Posted by: Alison Daykin | January 3, 2013

Wokefield Park Creative Spinning Retreat

Last October I was one of four tutors invited to tutor for the Kennet Valley Guild at Wokefield Park.  I’ve finally managed to upload the images of the week-end which was a really fun.  I had six students who, although very worried about the design element, all took to it well and I got some wonderful testimonials from them when I got home:

“I booked the course on the basis of your last article in Yarnmarker, which was about blending fibres given to you by a friend, so as to produce three yarns with which to make something. When I read the requirements list, I was sure that I had picked the wrong course – I just don’t “do” that sort of design – and I approached Saturday morning with trepidation. I am sure you must have noticed my concern! But by lunchtime I knew I was gaining from the exercise, especially the colour and texture studies – I am not sure about the collage, as I felt my collage was rubbish and didn’t add to my learning process. When I got to the spinning, I could really see the point of the morning’s work, and felt inspired. I think I also gained from being in a small class, and being able to learn from the other students, and how they tackled the problem. I felt that I gained from their attitudes, and what they produced.” – A Wokefield Park student.

“Thanks for the spinning course this weekend. I really enjoyed it and this evening I’ll be showing off what we did to my spinning friends which will be good fun.” – Julia.

“Thank you for the most wonderful weekend at Wokefield. Didn’t get a chance to say goodbye and how much I enjoyed your workshops. My head is full of new techniques to try and I’m eager to start work on them.” – A Wokefield Park Student.

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Posted by: Alison Daykin | July 25, 2011

Alston Hall Reteat

I’m just back from tutoring a workshop at Alston Hall for the Bradford and District/Bowland/Craven Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers.  It’s always a pleasure to go to Alston Hall, the accommodation is lovely, the staff are delightful and the company on the Retreat is wonderful!

This year I was lucky enough to have been asked to tutor, as the last time I was there was in 2002 on a Twisted Braid course and before that in 2001 on a Theo Moorman course.

My 15 students included one man, Pete, and an elderly lady of 92, Betty, who you would never have believed was that age.  All had been rather worried about the design aspect, but once they had gone through the processes, all admitted they would not have been able to produce the yarns they did.  So rather than describe everything, here is a slide show of everything they did!

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Posted by: Alison Daykin | June 22, 2011

Stratford Upon Avon – June 2011

On Friday 10 June, I drove down to Stratford upon Avon to talk about Design for the Terrified followed by a Creative Spinning Workshop on the Saturday.  I was made very welcome by Gwenda, who was to be my host for the week-end, and who then took me to the local collage where the Guild meets.

There was a good turn out by members of the Guild, for the talk, and even a couple of guests from the Birmingham Guild who had attended a Creative Spinning Workshop there, last year.

As a result of the talk, Chris from Birmingham, brought her picture with design notes which had been inspired by my talk.

Chris's design notes

On the Saturday the weather was very mixed, sunshine and heavy showers, but inside the College everything was sunny, including some of the lovely images there were brought to the workshop as inspiration!  Everyone worked really hard, produced some lovely yarns and tried out some new fancy yarn techniques.  The images below show the results of the day.



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Posted by: creativespinning | April 16, 2011

The Netherlands, 2011

We have had a third wonderful year in The Netherlands. This time Jane taught Whacky Fibres and Alison taught Colour and Weave in The Hague and we both taught design in Zeeland. We had the opportunity to teach design to Helen Melvin’s felters, and the exercise was considered a huge success – it is so satisfying when people learn the basic exercises that help them to demonstrate their innate creativity.

The yarns  were created in The Hague by Djoke, Marion, Karen, Lisette, Attie and Elspeth at Dineke de With’s atelier, de Spinners

Posted by: Alison Daykin | November 27, 2010

Creative Spinning in York

Last Saturday I drove up to York to give a talk about useful spinning techniques and using fleece characteristics in Creative Spinning to the York and District Guild.  On the Sunday I taught a workshop on Creative Spinning to a packed hall.  The Guild were very responsive and below are the impressive results of their endeavours.

Sorry about the few that are a bit blurred, I get so excited when I see the spectacular results!

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Posted by: Alison Daykin | October 19, 2010

Colour Blending at Bradford Guild

Saturday morning saw me driving up the M1 and M62 to Bradford Industrial Museum to give a talk on Colour and tutor a workshop on Colour Blending for the spinners in the Bradford and District Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers.

They are a lovely, lively group who really took to the workshop producing some lovely yarns from just the primary colours, black and white!  Take a look at some of the work that was produced in just a few hours in the slide show below:

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Posted by: Alison Daykin | April 10, 2010

Creative Spinning at Birmingham Guild

Today I was invited to the Birmingham Guild where we had a lovely day spinning creatively!  The images they brought with them were lovely and couldn’t fail to inspire beautiful yarns.  Here are the results:

Sheep yarn!

Frog Yarn!

Daffodil Yarn

Northern Lights Quilt Yarn

Norfolk Beach Yarn

Book of Kells Yarns

Scottish Moor Yarns

I’m sure you’ll agree with me that these yarns are really beautiful, especially as some of the spinners have only been spinning a few months!


Posted by: creativespinning | April 2, 2010

Just look at these gorgeous yarns designed by my students on the Creative Spinning course in The Hague, at de Spinners. De Spinners is the studio of Dineke de Boer and is an absolute treasure trove for anyone with textile interests and we all had a wonderful time, playing with fibres! 

Posted by: Alison Daykin | March 28, 2010

Funky Fancy Yarns!

More fancy yarns!

More Fancy Yarns

Fancy Yarn Workshop, Zeeland
Funky Fancy Yarns

Here are just a small selection of wonderful yarns produced at the Funky Fancy Yarn workshop organised by Alet Tienpont, owner of Textielwerk Wol en Zo in Zeeland, Netherlands.

Jane Deane, Amanda Hannaford and I were invited to the Netherlands for two, 2 day workshops.  In The Hague Jane tutored a Creative Spinning Workshop, Amanda tutored a Woollen, Worsted and Cotton Spinning Workshop and I tutored a Natural Dye Extracts Workshop for Dineke de Withe of De Spinners.

We then travelled to Alet’s studio where Jane tutored a Silk Spinning Workshop, Amanda tutored the Woollen, Worsted and Cotton Spinning Workshop again and I tutored the Funky Fancy Yarn workshop.

Some fabulous yarns were created over the 2 days in Zeeland which you can see below.

Lots more funky Yarns!I wish we could show more of these beautiful yarns, but there just isn’t enough space!


Posted by: Alison Daykin | November 7, 2009

Creative Spinning in Kent

CSKent09 008webCSKent09 010smCSKent09 013webCSKent09 014webCSKent09 015webCSKent09 018webLast week-end I was invited by Kent Guild of Spinners, Dyers and Weavers, to tutor a workshop for their annual members day.

The workshop started at 11.15am and finished at 3.30pm and with lunch there wasn’t a huge amount of time for the participants to get their head around Creative Spinning from an image as their source of inspiration!

However, those who took part really rose to the occasion and produced some lovely yarns using colour blending techniques and some fancy yarn techniques.

Some of the results are shown on the left and the inspiration ranged from images from costumes,

Images of landscapes,

Images from greetings cards

Images from postcards,

And images from gardening magazines.

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By the way, I drove down on the Friday evening and stayed with Kent Guild member, Valerie Selden and her husband John, who own a lovely B & B in Mersham called Glebe Place.  So if you’re wanting to explore Kent or stop off on the way to France their hospitality is worth sampling.

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