Thursday, 25 July, 2024

By The Fibreside

Knitting and spinning on the Sunshine Coast of BC

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Classes

As a Master Spinner graduate and instructor, I can customize a spinning class for length and content for your fibre event or location. Contact me to discuss!

Lectures

Lectures can be done either in person or virtually.

Yarn Construction for Fibre Artists

What makes certain yarns better for certain projects? Why do a perfectly lovely yarn and a great pattern sometimes just not work out? Different aspects of yarn construction impact the suitable end use of a yarn. When you are attempting to figure out a pattern for stash yarn, or trying to find yarn for a pattern, it is important to know how these factors interact so you can make an informed decision. (Note: can also be done as an in-person class with hands-on activities)

Ergonomics of Fibre Arts

As fibre artists, we love working with yarn and other fibres using various techniques, but any fibre art requires us to stay in certain positions for significant lengths of time and do certain motions over and over, whether knitting a sweater, warping a loom, or spinning on a wheel. These repetitive and sometimes sedentary positions and motions can impact us in physiological ways that can result in pain,
which could lead to us reducing the time we spend doing the arts we love. Join me as I draw on my decades of experience in both fibre arts and managing chronic pain, for this lecture on analysing your body and discovering potential weak points, making good ergonomic choices to prevent pain and injury, and adjusting if you do start experiencing pain while creating so you can keep working with fibre for many years to come!

Spinning Classes

Introduction to Spinning

Learning how to spin your own yarn doesn’t have to be terrifying, or expensive! Spindles cost much less than spinning wheels, have fewer moving parts (and fewer failure points!), and can allow you to become comfortable with each of the pieces of spinning before you try to tie them all together. Length: 1.5-3 hours

Introduction to Plant Fibres

Cellulose fibres are a completely different animal – or plant, really! – than wool and other protein fibres, so put aside everything you know about spinning and come join us at Fibre Camp 2020 to learn more about these fascinating fibres! Plant fibres are among the earliest fibres man ever spun, and can create wonderful yarns once you meet them in their comfort zone. This full-day class will help you leave behind your preconceptions about plant fibres, give you the tools and skills to learn to spin them, and introduce you to their long and fascinating history. Covering everything from extra-long flax to super-short cotton with a few stops in between, it will be a day of learning and experimentation that will leave you loving plant fibres at the end. Length: 6 hours

Conscious Choices in Spinning

Have you ever had a great pattern and great yarn that just didn’t work well together, whether commercial yarn or your own handspun? Don’t worry, we all have! Yarn construction makes certain yarns suitable for certain end uses and completely unsuitable for others. This half-day class will teach spinners about six different aspects of yarn construction and how they affect what your yarn is – and isn’t – good for once it is spun. You will also experiment with spinning outside your default zone and learn to be more deliberate about your choices of fibre and spinning techniques. Length: 6 hours

Rolags and Woollen Spinning

The popularity of blending boards has introduced many people to the wonders of rolags, and these beautiful preparations can create equally beautiful yarns. The rolag is intended to be spun with a woollen drafting technique, something that many people are not sure of how to do. This class will introduce you to the different ways to create rolags, two different woollen spinning techniques, and show you why you should add woollen spinning to your repertoire of spinning skills. Length: 3 hours

All About Worsted and Woollen

When I first started spinning, I heard the words ‘worsted’ and ‘woollen’ in the context of certain characteristics of yarn, but I never really found a resource that truly described what the terms meant, so I continued in ignorance of how important the distinction was. I mentioned to one of my early instructors that I was thinking of spinning some Wensleydale top woollen so the yarn would be softer, and she gave me a look. “Well, you can,” she said, “but it probably won’t work the way you think.” It took a while longer before I understood why she said that, and what worsted and woollen truly meant. These fundamental concepts are important to understand, and will help you spin the right yarn for the right project. Length: 3-6 hours

Luscious Luxury Fibres

Many spinners find luxury fibres like cashmere, camel, and angora in commercially prepared blends, but they are just as wonderful to spin on their own. Because of their unique characteristics, luxury fibres take some special considerations to spin outside a blend, and when preparing your own blends, there are factors to keep in mind to not only extend your yardage, but also to retain the luscious qualities of the fibres in the final yarn. In this full-day class, we’ll do a deep-dive exploration of silk, yak, camel, cashmere, and angora, and learn the best ways to spin and prepare them on their own and in blends for truly luxurious yarns.

Fibre Arts Classes

Yarn Construction for Fibre Artists

What makes certain yarns better for certain projects? Why do a perfectly lovely yarn and a great pattern sometimes just not work out? Different aspects of yarn construction impact the suitable end use of a yarn. When you are attempting to figure out a pattern for stash yarn, or trying to find yarn for a pattern, it is important to know how these factors interact so you can make an informed decision. Length: 1.5-3 hours

Beginner Knitting

Learn the basics of knitting – casting on, the knit stitch, and binding off – in this introductory class. You’ll make a simple cup cozy and start your journey into knitting. Length: 1.5-2 hours

Introduction to Wet Felting

Felting is the process of turning wool and other animal fibres into a matted sheet of fabric that does not come apart under tension. There are many ways to felt; this class focuses on the simplest one: wet felting. All you need is hot water and soap, and we can make wool into felt. Length: 1.5-2 hours

Introduction to Needle Felting

Felting is the process of turning wool and other animal fibres into a matted sheet of fabric that does not come apart under tension. There are many ways to felt; this class focuses on needle felting, which uses a sharp, barbed needle to create felt. Length: 1.5-2 hours

Creating Thrummed Accessories (Knitting)

Thrumming is a knitting technique from Newfoundland that incorporates pieces of unspun sheep’s wool into an accessory like hats, mittens, or slippers to create a warm, soft lining. Thrummed socks and slippers are excellent indoor footwear for winters on the West Coast, despite our warmer winters, and thrummed accessories make excellent gifts for people in less temperate climates. In this half-day class, you will begin a thrummed mitten to learn the basics of this technique, and be able to apply the concepts to any other accessory you desire. Length: 3 hours