After finding out, while on a trip to Norway, about one needle knitting called naalbinding I decided to give it a go and once started I began to imagine what it would be like to make a scarf or hat right from the sheep. With this in mind I was talked into joining one of Diane's spinning courses by my partner Carol.
Some weeks later we found ourselves at Blaze farm wondering what we had let ourselves into. Diane immediately introduced herself and her Dad George who helps her with the course. His knowledge ranges from the sheep in the fields to the gansy on the back and this includes practical and theoretical knowledge of the gear needed with all its many technicalities. Anyway without ado Diane immediately ordered coffee for everyone, took orders for lunch and made everybody feel at home and welcome and then we were set to work.
As a retired seaman who spent much time working with ropes, cordage and canvas I knew that there were strong links to working with and producing wool and other yarns. I always loved the practical side of work and still engage with rope work by making mats and other decorative things from natural fibres to keep my hand in. I have worked in some historic sailing ship refits and once sailed in a replica viking ship which was traditionally rigged.
What followed over the next five hours of the course was like being back on board ship doing what I really enjoyed alongside enthusiastic people who felt the same. The talk used to be of finer points and attention to detail and was always with an attitude of helping each other.
In exactly the same way Diane and her Dad George are dedicated to spinning and it's preservation and both of them revel in their craft. It is their attitude and enthusiasm which is so impressive and that's what is so valuable and important to those just starting out in learning such a wonderful process.
This course has something for everyone and is highly recommended.
Thank you both
Gerry Gedge - - #15167
We attended the spinning course on 24th May at Blaze Farm. We both enjoyed it immensely and have come away fired with enthusiasm for this wonderful craft . Diane is an excellent teacher and had us all spinning away pretty early on in the day. Her quiet manner and encouragement was just right and even though our efforts were a little lumpy and bumpy we came away feeling as if we had really achieved something. So now the practice begins. We had the opportunity to sample several different wheels . Thank you to George who gave our own spinning wheel a good looking at and gave us some useful tips for getting it going.
The venue was excellent. Lunch was great and plenty of coffee too.
We would highly recommend this course to all those who are thinking of taking up spinning.
Carol and Gerry - - #15103
Had a great day on this course, Diane is a very relaxed teacher and explains the process very simply. Within minutes of arrival we were all fixed up with spinning wheels of various designs (I took mine along with me, but did try another wheel during the day) and spinning yarn. Diane and her siblings who came along spent time with everyone in the group as required, quietly keeping an eye, quick to offer assistance in a very unobtrusive and encouraging manner.
Lots of reassurance and suggestions of variations of how to hold the fibre, position of hands, angle of wheels etc. to settle each of us into finding our own style and what suited each individual. We enjoyed exchanging tales of each other's exploits, experience and a few laughs, each leaving with a hank of homespun yarn. Whilst I did have some history of spinning (30 yrs ago), the day inspired me, boosted my confidence and provided a few little gems of understanding the underlying process. I now feel that I am in control of the wheel and when things go adrift a little, I understand how to review and correct the process.
Extremely good value for money, given that we had 5 hours of teaching, tea/coffee, a light lunch, all materials provided and numerous wheels available, along with other pieces of equipment, this course must be the best in terms of vfm. The setting was good, easily found, venue very suitable for the course. For me, the course was absolutely perfect, very practical and couldn't suggest any way in which it might be improved. A resounding thumbs up, thank you, hope to return to polish my skills when I've had some practice at home!
Angela Evans - - #5759
As a novice I managed to get in every tangle possible, create every knot known to humankind, even managed catch the threading tool into the spin, and enjoyed every minute. Diane and the team were patient, helpful, prepared to step in or hang back depending on your preference, and left me feeling confident that even if I'll never be a great spinner, I do know what to do and how to cope with all those little things that can crop up. The option to try different types of wheel was invaluable and I came away with a hank of ply wool that my other half described as rustic, but it was all my own work and I think it looks great.
Great value, would recommend.
Karen - - #5756
I can't recommend this course highly enough. Diane was very patient and gave all attendees individual attention to make sure that we all achieved a skein of plied yarn to take home with us. Spinning wheels were supplied, along with a whole range of fibre to suit any spinning needs! Add to this a tasty lunch and numerous cups of tea which were provided, and this was definitely a great experience!
Karen Diesner - - #4509
I took my friend on this course for her birthday and we were not disappointed! Diane and her helpers make sure you know exactly what you are doing and makr you feel completely at ease, we both came away with a reasonable sized skein of yarn. Diane had a number of different types of wheels to ensure you found one that suited you and there was lots of choice of wool colours available. I would genuinely recommend the course to others. An added bonus was that lunch was included, and very nice it was too.
Charlotte Robinson - - #4506
Excellent day. Went with no knowledge of spinning and was very pleased with what I produced - 1 hank of 2 ply wool :) Diana is a very patient and good teacher and managed to give all 7 of us individual attention throughout the day. Coffee/tea on arrival and lunch + drink was supplied. 8 or 9 spinning wheels were available which was nice, allowing us to see the different models, as were drop spindles etc. Fleece was available to buy afterwards to take home if required. Lovely location and nice lunch. Well worth the cost.
May do a second lesson to learn more.
Angela - - #4505
What an amazing day. Diane and her brother were brilliant, so knowledgeable and patient. The location at Blaze Farm is superb and with lunch and refreshments included, the value of this course is wonderful. I came away with three skeins of self spun wool and felt very proud of myself. I would highly recommend anyone interested in this type of crafting. Thank you for a brilliant day.
Jane Holding - - #3908
I did this course a few months back and so enjoyed my day. Diane and her sister Nancy were inspiring and made me feel I would be able to spin . They were patient and helpful. I was amazed that I was able to produce some yarn and went away very pleased with myself! This is a fun day and very relaxing too, set in lovely surroundings and a decent lunch included. I woudl definitely recommend them. I just need to get a wheel now
Ailsa Reynolds - - #3260
Brilliant course. Diane has a real gift for teaching, is very personable and encouraging. She made sure she looked after everyone with lots of personalised guidance. The day was well organised and I left with an even greater passion for spinning than I had before!
Magali Roberts - - #3230
I first attended after christmas enjoyed the day and learnt so much I returned again for another day in march
I am now a confident and competent spinner.
Diane is an excellent teacher her style is warm friendly and she is clearly expert and a professional .
I would highly recommend this class do not expect to come out with perfectly spun wool that you can make into that evening cardie but you will come away the proud owner of a skein of wool you have produced and have really enjoyed the day spinning in good company on a very interesting farm and do try the ice cream it's amazzzing
Carole - - #2526