Welcome to the home of the Nutmeg Spinners Guild! Nutmeg Spinners Guild is Connecticut’s statewide guild for handspinners. The Guild has been an active part of Connecticut’s fiber arts scene for more than 20 years. Our membership is large and diverse, coming from throughout Connecticut and nearby states.
We meet five times a year on the first Saturday of the month in October, February, April and June. In December we meet the second Saturday. Meetings run from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM.
Our next meeting will be held on April 4, 2020.
Great Wheels, Soup, and Spinning
Have you ever wondered what it was like to spin on a Great Wheel? Do you have one and would like some coaching to increase your skill level? Also known as Walking Wheels, Great wheels were prevalent across the U.S. in the 1700’s. Do you have a Great Wheel? If so, bring it to our April meeting!
April’s meeting will feature Iris Westcott of the Rhode Island Spinners Guild. You may have met Iris at the Fiber Festival of New England in November, where she was demonstrating on her Great Wheel. Iris will bring two of her wheels, one with a bat’s head which spins more slowly and is thus easier to learn on, and another wheel with an accelerator head. She will demonstrate her technique for great wheel spinning and will offer the opportunity for spinners to try either wheel. She will discuss and name the working parts and talk about how to perform simple repairs and wheel maintenance. Iris has also offered to take a look at wheels that guild members bring in, and provided these wheels have all working parts, she will help us learn to spin on our own wheels. Iris offered the following:
Things for spinners to ponder/gather/practice prior to the meeting (from Iris):
Fiber prep is key, because you’re drafting one-handed. Thus, my favorite fiber for spinning on a great wheel is exquisitely prepared hand-carded rolags (I use Norman Kennedy’s technique and can demonstrate that, too, if you like), or a pin-draft roving (Liz at Fibers4Ewe in Putnam used to make the best, if anyone still has some of that), or carded batts that I tear into strips.
The drafting technique I use is called draft against twist, and if all is well (I.e., my wheel is working perfectly and my fiber prep is sublime) I can easily slide into a nice long-draw. I also sometimes use a “fanning” technique where I will “fan out” the fibers with my left hand as I spin, as well as the technique called “spinning from the fold.”
The important thing to remember in great wheel spinning is that you’re drafting one-handed, and left-handed at that, because the right hand is busy spinning the wheel. Members might wish to practice left-handed drafting on their flyer wheels.
Now, about that Soup! Barbara Campbell and Kim Slosson have offered to provide homemade soup for lunch. During February’s meeting we are asking for volunteers to bring bread and other items to help round out our meal.
Directions to meetings can be found here.