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Handspinning - for beginners and improvers - Saturday afternoon Sessions


About the Course

A series of Saturday afternoon sessions for beginners and improvers. We aim to introduce the novice to the craft of creating yarns from raw fibres, beginning with various types of wool and progressing to plant and other animal fibres.
We will start with the ancient craft of finger-spinning, work on different types of drop-spindle and then practice on a spinning wheel.

Once you've started, come back and continue your creative experience, learning how to make a consistent yarn - fine or thick - and improvers can also learn about creating art yarns, using different spinning and plying techniques, and different fibres.

You can also try out historic spinning wheels.

You will be able to work at your own pace - and where possible, on your own choice of project - so you need not attend every session.

You will learn a little about the history and background of textile production, through our series of 'Themes'.
Each session will include a different 'Theme', including:

• Different types of wool and breeds of sheep;
• Different types of drop-spindle, and their methods;
• Different types of spinning wheel - try out an antique wheel (we need prior notice for this)
• Plant fibres;
• Other animal fibres;
• Fleece preparation
• Carding
• Terminology
• Art and other yarns
• The history of spinning yarn
• The social history of spinning
• Mills

The maximum number of students is 4, aged 16 or over.

Please let us know if you have any allergies (dietary, cats, sheep's wool etc), or special dietary needs.

About the tutors
I work as a private music teacher, as well as being a craftsperson, doing hand-spinning, weaving and knitting my own designs. Sylvia May, my sister, is a freelance photographer and designer, and teaches French, Italian and Spanish for the WEA. She has come late to spinning, but has taken to it naturally, being a crafty sort of person.

We grew up in a creative household – Dad was an artist and sign-writer, mum was a dress-maker, and grandma was always doing crochet, knitting, or embroidery – so some of it was bound to rub off. My affinity with spinning began at about the age of twelve, when on walks in the Derbyshire countryside in the Spring, I found many locks of wool which the sheep were beginning to shed. I naturally started to twist the wool in my hands as I walked, and eventually formed a ball of yarn. This is known as ‘finger-spinning’, and could well have been the way spinning began, thousands of years ago.

Living in Orkney, between 1989 and 2004, I owned Angora goats (which give Mohair), and Angora rabbits (which give Angora wool). Using the fibres from my animals, I produced and sold my own hand-spun designer knitwear – some of which has found its way around Britain and even to America.

If you will be redeeming a CraftCourses gift voucher on this course, the voucher code must be provided at the point of booking.

What's included in the price?

The first session includes:
1 pack of wool
1 basic drop-spindle
1 student diary
Ring-Binder & Hand-outs
Subsequent sessions will include a pack of fibre, depending on the theme of the day and/or the progress of the student. Refreshments are also included.


Phoebe at Sylpho Spinners
2 Crownhill Road
Brinsworth, Rotherham
South Yorkshire
S60 5AX
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What does this mean?

This craft course provider has been awarded Bronze status for receiving 1 or more 5 star ratings from previous students.

The Students' Choice award ensures that course providers get recognised for their efforts in the teaching and practice of UK craft.

They also allow tutors to gain valuable feedback on their courses and for new students to find the course that's right for them.

Suitable for

  • Mothers Day
  • Public transport
  • Suitable for beginners

Available as a gift

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4 hours 1pm-5pm

Available dates:


In-person course
- - #24935

Arrived a complete beginner and left feeling confident I have the knowledge to develop spinning skills taught by the two expert tutors today.
Covered a wide range of material in four hours. Now I need to practise at home before booking another course to build on what I have learned.

In-person course
- - #17093

A lovely afternoon with two knowledgable,friendly tutors. I felt welcome,and left having learnt the basics of spinning. Now to practice and hopefully return to develop my skills .

In-person course
- - #12640

Great introduction to spinning and wool, with the chance to advance your skills with subsequent lessons. Phoebe was knowledgeable and very personable. A great afternoon.

In-person course
- - #12258

Fabulous experience, very welcoming and informal.
Course tailored to meet my needs. Learned lots, highly recommended course.

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