I arranged to meet with Penny, a fellow spinner who Amy put me in contact with after dragons den, to discuss spinning techniques and do a bit of spinning together.
Penny brought along lots of different types of wools for me to experiment with including Romney which had a really nice wavy texture and some jacobs and hebrian cross which are more course so I might not use in my final yarns but should be interesting to experiment with. She also gave me some silk nool which she suggests carding into some of my other wools, I think this will produce really nice textures and if I card it in before dying could make an exciting wool as silk takes the colour a little differently to wool. She also gave me some flax with I don’t think I am going to be able to spin into my wools because the texture is so different but is interesting to try spinning with.
Penny showed me lots of her own yarns. She creates very smooth yarns and has not tried the techniques I am exploring to make textures yarn so she was interested to see my yarns and books on decorative spinning. Though her work is very simple it is still very exciting because she cards a lot of different colour and fibres together. Seeing this has inspired me to this more about the colour and texture of the actually strands of wool instead of just focusing on the spinning techniques. I therefore aim to experiment more with carding different fibres together.
Penning also helped me to find my way around the wheel. She showed me how to change the tension of the belt and bobbin and suggested that I spend some time spinning without any wo to get used to peddling. I found this advice especially helpful as I currently find it difficult to peddle and feed the wool at the same time.
We were also considering meeting again at a later point to spin in public in the hope of spreading awareness of this technique. However after discussing it we realised that neither of us really have the time at the moment. I did however tell Penny about my plans to teach spinning during the private view and she was encouraging.
Meeting with another spinner has successfully helped me to develop my ideas about traditional craftsmanship and it’s role in today’s society. Now that it is no longer a necessary skill I think it has become more about community. The continuation of these crafts allows people to connect over them and join together to share there skills. I therefore think that the passing on of these skills is important not just because it is a significant part of our history but because it continues these feelings of community and connection.