Wooly Workshop Days in Woodville

Wooly Workshop Days in Woodville

Its a little like a dream already, two days spent in the amazing fibre wonderland that Tracy White calls home. Inspire Fibres: Woodville New Zealand. SO worth the trip 🙂 I was there to teach two workshops earlier this month, a day of dyeing and colour play, and a day of spinning and fiber prep. I had to get up early to get there too. My drive from Napier was less than two hours, but notable for the large quantity of water that was falling from the sky, for the entire trip. So what else could I do but turn up the radio and drive 🙂 By the time I got there the rain was starting to fail and Tracy had a cosy fire burning invitingly in the studio and coffee ready to go. Perfect! And the perfect day for playing with colours. Bright, alive, hot, cool, calming, crazy, emotive, provoking. Colour is amazing! We started with a bit of painting, playing with the effects that colours have on each other. I am pretty sure that playing with colours is just good for the soul. Gloves were donned and dye was splashed, smooshed, dripped and tipped. And the results were diverse and amazing!! Check out the colours that Nanda chose! Her roving came out just stunning.. Our day included four different ways of dyeing, masses of rich colour, using dyes provided by Tracy and Teri Dyes – also Woodville based! I have to say I really enjoyed these dyes, very vibrant, they exhausted easily, and the results speak for themselves. They sell throughout NZ, and I am already planning on my next visit to buy up their range and bring some home with me 🙂 Tracy also provided some amazing fiber, including these gorgeously silky Gotland locks:   The second day was equally enjoyable! Of course, how could it not be in the midst of this magical stash cave! Requests of Tracy for specific kinds of items, fiber, core threads, roving.. usually resulted in quantities of rummaging, exclamations of ‘oh I have this too’ followed by oohs and aahs as Tracy pulled out yet another fibre treasure from the depths of her bountiful shelving. Are you getting the idea how much I loved being there?! 🙂 If you are in NZ, or plan on visiting there at any time, Inspire Fibres is (IMHO) a bit of a mecca and very worth visiting. Ok back to the workshop! We started our spinday with some fibre preparations. We had enough equipment!  I had borrowed some cool toys from Majacraft while I was there the week before (thank you!!), so we had their Combs, hackle, and blending board, and Tracy had a...

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Workshopping

Workshopping

I have a few things to share this week. The first and most important thing is the one about connection. This is where I get a little teary eyed and filled with amazement and thankfulness that my life is blessed with some of the most wonderful people. I had one of these moments today, sitting at one end of a room that was filled with fiber, yarns, spinning wheels, and people. I struck me how much I love being in this environment, how lucky I am to have connections with people like my friend Alet, who organises events like this, and Esther who brings her energy and creativity and shares them like this, and both are people who transform the lives of others with the things they do. This is something really cool to be a part of. The last few days, teaching with Esther, and the evenings working on our weavings and spinning together, have been a really great experience, learning, laughing, sharing ideas and getting excited about the same things. So I wanted to share that with you too, because I think its always good to take a moment to stop, and appreciate the positive things in our lives. And no matter where you are at, if you look, you will find something. At least thats what my generally optimistic brain tells me, and I really hope that is true 🙂 And the workshops? Awesome 🙂 We have carded, rolagged, combed, hackled, and of course SPUN ALL THE THINGS. We have had some ‘aha’ moments, and certainly some ‘oh thats how it works!’ experiences too. Its been awesome to have the opportunity to share this with Esther and I have learned and laughed a lot and am totally enjoying this opportunity to teach together. I think we make a good team! Our first workshop was with the beginning art yarn spinners, a fantastic group with much enthusiasm, humour, and talent, they made some really amazing yarns. Today we started with the second workshop for the more advanced art yarn spinners, so we are planning a nice range of yarns to spin, with the goal of also weaving them on the second day, and we have something special planned for that! So this is an update post, and I will be back later this week with an ‘its over’ post and more photos and, no doubt, with a sense of sadness that its over and also anticipation for the next one 🙂 But for now, ENJOY THE DAY....

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WoolWench Workshop and the Women With Wheels

WoolWench Workshop and the Women With Wheels

What a day! Saturday 8th of December, a thick layer of snow on the ground, a cosy house, a table full of colourful fibers, and a room full of women with wheels! Sounds like the perfect day to me, and it was! You know there are some days that are just so cool you know that they will go down in personal history as ‘one of the epic ones’, and I think last Saturday was one of those for me. First of all, what a wonderful group of spinners, coming through my front door with their wheels, fibers, and bobbins. Everyone was happy, chatting, checking out each others wheels and wool. I was very happy to find that I really did have enough room, and enough chairs! And also very happy that Patty and Sally had volunteered to come along and look after the teas coffees and lunch preparation for me. This was good, this meant we did eat, and received enough cups of hot brew to get through the day without falling off our chairs faint with hunger and dehydration! Thanks girls, I am quite sure I never would have managed that without you! XX It was lovely to finally meet everyone in person, some faces were already very familiar to me from Facebook, and it was great to see things in real life, like Tinekes awesome sparkly bobble hat that she bought along, and the lovely hand dyed fibers that Peti had been preparing before the workshop. We started out talking about what kinds of yarns everyone was interested in making, and it seemed a fairly good consensus that bulky singles were a desirable goal, as well as coils, thick and thin puffy yarn, and core spinning. Its funny how pretty much every spinner starts out making nice big chunky yarns, then we gradually refine our technique, gain control over the fibers and our drafting, and are soon making those lovely fine singles we started out wishing we could do. Then one day we think, I want a bit chunky yarn now, to make something cuddly for winter, and we start spinning, only to find that the fine yarn keeps coming back! Its like our hands and feet are now programmed to make this, and only this, and have totally wiped from memory the chunky yarn skill we started out with! Well during the workshop we did a little bit about this, using a roving (top) to draft nice thick quantities, keeping our hands loose to spin the air into the yarn.. and to follow this up I will also be making a newsletter to send out this week with an extra mini tutorial on spinning bulky yarns. We...

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