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Monday, May 28, 2007

A Grand Day Out

On Saturday I met up with Ellen, Felix and Katie (plus husband and sister) for the Oxfordshire Craft Fair at Blenheim Palace. The day got off to a great start as the first thing that they had spotted on leaving the car park was someone with a spinning wheel. Katie had managed to restrain herself and the others enough to wait until I had arrived before rushing off to investigate. More restraint was shown by most people (Felix is not included in this category I'm afraid) as we restricted ourselves to one or two purchases rather than spend all our cash at the first stall. I had to grab this goregous hand-dyed wool top (just in case it had gone by the time I got back) though I was sorely tempted by the 0.8 to 1.2mm range of sock needles too.

Hand-dyed by MoBair

We also checked out the Isis Lacemakers who were very friendly and had some amazing work on display. They meet up twice a month on Tuesdays (which unfortunately clashes with my running club night) but I might try and go along at some point. Lacemaking is definitely something I'm interested in trying out.

The other highpoint of the craft fair was the falconry display as Ellen and I both were picked as volunteers to have a Harris hawk fly up to our hand. The handler had told us before starting that we shouldn't try to stroke the bird (hawks attack with their feet) but that it would be OK to give it a kiss. I'd thought I might have to steel myself to do this but it was so calm and quiet on my arm that I had no problems getting up close. Felix got these pics.

Me with Harris hawk

Hello birdy!

After a final visit to the MoBair stall where I picked up some hand-dyed mohair tops and Katie got some gorgeous alpaca silk we headed off to Stanton St. John to visit the Oxford Guild of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers who were exhibiting their work for Artweeks. We saw some more beautiful hand-spun and natural dyed fibre (I resisted the hand-spun alpaca with great difficulty) and we had a lovely visit which was topped off by my spotting the Red Arrows on their way to or from the Abingdon air show.

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