Please introduce yourself...
Hi, I'm Stella Kyte and I am a volunteer tour guide and workshop leader here at the Woolmill.
Why did you want to start volunteering at the Woolmill?
I started volunteering here when it opened in 2012 because we had just recently moved up to the area. I was aware of the Woolmill because I had visited the area quite a lot before we lived here and I had watched the development of the restoration. As someone new in the area, I thought it would be a good way of using my skills as a fairly retired primary school teacher, and it was also because it was a good way of making friends with people in the community and being a part of it.
What makes Knockando Woolmill so special?
It's uniqueness. The setting is just amazing - it's so picturesque and beautiful. The wildlife you see around here is absolutely stunning. But I love the history. I love the fact that we are taking about people that were very ordinary working class people that were struggling to make a living.... in a way we are keeping them alive. History is more than just kings and queens and acts in parliament, its about normal people.
What's your favourite workshop to teach?
I enjoy all of the workshops. So far it's only been ladies, but they have all been lovely. They seem to appreciate a bit of space to do something just for them, something that isn't for the family, or housework - just something to relax and socialise. So in someways what we are doing in the workshop is almost secondary.
If you would like to attend one of Stella's workshops, click here for more information.
What is a common question people ask you on tours?
I get so many questions... it's the bizarre ones that I remember. Someone asked me if I was part of the family that owned the Mill. Someone asked if I lived in the cottage across the burn. There's just so many! Hopefully the tour I give is sufficient that they don't have too much question. However, it is lovely when I do get questions as it shows they are interested and engaged with what I am telling them.
If you would like a tour of the Woolmill, click here for more information.
Why are crafts so important?
I think it has been shown recently that crafts are important for peoples mental health - doing something creative is good for calming down and de-stressing. Crafts have been my life. I've never known a time when I wasn't able to knit or sew - I remember making clothes for my dolls when I was a child. Crafts is something that I've always done - I'm not good at sitting still!
What upcoming workshop are you most looking forward to?
The workshop I look forward to are the ones where I feel most confident about what I'm doing. So the Clootie Rug workshop, I've done it several times now and I feel like I'm teaching it better than what I was, just because I've done it a number of times. But as I said earlier, in someways what we are doing in the workshop is almost secondary to the social experience that people get from doing them.