Another opportunity to educate. The teacher may retire, but never gives up teaching. Today was a special event on a day that Smithfield is normally closed, but was booked for a USDA event in cultural awareness. They specifically asked to have as many of the craft volunteers available as possible. One of the blacksmiths and his wife who assists him are retired. The lace maker was able to get the afternoon off, and I am retired, as are several of the docents that give the historical tour of the inside of the house. Though there are several areas in which I can sit and spin, the winter kitchen in the main house, the large shaded side porch of the house, my favorite is the slave cabin that itself has a history, having been moved at least twice and houses the huge functional Appalachian Rocker Loom, a non functional weasel, a non functional great wheel, and the accouterments of the slave household. This location allows a sharing of slave life on the plantation as well as history of spinning and demonstrating fiber prep and spinning on spindles and one of my wheels.
Today’s fiber for prep was some of the Dorset that I washed from raw and am still carding for spinning, and it was used with the drop spindles. Combs or a teasing board are going to be needed to get that done. For spinning on the wheel, I used some of the Hebridean from Hebridean Woolshed in Isle of South Uist. My bucket list contains a trip to Scotland to visit them. One skein of that wool was finished last night so the visitors could see the unspun wool and yarn from the wool.
Each visitor from the group today thanked the volunteers for giving up their day for them and at the end of the day, each of us was presented with a thank you gift, a small burlap sack with bread, honey from Virginia, Peanuts from Virginia, and a few apples. A delightful and pleasant surprise.