Friday, 26 February 2016

Teaching workshops I offer

Hand-carding and long-draw spinning. How to produce beautiful rolags from fleece with handcards, and how to spin them into light airy woollen-spun yarn. You need to bring a well-oiled wheel, handcards if you have them (though I bring spares to borrow), a couple of spare bobbins and a lazy kate. A reasonable (but not expert) level of spinning-ability is required. I will bring a suitable fleece.

Drumcarding. How to use a drumcarder, how to get the best out of it, what sort of wool and fibre for each type, doffing the batt, blending colours and fibres. I have two drumcarders which I shall bring, demonstrate on, and then let people try. Please bring your own if you have them so there are enough to go round. Also bring spinning tools so we can play with our resulting batts.


Spindle-spinning for beginners: how to produce a thread using a spindle, and what to do with it next.  I bring basic spindles to borrow (and buy at the end of the workshop if you like), plus fibre.


What to do with a fleece! I will provide a fleece, demonstrate washing, sorting, carding, combing, spinning. Ideal for spinners who perhaps haven’t yet got beyond pre-prepared fibre, but interesting for most woolly people.


Woollen and worsted. What’s the difference between these types of preparation, what wools are suitable for which one, how the yarns are different, how to prepare the fibre and spin the yarn, what the yarns are best for.


Spinning and knitting with beads. How to make a beaded yarn, how to make a yarn suitable to thread beads on, and what to do with them when you’ve made them. I will provide some fibre.


Twined knitting – a traditional Scandinavian technique, also known at Two End knitting. It produces a dense, inelastic fabric idea for mitts, hats. It’s perfect for embroidery and other embellishment. You need to be confident knitting in the round.


Cards, combs, drums, and hackles. Ever wondered exactly how these esoteric fibre-preparation tools  are used? I will demonstrate use of all of these, discuss the sort of preparation they result in, the best type of fibre to use, and then people can have a go themselves. Drumcarders are a particularly big investment, so it’s always useful to have a go to see if you’d actually want to use one.
Bring any tools of your own, plus a working wheel or spindles to play with the resultant fibres.



Dyeing workshops. These are a little less formal – I bring dyeing equipment and dyes, and demonstrate how to dye skeins of yarn, chained warps, tops, fleece, explain why things are done in a certain way and how to achieve certain effects. I then stand back and let participants loose! I stay on hand to advise and help, but this is an excellent opportunity to have a go at dyeing for the first time, or find out how to create exactly what you want. Fibres and yarns must be pre-soaked, and we need access to a oven hob or electricity source, and lots of tables and space.


Please check for additional equipment, I’ve only mentioned the basics below. I will usually provide any fibre necessary, but feel free to bring your own which we can consider/discuss during the workshop. Unless otherwise specified, you need a well-oiled and working spinning wheel with which you are familiar and confident producing yarn, plus spare bobbins and a kate. Some workshops can be done with spindles, but not all. I have hand-cards and combs to borrow, though please bring your own if you have them.

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