Certificate of Competency for Hand Spinning

Posted by VP for ER on 7 April 2017 | 0 Comments

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Interested in a Certificate of Competency for Hand Spinning?

Some members, whilst loving the freedom of creativity, have recently expressed a desire for a more technical and qualified approach to spinning. The committee resolved to follow this up via the Hand Weavers and Spinners Guild of New South Wales Inc. and agreed at the AGM to pursue this for interested members.

The NSW Guild is offering Certificates of Competency in both Hand Spinning and Hand Weaving. Outside NSW this is run on the basis that interested people in various locations form themselves into “study groups” and work through the course together. A few competent spinners in each group will need at act as facilitators/mentors. Ideally, they will have done the course before. If not, they will need to feel competent to follow the course requirements to mentor the group members. Don’t despair if there are only a few people in parts of Tasmania interested – all sorts of ways exist to find good communication and support.

Each member of the group must become financial members of the NSW Guild (a requirement when registering to do the certificate), as well as pay $150 to do the Certificate. Before I hear any howls about money, consider that the cost of registration covers the cost of a rigorous assessment process of each participant’s portfolio of work. A lot of time and expertise will be invested on the part of the assessors.

The Certificate of Competence in Hand Spinning has been revised since a number of Tasmania’s Guild members completed the course. It comprises now two self-guided courses of study:

  • Certificate of Competence in Hand Spinning, and

  • Advanced Certificate of Competence in Hand Spinning

I had the pleasure of catching up with Eleanor Igoe from the NSW Guild at the Bothwell Spin-In to discuss the Competency Certificate requirements. She advised me the revised course booklets will not be printed but will be available on request as PDF documents at no charge. Also, and there will be no exceptions, raw wool has to be used. If you cannot use raw wool, you cannot do the course. The first booklet is here and includes Information and a Registration Form.

By way of information, the Certificate of Competence in Hand Spinning and the Advanced Certificate of Competence in Hand Spinning were developed by the Hand Weavers and Spinners Guild of New South Wales Inc. The courses cover the following topics:

  • knowledge and use of spinning equipment and tools

  • study of various fibres such as wool, cotton, mohair, alpaca, flax, ramie, hemp, silk and cashmere; and synthetic fibres

  • study of design aspects such as colour theory and designer yarns.

As the NSW Guild offers workshops throughout the year, there are always several workshops offered in their Summer and Winter schools that target CCHS competencies. Tasmania’s Guild may like to consider sending people to attend these workshops via the bursary system, especially as this would entail return teaching to the groups in Tasmania.

People interested may also glean further information and support from the CCHS Ravelry group at: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/certificate-of-competence-in-handspinning It is a virtual meeting place for current, past (graduated) and future participants. Interested people are welcome to join this group and introduce yourself - the more, the merrier I’m told. If Guild members have questions, Eleanor advises the best way may be through the Ravelry group as you may raise a topic that others may also be interested in discussing.

Once a spinner has completed the Certificate of Competence in Hand Spinning, you may then go on and attempt the Advanced Certificate.


  • You must become a financial member of the NSW Guild – between $50-$65 see http://www.nsweave.org.au/about/join/
  • Cost of certificate registration including assessment fee:
  • Certificate of Competence in Hand Spinning $150
  • Advanced Certificate of Competence in Hand Spinning $200 (registration after the first certificate is completed

So, who is interested? Please email me at eva@ruzicka.id.au so I can get the numbers for the Committee (even if you have already personally indicated interest). If you feel you can facilitate a group, please also indicate your interest to me. We’ll need to match up people around the State as much as possible or find ways to facilitate mentoring.

Eva Ruzicka

President - 2017