Glasgow School of Yarn

On Saturday my friend Clare and I went down to

2011-10-22 Glasgow School of Yarn 10

which was organised by The Yarn Cake, and it was just brilliant!

We got there around noon and headed over to the Mackintosh Church where the main event and marketplace were being held. The event had started on Friday and the vendors were already running low on some items and colours!
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We then headed over to the Yarn Cake shop, where our silk spindling class was being held, taught by none other than Amy Singer! Before the class started we stopped for lunch at the cafe next door, and when Amy came over for a takeaway I had to restrain myself from being a total fangirl! When we were speaking later she did mention she heard some giggles from the corner of the cafe…

The class itself was great, starting out with watching some videos of how silk is made, from caterpillar to cocoon, to ‘harvesting’ the silk from the cocoons. We also saw what the fully grown moths look like if they are left to emerge and breed – they’re furry, silky little puffballs. I didn’t realise the moths themselves couldn’t fly and had such short lifespans. It was also nice to know that in China, a huge silk producer, they eat the caterpillars that are left behind after processing the cocoons, so it’s a food source as well.

We then got to dig into our little kits, which included a wee spindle, a bombyx silk hanky, some tussah silk to try later, and our very own little silk cocoon. This was taken at home, with all my silk hanky spun up and plied on the spindle.
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These are some of the layers of hanky, as I was peeling them apart to spin on the train.2011-10-22 Glasgow School of Yarn 07

The silk stuff is so fine and catches on everything, even things that seem smooth, like that plastic table! Before we started playing with it Amy got us all to exfoliate + moisturise with a goopy mixture of sugar and olive oil. I’m totally trying that again, as my hands felt lovely and soft!

For some reason I kept spinning ultrafine, or kitten breath, as was the word of the day. I was getting rather afraid of my single, like it had a life of its own and wanted to live on the edge…anyway I carried on, and there were good old thick bits as well, so the plied up yarn seemed balance itself out in the end.
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I also got some general spinning questions answered, and learnt that I spin left handed, even though I’m right handed. I decided this is probably because I prefer having control of the fibre in my dominant hand, and am happy to flick the spindle with the other hand and let  it do its thing.

After the class we headed back to the marketplace to spend our last pennies, and we also met up with another friend, Laura. We had a nice catch up over dinner and drinks, and then Clare and I got our train back to Aberdeen later that night.

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Caught in the act

So it was a lovely day out, developed my spinning a little, got to meet Amy and Yarn Yard Natalie, as well as some nice Glasgow knitters/spinners and an Aberdeenshire one too, got to meet up with Laura, and finally came home with a good haul.
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I’m so going back next year.

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