I knew that they had this kind of three sided greenhouse thing with power supply and kettle for us to work in and this great decking area to have lunch on or indeed to bring the machines out onto had the weather been better. I anticipated that we would be given a selection of little sample bags ( they mostly retail for just 50p) to play with so, when I was first shown into this work area - which had a few bags of scraps lying around - I was a little disappointed to be told, "As for fibres - anything you can find you can use." But I did not understand.......
First I was taken to this shed - the Rainbow blends shed- and told to take what we wanted to use. Really? Anything? Let me at that gorgeous blend of peppermint and chocolate wool with white silk then. Then we went to this shed - normally out of bounds to customers - which houses silk throwsters waste and fibers like bamboo, soy, tencel etc and told to rummage and see what we wanted to try.
Next door was the English wools shed of which these bins were only a sample. We were quite taken with the Blue Faced Leicester Oatmeal and the Shetland Humbug for backgrounds
And finally the dyed merino wool shed. Again, help ourselves! Amazing.
We were only there from 11.30 to 5 so didn't actually bankrupt them but the ability to work with the fibres and see how they felt and what they looked like together was very illuminating and clever marketing as I shall now buy all my stock for felting from them and I am of course recommending that you do the same!
Although we didn't have to buy anything from the shop we all knew I was never going to manage that. I indulged in some pick and mix blends from the shed, ( you fill your own bags and it gets weighed at the till) some English wools and then some sample packs of luscious mullberry silk tops. The shop as you can see is packed with stuff to choose from including Olive Oil soap which I had not seen anywhere else.
My only criticism was going to be that the woman in the shop was extremely rude, until I realised that she was not rude so much as she was probably from Barnsley. Barnsely being in Yorkshire and Yorkshire being a place where a spade is a spade and closing time is in twenty minutes and by God are we going to make that clear to all people still shopping! Yorkshire forthrightness is an endearing trait when you get used to it but, being from the 'wrong' side of the Pennines it can still surprise at times! Yorkshire people also have a reputation for being stingy but such an attribute cannot be placed on Ruth and Alan Gough who let us roam free for the day and didn't even charge us for broken embellisher needles! Thank you, if you are reading.
Would you all like to see photos of my samples?