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art class

Spin wool with local archaeologist

art class

Spin wool with local archaeologist

Duration
3.5 hours
Group size
Up to 2 people
Includes
Equipment
Hosted in
English
art class

Spin wool with local archaeologist

art class

Spin wool with local archaeologist

Duration
3.5 hours
Group size
Up to 2 people
Includes
Equipment
Hosted in
English

What you'll do

Learn how to select and handle animal and breed-specific fleeces, such as soft fleeces from Shetland sheep in the northern islands of Scotland, or exquisite Angora rabbit fluff. From this, we will progress onto getting to grips with the ancient craft of spinning using a drop spindle, the earliest of which are found in the Neolithic period (4000 BC) in our local area of the Chilterns. Once you have become familiar with adding twist to fibre, we will move a few thousand years into the Middle Ages and get you going on my own historic replica of a traditional English spinning wheel! You will complete two bobbins of spun fibre which we will ply together (to create a yarn that you can knit, crochet, weave etc.), using the wheel. Then you will learn how to operate a traditional wooden Shaker "swift" to turn your wool into a skein, and if needed, I can show you how to transform this into a ball of yearn, ready to use on your next project. We will have time for a couple of tea and home-made cake breaks, and you are more than welcome to browse around my studio or library. Or, if the weather permits, a short stroll around our lovely common and woods where we have rare native orchids growing.

Your host

Learn more about Alison

Alison

My PhD was conducted in Prehistoric craft and I have been a knitter, spinner and dyer of fibre for over 10 years. I have worked at various Universities and Museums, researching and teaching prehistoric and historic crafts, and have built up my own collection of finds, examples and resources. Teaching at local wool shops and care homes brings me a lot of pleasure (I have also achieved Associate Fellowship with the Higher Education Academy), as does presenting research at national forums. I am a member of the Oxford Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers, and demonstrate with them at events. I have founded the business Inglenook designs to blog and showcase crafted work and hand made equipment. I sell my own handmade wares, made with recycled and ethical materials using traditional skills at local craft co-operatives and fairs.

What's included

Equipment
All fleece/fibre will be provided for you to use and experiment with and you will be taking home your own skein of spun yarn…

Where you'll be

This activity will take place in my craft studio at our early 1900's house. We live just outside a village on a common, and enjoy being on the quieter side of things! You can walk either direction from our house along footpaths to open fields, hills and historic woodlands, and we are happy to direct you to local landmarks such as chapel ruins, standing stones, or some of the best pubs!

Things to keep in mind

Cancellation policy

Any experience can be canceled and fully refunded within 24 hours of purchase, or at least 7 days before the experience starts.

Communication policy

Always communicate through Airbnb. To protect your payment, never transfer money or communicate outside of the Airbnb website or app.

Guest requirements

Up to 2 guests ages 2 and up can attend. Guests should be comfortable working with animal fibre- all fleece will be washed and ready to use, but there will be some around that is raw and unprocessed, i.e. straight from the animal, lanolin and all! You…

Government ID

You’ll need to take a picture of yourself that matches the photo on your ID. This is so Airbnb can confirm who’s actually going on the experience. You’ll only have to do this once.

More tips

No experience necessary, you don't even need to know what to do with your skein once you have made it- they look great just hanging! A general interest in traditional skills and crafts, and working with fibre from animals. Fluency in English isn't necessary, I can show you the skills to copy from me

Airbnb Experiences are vetted for quality

Airbnb Experiences are vetted for quality

  • Local experts

    Led by locals who love where they’re from and what they do.

  • Small groups

    With intimate group sizes, you’ll never get lost in the crowd.

  • High standards

    Every experience is reviewed for unique access.

Alison
Spin wool with local archaeologist
New experience
$67/person
New experience
$67/person