An Abundance of Wheels and the Landelijke Spindag (Netherlands)

An Abundance of Wheels and the Landelijke Spindag (Netherlands)

TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTY! Can you believe it? 230 spinners all together and all spinning at the same time! ย Last weekend was the annual gathering of the Landelijke Spingroep (National Spinners Group) of the Netherlands. This group functions a bit like a guild, organising demonstrations at events, hosting information about regional spinning groups on their website, and of course, organising this national event once a year. And yep, its a biggie! Many people arrive on the Friday evening and stay till Sunday afternoon, with the main events happening on the Saturday. There are lots of pics in this post, because there was so much to see ๐Ÿ™‚ Patty and I arrived on the Saturday morning, after a bit of a drive through some very pretty dutch forests and villages, thatched roofs and narrow streets and much greenery. And we were right on time for the THING, yes, the THING everyone had been waiting for, the market! This was spread around various ‘rooms’ and halls of the venue, a warren-like conference center in the middle of the forest. We wandered from room to room and emerged eventually with a few scores, I got some Yak from Mandacrafts, travelled to us from the UK, and I also scored some Dutch raised Corriedale, yet to be washed and reported on but STASHED ๐Ÿ™‚ And of course my usual market day purchase of some intense coloured bamboo silk from Woolness (a lovely couple who not only import silks from India but also produce a pretty awesome range of wool related tools made of recycled materials –ย check them out! ) I was scheduled to run a couple of short workshops in the afternoon, so caught a bit of spinning time first. And I was in good company! Check out my spinning bud Patty’s wheel! Yep it is, its a Golding and wow is it smoooooth. I think these wheels make a pretty good set! Patty was spinning super fine on the Golding, and it has the perfect ratios for lace weight, she was barely treadling. I was busy with some corespinning and making some sample yarns for the workshops. There were some very old wheels, such as this 1859 model and we spotted this super cute little Louet, which is unfortunately no longer in production: The workshops were great. The day was organised with about ten workshops on offer, and the chance for people to get to a couple of workshops in the afternoon. They were quite short (one and a half hours each) so really just time for people to get a taste of the activity, great for inspiration and creative idea sharing! ย My workshops were full and I was impressed (again) with...

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Wild Weaving Workshop N

Wild Weaving Workshop N

I know I know, I still havent blogged about the dye day workshop yet… like I had planned to do before today ๐Ÿ™‚ Its TIME, it gets sucked into some black hole of time suck despite my best efforts at what ‘I’ think of as efficiency. I suspect this version of mine is not ‘real’ efficiency so much as wishful thinking efficiency. Apparently there is a difference. As in… it isnt actually efficiency. But the point is, here we are. Sunday evening and everyone has gone home. The room that has been filled all day with chatter and amazing yarns and looms everywhere and mini-stashes to ooh and aah over.. well its empty again, left only with yarn scraps, some stray coffee cups, and a few sparkly bits floating around. It was a very awesome day. So I wanted to share it with you while it was all fresh in my mind, because my kind of ‘efficiency’ often requires that some things fall out of my brain, I am preempting this by writing it now. And I have to admit to feeling rather smug about this ๐Ÿ™‚ Patty and I had a pretty solid program written up for the day. We wanted to be sure that we would cover all the things that we found important to review and share in just one day together, which seems like plenty of time but you know, once you get started, its that time vortex again… So our day was split up into three parts, weaving basics, design, and hands on weaving. It was such a pleasure to see everyones looms arrive and check out the warps they had set up, all so different, all so beautiful ๐Ÿ™‚ Sometimes the warp itself is such a visual delight its almost a shame to change it by adding weft! However as the day progressed we saw some incredible weaving happening.   One thing I was really pleased to be sharing was my developing approach to freeform weaving and what that means, at least to me. I am sure my approach to it is not new or unique, but at least for me it is, and the more I do, the more defined and concrete these ideas become as I consider how to best approach the problem of design and freeform. I say ‘problem’ here because, if you look at anything creative as a ‘problem’ it just asks for a solution! The ‘problem’ for me with weaving is actually the goal, so not a ‘problem’ as in there is something wrong, but as in a challenge, to which we can see the outcome we want, and the challenge (problem) is to find a way to...

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