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 also looked at corespinning, which can, probably more easily, be spun bulky (as well as fine). Some people were already pretty good at this and others just starting with it. Jennifer had a wonderful blend of angora (from her own rabbits) and silk, which she corespun WITH a lovely pink mohair autowrap, so pretty!
Then we also did some thick and thin spinning, its not an easy thing to do, and, at least for me, took a lot of practice to get any good at, so my goal in the workshop was to show the technique, so who ever wanted to could go home and keep working on it to get a nice smooth thick and thin. Thats exactly what Brigitte did! She posted this on her FB page after the workshop!
Peti made a wonderful yarn on her new Louet Art Yarn Flyer (not pictured) during the workshop too, corespinning this lovely mix:
There was also a good amount of carding done! Lisette and Evelien had a fluff party at the drum carders, and then spun up some stunning corespun yarns with the results!
Annelies sat so calmly behind her lovely Country Spinner producing a gorgeous range of textured yarns, including a bit of tailspun, some corespun, and some coils! And Hennie had a go at everything, also creating the nice big bulky yarn she had hoped to, some very pretty beehive coils, and Nolleke also made some great coils, leaping ahead on her quest of making something other than the lovely fine singles she had been spinning already.
At the end of the day Tineke carded up a pile of very prettily dyed mohair into an ‘Angel Baby’ batt and I showed her how to spin it very loosely around a core thread to make this:
So lovely! This was something I had learned myself not so long ago from Esther Rodgers (Jazzturtle) at the workshop she did here in Holland at last July. Its a lovely technique, easy to do and with such a lovely light and textured result.
Overall, I hope everyone had a fun day, learned something new or was helped with something they might have found difficult, that the fibers were enjoyed, and that the food was pleasurable 🙂 I had made a Pumpkin Soup and giant Carrot cake (recipe at the end of the post).
I would love to organise another workshop for next year, it will be a stand alone one but also a part 2 of this one, in which I would like to focus more on fiber preparation for specific kinds of yarns, colour blending, and do more plying techniques, including different ways of spinning add-ins into a yarn. My very next workshop however will be the Beginners Spindle Spinning workshop at Woool in The Hague on the 27th of January! Looking forward to that one too 🙂
To finish my post, a BIG thank you to everyone who came along and made the workshop such a delightful day, I learned a lot from you all, and I very much appreciate you having been here so we could share the day together. XX
Heres the recipe for the cake! It comes from ‘Southern Living’ and I found it on My Recipes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups grated carrot
- 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 (3 1/2-ounce) can flaked coconut
- 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Line 3 (9-inch) round cakepans with wax paper; lightly grease and flour wax paper. Set pans aside.
Stir together first 4 ingredients.
Beat eggs and next 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Fold in carrot and next 3 ingredients. Pour batter into prepared cakepans.
Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Drizzle Buttermilk Glaze evenly over layers; cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.
- 3/4 cup butter softened
- 1 (12-ounce) package cream cheese, softened (I used Mon Chou)
- 3 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth.