I was taught to sew when I was 10 years old by my mother who was a professional dressmaker. She also taught me to knit, crochet and do needle work. I grew up in a family of women who filled their time
with hand crafts for both work and pleasure. I was taught to spin when I was in my early teens by an elderly family friend in New Zealand, where I was born and grew up, who spun lace weight yarn directly from the fleece to crochet wedding gowns.
In New Zealand I worked with adults with a learning disability (mainly autism and Downs Syndrome) to teach and support them to weave, spin, dye and knit articles which they sold in their local craft shop. I have also been an active member in several spinning guilds both in New Zealand and Northern Ireland.
Here in Northern Ireland I have held workshops at Ulster Folk & Transport Museum for the local spinning guild. I have also tutored at local craft groups in knitting, quilting, sewing, crocheting and various other traditional crafts. I have demonstrated spinning at various sheep shows, primary schools and museum open days both in New Zealand and Northern Ireland.
I have extensive experience working with younger people, older people and adults with a learning disability so I can tailor workshops to different groups such as community groups, local craft groups or social groups which may include people of various ages and abilities.
Many of the workshops that I conduct are reviving skills of a bygone era, so taking part in one of the workshops is to ensure that the skills of the past are not forgotten and we can enjoy them again and pass them onto the next generation.