Firstly, thank you to everyone who came to our 2018 Mill Open Weekend and for making it such a success. We had a ball over the weekend, and it was fabulous to spend the days leading up to it polishing and sprucing, so each machine could be as proud as punch to show itself off to all the interested visitors.
You came from far and wide – from just down the road, from further up the road and even from Italy! Over the course of the weekend we gave 18 mill tours (9 a day) to 350 people, with over 1000 people visiting total! And we all ate about a million local homemade cakes accompanied by made many cups of tea.
We had masses of Show & Tell entries, and look forward to announcing the lucky winners very soon! Photos and winners will be shared in the next couple of weeks, so keep your eyes peeled (although if you are winner pulled from the lucky dip you will be notified by email too, so you won’t miss out!). We had so many beautiful and innovative entries – you woolly folk are so very talented and we love chatting about what you’ve made, how you have made it and who it is for. Getting to look at all your talent, skill and passion always makes us warm inside.
There were lots of new faces this year who came to have a look round the Mill, alongside those folk who like to make it an annual event. People came along as part of a weekend away in beautiful Devon. Those who live locally popped in to spend some woolly time with us. And we even had some groups make a trip of it, arriving in coaches! Five years ago when we had our very first Mill Open Day, which we called ‘Sping Clean’, we never imagined that it would become a regular event and would flourish so. The whole weekend was awesome! Thank you very much to all who made it so by sharing in our woolly mayhem!
Our latest Knit By Numbers addition, KBN Minis in DK, stood proud next to their KBN Mini 4ply friends.They were across the way from the ever expanding Knit by Numbers 100g skein cabinets, with their latest shade addition Copper looking radiant within the medley of colours.
Devonia in DK and 4ply looked glorious out in the marquee. A yarn which is very close to our heart. Using three local Devon fibres, processed and spun here, and now on display in the heart of North Devon.
Rachel from Daughter of a Shepherd brought along her gorgeous yarns, Hebridean DK and 4ply, and Hebridean / Zwartbles. It was lovely to see them all labelled and on display here at the Mill where we spin her gorgeous fibre into yarn for her.
We also had the lovely Andrew from Wooltops with his splendid white and natural shade yarns. We love to spin yarn for Andrew – he always selects a fine array of fibres from varied and interesting breeds.
Here he is with a beautiful shawl knit from his own gansey 5ply made by Russell, a long term spinner of our fibres (and also a seriously good Bread pudding cook!!)
John was heading the tours throughout the weekend. He lovingly took people round all the ground floor machines, explaining all the processes of tops and yarn making and introducing all the machines and their individual characteristics (with the odd joke thrown in).
Whilst Phil and Helena guided people around the upstairs machinery where all the coning, folding and skeining takes place.
If you couldn’t make it this year, we hope these photos give you an idea of the great weekend we had, and perhaps you can come along next time. We have currently got our heads together to work out next year’s date and will let you all know as soon as possible!
Thank you most kindly to the members of the Devon, Somerset and Gwent Guilds for demonstrating spinning. It’s always fascinating to see how our Tops look when hand spun and plyed in different ways. Jean and Brenda (pictured here), taking a break to have some well earned cake, were not only with us both days but have demonstrated and chatted to people at every one of our Mill Open Weekends.
And thank you as well to Heather who brought her fascinating table top loom along to demonstrate her wonderful weaving skills.
We will leave you with more photos of the weekend so you have a real taste of the time we had. Thank you again for coming along to the heart of our woolly world here in Devon and sharing in our adventures. We cherish your constant encouragement, support and passion. And hope to see you next year!