I was taught spinning by a elderly family friend when I was 14 years old. She spun very fine lace weight yarn directly from the sheep, and then crocheted wedding dresses from the spun yarn. That was in the 70's when I used to go and spend the summer holidays with her. The joy of spinning has stayed with me.
I now have a collection of new and vintage spinning wheels, from New Zealand, Ireland and Holland. Some still work. I make items from the yarn that I spin and I also dye my own yarn.
I regularly go to community groups to talk about the process and history of spinning as well as demonstrating spinning on the wheel. I also teach spinning to people on a one to one basis.
Needle felting, also known as dry felting, is a process that uses specialised barbed needles which are repeatedly jabbed into layers of wool fibres to form a felted fabric. Wool fibres have scales which lock into place to create felted fabric when rubbed together. This method is used to create solid three dimensional felt sculptures and beautiful landscape pictures, which are only limited to your imagination.
We hold one day workshops on various forms of needle felting - for both complete beginners and those wanting to advance their skills.
Every Tuesday afternoon (2-4pm) I hold a very relaxed and informal drop in class where you can come along with your current crochet project and improve on your crochet skills and knowledge. Come and enjoy the company of other crocheters along with a cuppa and some baking.
For those that have never crocheted before and want to learn properly or those that need to brush up on forgotten skills, I have a comprehensive 8 week course to learn to crochet. The classes are small (no more than 4/5 people) to ensure 1:1 tuition. In the first 7 weeks you will learn basic techniques and stitches plus how to read a pattern, work in rows and rounds correctly, how to change colours and join yarns and how to block your work professionally while working on various motifs which will go into the sampler blanket that you will be completely during the course. In week 8 you will learn the different methods in joining the motifs together for the blanket, along with the various types of edgings that can be used to personalise the blanket. You will receive a folder with the comprehensive handouts of everything we cover in the course and patterns of the blocks used in the blanket so you can continue well after the course has been completed.
Please get in contact or check our Facebook page for when the next course is starting,
If you cannot commit to 8 weeks to learn how crochet thoroughly, I have a one day workshop on how to crochet the traditional granny square. This gives you a good grounding to master how to hold a crochet hook, do the common stitch and to be able to read a basic crochet pattern.
I also have one day workshops for those that know how to Crochet but have not mastered being able to follow a crochet pattern. This workshop helps to clear up the mystery and shorthand of those crochet patterns. Other workshops cover how to read crochet charts, and increasing and decreasing which is used in crocheting toys, baskets, bags and other items.
I have a workshop for learning to crochet basic shawls which is a great foundation to understand the method of increasing for a shawl so you can go on to crocheting more complex shawls with confidence.
I also teach techniques to help increase your crochet skills. These include the method of joining your motifs together as you crochet so that you do not need to sew or crochet a seam to join the motifs together to complete your blanket. This method is a great one as it eliminates all the time taken in sewing your blocks together.
Another technique is the chainless foundation. This is a great one to master if you need a stretchy foundation edge in your garment. Ever heard of a moebius? Well I have a workshop that teaches you this lovely twist for your cowls and scarves.
I also hold classes to show you how to master the wonderful 3D crochet - learn how to make amazing 3D flowers.
Tunisan crochet is a fabulous way of mixing crochet and knitting. It is a back and forth motion of taking stitches on and off the hook without turning your work. Once mastered, the possibilities of tunisan crochet are endless.
Always admired the tablecloths, doilies, and other fine lace like household items that our grannies made? These stunning pieces of art are now making a comeback and are highly valued. Even though they look so complex, in reality they are very simple to make; using 2 simple stitches and following a basic chart these masterpieces can be created. This workshop will take away the mystery and show you how easy it is to read the charts and
create some amazing picture work.
Irish crochet was a virtual lifesaver for the people of Ireland. It pulled them out of their potato famine, which lasted from 1845 to 1850 and threw them into abject poverty. So why not learn Irish crochet and keep alive the history of Ireland? Irish crochet is a work of art and can be made into beautiful garments that we can wear with pride.
Broomstick crochet lace has a beautiful, open look that really shows off the character and texture of your yarn. Dating back to the 1800s, this technique creates large loops of yarn that gently twist to the left, giving the finished project an elegant drape. The workshops that I hold on this technique will show you how to master this technique.
We hold workshops on how to crochet toys, enabling you to learn the needed techniques to ensure that your toys are professionally finished. We also have a small selection of patterns which have been written with clear instructions.
I teach one day workshops on a variety of different knitting methods and techniques.
Traditional knitting - this can include any form of basic knitting, knitting cables, etc, to improving your basic knitting skills. Learn how to knit socks on two circular needles, which is far easier than the traditional 4 needle method. The two circulars ensure that you never lose the fourth needle, makes it is easy to tell which is the front or the back of your sock, and it is handier to store away in your handbag.
Mosaic knitting - the easy way to do colour work by using the slip stitch technique where you only work with one yarn per row and still create lovely colour work.
Fair Isle knitting - also known as stranded knitting - is a technique of working two (or more) colours of yarn in the same row.
Entrelac - which comes from the French word entrelacer - meaning to interlace. The technique is so named because it resembles a basket weave pattern, which creates an interlocking diamond pattern, adds texture and visual interest to knitted fabrics and opens up a world of stitch possibilities.
Learn how to create intricate twisted knitting by knitting cables and how to read both written and charted cable. I have workshops on how to increase and decrease correctly in your knitting projects.
Lace knitting - I hold one day workshops on knitting lace and understanding the lace knitting charts which make knitting lace so much easier. In this workshop you will learn all the standard lace techniques including yarn overs, decreases and double decreases as well as finishing and blocking for knitted lace. We will also cover how to read patterns, written and charted. I also teach how to knit simple and lace work shawls. Once lace charts are mastered, lace knitting is a breeze and enjoyable.
Seamless knitting - or top-down knitting - is the new revolution in America and Europe and eliminates all that sewing after you have finished knitting. It also allows you to customise the fit of your garment as you can try it on while you are knitting it. Learn the amazing and yet simple technique of knitting a seamless cardigan from the top-down in the one day workshops that I run. This is a new way of knitting garments and is far simpler than it sounds and there are plenty of patterns available online both free and for sale.