June NIFA – part 3

Tuesday was a very exciting day!  It started normally enough for a NIFA day, with both Jane and Anita working at a cobweb weight mini shawl.  Both had done lace before, but neither had worked with yarn so fine.  Both beavered away all morning and part way through the afternoon.

Then we went to see Granville and Jean Swanney.  Jean used to be the school teacher on the island before she retired.  And Granville, amongst other things, makes spinning wheels.

Granville took us in to his workshop, and showed us the wheel he was working on.  When we went in, it was a collection of parts, but he built it up for us, slotting the pieces together and into a jig he has made in lieu of the table.

Then it was time to see his finished work.  Jean’s wheel is an upright – that one was sitting in the corner.  Then there was a sloping bed wheel fresh out of the workshop.  Of course Jane had to have a try.  It was love at first sight…

Then she had a go on Jean’s wheel….

And then we left to go up to Stanger Head and along to the rock stacks known as The Cletts.  Jane and Paul were muttering.  Would Granville sell the wheel?  How much was it likely to be?  I said I would ring when I got back.  We carried on to one of the wartime gun emplacements:

Meanwhile, Tricia was determined to see puffins.  And she did – there are three in the picture, ringed as they are not very close!!

Back at the house, the sale was made.  Jean and Granville were going to town the next day, so delivery would be Thursday.

Wednesday was more hard work – knitting for Anita and spinning for Jane.  She was working on her Lendrum, spinning up some fleece she had dyed earlier in the week.

In the afternoon we walked down to another WWII station, this time the Buchanan Battery.  More seals and a wide variety of other bits of wildlife.

In the evening, Anita knitted, Jane span, and the two men had a whisky tasting session.  We went from the Lowlands (Glen Kinchie) to Campbeltown (Springbank) to Speyside (several) to Highlands, Islands and Isay (many and various).  Finally we tasted 4 different vintages of Highland Park, from the bog standard 12 year old to a 30 year old.  They seemed to enjoy it..!!

At the end of the evening, we noticed a rainbow outside.  The pic below is not enhanced in any way:

It was a complete bow – too wide to get on one frame, so this one is two stuck together:

This morning it was a case of waiting until 10.30 when Jane’s wheel was to be collected.  Once here, it was looked over, oiled again, and USED!!

The first spinning of the day was with some Shetland tops we dyed on Monday:

In a very short space of time Jane was spinning a two ply yarn (below) thinner than the 2/28 cobweb at the top of the pic:

Which was admired by all concerned!!

Meanwhile, Anita finished her mini shawl.

While Jane was spinning, she dressed it, and then sat down to look at some Fair Isle samples.  But more of that next time.

And just to finish, a pic of Jane’s wheel and mine.  They are definitely by the same hand, but in the  6 or so years since mine was made, Granville has made slight changes to the design:


11 thoughts on “June NIFA – part 3

  1. Dear Liz…. I’ve been following your blog for a year or so, ever since running into a woman at Harrisville Designs in NH who had been on one of the tours you ran. I am very interested in knowing what comes next…. my next trip is one from Iceland and the Faroes but not getting to your area. Could you put my name on your list so I can jump next time you plan a tour?

    Thanks so much!

    Barbara M.

      1. Her name was Nancy, I think….. I remember her stranded knitting very well, but I’m terrible with names! She lived in Buffalo, New York and she quoted you constantly….. we all wanted to come take a class/tour with you after hearing about it.

        If you plan another tour, please let me know. Thanks!


      2. Ah, Nance – yes, she came over twice and was with me the time that FOG messed up all our plans!

        I am only doing one more trip and that is this October. That will be the last – and yes, I mean it!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s