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09 August 2015
Number six! Et au revoir!

It is always a red-letter day in Sgioba Luaidh's calendar when we have the chance to waulk a new tweed. Saturday 25 July 2015 was such a day, when we did our sixth "real" waulking. Our friend Alison Ross kindly gave us a double width tweed, woven in Lewis. We split it in half and sewed it together to make a single width piece, 7 yards in length. (We use traditional measurements.) Pics here.

Five of Sgioba Luaidh wended our way to Auchindrain Township, along with Jeanne, the French student who has been working with us for the past three months. We were augmented by our good friends Fiona and young Kirsty, whose blue hair brightened a dull day, and elicited a query from a wee girl: "Are you a mermaid?"

For most of the day we had the company of Rory Rutherford, a weaver from Arran, who made himself useful to us, fetching and carrying. We hope he will put us in touch with the Arran waulking women.

We are about to let you into a trade secret now! We had a tub of warm water for the preliminary soaking, with the poit mhùin full of (synthetic) ammonia ready to be added. But the ammonia was colourless, didn't look right at all. Fiona to the rescue! She produced a can of Irn Bru, the addition of which made the maistir look quite authentic!

The actual waulking took an hour or so, with songs from Frances, Eleanor, Myra and Kirsty. We had plenty of visitors, some of whom took a turn at the board. We hope they got the blue dye off their hands more easily than we did!

The cloth shrank from 33" in width to 29", and lost half a yard in length. It has come up really nicely. We are happy!

There was plenty happening at Auchindrain that weekend, as the Travelling People had set up a re-creation of their summer camp.Travellers were always welcome at the Township, so this was the revival of an old tradition. Click here for pics.

We were sorry to say au revoir to Jeanne, who returned to France shortly afterwards. We hope her "internship" with Sgioba Luaidh has been interesting and helpful for her studies. We look forward to perusing her dissertation, although we can't quite imagine what she will say about us! We will certainly miss her company. A bientôt, chérie. Click here for some pics of our farewell meal with Jeanne.


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