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.
Peg Loom Rug
Peg loom weaving
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.
Rigid Heddle Loom Weaving
learn to weave
Learn one of the most basic forms of weaving on a rigid heddle loom, but discover its versatility. You will start by learning to warp-up the loom (lambswool) by direct warp and with a warping board.
Using the Herdwick wool from the local flocks you will learn plain weave, understanding how to create the correct 'set', throwing the shuttle introducing colour.
Then you will move on to exploring the many possibilities of weaving on a rigid heddle loom, introducing pattern with a floating weft using a pick up stick and exploring texture and colour pattern ideas. You can create a sample piece (or wall hanging) or plan to use your fabric for a cushion or table mat.
Two Days, £120
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 (£5) if you wish to take one home. All materials for the mat are provided.
A One Day, £65
Felted Landscape Art with guest tutor Kim Pooley
Create a stunning felted picture in a day. Taking your inspiration from the stunning Lake District landscape and using wool fibres that have grown on the sheep in the fields surrounding the Wild Wool Barn, you will learn how to create your own masterpiece in a day. You will learn how to create the design, blend fibres to make your own unique pallet of colours and “paint” with wool using the needlefelting technique. All materials and lunch are included.
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.
The Herdwick Discovery week is a 5 day residential 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.
You will learn to process, spin and weave the wool from those very sheep. You will visit the farms where the original flocks were bred and inspired Beatrix Potter to save the farms and the breed.
Find out about the daily routine of the farmers first hand. Learn to process a Herdwick fleece from the time it is shorn from the sheep, through “scouring” (cleaning), “carding” and “combing” (processing), spinning, dying and weaving, all in the atmospheric Wild Wool Barn
Residential - £760 Non-residential - £460 (including lunches, tea and coffee)
Please Email Susan@wildwoolworkshop.co.uk for more information
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.