Saturday 8 February 2014

Guest Blogger Week 102 ~ Earth Moods

I would like to say a huge welcome
to Bernie

Hello and a very warm welcome to my guest blog entry for CrochetAddictUK.
My name is Bernie and I am a Spinner specialising in the spinning of Silk Yarns. 
I belong to ‘The Rampton Spinners’ in Cambridgeshire and as such, 
am a member of the Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers. 

I have been spinning ever since my three daughters were small.  
I was looking for a craft to take up that fitted in with being a full time mother 
and something that would allow me to socialise with other people. 
After attending a demonstration and talk, by a local Spinner, I knew that spinning was for me. 
At the end of the talk I asked if the speaker would be willing to teach me how to spin 
and not only did this dear lady agree to teach me 
but that was the start of an enduring friendship that has now lasted for almost 27 years.

This is a photo of my newest wheel, a Victoria foldup wheel made by the Dutch firm Louet. 
The wheel is named after their granddaughter. 
I love this wheel; it spins silk beautifully and folds up in a couple of minutes, 
fitting into a rucksack type carrier. 
My Victoria is in an Oak finish (my favourite wood). 
I can pop it in the basket of my bicycle and cycle off to spin with friends 
or to the bi-monthly meeting of the Rampton Spinners. 
Victoria comes on holiday with me too, 
most memorable was an idyllic holiday sitting on the back of a friend’s narrow boat 
spinning a silk that sparkled in the sunlight 
(I sat spinning and thinking how a fairy story could easily have 
evolved from the idea of spinning straw into gold). 
I am used to spinning in public, often joining with other spinners in demonstrations 
and public displays. 
It is a very social craft, you will find Spinners are more than happy to talk about spinning, 
so if you come across a spinner please stop and say ‘Hello’, 
mostly they will be happy to answer questions. 
The sight of someone sitting spinning on the back of a narrow boat 
certainly attracts attention but believe me, 
nothing like the attention that my spinning companion draws. 

We have the privilege of sharing our lives with a noble Deerhound. 
The Grey Hairy One is usually close by me when I spin 
and it is often on walks with him that I find inspiration for my spinning. 
Watching the ever changing landscape, listening to birds 
and quietly contemplating the world around me gives me time to think on spinning projects 
and what colour palate to try next.

About a year ago one of my daughters suggested that I start a BlogSpot 
to share what it is that inspires me to spin silk. 
With her encouragement I opened my shop on Etsy 
where I could showcase my finished yarns and so ‘Earth Moods’ came into existence. 
The background to my BlogSpot is a photo of one of my silk paintings, 
some of which may, in the future, find their way onto my Etsy shop, 
and along with the Celtic font heading (I am of Irish descent), 
I like to think that my blog has an ethereal look, 
which conveys how I feel when spinning; 
calm and peaceful. 
I will often listen to an eclectic range of music whilst spinning, 
the soundtracks to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films 
are frequently playing, but so also are Gregorian chants, 
Ludovico Einaudi, Softly Spoken by Phamie Gow, Enya, Kate Bush, 
Handel and any Harp music 
(My eldest daughter is a Harpist, her way of relaxing from teaching primary age children). 
I think spinning for me is a time to focus and to bring some serenity within, 
something that modern life doesn’t always allow us to achieve.

Dying silk in repeatable colour ways is not easy, 
so although I do dye silk fibres, 
I also source silk fibres that are hand painted or dyed that can be repeated. 
All the silk yarns are hand spun by me, on my Victoria wheel. 
Father Christmas did bring me a beautiful lightweight Drop Spindle for spinning silk, 
so maybe in the future some of those yarns will be available too.
I have recently attended a Crochet Workshop held by the excellent Crochet Tutor and Designer, 
Joanne Scrace, at The Cambridge Sheep Shop 
and I am now thinking about making plans to expand by producing some 
Crochet and Knitting ‘Kits’ to include patterns and silk yarns for  ‘Earth Moods’ 
that will hopefully, be available, later in 2014.  

I hope you have enjoyed this blog entry 
and look forward to you visiting my blog to find out more about my yarns, 
the grey hairy one and myself. 
I can be found at: and 
my Etsy shop is at: 
or follow the link from my blog.

 Writing this blog entry has been great fun 
and before I go I would like to say an enormous ‘Thank You’ 
to Susan at CrochetAddictUK for giving me the opportunity 
to give others an insight into my spinning world and mention a few other sites 
and links you might like to visit. 
Pufflings Place is my daughter’s Blog, she is an Animator as is her partner Geoff. 
A Hat full of wool is a blog about crochet, knitting and all things woolly by my daughter’s friend. 
I love Stephanie MacPhee’s books and find them just the thing to read on my kindle at bedtime. 
I often pop by her excellent blog. (Stephanie McPhee, author, knitter) (Joanne Scrace’s BlogSpot) (a wonderful British magazine available primarily for spinners – 
but well worth a read and supporting if you love spinning, knitting, crochet or weaving)
Thanks for dropping by!
Bernie Witchalls

Thank you ever so much Bernie!
I am very envious of your spinning skills.
I hope you'll join me in thanking Bernie 
and I hope you'll check out her sites!


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I love reading everything you put and I will try and reply but it just depends on my health.
Thanks Sue