25 May, 2009

The Spanish Peacock

Meet Mike and TJ King, of the Spanish Peacock in Middletown, MD.

Mike makes tools such as drop spindles, supported spindles, Turkish spindles, bone sewing needles, wooden knitting needles, nalbinding needles, nostepinnes, and lace bobbins. He also does large pieces like looms.

The Kings had a booth Maryland Sheep and Wool festival. I got my shopping done (mostly nalbinding pattern books) before the crowds started.

The pace was more relaxed when I caught up with the Spanish Peacock merchant tent at the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) event Sapphire Joust X. Mike suggested the event when I said I wanted to learn historical textile skills.

I was able to get a good photo of the spindles and things for sale

before settling down to hear about period costumes, fibre arts, and the SCA. It was very cool to listen to armour clank by, and to find people who like knowing and recreating history, and to hear what they're into.

I had never seen so many people wearing clothing that was not mass-manufactured, not even in Lancaster county.

You can just see someone spinning on a drop spindle in the group photo above, on the right. To see a lot of fibre arts demonstrations and learn about weaving, sewing, and nalbinding, TJ suggested I check out local SCA demo days and a couple up-coming SCA events that will have artists' rows.

I got to show a couple passers-by how a drop spindle works. Love the moment when they see the twist go up the fibre and they get it. Especially appreciate them stopping to watch when they're not people into fibre at all, particularly. One was just on a scavenger hunt, trying to find someone working with wool.

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