Monday, May 01, 2006

Woodland Wonders

First thing this morning it was pouring with rain and the day did not look promising. By 10am things looked brighter and we decided to stick with our original plan of cycling to Kew to go to the Woodland Wonders exhibition. At Kew Gardens this weekend, near Queen Charlotte's Cottage and the giant stag beetles

was a whole outdoor exhibition, with music, plays, and all kinds of country crafts. There were men with painted faces, indulging in that traditional British pastime of Morris dancing. The children loved it and even danced to the rhythm of the drum.

There were heavy horses

and to my delight there was knitting, run by Sue, and where better to display it than among the rhododendrons:

Most of the knitting was done on giant needles and here I am, having a go, with Ellen showing me something on the other side of the arena:

Once I got the hang on the knitting, I could work up a rhythm and, if you keep the weight of the broom-handle-sized needles on the ground, then it was really good fun, although my hands did hurt after a few rows.

I also tried to remember how to spin:

and, to my amazement, it came back quite easily and I really enjoyed it. I also had a go at spinning with a drop spindle, which I had not done before, and was surprised at how satisfying that was too. I am doing a project at school for arts week in a couple of weeks' time and could not resist buying some giant needles (I know that the children will love them).

I thought that we could make a wall hanging or a rug and know that the novelty will appeal to the children (it certainly appealed to me!).
We had a great day and I even got home in time to go to the movies with a friend in the afternoon, to see The Squid and the Whale. What a wonderful film - insightful, funny and tender. I'd recommend it!


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