Spinning Weaving and Rug-making Courses - 1 and 2 day
Learn the ancient crafts of Spinning, Weaving and rug-making with wool. You will learn all the traditional skills to transform the fibre from the sheep you can see in the fields into stunning hand-made yarn and textiles using ancient techniques and time-honoured equipment
I will share my many years of experience working and designing with wool to guide you through the skills need to make your own beautiful, hand-made textiles. No prior experience working with wool, spinning or weaving is necessary. Refreshments and lunch included
Residential Week long courses can be organised by joining any of the listed courses together. (See Herdwick Discovery week below)
Learn to spin
Using a traditional spinning wheel and Herdwick fleece you will learn how to create your own yarn for use in your own crafts. Starting with the raw fleece, you will find out how to prepare the fibres for spinning. You will learn how to wash and prepare the fleece using combs, and carders, of many shapes and sizes to create “rovings”, “rolags” and “slivers” to begin the spinning process. Once your fibre is prepared for spinning then the magic of spinning begins. You will learn how to control the spinning wheel with the treadles, whilst drafting the fibres to make a smooth yarn. You will understand how to change the tension, understand how twist affects the yarn, create singles and then ply your creations to make a balanced yarn. Herdwick and other fleece fibres will be used during this course.
This is a course for people who have completed the Learn to Spin or are already spinners and want to improve their technique. Over 2 days you will learn advanced spinning skills such as how to spin woollen and worsted yarns, longdraw and different drafting techniques to create amazing effects. You will learn to blend different fibres and colours and learn how to create the exact yarn you want for different projects.
This is a course for people who have completed the Learn to Spin course or are already spinners and want to move to the next level to create a range of texture and colour within their yarns. Learn to spin your yarn fat or superthin, knoppy, wrapped or with pigtails. Create a smooth crepe or slub yarn and experiment with colour.
The most basic of weaving techniques with amazing results to create both square and round mats in 2 days using natural wool. You will begin by preparing the fibres for weaving and learn how to wash and straighten the fibres using a drum carder to create “Batts” and “Rovings” and blends for colour and fibre mixing. Next you will warp-up the peg-loom using a direct warp of linen, and then learning to weave begins. Peg looms, linen and Herdwick wool are provided for use in the course. Looms can be purchased for home use by pre-ordering at the time of booking.
Hooked sheep mats
You will be learning the little known art of Locker Hooking to create a stunning place mat. The method is similar to that used to make traditional hooked rugs and but uses a specially designed crochet hook-style needle threaded with linen to fix the design in place. Originating in the UK as a rug method to reuse and recycle fabric scraps, the style you will be learning is called Australian locker hooking, which was developed in the 1970s using raw fleece on rug canvas. In this course you will learn the basics of locker hooking using Ennerdale Herdwick wool to create a beautiful, table mat. You will learn to card, and draft wool, hook the fibres into the canvass and finish the work. The locker hooking tool will be available to purchase (approx £5) if you wish to take one home. All materials for the mat are provided.
A One Day, £95
The Herdwick Discovery week is a 5 day course, immersing you in all the traditional processes required to turn a fleece from the back of the sheep into a handmade heirloom rug.
As you work you will be able to gaze out on the Herdwick sheep, grazing where they have been historically farmed for over 100 years.
Learn to process a Herdwick fleece from the time it is shorn, through “scouring” (cleaning), “carding” and “combing” (processing), spinning, dying and weaving, all in the atmospheric Wild Wool Barn
£475 (including all materials, lunches, tea and coffee)
This course is non-residential but we do offer accommodation at the Wild Wool Barn or camping and links to local accommodation providers are available on request.
All courses include all materials, lunch and refreshments.
For the majority of work you will use Herdwick wool. If this is not available Susan reserves the right to replace this with other fleece suitable for the project.