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Workshops & Private Lessons Available

Spinning & Dyeing

Beginner's Wheel Spinning Drop Spindle Creating Art Batts Beyond Basics Skirting & Scouring
Natural Dyeing Microwave Low-impact Dyeing Novelty Yarns Wool Combing Know Your Spinning Wheel

 

Weaving A Life Workshops
The Weaving a Life Process is an approach to re-visioning oneself and one’s possibilities through a hands-on process of creating a series of simple weavings called keyforms. The keyforms – amulet, bowl, doll, belt, mask, sacred bundle, and shawl – are elemental forms common to all cultures throughout the world. They become physical manifestations of personal meaning for the one who creates them. The woven forms hold symbolic significance in themselves, and form a kind of vessel or template for the individual to create a unique and personal experience of a path to self-discovery. Weaving a Life is a personal process for revealing the vision and gifts you already hold inside.

I am a certified Weaving Circle Leader
Please call or email to inquire about classes.

 

Beginner's Wheel Spinning

This class focuses on creating beautiful, unique yarn using spinning wheels. Plenty of time will be given to establish the essential coordination skills and basic techniques every spinner must master to gain competence in spinning. You will venture into areas of fiber preparation, tools of the trade, terminology, drafting and plying techniques. Overviews of wheel mechanics, maintenance and spinning history will be scattered throughout the class. By the end of the class you will be putting yarn onto the bobbin, admiring your first skein of yarn and leaving with the confidence to continue spinning on your own! No experience is required, nor do you need to own sheep! We will supply the fiber and even the wheel if you do not own one. For those bringing a wheel please be sure it is in excellent working condition. Should you have questions about the condition of your wheel please call Patty at 802-254-9792 before the class.

 

Drop Spindle

The drop spindle is an ancient tool still being used today by man cultures of the word for spinning beautiful yarns and fibers. The are easy to use, economical, portable, and fun! Using a drop spindle makes learning to handspin easy. Ideal for beginners and advanced spinners, or anyone wanting to learn the skill of handspinning, but aren't ready to invest in expensive equipment. We begin by making our own CD drop spindle in this class, so no need to buy one... yet! Once you learn the art of drop spindle on you homemade spindle you can go shopping for an unlimited number of beautiful spindles available now. We will card wool with hand carders and learn some basic spinning techniques. Lots of information about fiber, washing and preparation will continue while students practise their new skills.

 

Creating Art Batts

Work through the variables involved with preparing and blending fibers and colors on a drum carder. Carding is a traditional method of preparing fleece and fibers for spinning soft, lofty yarns of varying fiber lengths. The purpose for carding is to separate and straighten the wool fibers. But the real fun begins when you start blending colors, fibers and textures! Clean out your fiber stash and even the leftover yarn from knitting or weaving projects to create a true one-of-a-kind yarn. Most of these techniques can be transferred to hand cards but once you work on a drum carder there's no going back. Instructor supplies drum carders and fiber.

 

Beyond Basics

This workshop is intended for spinners who have mastered basic spinning techniques. Topics include drafting techniques, beyond 2-ply, ways to measure yarn and how to spin for a project. Students will spin samples of novelty techniques and core spinning. With time permitting we will explore the techniques for adding in elements to create fun and fanciful yarns. There is homework that must be finished before the class begins. Instructions will be given at the time of registration.

 

Skirting & Scouring

Just in time for the shearing season! In the morning we will learn how to skirt, judge and prepare a fleece for handspinning or to send to a mill for processing. We will have hands-on instruction at the skirting table and discuss what makes for the perfect fleece. Even if you don't raise your own sheep, this knowledge is essential to the handspinner when choosing a fleece at a show or festival. In the afternoon we will learn a variety of washing techniques. We will talk about breeds and projects. Make the most from your investment. No more crying over felted wool.

 

Natural Dyeing

Natural dyes are dyes or colorants derived from plants, invertebrates, or minerals. The majority of natural dyes are vegetable dyes from plant sources –roots, berries, bark, leaves, and wood—and other organic sources such as fungi and lichens. In this workshop we will dye with dried or fresh plants (if available) and Earthhues - a processed powder from natural plants. We will examine a variety of dyes stuff, use different mordants, make some dyed samples and record your dyeing experiments. A day filled with fun and color!

 

Microwave Low-impact Dyeing 

Greener Shades has come up with a low-impact chemical dye. While having all the convenience, fastness, color dependability it has a low impact on the environment. When combined with microwave techniques we can achieve immediate gratification. This workshop will teach how to make concentrated dye stocks and how to use them. We will dye scoured fleece, roving and skeins using the microwave to set the dyes. This is a wonderful way to see how the same use of colors can look so different depending on dyeing and fiber preparation.

 

Novelty Yarns 

Novelty yarns include a wide variety of yarns made with unusual features, structure or fiber composition such as slubs, inclusions, metallic or synthetic fibers and varying thickness introduced during spinning. In this workshop we will explore a variety of yarns including slubs, cocoons, coils, curls, knots, locks and just about anything you can think of. This class will teach the student the structure of yarns and ply directions in order to spin new exciting yarns of their own creation. Many novelty classes are designed for bulky spinning wheels, but this class focuses on the average spinning wheel. All techniques can be used on a bulky wheel as well.

 

Wool Combing

Combing is a method for preparing fiber for spinning worsted yarn. Combing separates out the short fibers by means of row of steel pins. The fibers in the 'top' it produces, have been straightened and lie parallel to each other producing a smooth and firm yarn. This workshop will teach the basic principles of using wool combs, hand-held Viking combs and mini combs. We will also spend time blending colors with a blending hackle. This is an excellent opportunity to try combs before purchasing.

 

Know Your Spinning Wheel 

This informative class for intermediate and advanced spinners will help you to better understand how your wheel works, especially the dreaded ratios. You will also learn how to troubleshoot when things go wrong, feel at ease with your wheel, and gain confidence to create any type of yarn you desire. If you love your wheel she will love you back.

  • Which wheel do you have?
  • What do you want to spin?
  • Drive Ratios
  • Pulleys and Tension Exercise
  • Wheel Maintenance
  • Trouble Shooting
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