This is a free family-friendly event, although donations will be gratefully received. April and Kathy will be spinning and demonstrating the skills of their craft over several hours, so pop in and ask them questions.
I first learnt to spin in the Shetland Islands from an elderly lady who kept her own sheep. She showed me how to prepare raw fleece for spinning by carding it into rolags. (I will demonstrate this skill.)
I like to work with raw wool and spin with the lanolin still in the fleece. After spinning a single thread I will turn the wheel anti-clockwise in order to ply two threads together. Once plied, the threads are wound off the bobbin into skeins. These are then washed and dried to make beautiful soft yarn for knitting, weaving or crochet.
I find the whole process very relaxing and almost meditative. It is immensely satisfying to take the raw material and create unique items for my friends and family.
The process ties me to the history of women and textiles which extends back into prehistory. Spinning and weaving are among some of the oldest crafts known and in many archaeological sites spindle whorls are found, showing that spinning took place there.
I learnt to spin with a drop-spindle and wool gleaned from barbed wire fences. This developed into a life-long fascination with sheep and wool and I now have a small flock of Romney sheep,
a collection of spinning wheels and a large weaving loom.
I often have a pot on the wood burner brewing different plant material to discover colours that can dye wool - it’s not always successful, but a lovely gold from Poplar buds recently was delightful. I use these natural dyes on my spun yarn and weave rugs of various shapes, sizes and design.
Do come and see me at the Museum where you can have a go at spinning and find out for yourself just how easy it is to spin a thread.
I am opening a workshop near Bishops Caundle where I will be offering spinning tuition and a space where people can come with or without their own equipment, to enjoy this ancient craft in a lovely rural setting. We are holding an Open Day on Friday 21 April. Please email me for more details. All welcome.
Sherborne Museum will be holding its 51st Annual General Meeting featuring an illustrated presentation by the Curator charting the achievements of the previous year and looking ahead to the new season.
Doors open at 2pm.
Tea and cake provided.
All welcome, including non-members.
AGM Agenda (PDF)
Join Ben Weller from Twisted Cider in Longburton and other award-winning local cider-producers and apple growers in our celebration of the autumn harvest.
Learn about cider making in the area, Sherborne’s “lost” orchards and old apple varieties.
Plenty of samples of the golden nectar and fresh apple juice to try.
This event just gets bigger and better - also family friendly and free.
The Museum will be joining in the town’s seasonal festivities and opening up for all to view our beautiful exhibitions. Great for those last minute stocking fillers and meaningful gifts from
our shop, too!
This year we will be joined by Katy Ashman and Miles Nipper aka The Wandering Winds who will be performing Victorian Carols on the bassoon, contrabassoon and flute.
There might even be a taste of furmity and Victorian mincemeat to enhance the occasion.
Free and family friendly as always.
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