Thursday, January 28, 2010


OK, I remain completely jealous of those of you who go to Madrona and Convergence and SOAR and such like, but I recognize that I am very fortunate in my proximity and relationship with the Campbell Folk School. I just spent a week there, being a student (for a change) in a spinning class with Norman Kennedy & Martha Owen.

I am very pleased with my week. I came with 3 specific projects in mind and I worked on two of them and prepared the third, and played with a few other things, too.

I picked,


and spun 3 ounces of fawn Shetland from a fleece I washed a while ago - Shetland from Shetland. I feel like I have finally nailed long draw spinning - the way Norman first taught me in 1980. It's amazing how you can hear the same words over and over and then one day, snap! It falls into place. I am very pleased.

I washed & picked 4 oz. a very fine black Shetland from Shetland that I plan to comb & spin for lace. I finally flick carded & spun some of the Border Leicester fleece I bought from Levin & Raja at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival last year, and also got Martha to show me how to spin from the locks in the grease - I have a nearly full bobbin of that. Norman prefers a "properly prepared" wool and disdains grease spinning, and as I have been his humble student, lo these many years, I have had little or no experience with grease wool spinning.

Martha is a pro.

And Martha showed me how she makes her funky multicolored yarn (that's one of her skeins above), by a technique she learned from Priscilla Blosser-Rainey years ago. She starts with a single of natural colored wool and some carded natural dyed wool and she feeds the single and sorta spins & plies the dyed stuff with the single in one go. Very cool!

This is one of Martha's creations. Don't you love the blending?

One of the students brought several pounds of Masham roving that had been gifted to her and she passed it on to us. I did a little combing demo and spun a small skein worsted, and then dropped it in a dye bath. I also dyed a few ounces of my light grey Border Leicester in each of the dyepots - from left to right: red onion skins/alum, yellow onions skins/alum, cochineal/oxalyic acid & tin, cochineal/alum. The undyed fleece is at the bottom.

Ain't it purty? think of the hours of fun - picking, carding spinning...

We also had a mock waulking

And Norman expanded his skills to teaching border collie pups wheel spinning - a first, I'm sure!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Tartan Class!

I will be teaching a tartan class for the Waterford Weavers Guild on February 20 & 21, 2010.

It will be held at the Old School in Waterford VA, 10am-5pm each day.

There are 3 spaces left in the class, but you need to respond ASAP to have time to choose a tartan pattern for your loom.

This will be a round robin class, each student will weave samples on various looms during class, and then go home to weave 1 or 2 scarves on your own loom, in your own pattern.

$120 for Waterford Weavers Guild members, $150 for non-members.

Contact Cynthia Hull to register:

Contact me with any questions by leaving a comment below!