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Handspinning - for beginners and improvers - Saturday afternoon Sessions

Duration: 4 hours 1pm-5pm

Price: £55

Contact: Phoebe at Sylpho Spinners

2 Crownhill Road
Brinsworth, Rotherham
South Yorkshire
S60 5AX

Course Start Dates

Due to the uncertainty caused by COVID-19/Coronavirus, please contact the course organiser before finalising plans to attend this course.
Saturday 18th April 2020
Saturday 23rd May 2020
Saturday 20th June 2020
Saturday 25th July 2020

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 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?

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.

Want to review this course?

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.

- - #24935

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 .

- - #17093

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.

- - #12640

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

- - #12258

Review this course


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  • Accessible by public transport
  • Suitable for all abilities
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Weekends

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