Today was a busy day. I spent it in the company of around 90 year 3 children at my son’s school. They are doing a topic of farming, and I had offered to go in and show them the journey that wool takes from the sheep to yarn and beyond. Of course I couldn’t take photos whilst there, and I was far too busy anyway! But here is my own next generation doing a spot of carding earlier in the year.
At school we looked at what fibres could be spun, including silk, cotton, flax, angorra, and alpaca and of course wool. I had some sample of some of these and passed them around.
We looked at raw fleece, felt the lanolin in it, and the children insisted on smelling it too! We thought about the process the fleece goes through, from washing, carding and spinning, to dyeing and being made into a product of some kind.
To get them thinking about what spinning does, they first had some newspaper cut up into similar lengths to a lock of fleece. How could they string these together only using their hands and the paper. All of the groups asked if they could lick it! Only a couple of children out of the 90 figured out the twisting of it (and one of those was my own son, who kind of knew anyway!)
There was just enough time for some of the children to have a go at carding and spinning, and they kept their spun wool as a memento of the day.
There were some interesting questions, and some interesting ideas. It was absolutely exhausting, but the response from the children was fantastic. I just wish I had enough time for them all to have a go.