All About The Spinning Barn
Hand Spinning Workshops, Fibre & Equipment
Who We Are
The Spinning Barn is located on our smallholding in Norfolk where you are warmly invited to spend a day in tranquil surroundings while you learn to hand spin our gorgeous wool.
We are passionate about preserving our nation's rare breed sheep and have chosen to keep the very rare North Ronaldsay sheep, which you may have heard of as the seaweed eating sheep. This is due to the way they have evolved to survive by eating the seaweed on the sea shores where they are confined for several months of the year on their native Orkney island. They come in such a fabulous range of colours but we have chosen shades of fawn and grey. You may also like to know that we keep all of our sheep for their whole lives. We love them all so much! In 2013 we introduced the unusual Icelandic sheep into our flock which have made a fabulous addition with their long, lustrous, dual-coated fibre.
During your visit you will be able to meet our gorgeous sheep who will also donate their wool for you to spin during your workshop. You can also read all about their wool in an article written by Theresa for PLY magazine.
Theresa & James
What We Do
At The Spinning Barn we regularly hold Hand Spinning workshops which can be tailor made to suit all levels of hand spinning. So whether you are an absolute beginner or an experienced spinner looking to enhance your current skills then there will be a workshop for you. They are available any day of the week including weekends and run from 10am until 4pm but it is not unusual to run over time. It's hard to stop when you are having such fun! The groups are very small to ensure that you receive lots of attention and understand the process fully.
Everything you will need to learn to spin is provided on the day so you can be sure of going home with your first hand spun skein of yarn. However, if you already have your own spinning wheel it is recommended that you bring it to the workshop to spin on to ensure it is working and you feel equipped to continue at home.
We also supply ready prepared fibre which can be used to hand spin or felt. You can choose from a wide range of commercially prepared fibres or from our home-produced wools from our own sheep. All of our wool is prepared by hand here on our smallholding where it is lightly washed, picked and carded all ready for you to use in whatever craft you choose. The wool spins beautifully either as a woollen or worsted preparation given its dual coated nature. Our fibres felt brilliantly either wet or dry and the natural colours lend themselves so well to a wide range of projects.
James hand crafts a range of hand spinning equipment too which can also be purchased during a workshop or in our online SHOP.
Gift Certificates are also available and make an ideal surprise present.
Why Choose Us
Hand spinning truly is an ancient art which has developed over thousands of years. Our North Ronaldsay sheep have not been changed for thousands of years so the whole experience is very traditional. All of our sheep will live with us for their whole lives and are very much our loved pets. We know each one by its bleat! We strive to ensure a good quality fleece and use very natural husbandry methods wherever possible.
Occasionally we source other rare breed fleeces from reputable breeders to enhance the range of wools available and add versatility for use in very specific spinning techniques. It is very important to us that we know where the fibre comes from. Only happy sheep will do! I am as passionate about my hand spinning as I am about my sheep. I aim to make the workshops and demonstrations fun, relaxed and inspiring. Nothing makes me happier than passing on the skills of this amazing craft and witnessing the joy of a new spinner. I do hope you feel inspired to learn. Why not take a look at what previous students have said about their experiences in our testimonials.