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Sue Macniven - Tutor, Handspinner, Knitter, Experiments in Textiles.

I am Sue Macniven, a textile tutor and fly fishing instructor living in Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland.

I come from a family of textile and art teachers and learnt to knit as a small child. Over the years I have added tatting, macramé, weaving, tapestry weaving, feltmaking, drawing, machine knitting and of course spinning.

Spinning is my greatest passion and the technicalities of spinning blended with a good dose of intuition and a practical hands on feel for the fibre is what motivates me.

I started spinning back in 1986 when the majority of spinners used raw fleece spun in the grease, my how things have changed!

I called my company Handspun Exotics because the fibres that really make my heart sing are the softest, finest and most beautiful. Cashmere, silk, Alpaca, camel down etc are what I am drawn to. I also love fine crimpy wools and the process of taking a lovely fleece from raw to fully processing to dyeing and then knitting gives me great pleasure. Teaching spinning is very rewarding and the ability to handle the shortest finest to the longest fibres is all about understanding the character of the fibre and getting the most out of it by adjusting technique.

I have over the years gone from making traditional things such as gloves, socks, sweaters to more experimental knitted shawls using multi colours, stitches and short row shaping.

I have taught at every guild from Nottingham down to Cornwall and many of them more than once and since moving back to Scotland in 2007 some of the more Northern guilds too.

I hold 2 world records for “the Longest Thread” a super fine 2 ply yarn

I have written spinning articles for a number of magazines and had my work featured in books on craft and spinning.