Category Archives: fibreswest 2014

Making Funky Rolags — Fibres West 2014 Spindling Classes

Last Friday and Saturday morning, I was completely immersed in teaching spindle spinning. Friday morning I worked with beginners. Saturday morning was with a slightly more advanced group of spindlers. It was all great fun.

I love the joy on people’s faces when things fall into place and all of a sudden — they get it! They can make yarn. They understand the rhythm between the spin on the spindle and the amount of fibre that needs to be drafted to keep the spindle spinning and giving the twist a place to go.

The classes are four hours each. Four hours is just enough time when you are working with beginners – but it is too long for the advanced group. This is because the advanced group can spin right from the first moment of the class. At about the 2 1/2 hour mark, arms and shoulders are sore, and people need a break from spinning.

So to accommodate that I introduced a new activity – making funky rolags. Using simple tools like hand cards, we blended dyed rovings with tussah silk, Fire Star, silk noils and Soffsilk. I included 5 gram packets of dyed silk noil in the materials kit.

Result is a multi-textured rolag that you spin up. This two-ply yarn (65 yards, 60 metres) was the result of eight rolags. It is difficult to make them exact, but if you use the similar amounts of base fibre colours and the same embellishments, it will all work together giving you a funky yarn.

This activity gave everyone a break from spinning and gave them the chance to practice or even learn a new skill of blending fibre on hand cards. We each made up a bunch of rolags and then returned to spinning to see what kind of yarn they would make.

I love the look of this yarn and how easy it is to make on hand carders. I think I’ll be making a lot more yarn like this in the future.

FibresWest 2014 and spindle spinning classes

FibresWest 2014 is coming up on Friday, March 21 and Saturday, March 22 in at the Cloverdale Fair Grounds in Surrey, BC. The event runs from 9:30 am to 6 pm on both days. Admission is $8, seniors and students get in for $6. And kids under 13 are free.

It’s a great fibre event. This year is their 6th Annual and each year there are more vendors, more classes and more excitement. Coming a near 1/2 year after Knit City, it’s just the fibre fix we need to get us through the year.

This year I am teaching an Introduction to Spindle Spinning on Friday morning.

And on Saturday morning I am teaching an Advanced Spindle Spinning Class. Please visit FibresWest 2014 for all the details about these (and other) classes. Hope to see you there!