Spinning – Spinning School https://www.spinningschool.org Pam Austin Tue, 23 Jul 2019 13:01:13 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.11 https://www.spinningschool.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/cropped-pam_s_logo-124x1241-90x90.png Spinning – Spinning School https://www.spinningschool.org 32 32 Dyeing for summer school https://www.spinningschool.org/2019/07/dyeing-for-summer-school/ https://www.spinningschool.org/2019/07/dyeing-for-summer-school/#comments Tue, 23 Jul 2019 13:01:13 +0000 https://www.spinningschool.org/?p=6663 Dyeing for summer school is priority with only four days to go. Bundles such as this are to help and inspire spinners dyeing their own fibre for sock yarn next weekend. Amazing the difference what a little pot of Ashford dye (£6.40) and some vinegar can make. Knit socks. We will be making luscious socks […]

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Dyeing for summer school is priority with only four days to go. Bundles such as this are to help and inspire spinners dyeing their own fibre for sock yarn next weekend. Amazing the difference what a little pot of Ashford dye (£6.40) and some vinegar can make.
Sweet Pea Socks – hand dyed BFL – 75% of sock yarn.
Knit socks.
We will be making luscious socks that will bring joy to the eye – as well as the feet.
There’s much more to socks than an luscious yarn…You need the skill to knit them and for this we have professional tuition from Jacqui at Purlwise – Jacqui is to knitting what I am to spinning – but we both spin and knit. We just love what we do and never happier than when sharing out passion. You can learn to knitt from scatch, and for those that can already knit, learn how to knit socks – quickly and without complexity.
Spin socks
Hand spun socks need control over every aspect of yarn design, spinning method, fibre choice, yarn structure, and colour. But to make something really special it takes that little bit of inspiration to turn it into an art form. And where better to look for inspiration on a hot day like this than the garden. Hence the the names ‘Sweet Pea’ and ‘Geranium’.
Hand spun Socks – joy to the eye as well as the feet
Freedom
And during all this woolly jollity we will be free of all responsibility – no meal prep or washing up, no telephone or emails to answer (unless you want to) and no-one expecting anything of you but to have fun.
Free
What’s more, the Wool to Eternity Goody bag (free to those doing 3 days) contains a skein of Purlwise sock yarn and a pot of Ashford dye to keep you inspired when you get home…as well as lots of other things to make you happy every day.
Happy Days
Sounds like heaven to me. Wool to eternity Summer School. Just Dyeing for it.

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summer school for all who love wool – any skill level https://www.spinningschool.org/2019/07/summer-school-for-all-who-love-wool-any-skill-level/ https://www.spinningschool.org/2019/07/summer-school-for-all-who-love-wool-any-skill-level/#comments Tue, 16 Jul 2019 12:08:43 +0000 https://www.spinningschool.org/?p=6657 Summer School at Knuston Hall for all who love wool – any skill level. Two, three day summer breaks that will feel like heaven. Saturday 27-Monday 29 July and, Wednesday 31 July – Friday 2nd August Three days in which to Learn to Knit from scratch, or Knit socks. Learn to spin Long draw from […]

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Summer School at Knuston Hall for all who love wool – any skill level.
Two, three day summer breaks that will feel like heaven. Saturday 27-Monday 29 July and, Wednesday 31 July – Friday 2nd August
Three days in which to Learn to Knit from scratch, or Knit socks. Learn to spin Long draw from scratch, Design and spin your own sock yarn. Felt luscious seat pads.
Overnight accommodation available for an additional £83 per night which includes evening meal and breakfast. See Events for more details

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New to spinning https://www.spinningschool.org/2019/03/new-to-spinning/ Tue, 12 Mar 2019 12:54:23 +0000 https://www.spinningschool.org/?p=6604 Dear Pam, I thought you’d be pleased to know that I’m still spinning and creating things from my yarns. Below are some of my recently completed projects. The cardigan is made from the yarn we dyed during my last lesson, supplemented with considerably more white. The bag is made from Navajo plied yarn from the […]

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Dear Pam, I thought you’d be pleased to know that I’m still spinning and creating things from my yarns. Below are some of my recently completed projects.
The cardigan is made from the yarn we dyed during my last lesson, supplemented with considerably more white.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
The bag is made from Navajo plied yarn from the rainbow dyed top we made.
The sheep body is BFL and the head and legs from black Jacob.
I’m finally getting round to spinning the magenta dyed top but I’ve still to decide what I’m going to make with it. I find it difficult to create a yarn without an idea of what I will turn it into and I probably need to start experimenting with different yarn structures a bit more.
Anyway I just wanted to thank you again for introducing me to the most wonderful relaxing hobby.
Nikki x

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A Student’s Story https://www.spinningschool.org/2019/02/a-students-story/ Fri, 22 Feb 2019 10:59:24 +0000 https://www.spinningschool.org/?p=6585 I Wanted to Learn to Spin My Own Yarn A couple of years ago, I attended a drop spindle spinning workshop at my local yarn store. In eager anticipation of learning to spin I had purchased a Jacob sheep fleece, without a clue what I was doing, so I was lucky that it turned out […]

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I Wanted to Learn to Spin My Own Yarn

A couple of years ago, I attended a drop spindle spinning workshop at my local yarn store. In eager anticipation of learning to spin I had purchased a Jacob sheep fleece, without a clue what I was doing, so I was lucky that it turned out to be a lovely fleece! Anyway, the spinning workshop was a disappointment; I basically learned to twist wool a bit. After watching a few tutorials on the internet I set about washing, carding and spinning the fleece on a tiny little drop spindle. I decided that I was going to crochet giant granny squares, using a 16mm hook and make a wool throw.

Well, spinning a full fleece on a tiny spindle was quite a task and I decided that there must be an easier way. So I started looking for a teacher who could teach me how to use a spinning wheel.

I found Pam’s web site and thought her Beginners Spinning Starter Pack sounded great, especially as you can borrow a wheel to take home and practise on. This way you can take time to see if you really love spinning before committing to having your own wheel. So I went for my first lesson. Pam is a great teacher, very patient and knows just how to teach each person. We all learn in different ways and at different paces, so this is important. I took one of Pam’s spinning wheels home with me, along with some easy to spin wool roving. Pam set me homework; to spin two bobbins worth before my next lesson! The following couple of days consisted of me keep snapping my yarn, cursing and taking a break then going back for another go. I was not a natural! Then it clicked, I loved it. I returned for my second lesson with two bobbins of spun singles which Pam taught me to ply to make my first little skein of yarn. What a feeling of achievement.

Choosing the Right Spinning Wheel for Me

I borrowed a couple of different wheels from Pam, so that I could get a feel for the right type of wheel for me. I settled on a Kiwi 2, a compact little work horse of a wheel that can cope with anything that I want to spin, from very fine to super chunky art yarn. I needed a compact wheel that would fit on our narrowboat so the Kiwi with its upright design is perfect.

My Spinning Wheel

My Kiwi Spinning Wheel

 

Pam also helped me with my drop spindle spinning, and provided me with a more substantial drop spindle, that made spinning on a spindle a lot easier. The new spindle enabled me to complete my throw, which in the end used up two and a half fleeces!

Giant Granny Square Throw – Spun on a Drop Spindle

Giant Cranny Square Crochet Blanket Using Handspun Chunky Yarn

 

Falling Further Down The Woolly Rabbit Hole

Dyeing and Mohair

Shortly after my first spinning lessons, Pam was running a dyeing workshop for a couple of ladies and one of them couldn’t make it, so Pam asked me if I would like to take her place. Well, that day I fell in love with Mohair and dyeing! The lady that I shared with is called Jackie and she has a herd of Angora goats. Jackie brought some beautiful, soft Mohair locks for us to dye. Wow, they take colour well and are still my favourite fibre to dye (and spin).

Handspun, Handdyed Mohair Skeins

Handspun, Handdyed Mohair Yarn - Skeins
 

Woolly Days at Knuston Hall

I soon started to attend Pam’s monthly “Woolly” days at Knuston Hall. Now, the group of ladies that attend Knuston each month are fantastic; knowledgeable, friendly, kind, funny, in fact just great company. I was made to feel very welcome and have learned even more woolly skills. I leaned how to “wet felt” wool and use it to make many things; buttons, bowls, book covers and felted soap.

My Woolly Adventure Has Changed My Life!

I am now using all my new found “Woolly” skills to run my own little business, making and selling handspun Mohair yarn and scarves, felted fleece rugs and felted natural soap. If you are interested in seeing what I make, please visit my web site: www.east-hill-mill.co.uk

You never know where meeting Pam and starting your own little adventure will take you, but you can be sure you will have lots of fun, learn new skills and it can even be very therapeutic. I can recommend it highly 😊

by: Viv Carter

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Toadstool art yarn https://www.spinningschool.org/2018/10/toadstool-art-yarn/ Sat, 06 Oct 2018 02:17:40 +0000 http://www.spinningschool.org/?p=6426 Toadstool art yarn is named after some fungi that appeared this week in my stable yard. When Mary arrived for knitting yesterday she would not drive over the fungi to park in her usual place: ‘It’s so beautiful – I can’t bear to drive over, and spoil it’ she said. The colour of the fungi […]

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Toadstool art yarn is named after some fungi that appeared this week in my stable yard. When Mary arrived for knitting yesterday she would not drive over the fungi to park in her usual place: ‘It’s so beautiful – I can’t bear to drive over, and spoil it’ she said.
The colour of the fungi reminded me of some tops I dyed last week and spun up at Social Spinning,Knuston Hall on Wednesday. I took the photo to record the fungi, rather than the yarn – but the two look good together. Then it seemed the yarn had to be called Toadstool – so it became a sort of ‘Art yarn by retrospective design’.
The fungi comes up every year from the roots of an old silver birch. First it appears as grey toadstools, then each cap opens up and oozes black gunge. Sounds disgusting; looks beautiful.
The singles on the bobbin is hand-dyed BFL with a very small amount of angelina fibre to add a little interest. It is spun from rolags and at present I am not sure what it will be plyed with. The colours are very subtle and I don’t want to muddle them up. A Navajo ply will be too thick. I have a cone of silver metallic nylon which might make an interesting sock yarn if plyed with the toadstool. However, I will spin it all up before deciding. The colours would work well for men’s socks.
My knitting group takes place every Friday and anyone is welcome – particularly knitters who need help or inspiration. There are always lots of things going on.

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Doodler shawl by Erica https://www.spinningschool.org/2018/09/doodler-shawl-by-erica/ https://www.spinningschool.org/2018/09/doodler-shawl-by-erica/#comments Tue, 04 Sep 2018 09:13:35 +0000 http://www.spinningschool.org/?p=6229 This fabulous work reminds me of sunrise straking out across an imaginary landscape. It is worked by my Knitting Advisor, Erica. Also in the picture is Val who teaches long draw spinning in the Leicester area. Erica told me The pattern for the shawl is called ‘the Doodler’ and is byStephen West – it is […]

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This fabulous work reminds me of sunrise straking out across an imaginary landscape. It is worked by my Knitting Advisor, Erica. Also in the picture is Val who teaches long draw spinning in the Leicester area. Erica told me The pattern for the shawl is called ‘the Doodler’ and is byStephen West – it is available on Ravelry costing about £5
The yarn is fingering or 4 ply sock yarn and can be made from 3 100gm balls of different colours and 3.5 mm circular needles – whatever colours you choose !
The whole shawl is knitted in garter stitch and is easy as long as you can count – the great thing about it is that it works – if you follow the pattern things happen in the right places and you have the right number of stitches (even if there are a lot of them sometimes)
He also has a couple of helpful utube videos to show you the cast off and edgings
I suppose it took me about three weeks of evening knitting to complete but was great fun to knit even the edging when you had a lot of stitches and never boring! The 34 stitch cable was certainly different !
I think it works well with at least one multicoloured yarn but on Ravelry there are many examples of the different colour ways it can be done

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Long draw spinning and Joy to the World https://www.spinningschool.org/2018/08/long-draw-spinning-and-joy-to-the-world/ Fri, 31 Aug 2018 18:11:48 +0000 http://www.spinningschool.org/?p=6217 Long draw spinning and Joy to the World as another star pupil makes it onto my ever-growing list of acclaimed Long Draw Spinners – all accredited with specially commissioned rosettes. This happy lady recently received her rosette – a tremendous achievement in only five weeks and three lessons: Lesson 1 – long draw technique, Lesson […]

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Long draw spinning and Joy to the World as another star pupil makes it onto my ever-growing list of acclaimed Long Draw Spinners – all accredited with specially commissioned rosettes. This happy lady recently received her rosette – a tremendous achievement in only five weeks and three lessons: Lesson 1 – long draw technique, Lesson 2 plying, Lesson 3 rolags and spinning a quality yarn. She started with my Beginners’ Pack on a traditional wheel. And worked at it! She then tried other wheels including the Kiwi and Joy. The Ashford Joy wheel ticked all the boxes! If ever a spinning wheel was well named it is the Joy 2.Ashford Joy 2 double treadle A joy to (2) spin on – I love my Joy. ‘Joy To the World’ as the tuneful Christmas carol goes (whoops – don’t mention Christmas, it is only August)

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Spinning lessons make happy smiles https://www.spinningschool.org/2018/08/spinning-lessons-make-happy-smiles/ Wed, 29 Aug 2018 17:44:00 +0000 http://www.spinningschool.org/?p=6213 Spinning lessons make happy smiles as well as sumptuous yarn as this photo of my happy pupil shows. She is holding her first spinning which turned out much better than she expected – as I find it always does! First spinning is very important as it is the benchmark upon which to assess progress. Lesson […]

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Spinning lessons make happy smiles as well as sumptuous yarn as this photo of my happy pupil shows. She is holding her first spinning which turned out much better than she expected – as I find it always does! First spinning is very important as it is the benchmark upon which to assess progress. Lesson 1 is to learn the technique of long draw: once that is mastered it is possible to spin almost anything – from yak with <1inch staple - to a long curly lock. Lesson 2 is to ply whatever the pupil can get onto two bobbins. On a scale of difficulty 1-10, learning long draw is 9.5, but learning to ply is about 2-3. All the hard work is over by then. And the plyed yarn always comes as a pleasant surprise to the beginner who thinks they have spun rubbish until they see it plyed...

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Knitting on the Nene https://www.spinningschool.org/2018/08/knitting-on-the-nene/ Mon, 27 Aug 2018 17:31:29 +0000 http://www.spinningschool.org/?p=6208 Knitting on the Nene. No better place to be than this lovely little backwater where I stayed overnight on Saturday evening – in spite of the weather forecast which was for rain. No rain fell until Sunday morning. And early in the morning I sat out in the cockpit with my knitting and some fresh […]

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Knitting on the Nene. No better place to be than this lovely little backwater where I stayed overnight on Saturday evening – in spite of the weather forecast which was for rain. No rain fell until Sunday morning. And early in the morning I sat out in the cockpit with my knitting and some fresh coffee. No-one but me and then, along came Seven Cygnets a Swimming, accompanied by their parents. I think some may have been adopted as seven seems quite a brood. It made a lovely sight. They arrived silently and cruised on by without a sound and hardly a ripple on the water.
Also on the river was a kingfisher which I didn’t see until something plopped into the river in front of me and flew off again. It settled on a nearby boat and I watched intently…sure enough…it was a kingfisher and there was another splash followed by a glorious flash of colour as it skimmed down the river about 2 feet above the surface. Magic moments. Seven Swans a Swimming, Six Geese a laying, Five G-old rings…too early for Christmas and too slow for a photo of Flashy the kingfisher

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Successful spinning lessons https://www.spinningschool.org/2018/08/successful-spinning-lessons/ Sat, 18 Aug 2018 23:22:41 +0000 http://www.spinningschool.org/?p=6186 Successful spinning lessons are a great joy to me. Another promising pupil is my neighbour who has her own sheep – she learned to spin on her first lesson. Like all my pupils, she learned to spin on Blue Faced Leicester (BFL) prepared tops. I always start beginners off on BFL as it is the […]

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Successful spinning lessons are a great joy to me. Another promising pupil is my neighbour who has her own sheep – she learned to spin on her first lesson. Like all my pupils, she learned to spin on Blue Faced Leicester (BFL) prepared tops. I always start beginners off on BFL as it is the easy to spin. Merino top is easy too, but to mind it is environmentally unacceptable to use something from the other side of the world, when there is as good as, or even better fibre on the doorstep.
My neighbour came for her refresher and plying lesson a week later on a Friday afternoon when I have a knitting group* and everyone there was very complimentary about her first spinning. It can be very reassuring see people react so positively to one’s work. For all my new pupil knew, I could have been just flattering her when I said her first work was very good but I never waste my time with flattery as everyone knows a fraud when they see it! When she saw for herself how the knitters responded with such pleasure and surprise to her first spinning – and very, successful spinning lesson – it was very positive affirming experience. All very pleasing and one of the reasons I so much enjoy what I do.

*Knitting is from 2-5pm in my studio and spills over into the house or gazebo as necessary. Any knitter, beginner or not, is welcome to come along regardless of if they are spinners. It is a great place for free help and advice and no fee other than a donation of £3 for tea.

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