This is an article written by a friend, former spinning student and fibre addict. Hope you enjoy reading and take this course!
Fibre crafts are addictive, aren’t they? You start off learning one, but soon you will be tempted by a complementary craft or two to add to your repertoire. So it was for me; not long after I had learned to spin (in a Meet The Wool workshop taught by Sandra!) Then I was lured by to the joys of dyeing my own spinning wool. Once again it was Sandra to the rescue, ever the enthusiastic, knowledgeable teacher, in the form of one of her Natural Dyeing workshops. Hot on the heels of this new skill was the siren call of Weaving!
Sandra herself was hearing the call to learn to weave; in fact, once again she was my enabler! She’d signed up for a 4 day beginners & improvers weaving course, and tempted me with the delights of learning to weave in the charming stone buildings of the Grennan Mill Craft School in Thomastown, Kilkenny. We reeled another craft lover in, and the fates were set– we three women would add another notch to our fibre craft belts this summer!
Grennan Mill Craft School is a renowned school for full-time craft programs, but during the summer months they run several short courses. Catherine Ryan, the excellent weaving teacher, definitely brings out the best in her students. She loves the craft, and by the time you leave, you will too. Beginner weavers can’t help but be buoyed up by her practical, calm encouragement when we get confused/mess up/think ‘I’ll never finish.’ We three gals, as well as the other 5 folk in our class all managed to finish wonderfully beautiful, unique pieces, even though we all had our moments of doubting our abilities! Yes, mistakes are all part of the learning! The hands-on aspect of this weaving course: design, choosing yarns (oh, the myriad of beautiful choices!) yarn and loom set up, weaving patterns, and making a finished product, give you a great grounding and confidence to start weaving on your own loom. (Of course you are probably going to want one of your own now!)
The craft school has many looms; most table looms and a few floor looms, and we set up and wove on our own loom in a large airy room near the top of the mill. The wonderful scent of wood from the well worn wooden plank flooring and the wooden looms themselves welcomed us each morning as we all entered, chatting away to each other– the entire group of participants were friendly, helpful folk. Maybe this is a trait of most crafters– happy in sharing their knowledge and experience!
We’d open a few windows to allow a breeze in on the warm days, and the trills of birdsong kept company with the rhythm of the gently clacking looms. Learning to weave in this setting, with all the items you’d possibly need to learn, and with such an excellent teacher as Catherine, was a joy. Every single one of us was hoping that next summer we could come back to learn further. I wholeheartedly recommend this weaving course! Catherine is looking to repeat this Beginner/Improver weaving course in July this year (2018.) Do get in touch with her if you are interested! Here are some details:
Weaving Course suitable for Beginners & Improvers
At Grennan Mill Craft School, Thomastown, Kilkenny
July 30-August 2
4 day course – Following a day in the design studio developing ideas, students will create an individual woven piece on table looms in the weaving room using a variety of textured coloured yarns. Please bring a notebook and colouring materials for designing. Yarn is provided and included in the basic material fee Minimum 6 – Maximum 8 persons
Course Fee €280 / Materials Fee €10
For more details please text / phone Weaving Tutor Catherine Ryan on 087 2510586 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org