Relief Carving in Hardwood with Alister Neville: a 'Quirky Workshop' at Greystoke Craft Garden & Barns near Penrith and Ullswater

View from the Greystoke Craft Garden Cafe Tea Garden Back Lawn


Covid19 update: offering over 100+ courses in Cumbria & the Lakes, we hope to resume all 'in person' courses in late July 2020. During lock down, we've upgraded a listed barn into a beautiful spacious workshop studio, enabling courses to take place with 2m distancing, hand washing and two staircases. It's possible usual catered lunches may not be included for summer courses, depending on circumstances at the time.

Learn the art of hand-spinning on a spinning wheel as well as a drop spindle

Marion is a highly accomplished spinner, her courses are great fun and the whole room becomes full of lovely fluffy wools and laughter - the cats quite enjoy it too and can be found in a sleepy ball hiding somewhere amongst the lovely soft fleeces!

During this lovely woolly day, Marion will teach you all about different types of sheep and their corresponding fleeces, their various merits for different uses with many samples on hand to explore. The meaning and importance of crimp and lustre, and why some fleeces are easily spun and others certainly not.

You will then sort through some fleeces and learn how to prepare the fibres using hand carders. From this stage students will have a go at spinning on a drop spindle and see the difference in the yarn that is produced from drop spindle compared to the wheel that you will use later in the afternoon (see picture: drop spindles was was how yarns were first created).

The rest of the day you'll be working on your own spinning wheel and learning how to use the Niddy Noddy and how to ply art yarns for wonderful effect including with other fibres.

Everyone will go home with a hank or two of hand-spun yarn (as in the picture left - one with drop spindle and one with a spinning wheel - amazing- just in one day from a sheep's fleece to something you can crochet or knit straight away).

About Marion Woolcott: An experienced spinner, weaver, dyer, knitter and crocheter as well as being a tutor and designer. Marion has taught many individuals and groups different aspects of hand spinning, specialising in producing exciting fancy yarns. Marion is also a founder member of The Wool Clip co-operative, where she sells her fine silk and merino woven scarves, yarns and clothing. Marion designs and sells patterns and kits inspired by her hand dyed yarns.

Many of our early courses get booked up for Christmas presents.

Cancellation and a full refund can be obtained up to 4 weeks before the course starts. Start dates may be amended on request.

What's included in the price?

ALL equipment and materials for this class is provided (including all 7 spinning wheels and drop spindles). However- if you own a spinning wheel, you can of course bring it along! Please bring an apron.

Welcome drinks : fresh coffee & home made biscuits, a lovely 2 course Aga lunch served in our farmhouse kitchen or outside in the Greystoke Cycle Cafe Tea Garden as soon as it's warm enough. To finish off the day, a freshly made Cream Tea (including Aga-baked scones, cream and jam).
Our days are considered real treats - many come back time and time again and often combine it with a short break to the Lake District.
We have been hosting and organising 'Quirky Workshops' since 2005 from our friendly family run Cycle Cafe Tea Garden on the northern fringes of the Lake District. All our tutors are carefully hand selected experts and professionals and many considered as leading nationally in their field.


Annie Swarbrick at Quirky Workshops at Greystoke Craft Garden and Barns

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Greystoke Craft Garden
CA11 0UT

Suitable for

  • Accommodation offered
  • Adults
  • Father's Day
  • Intermediate level
  • Parking provided
  • Romantic
  • Seniors
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Teenagers


1 day (10:00am to 4:30pm)

Platinum Badge
What does this mean?

This craft course provider has been awarded Platinum status for receiving 50 or more 5 star ratings from previous students.

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Anne T - - #11690

Great fun with substance.

Anon - - #11689

Excellent day. Learnt so much. Thank You.

Bernadette C - - #11688

Content was very varied including techniques on all aspects of wool post shearing. Fabulous refreshments too. Great fun.

Alyson H - - #11687

Very enjoyable. Learned a lot.

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