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Spin Wool and Alpaca Yarn

Learn to spin wool and alpaca yarn, silk yarn and how to select the best fibres for handspinning and what to avoid. Learn traditional long draw, woollen and worsted techniques on a traditional spinning wheel. Make at least one skein of yarn. Understand the principles of yarn design and qualities of a good yarn. Learn how to maintain and use a traditional spinning wheel, hand carders, skeiner, niddy noddy, lazy kate. And learn how to wash finish and present quality hand spun yarn.

All wheels, fleece, fibre and equipment is provided* and no previous experience necessary. Use a traditional wheel, drop spindle or e-spinner and make at least one skein, probably more. Use a unique luxury yarn. Learn: long draw, wheel maintenance, colour theory, fibre preparation, yarn structure and how to use specialist equipment. Discover your creativity with lots of help and encouragement.

Course details:

  • Spinning wheel, maintenance and set up
  • Wool, alpaca and silk preparation for hand spinning
  • Long draw, woollen and worsted spinning techniques
  • Plying skeining, setting and presenting finished yarn
  • Use of hand carders, skeiners, niddy-noddy, lazy kate
  • Recognise the characteristics of good (and poor) quality fleece for hand spinning

Provisional timetable for course:

Friday

20:15 – 21:30    Introduction, long draw and worsted spinning demonstration, wheel maintenance and treadling.

Saturday

09:15 – 11:00    Getting started with prepared wool fleece – long draw.

11:20 – 12:30    Getting started with Alpaca and silk – worsted draw.

14:15 – 16:00    Plying with the lazy kate.

16:20 – 17:45    Skeining with niddy noddy and skeiner.

20:15 – 21:30    Principles of yarn design and how to design your own yarn for a specific purpose

Sunday

09:15 – 11:00    Spinning yarn of your choice.

11:20 – 12:30    Choosing the best fleece and fibre.

14:15 – 15:20    Quality of a good yarn and some classic yarn structures.

15:20 – 15:30    Course evaluation and admin.

Traditional wheels and quality fibre are included but students are invited to bring any fibre or equipment for evaluation if they have any. Option for loan of spinning wheels after the course.

This residential course is organised by Knuston Hall, please contact them to book a place – cost varies depending on which residential option is chosen. Non residential places are available.

*Materials supplement of £10.00

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