That was the theme for our spinning weekend workshop at the John C. Campbell Folk School. And what a fun and informative weekend it was! Instructor extraordinaire Noel Thurner set about teaching a group of rank beginner to very novice spindle spinners the art of a top whorl spindle, stressing the actions to get into our "muscle memory."
Noel is high energy, highly experienced, and best of all adept at teaching; the right progression, the right amount of information, made learning fun and relaxed. In addition, she made the whole experience more fun by placing our tasks within the historical context of the Vikings as they traveled the globe with their hand spun, wool sails (yes they were!! - all 374 pounds of each one). We had the opportunity to try our hands at several different wool rovings, washing and combing wool (wow - those Viking combs could be lethal as weapons), and even spinning in the grease.
I'm hooked! Or maybe I should say spun?
Here's Noel helping Patricia prepare Wensleydale fleece for washing.
Missy and Kate making great yarn.
Karen, my roommate, at the end of the weekend having successfully spun the dog fur that prompted her to participate in the workshop.
So what did I actually DO over the weekend? I learned to use these tools and made all these little balls of yarn.
Various colored pencil roving back left, greasy Corriedale is the golden brown in the middle (I love the color), and various breeds' roving and top in front: Spelsau, Icelandic, Finn and Wensleydale.
Too much fun! I'll tell you tomorrow about washing my share of the Corriedale fleece that came home with me. It's from Orchid, a ewe owned by Martha Owens of The Yarn Circle (see side bar) and fiber artist in residence at the Folk School.