Sunday, 22 April 2012

Guild National Exhibition and my finished ring!

Oh I was a bit naughty last time, saying my entry for the exhibition was nearly finished and then showing you only the back of it! Well it's finished now and my entry has been noted on the form that I have made one. We thought the Guild were collecting them this month but it was just the names, so I have it at home still in case I want to tweak anything.

Want to see it?

Okay, no more teasing. I was going to try and take a nice photo of it outside in the sunshine, but, well the weather is rather unpredictable at the moment so every time I thought about it, it was raining. So I took a picture of it hanging up in the porch to gain the natural light. I take a picture of it outside before it goes to the guild and exhibition.

Here is my 6 inch ring - two sided

Knit and embroidered side hanging

Knitted a circle on this side with some handspun Dorset Horn sourced locally and sewed it over the edges of the wooden ring. The wooden ring came from a friend at the guild who got them from a visit to Fred Aldous (a lovely online craft store, they stock so many things). Then with some pure wool tapestry wools I created a wheel to signify the spinning wheel and did the spokes in different colours, like a colour wheel. I was very pleased with how it came out but felt it needed something else. I wanted to embroider a quote on there but couldn't find the perfect quote that was short enough to fit so I embroidered Spin the Wheel instead.

Knit side close up

Felted picture side hanging

The reverse side is needle felted with British wools. A little sheep in the field with lovely blue sky and wispy clouds. The sheep's coat is some lovely Gotland curls. I have attached this to the knitted edging of the ring using the felting needles, and added a bit of wool padding in the middle. I added a loop of  Lucet cord made with the Dorset Horn handspun too.

close up of the felted side

I'm really happy with the result, and am really looking forward to seeing it hanging at the exhibition with all the other rings that are sent in.

Talking of seeing it at the exhibition, I thought I'd share some pictures of the venue from previous visits we have made there. The Weald and Downland Open Air Museum is a wonderful place to visit - a working living museum with many buildings that have been moved there from other places in the South and rebuilt exactly as they were. They are then furnished with items from the period of the building, and have lovely displays and demonstrations of how we used to live over 6 centuries.

Part of the Weald and Downland open air museum site

We've visited several times before, always seeing new things, and experiencing new experiences. From woodcrafts, to spinning, to making natural remedies, to cooking in the Tudor kitchen where you can taste the produce. You see the way people lived, worked, gardened, and have lovely walks around the fields and into the woodland which has beautiful views and some artwork/sculptures too. There is a lovely working watermill, grinding wheat to produce lovely flours which you can purchase, a lovely lake full of rather well fed fish and ducks!
Art in the woodland
Around the site there are many animals too including some lovely South Down sheep, Tamworth pigs and Shire Horses - they have horse and cart rides you can go on too. We always take a picnic but there are a couple of places to get refreshments. We have spent many a happy day there exploring, lots of lovely open spaces to explore, run around and much to experience.

 Southdown Ewe and lamb relaxing in the sunshine
Weald Down from the lake

At the top of the site is the Gridshell - a lovely modern building which just fits in lovely with the surroundings as the outside is Oak laths bent into shape - where the exhibition will be (I assume it will all mainly be in there). It's a lovely long open light building so will be a delight to see all the exhibits in there.

 Inside the Gridshell building

For anyone who doesn't already know, the exhibition is the Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers running from 16th-27th July 2012. On the 22nd it is also the Rare Breeds show, so a bonus if you visit on that day - lots of lovely sheep, other aneimals, woolly goodness and  other craft and countryside delights. They pride themselves in giving priority to handmade/local products and exhibitors who also demonstrate their crafts, so lots to see and be tempted by. As well as entries of animals at the show, there are craft and spinning entries too - good for some inspiration maybe!

See you there maybe.

Demonstrations at the Weald and Downland open air museum


  1. That ring looks amazing! I really will have to learn how to felt! The museum looks great, we were at a local farm museum at the weekend and it was good fun too.

  2. Love your entry, and that place looks fab :o)

    I saw the big spinning wheel this weekend but didn't get a chance to speak to the lady unfortunately...wanted her to show me her drop spindle ;o)

  3. Love the sheep felted picture - you're so talented x

  4. Your ring looks beautiful. Love the sheep. I remember going to the museum when I was a child. I still have the bookmark to prove it!

  5. What an excellent ring. Love the fact it is two sided. I'll look forward to spotting it in the midst of all the other rings. The museum sounds really interesting too, even more excited about going down to see it all.


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