Saturday, August 12, 2017

Spinning at the Scottish Crannog Center

Each summer I take my kids back to the UK to visit family and friends, leaving my hubby behind with the dog. I do enjoy being a tourist and this year, while staying with my folks in Perthshire, we visited the Scottish Crannog Center. I didn't know very much about this place before our visit, thinking Crannog was the name of a place rather than an actual thing but seeing a real Scottish loch appealed to me - the center is based at the beautiful Loch Tay.



I now know that a crannog is a man made dwelling built on water. They have been around for 5000 years in Scotland and were still being build and lived in in the 17th century. There are hundreds of unexplored crannogs in Scotland and we had a guided tour of a replica of a 2,500 year old crannog that had been discovered in the 1990s submerged in Loch Tay. Underground archeology has revealed how these early Iron Age people lived and what technologies they used in their everyday life. And this is when it got even more fascinating for me!

Weaving and spinning were two of the technologies we were able to have a go at in the hands on second part of our tour. I bought a drop spindle at Houston Fiber Fest encouraged by my spinning and weaving friends and it has languished with my yarn collection but I was able to have a go! The hat and cloak were not my own - the center provided them because it was a little chilly on the loch!


I was awful at spinning only managing a few centimeters before the yarn split but I am not disheartened. My lovely crafty friend Catherine Peacher, @Craftingoasisbykat on Instagram, has provided me with a link to a helpful video Basic Drop Spindle Tutorial by MeganERiskTutorials and I got a book out from the library to help me too - Spinning and Dyeing Yarn by Ashley Martineau. I will report back on my progress at a later date. I'd love to know if you've had a go at spinning or if you are indeed proficient!