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TITLE
Spinning & Weaving Around the World (7 of 15)
EXTERNAL ID
AB_EXTRAVAGANSEY_11
PLACENAME
Helmsdale
DISTRICT
Kildonan, Loth and Clyne
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
SUTHERLAND: Kildonan
DATE OF RECORDING
2010
PERIOD
2010s
CREATOR
Norman Kennedy
SOURCE
Moray Firth Gansey Project
ASSET ID
1204
KEYWORDS
knitting
jumpers
traditional crafts
weaving
spinning
ganseys
jerseys
wool
waulking songs

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This audio extract is from 'Extravagansey', a two-day celebration of the fisherman gansey (jersey or jumper) held in June 2010 in Helmsdale, Sutherland. Organised by the Moray Firth Gansey Project, the event included a tweed 'waulking' session, traditional songs and music, and flax-spinning demonstrations. It featured Norman Kennedy, internationally-known Scots and Gaelic singer and storyteller, master craftsman and textile historian.

In the extract Norman talks about Shetland women who used to card, spin and knit woollen items, using small, light spinning wheels for fine wool. He also mentions spinning techniques and traditions in the Faroe Islands.

Norman Kennedy, was born in Aberdeen into a family of shipbuilders and merchant seamen. He learned songs, stories and folklore from family members and neighbours and also picked up the skills of the last of the local handweavers during his teenage years. He travelled regularly to the island of Barra in the Outer Hebrides and learned to card, spin, and weave wool, using traditional methods including waulking the cloth. He also absorbed traditional Gaelic songs and culture.

Norman moved to the USA in 1966 and since that time he has kept alive the singing and weaving traditions. For six years he was the master weaver at the living history museum at Colonial Williamsburg. He also founded the Marshfield School of Weaving in Vermont in 1976. In 2003, Norman was awarded the NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) National Heritage Fellowship for his work in preserving the traditions of Scottish ballads and handweaving.

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Spinning & Weaving Around the World (7 of 15)

SUTHERLAND: Kildonan

2010s

knitting; jumpers; traditional crafts; weaving; spinning; ganseys; jerseys; wool; waulking songs;

Moray Firth Gansey Project

Norman Kennedy: Handloom Weaver & Traditional Singer

This audio extract is from 'Extravagansey', a two-day celebration of the fisherman gansey (jersey or jumper) held in June 2010 in Helmsdale, Sutherland. Organised by the Moray Firth Gansey Project, the event included a tweed 'waulking' session, traditional songs and music, and flax-spinning demonstrations. It featured Norman Kennedy, internationally-known Scots and Gaelic singer and storyteller, master craftsman and textile historian.<br /> <br /> In the extract Norman talks about Shetland women who used to card, spin and knit woollen items, using small, light spinning wheels for fine wool. He also mentions spinning techniques and traditions in the Faroe Islands. <br /> <br /> Norman Kennedy, was born in Aberdeen into a family of shipbuilders and merchant seamen. He learned songs, stories and folklore from family members and neighbours and also picked up the skills of the last of the local handweavers during his teenage years. He travelled regularly to the island of Barra in the Outer Hebrides and learned to card, spin, and weave wool, using traditional methods including waulking the cloth. He also absorbed traditional Gaelic songs and culture.<br /> <br /> Norman moved to the USA in 1966 and since that time he has kept alive the singing and weaving traditions. For six years he was the master weaver at the living history museum at Colonial Williamsburg. He also founded the Marshfield School of Weaving in Vermont in 1976. In 2003, Norman was awarded the NEA (National Endowment for the Arts) National Heritage Fellowship for his work in preserving the traditions of Scottish ballads and handweaving.