Orkney’s Spin in Public Day Event

Saturday, 15th September was World Wide Spin in Public Day.  It was pure coincidence that (a) Kirkwall’s monthly spinning group met on that day and (b) Mike Williams, the spindle maker, was in the County.  But given those two facts we HAD to have a Spin in Public Day event!!

Jan Judge runs the spinning group at For Art’s Sake, and given that the weather at this time of year could be anything, we decided to have the event indoors but to invite folk to come and have a go at spindle spinning.

And folk did come, and did have a go!  I had a selection of Mike’s spindles with me and he had others for sale.  Some of the folk I taught had already spun on a wheel, but several had never spun anything.

The photo above includes Jan Judge (bottom left) who runs the Kirkwall group, and Joy Livit (in red) who taught me to spin nearly 20 years ago. I have a lot to thank her for!

As well as complete beginners we had spindlers trying Mike’s spindles for the first time, and others trying his Turkish spindles for the first time.

During the morning the two lasses who were doing the tea and coffee seemed to be watching with interest, so when it got quite I asked them if they would like a go.  Neither had done anything like it before, but very soon they were producing good yarns.

As I didn’t have a minute spare, Mike very kindly took these pix for me.  So I have to include this lovely one of Sarah, his wife:

A photographer from the local paper (the Orcadian) came along and took some shots as I taught two of the spinning group who hadn’t used a spindle before.  The published pic was a nice one, showing a group of us in varying stages of thread-making.  And he even managed to get it when I wasn’t talking…!

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2 thoughts on “Orkney’s Spin in Public Day Event

  1. I’ve seen the occasion photo of you not talking too….. Lovely photos. I was spinning in a wooden Iron Age-style round house nearly at Lands End, about as far from you as it’s possible to get!

  2. Oh, oblivious as usual, I missed this “World Wide Spin In Public Day” . For shame, I would have loved to join in from Northern California. I didn’t even touch my wheel (oh, but maybe just to move it out of the way so I could plug in the fan … lol) I am really pleased to get glimpses of your world there, and seeing the lasses learn the old trade.

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