Sunday, 6 February 2011

Spinning in Italy - Lucca & Milan - April

Interest is mounting in the workshops we are planning for Lucca and Milan in April. There are still a few places available for all the workshops, but I am limiting the number of places to ensure that everyone has the best opportunity to learn. Full details are in the post two down, on this blog - with a link to dettagli in italiano.

In each city we are offering three workshops: Fibre Preparation, drop-spindle spinning and spinning wheel basics.

 In the Fibre prep workshops we will be starting with a fleece, just as it was shorn from the sheep, and learning how to sort the wool and prepare it for spinning. We are hoping to be able to use native Italian fleeces. We will also look at blending different colours of wool, and preparing some more exotic fibres.

Drop spindle spinning is a great way to learn the essential processes of spinning, whether you want to progress to a spinning wheel or continue to develop your skills using a spindle. Shetland combed tops (wool) will be provied for use in this and the spinning wheel workshop, or you can spin the fibre you have prepared yourself.

The spinning wheel basics workshop will cover the whole process of spinning a yarn on a wheel. We will be using scotch-tension wheels but other types will be discussed. If you have a wheel, bring it (and get a 15% discount!), wheels will be provided for use by those who dont already have one, but they will have to be shared.

We are offering an optional 'menu' of equipment which can be pre-ordered - you can then learn how to use your own equipment during the workshop and won't have to share.

 In Lucca we are being hosted by the lovely Lucca Centre for Contemporary Art, and in Milan by Paola della Pergola. There is a price difference because in Milan the Fibre Prep and Drop-spindle workshops will be longer, and also there is an additional charge towards the cost of the venue there.

Busy Sunday! and chocolate panetone

Today I've been dyeing two more sushi rolls (see earlier post) - this time I used the dye powder direct on the soaked knitted strips, and used 2 - 3 times as much dye as for the first two.

Sushi roll 3 had Sun Gold, Moss green and Mail red
The colours are certainly stronger than before, but a lot was still lost in the rinsing.

For Sushi roll 4 I tried adding vinegar - although the dye is supposed to be complete i.e. with acid, I wondered whether more would help the dye to take. After soaking for a couple of hours in water I put the strip into 1part vinegar to 5 parts water for about 10 mins. Also one of the dyes was in hard lumps so I dissolved it in about 10ml vinegar, microwaving for 30sec to heat it.
Colours used: Turquoise, Purple and Malachite (the lumpy one).

I'll photograph and post once they are dry.

I have enough Omega dye left for 3 or 4 more rolls, so watch out for future posts.....

As both daughters were at home I made a chocolate panetone in the breadmaker for breakfast


Delicious, especially warm with coffee. Not too sweet and just chocolatey enough, with some littlee 'nuggets' of extra chocolate. Here's the recipe. Put everything in the beadmaker in the order listed the night before and set the timer so it's ready at breakfast time!

180 ml warm water
55g butter, cut up into small bits
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbs sugar
2 tbs dried milk powder
1 tsp salt
450 g whte bread flour
1 tsp dried yeast
80g dark chocolate chopped into small pieces (I used Green & Black's 70% cocoa)

Set the timer and wake up to a delicious aroma!

If you're not making it overnigh, add the chocolate at the beep and it might be in more distinct choc chips.

Tonight, as there was some left (to my surprise!) I made a lovely bread-and -butter pudding with almonds and raisins