Saturday’s beginner’s hand spinning workshop was a great success and the weather even cooperated by being perfect! There were attendees from all parts of the island and it was great for me to meet such interesting and talented folks.
We started the course with types of fleece, sorting, scouring, and preparation for spinning. Other types of materials sampled were flax, bog cotton and dog fur. There was a brief discussion on dyeing and the different ways to dye, such as acid chemical, natural and solar. I learned about lichen and mushroom dyeing from our student, Alex. I’ll be doing a blog on that soon, and his input was very helpful. Then we saw demos on hand carding, drum carding and using the drop spindle.
After a well deserved lunch break, everyone got to work on the spinning wheels. There were four different wheels available and included traditional, Irish castle wheel, and a contemporary wheel. Students were encouraged to use any of the materials available and so besides spinning the usual sheep’s wool, we experimented with the bog cotton and flax. Some interesting yarns resulted.
Finally, amid the triumphs and frustrations, everyone went home with a little more knowledge of what it’s like to hand spin and with some of their very own hand spun yarn. And I’m looking forward to conducting another similar workshop next year, along with perhaps some different ones.
This week I’ll be attending the Stitch and Knit show at the RDS Dublin. The link if you are interested is: www.theknittingandstitchingshow.com/dublin
Hope to see some of you there!