Monday, 21 April 2014

Sardegna - corsi di filatura e tintura : Spinning and dyeing workshops in Sardinia

Stato invitato per Giulia Pierdonati e Emanuela Piras ad andare in Sardegna, per dare un corso di filatura. Le trovi su Facebook come matte per la Lana
I was invited by Giulia Pierdonati and Emanuela Piras to go to Sardinia to deliver some spinning workshops. You can find them on facebook as Matte per la Lana

Un giorno per riprendere le base, un giorno per techniche piu' avanzati
One day to go over the basics, one day for more advanced spinning techniques.

Il corso si terra a Casa Spadaccino, in zona Frutti d'Oro, Capoterra
The workshops took place at casa Spadaccino, in the Frutti d'Oro area of Capoterra (south-west of Cagliari)

Sabato e stata comminciata per esaminare un vello  sucido bellissimo di lana Shetland, coloro detto 'Moorit', spedito direttamente delle isole Shetland da Jamieson & Smith, the Shetland Wool Brokers
On Saturday we examined and graded a beautiful raw moorit-coloured Shetland fleece, sent out specially by Jamieson & Smith, the Shetland Wool Brokers

poi, la cardatura - lana pura, anche lana mescolata con l'alpaca sucida
then carding, pure wool and wool mixed with raw alpaca

Dopo un bel pranzo (pasta con asparagi,selvatichi e frittata), - la filatura e  labinatura
After lunch (pasta with wild asparagus and omelette) - spinning and plying


Per proteggere I pedali dei filatoi del sporco, ci hanno lavorato Giulia e Emanuela delle scarpine bellisime
To protect the treadles of the spinning wheels from getting dirty Giulia and Emanuela had knitted us beautiful slippers

Domenica - prove di tecniche diverse per creare filati fantasie o 'art yarns'
Sunday started with trying out some different techniques for creating textured or 'art'yarns'

Poi, esercizio di mescolare colori e fibre diversi
Then, practice at mixing different colours and fibres

Slubs, coils and sequins!

Un assaggio alla filatura della seta - bozzoli e fazzioletti  - la prima prova ci vuole concentrazione!!
A taste of spinning silk cocoons and hankies - the first time takes concentration!!
Una tecnica nuova per controllare due gomitoli mentre binandole! Brava Randi!
A new technique for controlling balls of yarn while plying from them! Excellent, Randi!

Alla fine dei due giorni, un bella mostra de matasse - quelle marrone di Sabato, quelle colorate di Domenica
At the end of two days, a good display of skeins - brown ones from Saturday, coloured  ones from Sunday

Qualchi giorni dopo, ho insegnato un mini-corso di Solar Dyeing (tintura al sole) a Cagliari
A few days later I ran a short workshop on Solar Dyeing in Cagliari.

Abbiamo tinto lana Bianca di Shetland o Bluefaced Leicester (tops), bozzoli e filament di seta
We dyed white Shetland or Bluefaced Leicester wool and silk cocoons and filament

Ognuna ha preparata due barattoli, con tinte diverse, scelta fra campeggio, legno di brasile, robbia e ibisco (karkade)
Each person prepared two dye jars, with different dyes chosen from logwood, brazilwood, madder and hibiscus (also known in Italy as Karkade)

Da me in Scozia, ci vuole tre o sei mesi per la tintura al sole, ma in Sardegna in estate.....?
At my home in Scotland it can take between three and six months for solar dyeing, but in Sardinia, in summer....?

Tutto sotto le occhie di Sant' Efisio
All under the gaze of Saint Efisio (patron saint of the area)

Grazie a tutte per la compagnia, grazie a Mari e la mamma di Adriana per le torte,  ma sopratutto ringrazio fortemente Emanuela e Giulia per il lavoro di organnizzare tutto, e per la loro disponibilita' e amicizia.
Thanks to everyone for such good company, thanks to Mari and to Adriana's mum for cakes, but above all I really thank Emanuela and Guilia for all the work of organising everything, for their welcome and hospitality and friendship.


Sardegna - in vacanza On holiday in Sardinia

Of course my trip to Sardinia wasn't all holiday, (I'll describe the workshops in a separate post) but I did manage to squeeze in a few days of relaxation with my daughters, aided and abetted by my lovely and very welcoming hosts Giulia and Emanuela.

We stayed in a comfortable house with a lovely secluded garden, surrounded by olive, fig and apricot trees. It was in a quiet residential area called Torre degli Ulivi, about half an hour from Cagliari, and just a couple of minutes walk from the beach.

The day I arrived I was invited to an egg-decorating class, Ukranian - style, where I was made very welcome
 The tutor Olga is standing on my left, with our hostess Randi next to her
Mari even made me a cake!

Coming from the chilly Scottish early spring, it was lovely to be able to relax outside, although the sea breezes kept it from getting too hot.

One evening Giulia took me for a memorable drive up to the Monte Arcosu nature reserve. We passed a herd of goats on the way
At first the only scents were the flowers and shrubs of the macchie

then just as I started to notice a rather different smell, Giulia pointed out a family of wild boar rooting about in the bushes.
 Look hard and you will see two adults and two small youngsters. We watched them very quietly for a few minutes, then they went off into the trees.

The day after my workshops were over my two girls arrived for a few days, keen to soak up some sun.

Giulia and Emanuela took us on a tour of the rugged south-west coast,

first to Chia where we climbed up to the tower and I learned how to find wild asparagus,
and then on to Teulada beach,

where we picnicked under flowering mimosa trees.
In fact there are flowers everywhere at this time of year (lots of dyestuffs....!)

from there we headed inland to the sleepy town of Santadi. The girls attracted a bit of attention in their summer dresses (most Sardinians were still wearing warm jackets and scarves!).
We visited the ethnographical museum first

then we found an exhibition of traditional crafts.
we were particularly interested in a display of natural-dyed yarn,

and also the demonstration of typical traditional Sardinian weaving.

I was impressed how quickly the weaver, Assunta, worked the rows of loops, but still a very timeconsuming job, placing each loop precisely according to a chart that could easily be used for knitting colourwork or lace.

Next day the girls and I took off on our own by bus to Pula, and then walked from there abut 3km to the beach at Nora.
After the obligatory sunbathing we had a look round the excavations of a large town on the promontory.

It dates back to roman times and earlier, and was once much larger - the sea level has risen and much of it is now under water,

and there is still a large area on land to be excavated.

We felt rather rushed by the guide and there was no opportunity to explore on our own, but tummies were rumbling so we headed to the bar opposite the little church for some lunch.

As we walked back to Pula it tried to rain, but clearly Scottish rain is more effective as we didn't get wet!

Thursday was our Cagliari day, first lunch in a typical fish restaurant - after eight antipasti ranging from octopus, catfish, prawns, icefish, tuna, and three kinds of shellfish to aubergine parmigiano, and then  a first course of spaghetti, we didn't make it to the second course! It was all delicious and the place had a lively atmosphere and very helpful staff. We rallied enough for an icecream a few minutes later though!
The girls went off for a wander round Cagliari while I delivered my last workshop for this trip, then it was time to head back and pack ready for flying home next day.
We all really enjoyed our time in Sardinia and can't wait to go back!