Sock yarn success!

So, my hunt for 100% natural fibre sock yarn for my Sock Wizard Workshop was successful! As I said in my previous post, I found a number of yarns that looked good and met my criteria of

  • wool and other natural fibres like silk or mohair
  • no plastics (nylon or polyamide)
  • no superwash
  • affordability
  • minimal air miles.

My shortlist for this workshop was

All the yarns on my shortlist were 100 per cent natural wool, had good reviews on Ravelry and were suitable for socks. It was a hard decision but Bio Shetland and Isager Highland Wool from Lankakauppa TitiTyy in Finland won the day. It came down to a close finish with Blacker Yarns British Classic 4ply, but in the end the yarn from Titityy was slightly cheaper and the postage was €15 instead of £23, and it was coming via a courier instead of Royal Mail. So I knew I would get my yarn within days and not weeks. Titityy’s customer service was excellent, friendly emails were exchanged, they shipped my order the next day (Friday) and it arrived safely on Monday. I’m looking forward to buying more yarn from them, especially their Tukuwool Sock which looks luscious.

I’m keen to try other non-plastic options for socks too, so Blacker Yarns’ Mohair Blend is still on my list. I’m thinking of adding a natural sock wool page to this website – would that be a useful resource? Let me know what you think and any suggestions!

 

Spring workshops!

We are now taking bookings for our first round of workshops for 2018!

Knitting for Beginners

If you’re new to knitting or are just starting to find your way, come and join me for a Saturday afternoon of gentle introduction to knitting.

Learn the fundamental knit and purl stitches, how to cast on and off, how to choose the right yarn and what to do with your first piece of knitting. My approach combines technical know-how with calm encouragement and stress-reducing meditation.

The next Knitting for Beginners class will be on Saturday 17 March 2-5pm.

All materials are provided: you will receive a class kit containing knitting needles, merino wool yarn and class notes.

Min 2, max 6 students.

Cost: €60 incl IVA and materials.

Click here to book your place!

 

*****

Meditating the Spindle

This class will teach the fundamental skills required to use a drop spindle. By the end of the class participants will know and understand the use of the drop spindle; the different fibres that can be used to make different types of thread or yarn; be able to use their spindle to make yarn. They will learn how using a drop spindle can be an aid to mindfulness, meditation and calm.

The next workshops are held on two Saturday afternoons on either side of Easter:

Saturday 7 April & 14 April 2-5pm

Spindles, fibre and class notes are provided. Any previous experience with yarn or fibre will be helpful, but not necessary

Min 2, max 6 students.

Cost: €120 incl IVA and materials

Click here to book your place!

 

Meditating the Spindle Day 1

We had a great day on Saturday for the first Meditating the Spindle workshop. Keeping the group small makes for a cosier atmosphere and means I can give participants individual attention. Not that these students needed much attention! They picked it up so quickly and by the end of the afternoon everyone was spinning yarn.

Yoga mats meant that the inevitable dropped spindle wasn’t something to worry about, and short meditations kept the stress of learning a new skill down to a manageable level (no one swore, unlike me when I was learning) Chocolate helped too, of course…

Day 1 focused on getting to know the spindle and spinning lovely soft wool fibre from Hilltop Cloud. Day 2 is this Saturday and we’ll be learning to ply and exploring the possibilities of silk.

The next Meditating the Spindle workshop will be held on Saturday 25 November and Saturday 2 December – book here to reserve your place! If those dates don’t suit you I also take individual students – email me at [email protected]

And we’re running a poll over on the Counterweave Facebook page to see what sort of workshops you would like to see next year. Click here to participate and get a 10% discount on 2018 workshop bookings!

Meditating the Spindle workshops – book now!

We are now taking bookings for our Meditating the Spindle Workshops! Workshops are held on consecutive Saturday afternoons:

Saturday 4 & 11 November 2-5pm

OR

Saturday 25 November & 2 December 2-5pm

Spindles, fibre and class notes are provided. Any previous experience with yarn or fibre will be helpful, but not necessary

Min 2, max 6 students.

Cost: €120 incl IVA and materials

Click here to book your place!

 

Spinning fibre by hand using a drop spindle is an ancient technique and one the world relied on for thousands of years and it can teach us much about mindfulness in our very techno world in the 21st century. It is a skill that relies on patience, gentle concentration and mindful hands as well as a quiet mind.

This class will teach the fundamental skills required to use a drop spindle. By the end of the class participants will know and understand the use of the drop spindle; the different fibres that can be used to make different types of thread or yarn; be able to use their spindle to make yarn. They will learn how using a drop spindle can be an aid to mindfulness, meditation and calm.

Instructor: Felicity Griffin Clark has more than thirty years’ experience in fibre arts. She spins wool, silk, paper and hemp and makes textile and mixed media art. She is also a knitter and weaver. Felicity also takes private students for instruction, coaching or mentoring.

Contact: [email protected]

 

Australian art in Rome in August and autumn classes

art | craft | anima - Counterweave - Melbourne + Rome. Australian, Aboriginal & Asia-Pacific contemporary arts, crafts & textiles. Reiki & Tarot.

Felicity Griffin Clark – mixed media indigo concertina art book

Australian art specialists in Rome, Counterweave Arts Gallery & Workshop is open throughout the summer.

August in Rome is traditionally when businesses close for the summer holiday. It’s true Rome is hot, people are saying ‘see you in September’ and there are signs going up on shop doors saying ‘chiuso per ferie’. But Counterweave Arts is open for business! If you want a cool place to revive, and see some beautiful artwork by Australian artists email us at [email protected] to arrange an appointment. Currently in the gallery we have works on canvas by Central Australian Aboriginal artists represented by Artists of Ampilatwatja and Warlukurlangu Artists Aboriginal Corporation, etchings by Melbourne artists, Lisa Sewards and Trudy Rice, and mixed media and textiles by Felicity Griffin Clark. Click here to see full catalogues of our current stock.

 

Nathania Nangala Granites, Warlukurlangu Jukurrpa (Fire country Dreaming)

 

Lisa Sewards Love is in the air

 

We also have some amazing wearable art in stock, with beautiful handwoven necklaces by Mary Burgess, silk scarves featuring the unique designs of Artists of Ampilatwatja and indigo silk scarves by Felicity Griffin Clark. These are also available in the online shop here.

We are currently working on our autumn/winter 2017 Counterweave Workshop program, with classes including:

  • Introduction to eco and indigo dyeing (one day workshop)

  • Introduction to shibori (one day workshop)

  • Meditating the Spindle – an introduction to mindful spinning (three half-day workshops)

Workshops will include materials, class notes and snacks, for a maximum of six participants, and led by Felicity Griffin Clark, an experienced mixed media and textile artist.  Dyeing and shibori workshops will use a range of natural materials including silk, wool, cotton and paper. Meditating the Spindle will focus on using wool and silk fibres. One to one classes for individual students are also available.

For more information email [email protected] or subscribe to the Counterweave newsletter for updates on exhibitions, opening nights, workshops and early bird discounts. A full autumn program and online booking will be available soon.