Made from scrap

Made from scrap
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Saturday, 18 June 2011

Design For The Terrified - Creative Spinning Workshop with Alison Daykin

Spinning can be quite a solitary activity so it was lovely that my wheel was one of fourteen in a room today.  There is always so much to learn by sharing and comparing with others.  We hopped Guilds and went to Stratford Upon Avon to their 'Creative Spinning' Workshop.  We were made very welcome and everyone was so kind and friendly.  Guilds are a great place to learn with members of all ages and ability.
 I view Alison Daykin as my 'Spinning' Guru, I have been to one of her workshops before and I really admire her work, so I was very enthusiastic about taking part in today's workshop.  Alison demonstrated slub yarns, snarl yarns, making 'creative' batts with hands carders and drum carders and we had a demonstration with the Ashford Wild Carder.
The Ashford Wild Drum Carder is a seriously desirable piece of kit.  It is robust enough to cope with large quantities of various fibres and materials.  It has a hefty price tag though in my opinion.
Last night Alison gave a two hour talk about her 'Methods for Designing' yarn or woven cloth.  The key skill is observation.  She gave us many ideas and examples for enlarging, collage, working out colour and texture proportions, mark making and recording.  The above piece is my Mom's work.  She chose a greetings card with Sweet Peas on it.  She then made written notes recording any of her thoughts about the colours and textures in the image.  Using water colours she then created a colour palette to work from.

There was a huge stash of fibres to work from and we didn't travel light.  We did not have the messiest work area though but we tried hard to get this accolade.  I think my Mom did a fantastic job and I really loved the sample of Yarn she created, I think it is very pretty and an excellent colour match for the picture.  It is a confidence boost to have your work admired by others.
This was not our work space but I think it is fantastic.  This was also my favourite wheel in the room.  I have no idea what it is but I thought it was beautiful, it has been painted with a delicate Holly design and it had some enormous bobbins.
Here is my trusty little wheel, oh and my shoes!  I like to spin barefoot or wearing my special 'Spinning Socks'!  I chose a picture of some orange Iris, I did not paint my palette but blended my fibre to match my colours using my handcarders.
I experimented with three yarns, one colour blend, one with snippets of the first yarn added to the rolag and spun into singles and finally my first slub yarn.  I managed to use some of the fibre from my Adventures in Dyeing.  Slubs are great fun for adding texture and effect to the yarn but I found it tricky to do.  I understand the method now though for future reference.
Here is a closer shot of my slub yarn (Sorry it could be clearer I know!);
Alison also dyes her own yarns and sells a wide range of natural dyes, Pure Tinctoria.

After last weeks 'Birmingham and District Guilds' Dyers Picnic I decided to treat myself to some Natural Indigo and Red Lac.  I wonder what colour I can turn my hands with those!  I had a really enjoyable day and took on board some new ideas and skills.  I hope to tag along with the 'Stratford Guild' again sometime.


  1. Some wonderful wheels and yarns, particularly liked your Mum's colourway.
    Carol xx

  2. lovely stuff

    makes me want to become unagoraphobic and buy myself a new back so that i can attend such meetings

    love visiting your blog (and it doesn't strain my back :o)

  3. You are doing great at encouraging me to get my spinning wheel whirling again.. Love that you spin with your mother and that you're so adventurous at going places and learning new things! I just re-connected with a girl I graduated HS with and she is a spinner.. more encouragement!
    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  4. Very impressive. That is an amazing skill. I LOVE the creative process too. I love to read about this .Its all so new to me.

  5. Hi Lucy

    Great to meet you and your Mum again and thank you for the lovely write up about the talk on Friday and workshop on Saturday. I was made so welcome and had a very enjoyable time as a result, not to mention the great hospitality from Gwenda Tucker and her husband!

    It certainly was a productive and creative day and everyone worked so hard. I'm in the process of putting all the images of the work on the Creative Spinning blog and will send you a link when I do.

    I hope I meet you and your Mum again.


  6. That looks like an amazing workshop, and lovely results too. So sorry I missed it.


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