The Spinning for Beginners workshop, run by Michelle Stirling on 11 January seems to have gone very well – here is a write up from Inga:
As is very common at guild events the air at the beginning of the session seemed full of anticipation for a day of crafting fun, and Michelle did not disappoint! The day was full of information, experimentation and general woolly fun. We were shown how to set up our wheels and take care of them, with special attention given to the importance of getting the tension on our wheels correct and oiling them periodically. Michelle had brought and laid out a wonderful array of different fleeces for us to look at, work with and try out using different preparation techniques. We felt like children in a sweetie shop! She demonstrated hand carding to make rolags, drum carding to make a batt and using a dog comb to prep the wool, whilst leaving plenty of time for us to experiment throughout the day.
When the spinning began it was obvious that there were different levels of beginner: some complete beginners and some who had spinning experience. Michelle catered for all abilities and participants were happy to share knowledge and swap wheels so that people could experience spinning on different wheels. This meant that naturally the seed was planted for possible wheel purchases!
To sum up the day, it was enjoyed by all, designed by Michelle to give the perfect mix of learning and experimentation in a relaxed and fun fashion and yet a very productive day was had by all too!
Here are some photos showing the processes Michelle demonstrated:
Christina Chisholm ran a repeat of her Spin to Weave workshop on 12 January. This was again well attended and was an excellent workshop. In the morning we practiced producing a consistent worsted yarn suitable for warp or weft. Christina demonstrated short draw, showed us how to work out the ratio of our wheels, then had us each attach a tape measure between wheel and waistband so that we could draft a consistent amount for each turn of the wheel. This required a fair amount of concentration! Christina also demonstrated an extended draw (American long draw), which works well for some fibres and blends, and also produces a yarn suitable for weaving. After lunch Christina talked us through her excellent handouts on how to calculate the amount of yarn required for warp and weft. She showed us some of her woven pieces and impressed on us the importance of sampling. We then moved to the loom, where she showed us how to use a dummy warp to save wasting precious handspun – the handspun warp is tied on to the dummy warp, and lashed to the front bar, so there is very little waste.
The following photos show some of the processes demonstrated: short draw; extended draw; putting the handspun warp on the cross sticks; starting to tie on; lashing; testing the tension; weaving a header; starting to weave; hemstitching.
Here are some more general photos: