Monday, July 12, 2010

There and Back Again

I'm in the North of England now, in Yorkshire, and we've been over to Alston Hall, in Lancashire. There were roses in the gardens, neither red nor white, but every color inclusive. The people were inclusive too, and we were made to feel very welcome by the staff and hospitality at Alston Hall.

Alston Hall port cochere

There were two courses going, a dye class, run by Debbie Tomkiss, and knotted pile in our room. We began classes after arriving Friday evening, and that short time allowed everyone to get a jump start on the class for Saturday morning, getting more accomplished in the short weekend than I had expected:

alston hall marion

alston hall hazel's star

Marion and Hazel (respectively, above) are weavers, so of course they are familiar with the tools, jargon and what would be expected, but several of the newer weavers got on well too, finishing both their initial sample and starting their project:

alston hall ann's spiral

alstonhall scottie

alston hall sarah's colorblends

There were variety of looms, and we managed to work with all but one of them (which was missing parts). In a perfect world I would supply the looms so everyone worked on the same one,
but since the process is able to be adjusted for any loom, weavers who already have a table loom or frame loom can (and did) use them.

alston hall gargoyle2

Some people used silk for the pile:

alston hall sarah's silk

But most people used wool:

alston hall freyalynn's sample

I was able to get a handle on just which UK yarns worked to add to the materials list for next year's UK knotted pile class, which will be held in Edinburgh in August.


Today is a grey and drizzly day, perfect, giving us a chance to recover, knit, spin (on my new IST spindle) and rest up for the next big social occasion: a night on the town for a birthday party tomorrow night!


alston hall gargoyle1

6 Comments:

Blogger Spinning Out of Control said...

Love the different knotted pile patterns. Do you have to use special shears to trim and even out the surface of the piece?

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Benita said...

I love all the gargoyles you keep sneaking in! When we were in England in 1992, we fell in love with then and brought home many pictures of them.

10:30 AM  
Blogger Judy said...

It looks like a great class to take-what fortunate students!!

10:57 AM  
Blogger sarah said...

Yes, we WERE fortunate. It was a wonderful weekend! But leaves me with so much more to find time to do :-)
I'd be very grateful for some pointers on spinning silk for knotted pile - mulberry silk top, or brick? (I need to know which one to buy... I have this new spindle that seems to like silk. I wonder why:-) From the fold or from the end? Tight and shiny or a little looser? I'm guessing looser is alright for bags, but that perhaps a tighter twist is better for anything that's going to get more wear?

2:23 AM  
Blogger jackie said...

You are a rock star! England in the summer is beautiful! Enjoy!

7:06 PM  
Blogger Marcy said...

Hee! I knew that was SarahW's hand in the photo!

I love the gargoyles.

Some day I SHALL get to take this class with you, hless.

5:49 AM  

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