What do you teach in Creative Spinning?

This is my take on "what comes next" after you've learned to spin, handle fiber, and the basics of twist and yarn. Each class is independent of the others, so folks can pick and choose as they like, need, or want.

Taught: October/November 2007 at my LYS (A Dropped Stitch, 360-683-1410)
Teaching again: ply & color, February 2008 at A Dropped Stitch.

This intermediate spinning series covers plying, color, dyeing, technique tips, art yarn and whatever else its students are interested in that we can squeeze in. 4 sessions, 1.5-2.5 hours each, $20 per class includes materials. Students will need to bring: wheel, 2 empty bobbins, niddy-noddy, lazy kate, scissors, pencil/pen, 3x5 cards to save samples on, and items noted for each class; contact me if you’re missing items so I can arrange to have extras on hand.

This is geared to wheel spinners, but could be handled by the avid spindler just fine too.

Session 1: Plying Techniques
  • Wraps Per Inch singles -> plied
  • Cable 4-ply
  • Navajo 3-ply (aka chain ply)
  • Thread and commercial eyelash yarn plying
  • Boucle
  • Diamond ply
  • Mixed twist (Z and soft S plied S)

Session 2: Color
  • Color and texture ‘nub’ yarn
  • Candystripe and faux cable
  • Self-striping singles and 2-plies (rolags, cattails, splitting roving)
  • Novelty methods for color play: coil, ch’oro/snarl, knop/beehive
  • Fractal plying (color changes playing on one another)
  • Neutral effects for space-dyed roving
  • Space dyeing roving

Session 3: Technical Details
  • bring yarns you want to dissect/copy; and fibers you want advice on
  • Crimp, WPI, TPI, Twist Angle, grist…
  • Spinning soft singles
  • Spinning from the fold
  • Worsted and woolen
  • Repeatable yarn, consistent yarn
  • Dissecting commercial yarn
  • Correcting yarn

Session 4: Art Yarn
  • bring handcards if you have them
  • Garneting for effect
  • Curly yarn
  • Fuzzing
  • Beaded yarn
  • Spiral bead yarn
  • Tornado yarn
  • Fiber sandwich
  • Felt yarn

There are many additional topics we could touch on, such as: skirting, evaluating, and washing fleece; other dye types and dye methods; carding for color; drop spindling; and even more novelty yarns. Advanced spinning would go into spinning more types of fiber than wool – silk, mohair, cotton, camelid (alpaca etc), cashmere, rare sheep breeds. Other advanced topics – long draw, advanced drop spindling, support spindles, charkhas ... the list is endless!

Do you teach a beyond-beginner spinning class? What are the next steps you teach to intermediate spinners? Leave a comment or post suggestions about the classes listed above -- your input is welcome!


Arianne said...

I would like to know how many wheels you have and what wheels they are. Can you answer this or have you already answered it? I couldn't find it in your archives.


Amelia of Ask The Bellwether said...

@Arianne, thanks for asking! I've written it up in today's post, here: