It's a process that goes back centuries, and although it can be high tech, we can still use the same techniques that have been used by spinners for generations.
In this workshop with Eleanor Flynn, we'll show you what a freshly sheared sheep's fleece looks, feels and smells like, and explain the processes that change it from oily, muddy and dense into the beautiful floaty light yarns you can buy for your knitting, weaving or crochet projects.
Then you'll get hands on with the wool! We'll provide lots of beautiful washed, coloured and carded roving (That's the fluffy unspun strands of wool that come in big hanks ready to spin). Next we'll show you the magic process of changing roving into ready-to-knit yarn using a drop spindle. A drop spindle is one of those designs that is genius for it's simplicity - and you'll get one to keep at the end of the class.
Drop spinning involves gently teasing the wool out, and then letting the natural spinning motion of the drop spindle twist up the yarn. The process is simple but engrossing. You'll need to let yourself get absorbed in handling the wool, getting to know how it behaves and using your sense of touch to work it gently. It's not a complex process, but the results are wonderful. Your results wont be perfect, but many experienced spinners say they'd love to be able to recreate the uneven, handspun look of the yarn they created when the first started!
You'll leave with several metres of spun plied wool, ready to knit or crochet with, and the knowledge to kick start your new love of spinning!