Last Sunday I was sitting in the middle of the street in central Tunbridge Wells spinning, much to the curiosity of the general public. No, I hadn't gone completely mad, I was taking part in Tunbridge Wells Festival.
This festival is a new event started by Stephen Mason, a local businessman and Chief Executive of Trinity Theatre in Tunbridge Wells. Profits go to a number of local charities, notably Hospice in the Weald. Some of the roads were closed to make way for the many attractions, there were craft stalls, a stage with live performances, street entertainers and fairground rides for the children.
Having a niche business, I don't do many general events but I decided to support the Tunbridge Wells Festival. We were fortunate with the weather, the day before it poured and I was rather worried but on Sunday the sun shone and the crowds came out.
I had a lovely day, sitting in the street spinning. A couple of small dogs took fright at the movement and a few children thought it would be fun to grab the turning wheel. Many people who stopped for a chat had never seen a spinning wheel in action. There were the usual reactions: 'how do you sew on that?' 'is that a spinning jenny?' 'look at that lady knitting!'
I was spinning a silk/baby camel blend and I heard many parents carefully explaining to their children that this was sheep's wool. Note to self, when spinning in public - stick to wool.
I haven't spun much silk, the next day my hands felt puffy, does anyone else find spinning silk hard on the hands? What reactions do you get when you practice your craft in public?