Monday, 20 February 2012

Happy Spinning Sunday

A craft shop full of colourful hand-made goodies, yummy cake and a group of people all keen to learn how to spin - my ideal Sunday afternoon, and that just about sums up the little workshop at An Cnoc, 31 East High Street, Crieff yesterday.
My 'teaching'spindles have whorls made from mahogany, 'recycled' from the last wooden fire engine used at Ardrishaig on the West coast of Scotland. A little bit of history that has now introduced many people to spinning

An Cnoc is the name of the craft shop, a real treasue trove of beautiful and unusual items, many made locally. Mandy, the owner, hosts a knitting group and a crochet group there, and as several of the members were interested in learning to spin, Mandy asked me to do an introductory workshop on drop-spindle spinning. We were joined by two ladies visiting Crieff for the weekend who I think had only found out about the workshop when visiting the shop the day before - an unexpected extra in their weekend away.
Working with drum-carded fleece lets the learners spend all their time spinning - but they don't learn how to prepare it, and guess who spends hours carding wool before the workshop!

With some complete beginners and a couple of spinners who use spinning wheels but wanted to brush up their spindle technique, it was a friendly and chatty group who quickly got to grips with spindles and some fleece that I had drum carded beforehand. Plenty of laughter and a generous supply of tea and cake (thanks Mandy!!) lightened the intense concentration as the learning progressed. By the end of the three hour session everyone had a skein of two-ply yarn that they had spun themself. I'm looking forward to seeing photos of the yarn after it has been washed - and to keeping in touch with this group.