Monday, 9 November 2015

Masterclass with Ann Campbell, Sunday Nov. 8th.

Another well chosen "workshop" on Sunday: Ann Campbell shared her extensive knowledge with us in a Masterclass. 
Ann is one of North Wales' most experienced textile artists, specialising in handspinning and dyeing.  She started our day by explaining and demonstrating the technique of long-draw spinning, which was completely new to some of us:  thanks to Ann's expert help we were all able to produce a lovely lofty yarn in double quick time. (Our newest member "got" the technique in a trice, and was whizzing away as to the manner born within minutes!)
General busy-ness.  Note the long draw spinning!


Thereafter Ann gave us all individual tuition on any topic we asked, from the preparation of wool and cotton to the plying and finishing of hanks of spun yarn.  She also showed the whole group new ways of blending fibre using blending boards - simply made by fixing a large piece of carding cloth onto a bread board.  While not suited to the preparation of large quantities of fibre, a blending board has the great advantage of taking up far less space than a drum carder, and it costs a fraction of the price.  We rummaged happily in Ann's boxes of gorgeous hand dyed fibres and were soon able to produce attractive multicoloured punis  for spinning at our leisure, using the techniques of art yarn spinning Ann demonstrated on her own wheel.  She brought some beautiful examples of her own spinning and knitting to enthuse us, and we have resolved to use up all our bits and pieces of yarn and fibre, and Make Something.

Before...

....and after the Abergele Guild had been at the boxes.
Purple tops and hand knitted foot covers (with apologies for the unflattering viewpoint).

More busy-ness.

All in all, this was a wonderful day with a warm and positive atmosphere inside the hall, contrasting with the bleak weather outside.  To crown everything, we were treated to a wonderful soup-and-bread lunch by Val, our catering suprema. Other members chipped in with some bits and pieces, including delicious cake, and the result was a real feast.
So, many thanks to Ann for her generous and expert tuition and to Bryn and Val for the organisation.

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