Hand-Spinning & Natural Dyeing Retreat, Highlands, Scotland
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About the Course
Come and join for either our week-long Natural Dyeing and Hand-Spinning course or our 6 day shorter course. We are located in a beautiful part of the Scottish Highlands. Participants spend their first few days foraging for Highland dye plants and making botanical dyes in our woodland clearing.
We make our dyes outdoors over fires the traditional way, dyeing our own and local Shetland fleece ready to spin. We have our own small flock of Shetland sheep, which Alex will hand-shear on our longer course -we also sort and wash the fleece ready for dyeing and spinning. We take time out in the middle of the week to see some of the areas stunning scenery, including Glen Affric and Plodda waterfalls. After dyeing our fleece, the last two days of the course are spent learning to hand-spin with Alison.
Alison has her own mixed flock of sheep and is a wonderfully relaxed teacher who guides the class through step by step, starting off with drop spindling and moving on to the spinning wheel. Each participant has a chance to try different types of spinning wheels over the two days. Each participant will learn how to hand spin fleece, which they have hand dyed at the beginning of the week, creating unique stunning wool. Join is in the woods and learn something new in a beautiful place!
We also run Felting and Needle Felting weeks, Craft retreats and weekend courses in Felting, Natural Dyeing, Spinning and Eco-printing.
We provide accommodation and all meals for both courses and pick our guests up from Inverness at the start of the course. Inverness can be easily reached by plane (Easyjet, Flybe) or train.
If booking with a CraftCourses voucher for part or all of the course fee, please fill in the contact form above or telephone us. Your voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.
What's included in the price?
All materials, transfers from and to Inverness, all meals, accommodation and workshops included. Once we pick you up from Inverness you don't need to open you purse unless you want to send a postcard!
We are happy to cater for any dietary needs. We love to cook and produce as much of our own salad and vegetables as we can and we use local suppliers for our fish and meat.
Travel to Inverness is quite easy as you can fly or take the train. Easyjet flies to Inverness from London, Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester. There is a regular train service from Glasgow and Edinburgh connecting all major cities in the UK.
Each guest goes home with a sample book of the fleece they have naturally dyed and bag of dyed fleece, course notes and their own spun yarn.
I enjoyed every minute of this course. Each day was beautifully balanced between hands-on learning activities and leisure time to walk the stunning landscape, knit, read or just enjoy the company of others on the course. It had something for everyone of all levels and Rosie was an extremely patient, accommodating teacher. It was wonderful to look back at the end of the week on all that we had accomplished and covered in such a short time. It was very hard to leave!
Anne Fernweh - - #15961
Highly recommended whether you are a beginner in fibre crafts or already experienced. All the activities were well organised and fascinating, with brilliant end products for the participants to share. Most importantly, Rosie organised it really well and took everyone's needs into consideration – nothing was too much trouble for her. Accommodation in the Old Stables was excellent and very comfortable. Rosie worked hard all day and all evening, not just organising the activities, but also cooking wonderful wholesome, mainly organic meals, including home-made bread every day.
Ros - - #15845
This was an awesome natural wool retreat! From the foraging for plants to use for dyes, to dyeing over fires, to Eco printing on silk, to spinning, it was the most fun fiber learning experience ever. Everything was accomplished at a seamless and easy pace. The accommodations in the refurbished "Old Stables" (in the rural pastoral countryside) were comfortable, spacious, and homelike. It was next to a bird sanctuary and offered lots of places to walk. The accommodations provided for both privacy and a place for the group to visit, eat meals, and get to know each other. The meals were delicious and nutritious. Loved the day of hiking in Glen Affric too. Rosie is an amazing facilitator, instructor, and cook who pulls everything together with ease!
Natural Dyeing and Spinning Retreat - - #15837
Rosie, so friendly and knowledgeable, full of energy and fun! Good, simple, wholesome food and plenty of it! The dyeing was really good, but the spinning defeated me (but not the others), I probably gave up too quickly. Lovely tutors for the knitting and spinning. Good accommodation. Well organised.
All really good. I'd love to go back.
Wild Rose Escapes - - #10203
Had a marvellous time very friendly group and the instructions where spot on. Would recommend to anyone who likes something different
Rosemary - - #10189
Relaxed and informative. Great food and scenery. Thoroughly enjoyable experience.
Jennifer Cawdron - - #10179
I don't even know where to start! Rosie's Dye to Spin adventure in the beautiful highlands was a dream come true. Rosie and Alex are welcoming hosts and their farm is beautiful, filled with sheep, chickens, goats, a rabbit, Otto the dog, Lavendar the lamb, and two adorable children. The house accommodations were nice and comfortable. There was plenty of space to spread out and knit until the wee hours. The woods and pastures surrounding the property were breathtaking.
During our week on the farm, we learned the techniques of the process to turn a newly shorn fleece into eco dyed yarn. It was fascinating to see what colors we could create from the local flora around us. Bridie is a wonderfully patient spinning instructor. We were taught the basic skills to allow us to pursue spinning, should we desire. We also had a needle felting tutorial, we got to participate in a "waulking wool" song tradition with Ele, and had a nice introduction to fair isle knitting by Catherine. What I didn't expect, were the amazing meals cooked for us daily! What a treat. The food was healthy, delicious and plentiful. I can't say enough about my week in highlands. It was everything I had hoped it would be, and more!!
jodi buckley - - #9866
I spent a week last July on a Dye to Spin course, staying in the Beaters' wing of a beautiful Lodge on the River Glass. There were six of us, an American couple who divided between walking (him) and very expert spinning and weaving (her) but she had not dyed before. The rest of us were Brits and Rosie made us all feel so welcome and we forged a happy, coherent group. It was so positive and the extra helpers and tutors were amazing as well.
I was not destined to master spinning in the course of the week, but somehow I came away feeling that I might have potential if I persisted. My results are the sort of thing you tie up your Christmas parcels with -interesting but definitely unusual.
But when it came to making a dyed square, collecting plants and arranging them and rolling up the silk square and watching it being steamed and then (patience required) left for 24 hours before being unrolled and admired I was as good as anybody and got so much pleasure out of it all. I loved handling the fleeces and separating them ready for dying, then hanging over the iron pots to watch the process unfold. It was a lovely hillside to stand on, and a magical barn to eat in round a big table as the stewing and brewing went on.
Back at the Lodge the food was very good and the evenings spent with chat, demonstrations and trying to order our project books, if so minded. The rooms were pretty and beds truly comfortable and lashings of hot water. The day when the dyed fleeces were drying we spent walking and picnicking and being awestruck by Plodda Falls.
I hope to return another year, and recommend it thoroughly.
Mary Keen - - #9233
Review this course
Course Start DatesMonday 27th August 2018
- Accessible by public transport
- Disabled access
- Suitable for events & groups
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