Saturday, 16 May 2015

A Spinning Masterclass with Ruth Gough from Wingham Wool Works

Today I was fortunate enough to attend a spinning class led by the expert spinner Ruth Gough of Wingham Wool. Each year, Ruth and her husband bring much of their supplies to Cornwall where they sell their fibres and other products in Marazion village hall and then Probus village hall (where the guild meetings are held), whilst incorporating a mini-break in Cornwall. I will confess to one or two purchases, but in a room full of fibre to leave with just one small bag is really quite impressive, or that's what I keep telling my husband anyway!

As a member of the guild, I was asked if I would be interested in a day's tuition with Ruth and I jumped at the chance!

I thought that I knew quite a bit about spinning now, through my reading and practise for the certificate of achievement, but in reality my spinning has settled into a default mode and there are many techniques that I have yet to try and understand.

Ruth has been spinning for over 50 years and was fortunate enough to go to one of the few (if not only) schools in the country that taught spinning, weaving and dying. She gave advice freely, but didn't dictate hard and fast rules. Experiment and learn from successes as well as disappointments, and don't believe everything you see on YouTube!

This is Ruth above. I was too busy spinning to take photos so this one is leafed from the internet- sorry!

What I learnt in a day was staggering. Somehow, I have been plying all wrong! I thought for the yarn to be balanced it had to hang without twisting when you pull a little out of the orifice off the bobbin. But no! It needs to twist on itself with a z twist. Once I had finished plying, I skeined the yarn on the niddy noddy and found it hung with a clear but gentle z twist. However, when I dipped it in water and held it up, it was balanced! The skein I spun which hung balanced before dipped in water, came out of the water and twisted on itself with an s twist - not balanced! Now I know why my ply always looked so loose, I wasn't putting enough twist in! Easy when you know!

Somehow I'm going to have to find a way to get to Wingham and view their shop for myself! I may need a second mortgage for this visit, but when I googled it I found this image from someone else's visit.

Fibre heaven! 
Next post I'll share some of my new supplies and how Ruth showed us a way to prepare fibres on hand carders for fancy/art yarn.
Becky x

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