Spinning workshop -Day 1

As this week starts, my mom and I are going to be taking a spinning workshop at the craft center!! Ben was so cute he said, “Well it’s repetitive and back breaking so you’re sure to love it.” 🙂 Love that guy. He’s so funny. I have wanted to learn how to spin for years and although it’s rather impractical from a business standpoint, I feel that as a fibers artist, it’s sort of in my job description to learn all that I can about spinning and fibers in general.

We had the basic introduction to the class last night. Jeanne Brady (My fibers instructor from school) and Claudia Lee (a WONDERFUL paper maker/ former full time fiber artist) are co-teaching the class. Jeanne will be teaching the dyeing aspect of the class (Acid dyes!) And Claudia will be teaching the spinning aspect, with assistance from Jeanne. Claudia actually taught Jeanne how to spin when Jeanne first came to the craft center. Claudia was the artist in residence for a year before Jeanne began teaching here.

Anyway, they are both really cool gals and it felt WONDERFUL to be back in the studio where I fell in love with fibers. Last night was so fun! It was just great to be around other people that are excited about fibers and yarn. I didn’t feel like a complete nerd like I normally do when I start to gush over a beautiful hand dyed skein of wool. (While my in-laws love me, they think I’m an EPIC fibers nerd…which is true…but it’s good to know I’m not alone at least)

Speaking of wool, it was EVERYWHERE last night!! I brought my wool from my sheepies (Of which I am quite proud, even if the quality isn’t great and there are second cuts mixed in with the top wool) another lady brought a HUGE bag full of Alpaca over which I was drooling! (She said she’d share though) Plus we get two huge roving balls each (one white, one greyish/tan) and we get to process a raw fleece.

I’m honestly not sure what I’m more excited about, learning to wash, card and dye a raw fleece or learning how to spin it into yarn. Claudia showed us a bunch of things that she’s spun and plied last night to give us an idea of what you can do with spinning. There’s such a COOL design factor you can add by making your own handspun yarn. I’m so glad we’re learning to ply in this class because Claudia had a TON of stuff that was actually just commercial yarn that she plied together. When you ply yarns, you can insert paper scraps, other fibers, bits of yarn (Finally a use for thrums!), even feathers! (which looks awesome, btw) I already have an idea for a cool plied yarn. I saved all the excess fringe I cut off from my hand dyed pillow fronts that I wove for the spring TACA fair because they were so pretty and I couldn’t bring myself to throw them away. They are GORGEOUS! Anyway, I think it would be AWESOME to ply some of those into a yarn. 🙂

Class starts at 9:00 today and it can’t come soon enough! Today we’ll be processing the raw fleece. Washing and carding and we’ll do some practice spinning to try to get the hang of it. Jeanne said that it’s horribly frustrating at first but all it takes is one full dark day of spinning and then you’ll get the hang of it. 🙂 I’m sure I’ll get frustrated, but I think going in with the knowledge that it’ll keep breaking and look awful the first time helps and perhaps I won’t get as frustrated? I mean I made it through timing drills in the throwing class. Gracious that was embarrassing. But by the end of it, I had improved my throwing skills so much that I couldn’t make a basic thrown vessel take 5 minutes. I had the thing formed in about a minute.

Anyway, I’ll try to get some pictures this week. I’m basically stealing my mom’s camera. 🙂 Love it! …I need to get a new one. I miss my dear little point and shoot. 😦 Well I have to go get ready to go!
~JoAnna

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One thought on “Spinning workshop -Day 1

  1. So excited for you! Today should be neat to see the link between this raw wool and that nice roving. YAY! And I’m glad you get to learn plying too! What type of wheels are you using? I’ll probably know that later. And I hope you hijack your mum’s camera 🙂 YAY!

    PS. About witch hazel… yeah, it has lots of uses. It can soothe insect bites, bruises, painful veins. I read about it last night but I don’t remember what property does that. It also cleans and tightens skin – the astringent part – which is why I’m dousing my face with it every time I wash it so I can clean out my pores reeeallll good. 🙂 haha. And, its all natural! Some kind of extract or something from a plant. But it smells really weird/gross. I might try to find a witch hazel based astringent with some other stuff in it that smells better. Anyway. Sorry. Rambling. 🙂

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