Speed Spinning with Anne Artis

Helenspinning reports0 Comments

wp0e3e03e4_05_06Twelve spinners, with an interesting variety of wheels, attended Anne Artis’ workshop on Speed Spinning at Strathpeffer. The workshop started with Anne giving us each a carrier bag containing individual bags of fleece to spin, all of them very different and some of them fairly challenging.  The bags were numbered 1 – 10 and the contents varied from commercially prepared tops to unprepared and uncarded fleece, silk and silk noils, angora rabbit fur, and fleece from a rare breed sheep. Anne’s message was that we should “let the wheel do the work” while we relaxed and watched the yarn form and she demonstrated how we could achieve this.

I found the whole workshop very interesting, I learned to spin 30 years ago when I got my Ashford wheel and went to a few classes. I have been spinning in the same way ever since.  Anne (pictured right) demonstrated different ways to spin the various fibres.

After spinning the commercially prepared tops (fairly straightforward), we next went to unprepared fleece which we spun without any preparation, other than teasing the fibre apart and we then spun it from its original state although Anne provided dog combs that we could use to comb through the fleece if we wanted to..

We gradually worked our way through the bags of fleece and learned how different they all were.  I found the angora rabbit fur one of the more difficult ones to spin as it seemed so delicate.  Anne showed us how to spin silk by folding it over our fingers and spinning from there.  I have to admit that I didn’t quite get the hang of this but I’ll try again at  home with the bit I have left. Another difficult one (for me at least) was spinning from silk noils.  

wp54a2ab67_05_06Anne was very good at demonstrating and helped us when we needed it.  I learned new ways to produce yarn and I enjoyed the day very much.  I also learned a lot of things I didn’t know about spinning before.  I didn’t know about “ratios”.  I’m still not sure about these but I hope to find out a bit more. I have done some spinning at home since the workshop and found it easier to put what I had learned into practice. So, I feel it was a very worthwhile day!!

Sheila Ogilvie

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