Course Start DatesSaturday 21st March 2020
About the Course
Fun packed week-end in the Lake District National Park learning the absorbing art of hand spinning.
Start out learning about fleece selection, purchase and preparation. Move on to carding on a drum carder and then start to spin on drop spindle. Having mastered drafting on the drop spindle, progress to a wheel. Look at setting up a wheel and the principles of tension. Turn your prepared batts into spun singles. Learn the principles behind plying. Create and finish your own skein of hand spun fibre. Small group to ensure high level of one-to-one tuition.
Rural location. Use of a car essential.
Tutor Elaine Ware brings many years of experience in hand spinning, an in-depth knowledge of the subject and an international reputation for excellence.
If booking with a CraftCourses voucher for part or all of the course fee, please fill in the contact form above. Your voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.
What's included in the price?
Our courses have no hidden extra charges. The course fee includes:
Tuition. Use of all equipment. Choice of fibres to work with.
Follow up support including occasional workshops offering a chance to get together with other spinners. Coffee & teas.
Plenty of one-to-one tuition and support.
During the course you will be invited to join the tutor for a simple family style lunch. If you would prefer to bring your own lunch please feel free to do so.
Very good local B&Bs, small hotels etc.
The course takes place in a rural environment. Use of a car is essential.
Full refund given 8 weeks before course date
50% refund 4 weeks before course date
No refund under 4 weeks before course date
Most major debit/credit cards accepted.
This was a fact-filled course with lots of hands-on time. Starting with learning a bit about different sheep breeds in relation to the type of yarn they produce through to skeining and washing the finished two-plied yarn we went through cleaning the raw fleece to carding, spinning on a drop spindle and on a wheel. There is so much to learn with lots of unfamiliar and seemingly humorously-named tools and processes. Lunch was wholesome and very tasty. Constructive feedback: I would have liked to have been able to take some written material away. Maybe a summary of what was covered, or even just a glossary of common the terms used. Thanks, Elaine.
Janet Pugh - - #28221
Elaine was very welcoming and delivered the extensive information in a relaxed and consise way! I thoroughly enjoyed my time and would highly recommend the course to anyone who is new to spinning.
Fantastic course set in beautiful surroundings with a lovely workshop.
Janet Sumner - - #27348
I have just spend a lovely weekend with Elaine in her studio. I am amazed to have gone from having zero experience to producing a yarn that I am really rather proud of! Elaine was incredibly patient and looked after us well over the course of the two days. I can't recommend this course highly enough - especially if you are an absolute beginner or even if you need to brush up on your skills. Thank you so much for this wonderful experience - I can't wait to start practicing myself at home!
Jessica Jackson - - #27275
What a wonderful weekend of learning, friendship and utter relaxation! I left feeling energised and excited to practise, practise practise. Elaine is a calm and patient teacher with a wealth of knowledge and skill. Would highly recommend the course to anyone wanting to explore this fascinating craft.
Sarah - - #25515
Spent a wonderful weekend in one of the most beautiful places in the Country; reconnecting with art of spinning. Thoroughly enjoyed every minute - the atmosphere was relaxed & friendly & gosh we certainly learnt a lot about wool & spinning.
Really enjoyed the lunches of delicious soup and about learning the art of keeping slugs off runner beans!
Thank you I would highly recommend the course what ever your ability.
Joan - - #25490
Amazing weekend spent with Elaine in the new studio. As a knitter I knew little about the preparation and production of the yarn I buy and use. As the course title suggests Elaine took us from the preparation of a raw fleece through washing, carding and on to spinning in a friendly and informative fashion. There was plenty of time to develop and practise new skills and I came away with a skein of yarn which I was quite proud of - enough to knit a hat. I now want to search out my own wheel and develop the ideas buzzing round my head. Lunch was delicious.
Caroline Haydock - - #24563
Response from Cartmel Handspun Spinning School:Thanks Caroline. So pleased you enjoyed yourself and found the course worthwhile. It was a privilege to teach you .
We were all novices and had a great couple of days with Elaine teaching us all about spinning from fleece to fibre! Elaine is generous with her knowledge and patience. I feel ready to have a go and have already ordered a spinning wheel and various other bits and bobs - excited to take this further.
Teas and coffees and lunch were great.
Thank you Elaine (and Chris)
Helen Janice and Anne - - #22604
This was an excellent course for anyone wanting to try their hand at spinning for the first time. Elaine is a wonderful teacher with a huge amount of patience. She shared her knowledge with enthusiasm and welcomed us into her home.
We were able to experiment on several different types of wheel and were taught various different methods for each stage of the process.
I have certainly got the bug as a result of this course and am already searching for the spinning wheel that will transform my own flock of Ryeland sheeps fleeces into yarn!
Meriel Antoniou - - #22224
This course is brilliant, can’t believe how much I learnt in 2 days. Elaine has a very encouraging and relaxed teaching method, thoroughly recommend this course.
Carolyn - - #22222
Response from Cartmel Handspun Spinning School:Thank you. It was a pleasure to work with you.
I've had a great time learning the process of spinning and this course has given me the confidence to start producing my own hand spun yarn in the future.
Elaine is a fabulous tutor, her passion for what she does shines through and is inspiring.
I also met two lovely, interesting ladies also on the course with me.
Elaine brings you into her home, treats you to a tasty lunch and lots of tea,"it's thirsty work!" At the end of day two you leave with your very own yarn and lots of good advice to carry forward.
Pauline Johnston - - #22221
I have just spent two days with Elaine learning all about spinning. She has so much knowledge and experience which she willingly shared. We learned about selecting a fleece, how to get the fleece ready for carding and then moved onto spinning. At the end of the course I have come home with spun wool that I will be able to knit with.
This was a fantastic course and I happily recommend it to you if you want to learn to spin or improve your spinning.
Elaine also kindly provided an excellent lunch.
Many thanks Elaine for a wonderfully informative, fun, weekend.
Pamela Easton - - #21419
Thoroughly enjoyed the two day course. Elaine offers a wonderful, warm welcome and a comprehensive basic course for the aspiring new spinner. From raw fleece, through all the stages of wool preparation, spinning on both a drop spindle and a wheel, to coming home with your own plied yarn, Elaine offers wonderful tuition, individual attention and an extensive spinners 'library' of reference books which can answer any questions no matter how obscure. What a great grounding in yarn basics! Highly recommended.
Jules Farrer - - #19733
I had the pleasure of attending Elaine's 2 day course. What a joy! I didn't want it to end. Elaine is an inspirational teacher, very patient with total beginners (me) and extremely encouraging . The 2 days were great with plenty of time to start to develop the practical skills involved under Elaine's supportive care. I am hooked! Lovely hat knitted using the skeins of my own spun wool i took away and spinning wheel being delivered today!
Thank you Elaine, you have set me on the road of a new skill and delightfully engaging new hobby.
Nick - - #18309
Highly addictive! Elaine is a fantastic tutor, endlessly patient despite my apparent incompetence! I did eventually get the hang of it & left with a head full of information-being a 2 day course,most of it has sunk in too. Lunch was delicious, friendly atmosphere & a fun way to spend a weekend. I have a few sheep & hope to spin their wool and now feel confident in how to prepare the fleece & that it's only practice with a wheel standing in my way. Since return home I have successfully carded & spun fur saved from my Spitz dogs on a drop spindle,I am hooked.
Hannah Rosebury-Lowe - - #18270
Where to start...?
I booked a two day course for my daughter and I, and together with another keen beginner (a man) , we set off with Elaine to learn all about fleece, and how to make yarn. Elaine was endlessly patient and very informative, and it was fascinating. I had my own wheel, which I took with me, and it was great to actually make it work! At the end of the course, we all had yarn to take home, and a burning desire to make some more.
Three days later I was at World of Wool in Huddersfield, buying fluff, and my daughter had already taken delivery of a drop spindle and wool!
Thanks Elaine, for helping us discover a new hobby. 😊
Oh, and she makes a lovely lunch too!
Ruth Simpson - - #18167
I had a great weekend along with two other interesting ladies learning a new skill from Elaine.
I consider myself a perpetual student and enjoy attempting new craft skills and this was by far the most challenging yet at the same time very rewarding. I came away from the weekend with a new interest which I will pursue and that will enrich my other crafty hobbies. Thanks to Elaine I feel ready to embark on a new learning journey. She is a very inspirational teacher and I’m looking forward to exploring the possibilities of this new skill. Thank you to Elaine for her patient explanations and to my two new friends for an enjoyable weekend and also Thanks to my Husband for my 60th Birthday treat.
JackieHollands - - #17701
I was a complete novice before starting this course, however I was delighted with the two days I spent with Elaine.
Elaine is an excellent teacher and has an abundance of patience especially when unraveling my first attempts. Having a small class is definitely an advantage and the other two ladies in the group were great company.
For anyone contemplating enrolling in the course, do it! You will not be disappointed, I came away at the end of the second day feeling triumphant having achieved the end result albeit a rather rustic skein of wool.
Elaine is a wealth of knowledge for all things about fleece and fibres, I am definitely going to develop this hobbie.
Pat Macfarlane - - #17518
Elaine was a fantastic instructor! I had never used a spinning wheel before this weekend and now I am completely addicted to this craft with the intention of purchasing my own spinning wheel so I can card and spin my own wool. The setting was beautiful (despite the rain), the lunch was delicious, and the company was excellent. I highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to learn more about wool, carding and spinning. Thank you Elaine!
Kim - - #17445
I really enjoyed the 2 day course. It was instructive, in pleasant surroundings and pleasant company. I learnt a great deal and it spurred me on to continuing with fleece and spinning.
The first day was particularly intense and exhausting! Maybe we're no longer used to concentrating
for long periods........a printed hand-out would be useful with basic details of each process.
Ruth - - #17192
I really enjoyed this information and skills-packed weekend. I learnt such a lot. Spinning for the first time felt like reversing round a corner on your first driving lesson! But once I started to understand the component parts of the process, things fell into place more. Since getting home, I have tried out spinning three different fibre lengths, and am teaching myself hand-carding through YouTube. This is a lovely hobby and a great 60th birthday present from my family. Many thanks to Elaine for her wealth of knowledge and expertise.
Cate Anderson - - #14578
As a complete newcomer to spinning, this two-day course was a perfect opportunity to learn techniques and practice them. Elaine had lots of knowledge and advice to share, and also provided a delicious lunch. It was fascinating to learn how a raw fleece can be turned into beautiful yarns. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to spend a weekend learning how to spin in a fantastic Lakeland setting.
Pam Harrington - - #14565
I thoroughly enjoyed the 2 day fleece to fibre spinning course, it is exactly what I needed. I have my own wheel which Elaine suggested I bring along to work on, she even showed me how to look after it and set it up properly for me. Elaine is so knowledgeable and explains everything really well. I had been overspinning my yarn but by the end of the 2 days I had made 2 pretty good skeins of my very own, one was even stripey! The days were very relaxed with a lovely lunch. The only criticism is the days went far too quick!
Jane Colman - - #13874
What a great way to spend a weekend! I learned a lot and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Elaine has a vast amount of knowledge and even more patience. Looking forward to practicing what I've learned.
Julie Wood - - #13862
What a great way to spend a weekend! Having never done any spinning or crafting before, with Elaines help I managed to produce something resembling "proper" wool by the end of the two day course. I learned so much and am planning to use my own fleeces once Santa delivers a spinning wheel. Elaine was lovely and I had a great time. Would definitely recommend especially for beginners like me. Thank you.
Alex - - #11719
Last weekend I enjoyed a really interesting course learning about the fleece and ending up spinning and coming out with uneven but non the less plied yarn.
Elaine was very knowledgeable and explain everything well.
This course was bought for me as b birthday present by my children and they choose so well.
I would recommend this weekend as you will have fun and learn a lot
Ruth - - #11711
A full and active week-end learning hands-on all the time. We did quite literally travel from the fleece to the finished fibre and all stations in between. Lots to absorb. Challenging but very satisfying.
Jean - - #11704
Thoroughly enjoyed the two day course. I now have three skeins of slightly uneven wool and have bought a spinning wheel so I can practice. The course was a great introduction which gave information from getting a fleece, cleaning it. preparing it and spinning. The fact I could already treadle was a help but the two days was time to get started. Lunch was very nice too. Highly recommend this course if you want to make a start at spinning.
Helen Dixon - - #10966
Thoroughly enjoyed my course with Elaine having packed in an enormous amount in just two days. I have learnt how to choose a fleece and turn it into usable fibre and all aspects in between - coming home with my own skeins of hand spun wool. I can now use a drop spindle and a spinning wheel with confidence. Great company, lovely lunches. Thanks
Jane - - #8661
Just returned home after a very enjoyable two day course learning to spinning. Elaine is a very good teacher and put across her craft in a way that to a novice you can understand. If you wish to learn to spinning I would highly recommend this course. Also great surroundings and delicious lunch
Gillian Day - - #8113
Not long home after a great weekend learning to spin on my own spinning wheel. Elaine is a brilliant teacher and explains every detail of all aspects of spinning from choosing your fleece, preparing it and producing your very first skein of wool, mine is presently hanging up drying after being washed before leaving Eller How this afternoon. Highly recommend the two day course for anyone wanting to learn to spin
Connie Sinclair - - #8112
I enjoyed a wonderful two days in a delightfully quiet corner of the Lake District, learning so much about spinning and all that spinning entails. Elaine is a superb teacher who knows her craft well and has the ability to share both her enthusiasm and her skills with those like me who knew nothing. I left with the yarn I had created, the rudiments of the craft and a determination to practise, practise, practice.
Oh, and the lunch of home made soup was delicious.
Celia Cartwright - - #8111
Thoroughly enjoyed the 2 day spinning course for beginners. I have done some spinning before, but had become rather disheartened as things didn't seem to work out. I am amazed how much I learned on this course and am now definitely getting back to spinning!
The course was set up very logically so everything flowed along well and it was very easy to see the logic of the various stages and how they fitted together.
Hjørdis Leigh - - #7676
What a wonderful weekend, Ruth is an excellent teacher, friendly, knowledgeable, patient and above all clear. The course covered everything it promised and more, in a relaxed friendly atmosphere. The location is stunning.
I came away with so much knowledge, lots of great memories, laughs and met new friends.
Ruth shared a lot of tips that will be used for years To come.thank you
Anita Bailey - - #7675
I've just spent a lovely couple of days learning to spin, having never so much as touched a wheel before. Elaine was very patient and supportive and a real expert in her field.
The two days were very relaxed and friendly and in lovely surroundings. I learned a lot more than I expected to, from tips on choosing the right fleece through to coaching on improving my technique on the wheel.
I'm feeling so inspired that I'm off to buy a wheel at the earliest opportunity!
Rhian Brown - - #7652
Just completed the two day course for beginner - Fleece to Fibre, if you are new to this I would highly recommend this! Elaine is very patient and understanding makes you feel relaxed, has a fantastic way on explaining these in a easy way to understand, also she has an amazing knowledge.
I'd only been spinning a couple of weeks my yarn was over twisted and lumpy came away spinning the most amazing yarn. Definitely recommend this is anyone!
Donna Walsh - - #7640
What an inspiring weekend. Didn't think I would get it but by Sunday morning I was happily spinning. Great to go through the whole process from start to yarn. I can't wait to get going myself now.
Gaynor - - #6729
My friend and I are both self-taught spinners at the early stage in our spinning journeys. We decided on this beginners' course as we both felt that there were probably some very large gaps in our knowledge and technique. This course appealed to us for a number of reasons: a two-day intensive course fitted us better than a series of shorter sessions, the location, but most importantly we felt that the very small class sizes would mean that the course was tailored to our needs.
Elaine's property is in beautiful surroundings and although we did not need to take advantage of the holiday cottage, I rather wish we had as it was gorgeous! Elaine is a very friendly and hospitable person and an excellent tutor. When we met the third student on the course, it transpired that she too had experience of spinning. I don't think it would have mattered if any of us had been a complete beginner however, as Elaine quickly got the measure of our skill levels and made sure each of us progressed, sorting out our bad habits and clunky techniques. The course took us through fascinating aspects of spinning that I'd never really considered, such as how to choose and process a raw fleece. Whilst I don't think this is something I'll be doing, it really enhanced my understanding and appreciation of the fibres I'll be working with and I feel more connected to the art as a whole. It was also great that Elaine had such a variety of breeds for us to work with and it's given me a greater understanding of how to choose fibre to get a particular result. At the end of the course we were each given a comprehensive and well-produced course booklet and an invitation to Elaine's next 'spin in'.
For those new to any craft, the cost of a two day course such as this can seem prohibitive, however I cannot stress strongly enough how worthwhile and what great value for money Elaine's course is. Lunch is excellent too!
Lisa Thomason - - #4834
I spent a very enjoyable couple of days looking at the whole process of fleece to fibre, with an excellent teacher. Elaine moves through the material at a pace appropriate for her students. We had all done some spinning before but agreed we'd missed out key learnings and picked up bad habits. Elaine coped with all our issues, and took all our questions in her stride. The equipment provided meant we could all have a go at everything, including trying out some interesting modern wheels on which we made art yarn. Learning in a group is great fun, and as a bonus I made some new spinning friends.
Jane Lang - - #4832
I attended the two day course and found it very informative and fun. It was really helpful to be able to try more than one style of wheel and not to feel rushed. Homemade soup for lunch was lovely - some fresh fruit would have been nice.
Sue Ball - - #4112
I thoroughly enjoyed this two day course and left feeling confident to wash, card and spin fleeces from my own sheep, which is what I had hoped for from the outset. Can't wait to get my own equipment and start producing!
Heather Procter - - #4080
Just completed a 2 day beginners course with Elaine and have throughly enjoyed it. I can highly recommend it to anyone who wants to understand how to spin. I have tried to spin before and could not get it, but finally this weekend I have mastered it and produced a skien of yarn really chuffed. Thank you Elaine.
Liz O'Driscoll - - #4076
Finally I understand tensions! Feel I have moved forward in one enormous leap from spinning whatever comes out to actually creating something specific. Learned a lot one short day. Tranquil location, lovely friendly atmosphere, and great fun.
Laney Warwick - - #2966
Took this course as a follow on having completed the Beginner's Course. Found it extremely useful in setting tension and drafting techniques to get the yarn I actually want to spin - not just what comes out. A fair amount of technical data to absorb but Elaine relates it to the end product making it more relevant. I feel fairly confident now about setting out to achieve my own ideals about yarn design.
Chris - - #2862
I have really enjoyed my day with Elaine, she filled the day with so much knowledge, practical advice and know how, I would recommend to anyone wanting to learn to spin.
Very worth while.
Melanie Clarkson - - #2207
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