Kangaroo Island students at Parndana learn traditional fibre crafts

Students form the Parndana campus of Kangaroo Island Community Education have been learning some traditional skills thanks to the KI Spinners and Weavers Guild

KICE teacher Shaheen Bradford recently invited guild member Ashley Blucher to spend time with her primary class at the Parndana campus.

Ashley visited for a number of hours, demonstrating how prepare wool for spinning, the parts and functions of the spinning wheel.

And then the exciting moment when the wool fibre is spun into yarn and then plied for strength.

The plied yarn can then be used in a number of ancient traditional crafts such as knitting, crocheting, felting, weaving and tricoting.

Ashley went on to teach the students how to spin and ply the wool.

Parndana lies in the heartland of Kangaroo Island, a major wool growing region, with many of the children experiencing this activity coming from environments with strong links to the wool industry.

To see the familiar raw product used is such a way was such a meaningful process for all involved.

Kangaroo Island Spinners and Weavers was established at Parndana in 1972 by the grandmothers, great grandmothers and a couple of great grandfathers of some of these children.

Ashley is "Granny Gray" to a couple of these students.

Imagine if the wool shorn from the school sheep by students from the Agricultural studies at Parndana was taken from the board and students went on to spin and process the wool in another part of the Curriculum!

As can be seen from the photos taken by Shaheen, the total involvement and engagement of the students with this experience is there to be witnessed.

This experience was very enriching for all who participated. Ashley said that she could have spent days with the children.

The students and Shaheen echoed these sentiments enthusiastically. The guild thanks Shaheen and KICE for the invitation.

What happens to the yarn after it is spun by the artists of Kangaroo Island Spinners and Weavers can be seen at their shop on Telegraph Road, Kingscote, the upcoming Parndana Show and at a street stall in Dauncey Street on Monday, October 14. - Babs Wiadrowski