As you practice your fiber art skills, have you ever wondered about the craftspeople who came before you? The ones who figured out how to spin, the ones who figured out how to weave, the ones who figured out how to make fabric stretchy by interlocking loops of yarn with one another?
Unfortunately, their stories are lost to history, in part because textile production is so embedded in our culture that it began before humans had a written language. To add to the obscurity, many of the early tools used to produce and work with fabric didn't survive in the archaeological record. But the clues we do have are fascinating, and they indicate that spinning and weaving are very old indeed.
This Saturday, November 10, I'll be giving a presentation at the Black Sheep Handworx Studio. There's lots of interesting historical information about wool, fiber, sheep, and how it relates to us as fiber artists. Whatever fiber art you practice, there's something here for you!
In addition to the discussion, there will be demonstrations, explanations, and hands-on experiences that walk you through how wool is processed before it can become yarn, and how yarn is worked into cloth. The possibilities for customized cloth are endless!
You can purchase tickets at the Black Sheep Handworx Studio, or at 970tix. I hope to see you there!
Last weekend I had the honor of teaching at the Sneffels Fiber Festival in Ridgway, Colorado. On Friday, I taught a dyeing workshop, and on Saturday, I taught a drop spindle workshop.
Naturally, I forgot to take any pictures of my classes, but my friend Sharon managed to sneak a few pictures of the dye workshop. You can read her account over on her blog - Day 1 and Day 2.
The marketplace was open on Saturday and Sunday. I did a tiny bit of shopping Saturday during my lunch break, where I picked up some plying silk and sari silk cloud from Phoenix Fiber Mill. I used some of the sari silk cloud in my blending board project - a little goes quite a long way, and I still had some leftover, but it's such a lovely fiber to work with I didn't want to run out!
I spent a good bit of time scoping out the other vendors, too, but didn't buy anything because I needed to make sure there was room in my car! The only downside to teaching is that there's a lot of equipment to bring, and not a lot of space for extra cargo on the way home!
On Sunday I had an afternoon demonstration of rigid heddle weaving. I think I might have blown a few minds when I described the direct warping process - it really is a lot faster and easier than the traditional warping process!
Before and after my Sunday demonstration, I did quite a bit of shopping. I reconnected with Scott from Corn Creek Fiber Arts. He's the guy who taught me to spin on a wheel! I also picked up a merino/silk braid from them.
I might have gone a little overboard with fleece purchasing...but more on that later!
I'd only be exaggerating a little if I said this mug rug hooked itself! It was a fun and easy afternoon project, and it's the sample for an upcoming class I'm teaching at Black Sheep Handworx Studio this October.
The design is the Grand Mesa, the world's largest flat-topped mountain. It dominates the landscape here in Grand Junction. The design also includes a river, as our rivers here (the Gunnison and Colorado) play a huge part in our ability to live here. It is a desert, after all!
This mug rug is 4" square, and is part of a kit that will be included in the class. It includes everything you need to get started with rug hooking!
Call or email to sign up! Contact information can be found here.
There's a ton of stuff in the works! If you're in or around Colorado, I'd love to see you at one of the following events I have coming up in September:
I'm hitting the ground running in April! I'm teaching five classes at my LYS, The Craft Studio in Grand Junction, Colorado. Here's the line-up:
April 11 & 14 Beginning Rigid Heddle Weaving
Get started weaving on a rigid heddle loom! We'll make a table runner (or scarf, as I'm wearing it). In the first session, we'll talk about how to warp the loom and get started weaving. In the second session, we'll talk about finishing techniques and how to make your project shine. If you don't have your own rigid heddle loom, The Craft Studio will have a few available to borrow.
April 13, 25, & 27 Learn to Spin on a Spinning Wheel
This class will help you get familiar with your spinning wheel and get you started on your way to creating your very own yarn. We'll play with a variety of fibers and begin a spinner's project notebook. Each session is a separate class, but students are welcome to attend as many times as they'd like. If you don't have your own spinning wheel, The Craft Studio will have a few available to borrow.
April 30 Take the EEK! out of Steek!
Most knitters would never dream of cutting their knitting, but that's exactly what a steek does. This class will discuss traditional methods for steeking as well as more modern methods that let you use a steek in even more ways. We’ll get some hands-on practice with cutting our knitting and practice securing the cut edges so they don’t unravel.
Want to come join me for one of these classes? Give Lesly at The Craft Studio a call!
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