Was just looking through the diary for 2016 and it hit me. I have taught a lot of people. When we started this in 1994, I had this vision of growing spinning, weaving, knitting and all things fibre and yarn all over the UK. Kind of like planting seeds. Well it is happening! So I am blowing our own trumpet just a tiny bit here, just because what we do is not always evident.
Having taught many of the people who are now in their turn teaching spinning, I can see it. Some of them have quite high profile businesses now, and some of them I have gone on to work with in partnership for many years. See the current courses on our Create With Fibre website.
Then I realised. I have taught over 750 people this year. The 750 has admittedly included about 200 new weavers at two larger scale events: A music festival commissioned us to teach weaving all weekend, and a primary school who had me there for two days teaching nearly all of the classes….But all of the rest are in relatively small courses. sometimes, like this week, I am teaching three courses in a week (weaving wednesday, Indigo dyeing Thursday and beginners spinning on Saturday this week).
Often there are courses for one of the Guilds of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers. Last weekend we were at East Central Guild, and before that Eden Valley. The beginners spinning is one of a series of special courses for Dumfries & Galloway Guild.
Then there are the courses for Councils, youth groups and voluntary organisations. At the moment, a series of several weaving sessions and a wall hanging project for Maybole 500, which celebrates the town being 500 years old. These have been many and various over the last couple of years. A tipi making project with ten different youth groups (that one went on for months), and weaving projects with a number of schools for example.
And I teach at other locations. This year I have taught at Higham Hall four times, weaving, spinning on a spinning wheel, spinning on a hand spindle and a fibre and yarn retreat. They have already booked me for next year if you fancy a retreat… The workshops for Scottish Fibres have gone on for years. Two a year usually, although this year we have added in extra ones, one on spindle spinning and one on weaving. And we do them at yarn festivals too. Look out for us at Perth Festival of Yarn this year.
Then there are the fibre and yarn Retreats at The Old School. They are completely awesome. Only in February/March and October/November each year, because The Old School gets very busy and cannot fit us in at other times. So who wouldn’t want to come on an exclusive Retreat at a 4 star, rather special, quirky and unique guest house? With wood burning stoves, panormic views and each of the four bedrooms a whole, lovingly restored classroom. Did I say it has 9.8 on Trip Advisor and a Taste Scotland award?
Oh, and I do a few ‘cosy courses’ courses here at my home each year. We are just about to launch our 1-1 bespoke retreats at our place, so it is an exciting time.
Yeah, like I said, courses are what we do…