A couple of years ago we had a wonderful workshop on silk spinning from Fiona Nisbet, and were so impressed we asked her back. This time it was for an ‘advanced spinning’ workshop, and it happened on Thursday. The workshopees (if that isn’t a word it should be) had a wide range of skills and experience, from people who have been spinning beautifully for years to someone who started earlier this year. And we all had a great time, and learned a lot.
Essentially it was going to be whatever we wanted it to be – we were completely open to suggestions – and we soon began work on improving our hand-carding techniques.
But it was so much more than this.
While we carded, and while Fiona helped us individually, we talked. And along the way we picked up incredibly useful suggestions – for example, on how FN washes fleece: tried out by one of our members yesterday (it worked well).
Soon we all had some rolags ready
for the next part of the workshop: woollen, as opposed to worsted, spinning. Most of us spin worsted, and even the most experienced spinners among us are inclined to avoid woollen spinning, which incorporates more air into the finished yarn.
We worked on a couple of bobbins,
and then plied the yarn we’d produced:
And our verdict on the day?
‘Workshops like this are so valuable.’
‘I’ve learned more today than I’ve learned in all the time I’ve been spinning.’
‘This old dog has learned some new tricks!’
‘Very enjoyable – you get into bad habits…’
‘It’s been brilliant, I’ve got lots of very useful tips.’ (That’s our newest spinner)
‘I’ve learned such a lot, it’s been inspirational.’
‘It really gives you confidence – enabling, that’s the word.’
‘I can do it!!!!”