbury Bryant...the Drake family. Spooky !!! Best wishes, Goosey