Course Start Dates
Monday 5th June 2017
Saturday 10th June 2017
Wednesday 14th June 2017
Monday 26th June 2017
Saturday 8th July 2017
Saturday 22nd July 2017
Wednesday 2nd August 2017
Saturday 5th August 2017
Tuesday 15th August 2017
Tuesday 29th August 2017
'From fleece to fibre' - come and learn the craft of hand spinning with Dunja Roberts on our traditional hill farm in the Brecon Beacons National Park. On my one day workshop you will learn how to spin your own unique yarn using fleece from our pedigree Clun Forest and Zwartbles sheep. Come for a day of inspirational teaching, encouragement and fun to learn the basics of hand spinning.
This course may be taken along with the 'Next steps' day to make two days of spinning delight! Self catering accommodation (sleeps 4) is available in our lovely 4* Weaver’s Cottage on the farm. Crickhowell offers some lovely pubs and restaurants for your evening meal if you want a treat or you can just relax in the peace, tranquillity and stunning scenery of Pen Y Caeau Farm.
Maximum number per workshop: 3.
Fleece selection and washing
Preparation of fleece for spinning (hand carding)
The spinning wheel
Getting started with spinning singles
Plying - making a 2 ply yarn
Skeining, washing and fulling
By the end of the day you will have proudly spun and plied your very own yarn which you will be able to use in a small project of knitting or crochet.
I am a qualified tutor in the lifelong learning sector and NVQ Assessor and have many years experience running practical courses. I also undertake spinning commissions for clients who wish to have fleece from their flocks hand spun into yarn. I am passionate about promoting our wonderful British sheep breeds for their fleece; when not spinning I assist on the farm and during the summer months show our Clun Forest and Zwartbles sheep at the larger agricultural shows in Wales and the Midlands.
All workshops are from 10.00 am to 4.30 pm.
Bespoke workshops can be arranged at other times, please contact me to discuss your requirements or follow the link to my website.
What's included in the price?
Use of a spinning wheel is included although you may bring your own wheel if you prefer. All materials are included. You can bring a notebook, pen and camera to record your progress if you wish.
Morning and afternoon refreshments are included. Please bring a packed lunch or you may pop down to the nearby tea rooms for a delicious, award winning lunch.
Over lunch you will have the opportunity to browse my spinning library and, depending on the time of year, meet the sheep.
If you find you are hooked on spinning (I warn you this may happen!), I usually have a selection of excellent, used spinning wheels for sale. I am also an official Ashford and Louet dealership so if you would prefer a new spinning wheel, loom, carders or associated equipment, you can choose from a wide range of stock or benefit from priority order for non stock items.
I can't speak highly enough of this wonderful workshop and Dunja's superb and patient teaching.
As a complete novice, I didn't think I'd get very far on a one- day course, but leaving there with my hand-spun skein of yarn was so satisfying and inspiring!
I learned so much in a short time, but it was also very relaxed and soothing. The surroundings are also beautiful. I highly recommend this course.
We has a fantastic day with Dunja in a beautiful setting. It was our very first attempt at spinning and we came away with our own wool! Dunja is a great host and teacher. The day could not have been any better and has inspired us to look further into spinning. Thank you!!
Had a super day in a marvellous location and learnt so much. The instructions and information were clearly given and Dunja was endlessly patient and helpful. Thank you for fitting me in at the last minute as a birthdays surprise. I'm now going to join the local spinning guild as I need to get in lots more practice before the sheep are shorn.
A fantastic day with Dunja in the Brecon Beacons. I have attended many courses over the years and I have to say that this was the most enjoyable and helpful course I have ever attended. Dunja is such an excellent teacher and has inspired me to purchase my own wheel. I am collecting it tomorrow, Oh happy day!
An amazing day spent with Dunja and her husband on their working farm in the beautiful Brecon Beacons.
The day was exactly as described in the course details from: meeting the sheep; understanding the differences between fleeces; washing the fleece; carding; spinning; plying and finally leaving with a skein of handspun wool.
Dunja was extremely friendly, professional and patient whilst imparting her extensive knowledge on all things woolly.
We were given plenty of opportunity to take notes and photos as we progressed through the day, however I was so engrossed in what I was doing I didn't take many notes, although I took lots of photos. Dunja recommended some books on spinning and fleece choice to supplement any notes.
At the end of a thoroughly enjoyable and tiring day I was able to leave with all the supplies I needed to continue practicing the skills I had learnt.
I will definitely be returning to learn more.
Attended this course with a friend as we had been wanting to learn how to use a spinning wheel for some time. Dunja proved to be an extremely patient knowledgeable and welcoming teacher. We had the opportunity to try out various types of spinning wheel, as well as learning about fleece selection and preparation, in the glorious surroundings of Pen y Caeau farm. I would recommend this course without hesitation to anyone wanting to learn about spinning. Thank you Dunja for a most enjoyable day!!
I thoroughly enjoyed my day with Dunja. This is a fantastic course and takes you right from the beginning of what to look for in selecting your fleece , how to wash your fleece and how to hand card and begin to spin.
It covered everything in the prospectus and Dunja was so patient and knowledgeable. I would highly recommend this course to anyone wanting to begin spinning.
This course was bought as a surprise for me, as I have wanted to try spinning for a long time, but not had the opportunity. It was a very interesting and fun day and I came away with a skein of wool, which I have knitted with. Thank you Dunja.
If I could give this course a higher rating than 5 stars, I would! Dunja was very calm and welcoming and happy to answer the many questions I had! The day was jam packed with demonstrations from Dunja herself, helpful information to take home and lots of opportunity to try out all the processes myself - from meeting the sheep, looking at the many examples of different fleece, washing, carding, spinning and plying a yarn. Dunja had a range of different types of spinning wheels and let me try them out to see which suited me best. I left with my very own hand-spun yarn and good knowledge of how I achieved it! Even after leaving the farm, Dunja has gone out of her way to email me more helpful information. A great, fun, informative day!
What a wonderful way to spend a day! I had a lovely, relaxing day learning how to and actually making my own wool to take home. Dunja is really knowledgeable and her enthusiasm is really contagious.
Please give it a go!
A really enjoyable workshop. We went through the process of preparing the yarn from washing the raw fleece to spinning and plying the yarn. Dunja is very patient and explains everything clearly.
The handout containing a glossary of spinning terms was very useful. After just a few hours I'd spun a small skein of yarn and I went home with a sense of achievement and lots of enthusiasm to carry on spinning.
I'll certainly be booking more workshops with Dunja in the future.
What a fabulous teacher Dunja is. She explained the process of spinning, carding and prep of the fleeces clearly and in a way to easily understand and with such enthusiasm of this amazing art, she was so patient with me and I found her teaching clear and very helpful, I will be back for more instruction once I have practiced what I have learnt. I highly recommend anyone considering learning to spin or weave to attend one of her workshops you won't look back.
What a day...I couldn't have asked for more. Dunja is an excellent teacher and her enthusiasm for her craft is totally inspiring . I arrived a complete novice and left holding my newly spun skein of yarn...how proud was I !! She has so much knowledge and skill and is happy to share with all with her 'students' I will definately be booking onto further courses .
Mum and I had a fantastic time learning how to spin. Dunja is a great teacher very patient and clear. Mum was impressed at how Dunja even manged to get me spinning as it's a family joke how I'm useless at anything practical!!! I booked the course as a present for my mum's birthday and she has said without a doubt it was her best present and experience. We are definitely hooked on spinning now and are eagerly practising before booking our next course. Thank you so much Dunja see you soon :)
I just wanted to thank you once again Dunja for such an excellent workshop, from arriving at the farm to leaving with our own plied wool I truly enjoyed the whole experience. After reading others feedback I dont think there is much more I can add, just please keep doing what you do 'cos you do it so well. Good luck in all that you do.
Thank you Dunja for a truly inspiring day and for sharing your knowledge. From a beginner's point of view, it was a considerable achievement to be able to come home with a skein of spun wool, even though it clearly illustrates that there is much room for improvement! Your patience was greatly appreciated and it was lovely to meet you.
Dunja had been lambing so I got to see the lambs and their mothers. I was taught how to select a fleece and how to assess different parts of a fleece and the benefits and draw backs of different types of fleeces. Learnt how to wash a fleece and dry it. Learnt how to card and make a rolag. Then we went on to learn how to spin.Spin we did. As fast as we span Dunja prepared the rolag's.
I learnt so much. Within a week I had purchased a wheel and can now spin.
Dunja is a very good teacher, I felt very relaxed in her class.
A truly inspiring day. Dunja's expertise and teaching style has turned me from a complete novice into someone who is desperate to learn more and get spinning. An extremely good value for money one day course and a lovely day spent in a stunning location.
A fantastic day in beautiful surroundings . Dunja is a patient and encouraging teacher with a great knowledge and enthusiasm for every aspect of spinning. I learnt so much, and it was amazing to start the day with fleece and end with my very own skein of yarn. I've definitely caught the spinning bug!
Had a really lovely workshop day with Dunja last weekend. She was very knowledgeable and an excellent teacher, and she was very willing to alter the workshop a little so that I could bring my drop spindle! In the afternoon, I did have a go on a spinning wheel and here too her instruction was extremely useful. At the end of the day, I felt I had a good grasp of the principles of spinning, and that I could keep working away by myself without further handholding (though the chances are I'll be back for the intermediate session at some point).
I was so excited about doing this course, having wanted to try spinning since I was a child. It really didn't disappoint! Dunja has created a beautiful relaxed environment that is fantastic for learning. The pace of the course and the content is just fabulous for the time. You never feel pressured or like you could be getting it all wrong, which had been my concern pre the course. The friendly support and excellent knowledge helps you settle quickly and start, in my case, to really enjoy learning all aspects of creating my own yarn.
I would wholeheartedly recommend Dunja's courses at her beautiful hilltop farm. I may even see you there, as I'm going back!
A very enjoyable and informative day! Dunja fitted me in at short notice and managed to cover so much , a satisfying way to spend a damp January day. Dunja was very patient and I learnt so much through "having a go" linked with an understanding of the properties of individual fleeces. The terminology handout helped me to remember the processes once I returned home. I am now inspired to take this experience further and buy my own spinning wheel - a new hobby for a new year! Thank you very much and I look forward to visiting your lovely farmhouse for an improvers course.
Previous reviewers have said it all, really. An absolute beginner, I had a very enjoyable day of practical learning with the lovely Dunja in wonderful surroundings. Highly recommend the course and Weavers Cottage.
This is a really worthwhile course and I can't recommend it highly enough. Held in beautiful surroundings, the day was well structured and the pace spot on. We started with looking at the fleeces and then moved onto hand carding, looking at the spinning wheel and then finally onto the spinning. By the end of the day all three of us on the course had produced our own skein of yarn which for me was a complete surprise and I am still buzzing. Dunja was very patient and encouraging throughout and I can't wait to do more courses with her.
I thoroughly enjoyed this wonderful day getting to grips with the basics of spinning. It was so satisfying taking the piece of fleece through the whole process so that I now have a skein of wool to make up into a small item. Thank you Dunja for being such a patient and inspiring teacher - and a splendid hostess. I loved the lunch, too!
'From Fleece to Fibre' was a birthday present from my partner and it was the best gift I could possibly have asked for.
Dunja is a very patient, knowledgeable and conscientious teacher who has a very real passion for fleece and fibre and a keen desire to impart that zeal onto others. The farm itself is beautiful, and being able to work with fleece taken from Dunja's own flock only added to the majesty of the day. I would recommend this course to anyone interested in learning the basics of spinning, but Dunja is right to say that the course should come with a warning - I'm hooked!
Thank you, Dunja, for a truly wonderful day and for opening my eyes to a fantastic new world of craft and creation.
We spent a lovely day, in a wonderful setting, taking wool from the fleece through to spinning and plying the yarn. Dunja was very patient and knowledgeable teacher and the day has inspired me to keep on spinning!
What a wonderful day! Dunja was so patient and knowledgable, taking me from examining a fleece to achieving my very own balanced skein of yarn - an amazing feat! The surrounding were so beautiful and home made soup and crumble blackberry cake in the kitchen made the day really special. I have been given enough confidence to keep spinning so hope to see Dunja again soon.
Glorious day learning a wonderful craft with a patient, knowledgable tutor. I really enjoyed understanding the journey from first shearing, preparing the fleece, carding, spinning, plying and then processing the spun fibre. Dunja is great host and I came away with a basic understanding of spinning and enough knowledge to progress. I recommend Dunja if you're considering learning this beautiful craft.
A wonderful day learning to spin. Dunja is friendly, helpful, patient and very knowledgeable about her sheep and her craft. We learnt everything from how to select fleece, to washing, carding, spinning and plying. So thrilled to have a skein of my own yarn to take home and play with, even if it is a bit full of 'slubs' (picking up the spinning lingo too!). I now have a great wheel from Dunja to start practising at home with. Tigger and Blossom (friendly cats) provided great entertainment, lunch was delicious and the views from the farm are to die for. A lovely day out.
Thank you Dunja - I had a fab day yesterday. My yarn is lovely and dry now and I'm already wondering what to make with it. Oh, and my husband was actually impressed with the fact that I'd spun my own wool! So was I!
A lovely inspirational day and well worth treating oneself too or gifting as a present. Thank you again for a lovely lunch - I meant to ask you for the recipe for the delicious apple cake.
Hopefully see you at a Guild meeting soon.
Another amazing weekend! this is the second time i have attended Dunja's courses. They are very well organized and flexible to the requirements of the group or the individual. Full of content and really fun to do as we tried so many different techniques, tools and types of fibers.
Dunja's teaching is impeccable, very clear, able to respond to any question, demonstrating it first and then allowing us to do it. She is warm and encourage you without pushing.
The sun shined all weekend, the farm and the surrounds looked fantastic and we had a delicious rubard cake!!! I'll definitely recommend it to any one.
Ah! and thanks to Brian, he made us feel very welcome.
Thank you so much Dunja! I enjoyed both days and learnt a lot from what you taught us. I admire your expertise and patience, even when you had to repeat things for me several times. The farm is in fantastic surroundings and on a sunny day stunning views for miles around. Yummy lunches, cups of tea and biscuits kept us going. Will highly recommend your courses to friends and people who are interested in fibre crafts and spinning. Intend to come again and for more courses. Gertraud Seraphina
This day was a birthday present from my sister and it was one of the best presents I could have asked for. The whole thing was so enjoyable from start to finish. The journey to the farm takes you through beautiful scenery of Wales. The area is so peaceful and timeless very much like spinning. Dunja is a great tutor and the group is small so that you really do get first class training. It is something I have fancied doing since a child and now I am hooked. In one day I have learnt enough to bring home a wheel and fleece and get started. If you would like to learn from someone who is very skilled and competent, friendly and warm in an environment that is most welcoming then look no further. Thank you Dunja for a great day
I arrived at Dunja's wonderfully situated farm an hour late, due to a traffic hold up, feeling stressed and frustrated, but within 5 minutes of being there with cup of tea in hand and a biscuit to dunk I had relaxed into wool mode in a comfy sitting room with wood burner, spinning wheel and lots of fleece around me - heaven!! It got better and better throughout the day. Dunja was very kind and gentle and I learnt so much in those few hours to treasure and take away with me. If you want a relaxing, informative and fun day in beautiful surroundings then look no further than Pen Y Caeau Farm!
This course is a must for anyone who has struggled to teach themselves from books or you tube. Having such a great tutor as Dunja to guide you through the important steps of preparing your fleece and then learning the spinning of it proved to be invaluable. Knowing why something is happening is so important and it is something I couldn't obtain from teaching myself. I came away from the course full of confidence and enjoyed the day immensely. Thanks Dunja and Brian
What a wonderful day. Dunja imparts her knowledge in a way that makes it interesting and enjoyable and you learn such a lot without really realising it. The setting is beautiful and Dunja and Brian are very welcoming. This was a birthday treat for my sister and we spent a lovely relaxing day together learning new skills. Everything you need to get started is available to buy should you wish to and you come away creatively inspired. Thank you Dunja and Brian.
brilliant day, have my own fleece and a wheel, but despite you tube tuition had not managed to get started. after this one day course I am a fully fledged spinner and can now go on to tackle those fleeces ! would highly recommend, lovely setting, small group and one to one tuition
A really informative day with much 'hands on' experience. Dunja was an effective tutor who gave much confidence. Her passion for spinning and creativity for uses of wool came through. I felt well cared for and welcomed! many thanks for an excellent day. I would highly recommend this course.
Excellent day, Dunja was very patient and encouraging, her instructions were easy to follow, and I came away very motivated to continue. Dunja is also a supplier, so you can get everything you need for spinning at home, or she'll give advice on what you need to get and where to get it. Highly recommended. Thank you Dunja!
A really relaxing and enjoyable course, it was wonderful to see the fleeces from sheep to the end product, we got excellent tips and advice. Dunja was a great teacher and had loads of patients and made us feel calm, welcome and at ease even when we were getting ourselves a little tangled up. She is full of knowledge and great ideas and not to mention the location was absolutely beautiful. 10 out of 10 for everything :-)
Thank you Dunja, I had a fantastic day last Saturday on your beginners spinning course.
The course is very well organized and gives a good grounding in hand spinning techniques with an excellent introduction to different kind of fleeces and how to select and care for them.
Dunja shared her knowledge in a warm and humble way addressing the group or making it individual as we needed it. You can really feel how much Dunja loves wool and everything related. Her teaching skills are excellent; very well balance the information and the practical.
I’m looking forward to returning for the advance course in a few weeks.
I am amazed at how much I learnt in a day! it was as enjoyable as it was educational. Dunja is a superb teacher, she is gentle and patient and paces the day to suit everyone. She obviously loves to spin as much as she loves to teach. I did the beginners and advanced courses on consecutive days which was quite tiring although it never felt like hard work. I would recommend this to anyone who is just starting to learn to spin. Fabulous cake as well.
What a fantastic day. On arrival I was able to find Dunja helping a lamb arrive in to the world. That was magical. The farm have some wonderful views. The spinning course was just what I needed. Dunja went through all yhe different types of fleece and how to care for it. It was really nice to have it broken down and explained clearly. The spinning aspect was a bit difficult for me, but Dunja patience helped me through and she had loads of tips. It was just a fantastic day. Would highly recommend if u are wanting to learn the skill of spinning.......... P.s. Lunch provided was just lush. :-)
I had a great learning to spin day! Dunja has so much knowledge, and she doesn't mind how many questions you ask. She also has a lot of patience - much needed for me with my spinning attempts! I'm now looking to borrow a spinning wheel so that I can continue with this new found hobby.
The farm is in a beautiful location with stunning views. A day and money well spent I'd say.
I had a fantastic day..Dunja is a brilliant teacher and I now feel confident to spin on my own.She provided a lovely lunch and as much coffee and tea that one could drink !!.Nothing was too much trouble and I can guarantee anyone who books the course will have fab time.
I am at this point in time, already washing a fleece ready to practise with, can't wait for it to dry !! need to be patient.
Lovely to meet the sheep that the fleeces come from.
Excellent course from an excellent, knowledgable and patient tutor.
I would thoroughly recommend this course to anyone interested in wool and yarns and sheep, all in a beautiful location.
Lovely day at Dunja's farm. The course is excellent from start to finish, with lots of practical experience. I hope to carry it on and know I will be in contact with Dunja again for her expert knowledge
It was my sister who spotted the course and I have to confess that I wasn't too sure what to expect. I've previously tried a number of different crafts including knitting and felting so agreed to go more out of curiosity than any thing else ....
It turned out to be a fascinating introduction to spinning. As a bit of a city girl, it was really interesting to learn about the qualities of the fleece and how to prepare it ready for use.
During the day we were patiently taken though the various techniques in order to produce our own skein of wool. Although I need a lot more practice if I am ever to produce a consistent yarn, I feel very proud of what I was able to achieve in such a short space of time. This was in no small part down to the excellent tuition received from Dunja.
I would definitely recommend the course as I had such a lovely day. I hope that I can find a way to fit spinning into my life.
I had a fantastically enjoyable day from start to finish learning to spin with Dunja. She's a thorough teacher who takes time to explain, demonstrate and then observe her pupil to make sure they have taken the information on board while remaining calm and encouraging throughout. I felt that we covered a large amount of information and techniques in just one day and in a very logical order that made me feel I understood the process. I feel equipped with the knowledge that I need to go ahead and get practicing on my own. Both Dunja and Brian are very welcoming and I would highly recommend this course to anyone looking for instruction in spinning.
Arriving at the little farm out in the Black Mountains with its amazing views was a delight.
Dunja has the course set up very efficiently . You begin with the fleece and follow the stages through the day as you learn how they work. From washing the fleece to preparing it for spinning. As a complete beginner I was amazed how the teaching helped me quickly pick it up.
There is a lot to learn in one day but I came home with a small skein of wool I had spun myself.
I took notes and lots of photos which has helped me to have a go on a borrowed spinning wheel.
Now I need to practice a lot. I know if I get stuck Dunja is only too pleased to help answer my questions.
Today has been one of the best craft learning sessions I have ever attended which exceeded my expectations. Dunja welcomed me into her home and immediately put me at my ease with her calm and peaceful nature. I learnt about fleece and how to select a good fleece, had a go at hand carding and making rolags, before moving onto spinning. I was able to take my own wheel and Dunja helped me to gain a much better understanding of how it works. I was also given the opportunity to try a variety of different wool, in various forms. The day was geared to my ability and level and Dunjas teaching style is really helpful especially the way she watches then gives feedback. I have gained new skills and knowledge which has given me confidence. I have had such a lovely relaxing day and would recommend it to anyone wanting to learn more about spinning, I even got to make friends with Ajax the ram! An additional bonus was the delicious lunch and the welcome from both Dunja and Brian. For anyone wanting to learn about spinning attending a course with Dunja is an absolute must, highly recommended.
I thought that the first day was interesting and well planned however day 2 surpassed my expectations call the different textures and fibres were explained and we were allowed to design our own yarn. This was fascinating.
Dunja is a very knowledgable spinner and us very enthusiastic in every aspect if the craft. Her instruction was both entertaining and clear.
A day to remember
A really enjoyable and informative. I'd been reading about how to spin but it really does help to have a patient expert showing how it is really done. I've even managed to spin and ply another skein since the weekend.
Dunja was friendly and welcomed us into her lovely home, so thank you for a great day.
I had a fantastic day with Dunja learning to spin. She was welcoming and hospitable from the moment we arrived. I finished the day having spun two mini-skeins of yarn from fleece I carded, spun and plied myself. I really feel like I achieved something!
Dunja is an excellent teacher - very relaxed and patient with our efforts and answering all our questions. She is great at allowing you to have a go at things but is there with helpful advice and tips if things start to go wrong. It's a great way to learn - because you do it yourself (and make the mistakes) you will remember how to do it next time.
She has shared her knowledge of spinning all the way from fleece selection and preparation right through to plying the yarn. I now feel able to have a go myself and think (with practice) I can achieve some good results. I look forward to returning for the advanced course once I've had some practice!
I had such a brilliant day and came away quite amazed at feeling that I could actually achieve the spinning and also very inspired to practice practice practice so that I could do some of the more advanced projects that Dunja described. Dunja's teaching is amazing because she watches and gives feedback and tips in a very detailed and practical way - very empowering! Coming away with an actual skein of wool was very satisfying. Home cooked lunch "en famille" round the farmhouse table was delicious and relaxing.
This course is held on the farm where Dunja lives, which is wonderful as you get to meet the sheep! This beginners course starts from the very beginning , looking at fleece what parts are used and how to select a good fleece ..... Right though to spinning and plying different types of fleece. Like the previous reviewer I did not take notes, but there was a handout.
I had an amazing time and found it to be a very relaxing and enjoyable. You will not be disappointed!
P.S. The lunch was amazing!
I thoroughly enjoyed my workshop day with Dunja and felt I learned a lot. We covered all the areas listed in detail and I went away with a good understanding of the basics and the how to do them. I found myself too bound up in what I was doing to take many notes or photos which I had intended to do. So if there had been a hand out with some basic information like a diagram of the spinning wheel and the action of carding I would have appreciated it. Dunja and Brian were very welcoming and their farm is delightful with stunning views. I would recommend this course for a good grounding in spinning.