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UK handspinner Elaine Ware makes her craft course accessible for all

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"All tutors will tell you it is enormously satisfying to know you have enabled someone to take on board a new skill which will give them many hours of creative pleasure in the future. To do this with someone who may not otherwise have such an opportunity is doubling rewarding."

Elaine Ware, handspinning tutor at Cartmel Handspun Spinning School

Recently I had the privilege of being invited to teach and spinning to two ladies who, owing to health issues, needed me to go to them rather than the other way round. Teaching in someone else's home is never easy – but for those who would otherwise not be able to learn your craft, it's well worth the time and extra effort. 

Fortunately in the recent past I have guest tutored in residential venues so the idea of packing up all the kit and caboodle needed to teach hand-spinning wasn’t too daunting. The two Bliss wheels sat upright on the back seats of the car, neatly restrained by seatbelts. The drum carder, bags of fleeces, samples, hand carders, niddy noddies etc all disappeared into the boot. 

Hand spinning wheel

 

The two ladies I taught were excited to have a tutor come to them. They were eager to learn and were soon happily spinning away first on a drop spindle and then on a wheel. For someone house-bound or of limited mobility, being able to access the all-engrossing and utterly relaxing aspects of hand spinning can be both an enormous boost and very therapeutic.

Many years ago I trained as an Occupational Therapist. Back in the 1960’s we used crafts for rehabilitation – not so today apparently. What a shame. It would be lovely if more teachers of crafts could explore how their skills could be offered to this group of people whose lives are challenged and often limited by health issues.  I for one would love to be able to undertake much more of this sort of work. (It should be noted, that full Public Liability Insurance is just as necessary when working in other people’s home as it is when you work from your own home.)  

 

All tutors will tell you it is enormously satisfying to know you have enabled someone to take on board a new skill which will give them many hours of creative pleasure in the future. To do this with someone who may not otherwise have such an opportunity is doubling rewarding. 

Hand spinning process - therapeutic?

 

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