söndag 2 juni 2013

Spinning at Stundars again

I have been spinning with school children twice in May. The home for my guild Björken (The Birch) is here: Stundars. Every spring the staff at Stundars arrange craft days for 1400-1600 children.


This is Frida Paulin, a crafter I admire very much. Her main craft is bobbin lace, but she is also a skilled spinner and weaver. She's well over 80 now, but still spinning. She's surrounded by old Finnish spinning wheels, the oldest from 1818.

Frida had two bobbin lace makers with her in the big farm house. One of them later said it's quite comfortable to undo mistakes while making lace in public, because no one will know whether you're going backwards or forwards!


This is what she made:


And here's the other lace maker:


Beautiful laces, aren't they! I have made bobbin lace in my youth, so after a bit of practice I could do now also, but not as complicated lace as these two are making.

I was spinning here this time:


This is part of Gråbyn (The Grey Village), a part of Stundars with small crafters cottages. They are grey because they have never been painted. This was typical for areas inhabited by the poor in the old days (not so uncommon in our days either...)

In our cottage it was warm and cosy. There was a fire lit for us, because even if it looks warm outdoors it was still quite cold in the nights, and the cottages were damp after the winter because they had not been heated.


My company this year was Doris Bengs, who is a skilled decorative painter. Here she is surrounded by interested girls.


Some of Doris' work, and the beautifully coloured interior of the cottage:


The sheep where out, and this year there's a Finnsheep ewe with three lambs. They already graze and eat grain, but mother's milk is better!


The ewe will be sheared when the nights get warmer, which means any day now. She has a lovely wool, but the winter wool is not the very best as you can see. Lots of vegetal matter, and it's worn and fragile and has some shorter wool among the longer. The lambing hasn't made it any stronger. Three lambs takes a lot of strength from the ewe, so often there will be a weaker spot in the wool that grew during the pregnancy and while she was producing milk. But in the autumn she will most probably have a very good fleece for spinning.

When you're one of the crafters you can't go and see the others working in the area, which is something that most of us are sad about. But working here is one of the peaks each year. I was here for the first time in the 90s, when I first started spinning in public. I had to pause for many years while my job took most of my energy, but now that I'm retired I feel free to participate again.