Category Archives: spinning workshop

Teaching at Olds College Fibre Week 2016

I am so happy to announce that registrations classes at Olds College Fibre Week are open. Equally excited to say that I am on the roster! There are four full-day spinning classes I’m on track for.

Here are the workshop descriptions for each one:

Wild about Colour

2014-10-19 12.41.08Do you have braids of hand painted top in your stash that you are afraid to spin? Or have you spun up a hand painted braid but then were disappointed with the yarn because the colours blended in a way you didn’t want and it ended up muddy and muted?

Learn how to make a series of decisions that will help you get the yarn and effect you want from the colours in your painted braids. In this full-day workshop you will learn some basic and advanced techniques for working with hand painted top. Colour theory will be discussed and practically applied throughout the day.

We will start with basic 2-ply techniques and move into the wondrous world of fractal spinning. After making several fractal samples, we will work on combination drafting and also learn how to make ombre yarn. Skills such as hand carding and Navajo plying will be learned along the way. At the end of this workshop you will be wild about colour and never again hesitant about working with hand painted top.

Spindling 1.0 — We’re Making Yarn!

DianaDrop1-e1421434010552In this workshop, you will learn basic spinning techniques for suspended spinning. These techniques will allow you to further explore making a variety of yarns with these noble tools. This class is for absolute beginning spinners, or for those who know how to spin with a wheel, but don’t know how to do it with a spindle.

In this introduction to the spindle as a tool for making yarn, you will also earn about the properties of wool as a protein fibre for making yarn. You will learn how to draft fibre, put twist into it, ply and set the yarn– everything you need to get you started on your yarn making journey.

Be the Boss of Your Yarn — a default-yarn busting workshop

2016-02-13 07.49.17Are you tired of making the same yarn – that no matter what you do, you are always spinning the same stuff? Do you want to be able to make yarn for a variety of purposes – so you direct the project instead of the yarn telling you what it will be? Well, you are not alone. This full-day workshop is all about busting through “default-yarn” – that yarn you make over and over again despite attempts to do it differently.

In this workshop you will learn techniques that will expand your yarn repertoire. You will experiment with and learn about the effect of twist on your singles and your plied yarns. You will also learn about yarn structure by making samples of soft singles, 2-ply, chained (Navajo ply), and cabled yarns. You will learn strategies for making the yarn you want. At the end of the day, YOU will be the boss of your yarn.

Twist and Draft: Worsted to Woolen and everything in between

2015-10-09 15.13.49Worsted and semi-worsted, woolen and semi-woolen – you may have heard these words used to describe yarn and spinning techniques and you also may have heard conflicting answers. What does it all mean?

Explore and experiment with a variety of drafting techniques from worsted to woolen. Learn when and why, and most importantly, how to use these different drafting and spinning techniques, from short forward draw (worsted) through to the long draw (woolen). You will also get some tips on fibre preparation to help you get the yarn you want for your project.

Expand your spinning repertoire so you have more choices in making the yarn you want, from strong, fine yarn for socks through to lofty, soft yarn for hats and sweaters. You’ll come away from this class knowing how to answer the worsted vs woolen question with confidence.

Check it out here and sign up for a bucket load of fun and learning.

Haida Gwaii workshops 2015

Last weekend I had the pleasure of travelling to Haida Gwaii to deliver two full-day spinning workshops. I had visited there for fibre arts teaching in 2010 and again in 2012. It is a magical place with creative, generous, big-spirited people. I can’t wait to go back again.

I landed in Sandspit and then traveled by bus/ferry to Queen Charlotte. Here’s the view from the ferry as we head south.

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A week earlier I received my new Navajo spindle from Dave, my spindle guy. I spent the week learning how to use it so I could teach the people in my spinning class how to use this amazing tool. It is quite similar to the kind of spindles their ancestors used. Two days before departure it dawned on me that I had to somehow get this on the plane. At 31″ long and 6″ in circumference, it wasn’t fitting into my large suitcase. After calling Air Canada and getting assurance that I could take it onto the plane, I set out to package it up.

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And here I am, past security waiting for the flight. I carried it to the plane and gave it to the “sky-check” guy who promised that it was going to sit at the very top of the pile, and not be crushed. And the picture below is all the equipment and materials I needed for the full-day workshops. In these bags are several pound and varieties of fibre, several top-whorl spindles bottom-whorl spindles, supported spindles and even a Turkish one. Also inside are three pairs of hand carders, wool combs, knitting needles, resources books and handouts.
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And to top it all off, here is the view from our workshop. The weather was grand – full sun and medium heat. The participants made skeins of yarn, stretched their skills and had a lot of fun. I’d go back there in a heartbeat. Thanks Haida Gwaii.

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Another workshop at Fibreswest 2015 – Drop Spindle II

And for those of you have a little more confidence with your spindles, but want to take your spinning to another level, here’s another spindling class for you. I hope to see you there.

For more information visit Fibreswest 2015.

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Drop Spindle II – Diana Twiss. Half Day, Sat. Mar. 14/15. 1:00-5:00. $65 #105

This class is for spinners who are able to make a continuous thread with a suspended spindle (also known as a drop spindle) and want to learn more. In this 4- hour class, participants will learn some techniques to make their spindling experiences much more satisfying by learning all the basics such as making a leader, drafting and winding on. We will also explore drafting techniques such as spinning from the fold, worsted and woollen and strategies for spinning difficult or challenging fibre. An assortment of ways to ply yarns (along with Navajo Plying) with a spindle and the importance of setting your yarn and how to do it will round out our day.

Material fee: $15 payable to instructor plus an additional $45 if you wish to purchase a Houndesign spindle for your class.

Skill level: must be able to make a continuous thread when spinning with a drop spindle

Equipment needed: suspended spindle, top whorl preferred. Bring a variety if you have them. If you are planning to purchase from me please indicate on your registration form.

Empty shoebox – to be used as a Lazy Kate and to hold your materials.