Beth Smith

Is it Lace or is it Just Fine?

I have a class that I get excited to teach all of the time. Of course all of my classes have some content about how the fiber being spun will affect the final yarn being spun. But this class is one where there is giant transformation of the spinner in a very short time. I used to call it Spinning for Lace but then I wondered if that title might be keeping people away because they actually wanted to spin for socks or a baby sweater so I changed it to Spinning Fine Yarns. It’s kind of an all encompassing title I think. So many spinners that I meet want to learnt o spin finer and they just aren’t sure how to go about it. Well, this class is the one!

Here is the description most people will see when they are looking at a fiber festival or guild meeting website – or even my very own website.

Evelyn Clark Shawl (11)

Spinning Fine Yarns – 6 hours

This class will get you spinning finer than you ever thought possible! You will learn the mechanics of spinning fine yarn, including how to adjust your wheel for spinning fine, what spinning ratios mean and the types of drafting methods that make spinning fine yarn easier. You’ll go from spinning DK weight yarn to cobweb lace in no time at all.

In addition, we’ll look at the wide range of fibers that are great to use for spinning fine yarns, including commercially prepared fibers and washed fleece. We’ll work with the finest of fibers like cashmere to wools you never would have thought of for fine yarn. You’ll also learn how different fiber preparations will give the great results for fine yarn, and how to best utilize those hand combs, hand cards and flick cards.

Please Bring: A Spinning Wheel in good working order, hand held combs, flick and hand cards if you have them (Some tools will be available to share), note taking materials, small bags for extra fibers, hang tags for labeling. Please bring your wheel’s original flyer to use during class, Woolee Winders are not recommended for getting the most out of this class.

Spinning Level: Students must be able to spin a continuous thread.

There’s a ton of stuff included in this class. It moves a little slowly at first while everyone learns new things about they spinning wheels and settings. We talk about drive bands, brake bands and tension and how all of these things have an impact on your hands and therefore the thread you are spinning. Then we get to the fiber types. We spin everything from different wools to Cashmere and Qiviut. It’s fun and exciting as I throw new fibers to try and give advice about the best ways to handle these fine fibers. These are fibers that some spinners are hesitant to buy because they are “afraid to mess them up”. In this class you get permission to try. So many students leave this class with new confidence in their ability to spin all the yarns and not just the fine ones.

I’m teaching it at Rhinebeck again this year. It’s on Thursday so you don’t have to miss any shopping time! Want to come and play with me?


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