The Northern Ireland Alpaca Group
We are delighted that the NI Alpaca Group will be joining us for Spinning Yarns bringing these endearing animals each day, showcasing alpaca fleece products and providing information and demonstrations on alpaca fibre and the process of working it from the animal through to the finished product.
The Northern Ireland Alpaca Group is a regional group of the British Alpaca Society, bringing together a growing number of alpaca owners, breeders and enthusiasts from across Northern Ireland. Alpacas are one of the camelid species, closely related to the llama and originate from the high plain in west-central South America.
We are going to be yarn bombing Antrim Castle Gardens for Spinning Yarns. We will be decorating Spinning Yarns with all sorts of colourful knitted and crocheted pieces and would love you to get involved.
Antrim Reaching Out High St Church Group who produced amazing decorations for Spinning Yarns last year will be with us again and over the weekend they will be holding a yarn bombing drop-in workshop. Everyone is welcome to pay a visit and chat to these creative ladies. Get involved and make a manadalas or flower to help us transform Spinning Yarns into a sea of colour once again.
Check out the 2018 photo gallery to see some of the fantastic yarn bombing from last year’s festival.
The Guild of Spinners Weavers and Dyers
The Guild of Spinners Weavers and Dyers are a group of craftspeople dedicated to the preservation and advancement of the handcrafts of spinning, weaving and dyeing. They meet together monthly from September to May to share ideas, knowledge, techniques and often fibres. Members range from beginners to experienced crafts people and everyone is welcome. The Guild can point you in the right direction for tuition, equipment and supplies and are always happy to welcome new members.
We are delighted that the Guild will be joining us for Spinning Yarns where they will be displaying their craft items as well as demonstrating wheel and spindle spinning. Come and have a go!
Mindful Crochet and Knitting for Health and Well Being
This year at Spinning Yarns we are introducing the opportunity for you to try out mindful knitting and crochet. Drop in to our health and wellbeing tent and meet our team of mindful crafters led by Yarn with Joanne.
Find out about the multiple health benefits of crochet and knitting whether as a beginner or expert and how you can really improve both physical and mental health and, as such, your quality of life. Whether you just want to have a chat with the crafters, find out more about mindful knitting and crochet or try it out for yourself why not join us at Spinning Yarns and try something new.
Joanne has been knitting and crocheting for over 50 years and opened Yarn with Joanne, a local yarn shop in Newtownards, in 2017. She previously worked in the Health Service with 35 years Public and Mental Health related experience. Joanne has been practicing Mindfulness for 9 years and completed Mindfulness Teacher Training with Bangor University.
This year at Spinning Yarns, the Hookery Craft Group will be hosting a drop-in area where folks can come and talk about anything yarn related at any time throughout the festival. We welcome interest from women, men and children. The atmosphere will be relaxed, friendly and supportive.
Come along and learn to knit or crochet, find out about different yarn weights and origins, learn about what equipment you will need to start a new hobby, how to cast on and cast off or how to read a simple pattern. Come and tell us about how you came to knit or crochet and share your stories with us.
There will be help on hand and one-to-one opportunities from experienced knitters and crocheters.
On display will be The Estate, a 9ft x 6ft 2D yarn representation of the Borough of Antrim and Newtownabbey which has been completed by the Hookery group. It was first on show at the 2018 Spinning Yarns Festival. This unique piece of craftwork highlights many fascinating facts for resident and visitor alike. Historic landmarks, places of interest, heroes and heroines past are represented and blended together in a mix of wool and thread.
The Hookery Craft Group was established in 2010 by three local librarians all of whom had an interest in knitting and crochet. All current members of this small but enthusiastic group either live or work within the Borough.