Workshops

Workshops taking place throughout Fibre Week are always a success. Our 2018 Fibre Week courses include:

Friday, June 15

  • Bag on a Box
  • Breezy Silk Chiffon Vest/Dress/Tunic
  • Exotic Indulgence
  • Fantasy to Fabric
  • Felted Landscape
  • Finger Weaving
  • Heirloom Christmas Stockings
  • Nature’s Palette
  • Nouveau Fleece
  • Tints, Tones, & Knit Two Together
  • Trifecta
  • Wild About Colour
  • Wool Fleece Judging

Saturday, June 16

  • Beginning Knitting
  • Beginning Spinning
  • Button Up & Zip It
  • Colour Explorations
  • Creative Couture Necklines
  • Dyeing for Ombre
  • Felted “Riot of Daisies”
  • Leather Theory for Artists

Sunday, June 17

  • Beginning Weaving
  • Cabling Beyond the Edges
  • Celtic Cables
  • Felted Butterfly/Moth/Dragon
  • Introduction to Sprang
  • Peg Loom Weaving
  • Spinning Textured Yarns

Please note many of these workshops have mandatory supplies.  To ensure that you’re ready for your class, check the Student Supplies List for the supplies you need to bring.

Fibre Week 2018 Class Confirmation List

Full course descriptions and fees are listed below. 

Friday, June 15


Bag on a Box  |  Friday, June 15 – Saturday, June 16 (9 am – 4:30 pm)

We will explore the weaving of any size bag or basket using a cardboard box as a loom. The technique can be plain or patterned weave, or tapestry style. We will also explore finishing, handles and clasps. 

Instructor: Catherine Ross
Difficulty/Prerequisite: Basic understanding of weaving is beneficial.
Tuition: $295 + $20 material fee


Breezy Silk Chiffon Vest/Dress/Tunic  |  Friday, June 15 – Sunday, June 17 (9 am – 4:30 pm)

We begin the workshop with learning how to measure and create a seamless garment resist to felt either a lightweight vest, dress or tunic and has an option of including sleeves. We then dye our silk chiffon fabric as a base to lay the merino wool on and learn how to design our garment.   Laurie helps you to execute your design and this also helps everyone in the workshop to understand how to create different garment styles from each other.   Demonstrations and tips for making the felting process easier are shown. 

Instructor: Laurie Steffler
Difficulty/Prerequisite: None
Tuition: $395 + $50 material fee


Exotic Indulgence  |  Friday, June 15 (9 am – Noon)

If you’ve been hesitant to try spinning luxury fibres because you “don’t want to ruin the good stuff” or you just want to indulge in a day of spinning exotics, this class is for you. We’ll look at how to spin the finest fibres – cashmere, yak, quviut, camel – and how to choose blends to help stretch your fibre and your dollar. All class materials will be provided, so bring your wheel and let’s indulge in a little luxury. 

Instructor: Christie Schulze
Difficulty/Prerequisites: Must be able to spin a continuous single and have experience spinning with both worsted and woolen drafts.
Tuition: $95 + $35 material fee


Fantasy to Fabric  |  Friday, June 15 – Saturday, June 16 (9 am – 4:30 pm)

This workshop will take you outside the box and allow you to take your fantasy, turning it into reality, fabric. Have you ever just wanted to make something that is different and yet is just made with a simple plain weave, yet it looks intricate. I will teach you the simple ways to both play with color and design. Each student will be given instructions on making their warp before the workshop, so they can come to class ready to weave, in a color and weave effect (light/dark) everyone will have 12 looms in which to weave a sample from. You will also design and take home a color and weave effect warp ready to use when you get home. You must be ok with your fellow students to share looms.

Instructor: Michelle Hughes
Difficulty/Prerequisite: Students must be able to understand how to weave and set up their table looms. Along with how to make a warp.
Tuition: $295 + $20 material fee


Felted Landscape  |  Friday, June 15 (9 am – 4:30 pm)

Each participant will make a large felted wool ’Painting', of a landscape scene of their choice with lots of detail. Using different “painting with wool” techniques, you will be shown various trees, moons, sunsets, northern lights, flowers, and birds or animals, etc. You will then be shown various ways to mount or use your work of art when you take it home. This workshop is suitable for beginners or experienced felters as your wool painting can be as intricate or as simple as you like. We will be learning both needle felting and wet felting.

Instructor: Lois McDonald-Layden
Difficulty/Prerequisite: None
Tuition: $195 + $45 material fee


Introduction to Fingerweaving  |  Friday, June 15 – Saturday, June 16 (9 am – 4:30 pm)

In this class we focus on the method that is the warp-faced ‘ceinture fleche’ (arrow sash method) of Voyageur or Metis sash fame. You learn to use your fingers to manipulate the threads, resulting in the desired structure. We begin with a ready-to-go warp to explore the ‘stitch’, paying particular attention to irregularities (mistakes), examine how they happened, what to do to correct them, and how to avoid them in the first place.

On the second day of the workshop we focus on diverse patterns that can be created including chevron and arrowhead. Participants leave with at least 3 straps, and a new warp of his/her own design for further work at home. The method can be easily adapted to create bags, shawls, and 3D scarfs. 

Instructor: Carol James
Difficulty/Prerequisite: Good use of all ten fingers and reasonable eyesight.
Tuition: $295 + $5 material fee


Heirloom Christmas Stockings  |  Friday, June 15 (9 am – 4:30 pm)

You will create a unique, special one of a kind Christmas Stocking. Using Graph paper and different colours a fair isle pattern will be created to knit your sock. You will learn how to make an afterthought heel.

Instructor: Maria Lougheed
Difficulty/Prerequisite: Must need to know how to knit.
Tuition: $195 + $40 material fee


Nature’s Palette  |  Friday, June 15 (9 am – 4:30 pm)

Spend a day discovering the amazing range of colours that can be made using natural dyes. Starting with a variety of regional and exotic dye materials, we will explore eco-friendly immersion techniques for dyeing yarns and fabrics. From mordants to modifiers and overdyes, an introduction to a full range of colour manipulation techniques will be covered. Participants will leave with a set of samples and instructions to empower them to explore and experiment with the incredible colour palette provided to textile lovers by nature. 

Instructor: Michelle Boyd 
Difficulty/Prerequisite: none
Tuition: $195 + $40


Nouveau Fleece  |  Friday, June 15 (1:30 – 4:30 pm)

This half day session will look at new (and sometimes old) fibres that have recently become available for hand spinners. Banana, rose, pearl, mint, seacell, milk, stainless steel – this workshop will explore what these fibres really are, how to spin them, and what sort of projects they might be good for. If you’ve been curious about these weird and wacky fibres, now’s a great time to take the plunge and try them for yourself. If you’ve already given them a whirl, but want to expand your range or learn more about them, this class is for you.

Instructor: Christie Schulze
Difficulty/Prerequisite: Able to spin a continuous single and have experience spinning with both worsted and woolen drafts.
Tuition: $95 + $25 material fee


Tints, Tones, & Knit Two Together  |  Friday, June 15 (9 am – 4:30 pm)

Many knitters find it difficult to choose colours. This class will show you how to put colour theory into practice, so that those scary sounding terms make sense. You will look at colour temperature, tonal value, complimentary and analogous colour schemes along with many other terms. But once you get playing with colour you will see how the theory can be a helpful underpinning. In combination with the colour exercises, instruction will be given on the techniques used for working with multi colours; Stripes, Fair Isle, Instarsia, Slip Stitch etc.

Instructor: Fiona Ellis
Difficulty/Prerequisite: Ability to knit and purl.
Tuition: $195


Trifecta  |  Friday, June 15 – Saturday, June 16 (9 am – 4:30 pm)

The art of creating your own yarn is joyful and Zen like. You can easily get lost in the rhythm of treadle-draft-wind on, treadle-draft-wind on. At the best of times this results in the yarn that the fibre wanted to be or, at worst, a hot mess of “what happened?!” Trifecta explores the relationship between three important aspects of spinning: Twist, Draft, and Tension (take up). Through a series of directed exercises, spinners will come to understand why and how they would adjust the twist, the draft length, or the tension. Prepare to spin, spin some more, and keep on spinning to learn to make the fibre do as you wish and learn to use your wheel in all the ways it can be used! 

Instructor: Kara Perpelitz
Difficulty/Prerequisite: Students are expected to be comfortable with spinning and want to expand their skill level. This class was designed for spinners who spin a default yarn every time, and who are trepidatious about adjusting the settings on their wheel.
Tuition: $295 + $50 material fee


Wild About Colour  |  Friday, June 15 (9 am – 4:30 pm)

Do 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, striped where you didn’t want stripes, pooled where you didn’t want pooling and it ended up 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, you will be introduced to combination plying, combination drafting and also learn how to make ombre yarn. Along the way you will learn and practice skills such as hand carding and chain plying. At the end of this workshop you will be wild about colour and never again hesitant about working with hand painted top.

Instructor: Diana Twiss 
Difficulty/Prerequisite: Must be able to spin a continuous thread and be comfortable with plying. You will be taught how to ply from a center pull ball and to make chain plied yarn.
Tuition: $195 + $45 material fee


Wool Fleece Judging  |  Friday, June 15 – Saturday, June 16 (9 am – 4:30 pm)

Come and explore what makes up a good fleece.  In this class we will look at different grades and styles of wool.  This two day workshop is a hands on skill building class for judging fleeces, whether for your personal use or in a competition setting.  Along with wool we will also examine and evaluate fibers from other animals.  Let’s get together and have two days of fiber fun.

Instructor: Jayne Deardorff
Difficulty/Prerequisite: None
Tuition: $295 + $45 material fee

Saturday, June 16


Beginning Knitting  |  Saturday, June 16 (9 am – 12 pm)

In the workshop you will get a basic overview of knitting and learn the basic skills for reading a pattern, choosing materials, choosing and using knitting tools, casting on, knitting, purling, counting stitches, troubleshooting, binding off.  The workshop will focus on the mechanics so that you will be able to start your own independent project.

Instructor: Maria Lougheed
Difficulty/Prerequisite: Absolute beginner – come and learn from scratch!
Tuition: $95 + $25 material fee


Beginning Spinning  |  Saturday, June 16 – Sunday, June 17 (9 am – 4:30 pm)

This class will cover basic mechanics of spinning wheels and how to make your wheel work for you. Using wool rovings and top, we’ll learn how to spin singles, how to ply those singles together, and how to get a balanced yarn. We’ll cover drafting both woolen and worsted, what the difference between the two is and when and where you might want to choose one method over the other. Topics covered include:

  • Spinning wheel mechanics (how YOUR wheel works)
  • Understanding wool preparations
  • Drafting worsted-style singles
  • Drafting woolen-style singles
  • Plying methods for 2-ply and 3-ply yarns
  • Finishing techniques
  • Fibre characteristics and how they affect the final yarn

Instructor: Christie Schulze
Difficulty/Prerequisite: None
Tuition: $295 + $25 material fee


Button Up & Zip It  |  Saturday, June 16 (9 am – Noon)

We all love cardigans but finding the right fastenings can be a problem plus the finishing and /or bands can make or break a project. So this class will offer an overview of how to pick up stitches for the bands and working buttonholes. Then students will try their hand at making frogging or button loops with I-cord. For those times when it seems impossible to find a button that works, there will also be an opportunity to try a couple of examples of buttons made from yarn so that they match the project exactly. Fiona will also give a demo of how to set in a zipper to a cardigan front for that sporty look.

Instructor: Fiona Ellis
Difficulty/Prerequisite: Must be able to knit and purl
Tuition: $95


Colour Explorations  |  Saturday, June 16 (9 am – 4:30 pm)

In this full-day workshop, you will learn the foundations of colour theory by blending primary colours to make new ones. You will learn about tints, tones, shades and will make secondary colours. In this project-based class, you will use dyed Corriedale top to learn blending techniques on hand carders to create new colours and add sari silk and noil to your fibre to add more colour and texture. You will make a two-ply yarn or spin your blended rolags into soft singles. Your end yarn will be gradient with long colour progressions and your appreciation of colour expanded beyond belief.

Instructor: Diana Twiss
Difficulty/Prerequisite: Must be able to spin a continuous thread and have some experience with plying.
Tuition: $195 + $30 material fee


Creative Couture Necklines  |  Saturday, June 16 (1:30 – 4:30 pm)

The necklines on most commercially made garments are neatened by a simple rib pattern without any regard for the patterning on the rest of the garment.

Fiona designs her garments to include details such as running the pattern seamlessly into or around the neckline. This elevates the project to a beautiful couture finished piece. In this class she will show you how to include these details in your own projects and even make the neckline the main feature of the garment.

Instructor: Fiona Ellis
Difficulty/Prerequisite: Must be able to knit and purl
Tuition: $95


Dyeing for Ombre  |  Saturday, June 16 (9 am – Noon)

Students will produce a 6 hue gradation with wool yarn skeins and a weak acid immersion dye bath. 

Instructor: Ingrid Servold
Difficulty/Prerequisite: Attention to detail when measuring dyes
Tuition: $95 + $10 material fee


Felted “Riot of Daisies”  |  Saturday, June 16 (9 am – 4:30 pm)

Each participant will make their own large felted wool ’Painting', of a "Riot of Daisies", (or whatever flower they wish) with lots of detail. Using different “painting with wool” techniques, you will be shown, emphasis will be on colour choice, composition and working on the background. You will then be shown various ways to mount or use your work of art when you take it home. This workshop is suitable for beginners or experienced felters as your wool painting can be as intricate or as simple as you like. We will be learning both needle felting and wet felting.

Instructor: Lois McDonald-Layden
Difficulty/Prerequisite: None
Tuition: $195 + $45 material fee


Leather Theory for Artists  |  Saturday, June 16 (1:30 – 4:30 pm)

Curious about what leather could add to your projects? Want to try working with leather but not sure what to look for when shopping? We will cover general tanning processes, and the properties and uses of a wide range of common domestic leathers. After this hands-on lecture you will be able to identify the parts of a hide, understand what suppliers mean when they talk about weight, know the difference between vegetable tanned/chrome tanned leather, and identify various types of finishes and grades. With this well rounded understanding of what leather is, you will have more confidence choosing the right leather for your projects whether you are making small items like slippers, or larger projects like garment production. Each participant will receive a booklet of leather samples to remember what they've learned and reference for future projects.

Instructor: Amanda King 
Difficulty/Prerequisite: none
Tuition: $95 + $5 materials

Sunday June 17


Beginning Weaving  |  Sunday, June 17 – Thursday, June 21 (9 am – 4:30 pm)

Sponsored by Sarah Elizabeth Fibre Works

This class is designed for those who want to learn or refresh the basics of four-harness loom weaving. Students will learn about preparing the warp to operating the loom. Learn to wind your warp then to beam onto your loom. The "how-tos" of planning a project, reading drafts, choosing materials and finishing will be covered.

Instructor: TBD
Difficulty/Prerequisite: None – come ready to learn about weaving!
Tuition: $495 + $65 materials


Cabling Beyond the Edges  |  Sunday, June 17 (1:30 – 4:30 pm)

Fiona’s in depth study of all things cable related has led her to experiment with patterning that extends below the usual hemline, spaces or holes in the centre of cable shapes and adding i-cords to give the appearance of the cords spilling out of the fabric. In this class she will show you how to work all three of these methods and encourage you to experiment with your own ideas.

Instructor: Fiona Ellis
Difficulty/Prerequisite: Must be able to work simple cable crosses
Tuition: $95


Celtic Cables  |  Sunday, June 17 (9 am – Noon)

When knitting cables based on Celtic patterns there are some techniques that you may not use in regular rope cables. While you knit a sample to try them out, Fiona will demo the techniques, show you how to read the charts- including looking at the symbols used, and for the more advanced cable knitter discuss how you might modify patterns to make them your own. With an understanding of what is taking place when cabling you will be better able to follow a pattern or fix any mistakes as they arise (which never happens right?) 

Instructor: Fiona Ellis
Difficulty/Prerequisite: Must be able to work simple cable crosses
Tuition: $95


Felted Butterfly/Moth/Dragonfly  |  Sunday, June 17 (9 am – 4:30 pm)

Each participant will make a detailed 12" x 12" felted wool “painting” of their choice of a Butterfly/Moth/Dragonfly using fine, soft Merino Wool and silk. Focus in this class will be on needle felting details, use of colour, and following a picture/design. We will be painting with fibre (not paint!) and you will learn both needle felting and wet felting. You will then be shown different ways. to mount your artwork onto a deep gallery canvas to display at home. This workshop is suitable for beginners or experienced felters as your butterfly can be as intricate or as simple as you like.

Instructor: Lois McDonald-Layden
Difficulty/Prerequisite: None
Tuition: $195 + $45 material fee


Introduction to Sprang  |  Sunday, June 17 (9 am – 4:30 pm)

Sprang is a technique that first appeared in the Bronze Age. It recurs again and again in human history, associated with human remains in Scandinavia to Egyptian mummies to European laces to military sashes. An adaptable technique it is time to re-visit this textile method. Learn the basic ‘stitch’ and then see how it can be adapted and shaped, used to create bags, bonnets, socks, mittens, scarves, leggings, and vests.

We begin on a pre-warped frame with the basic stitch creating a very elastic cloth.

Focus is on the ‘stitch’, how to use your fingers to manipulate the threads, how to identify ‘irregularities’ (errors) how to correct, how to avoid mistakes, and how to use irregularities as design elements. Learn some finishing methods as you transform the piece into a small bag or hat. The first piece complete, you will learn how to set up a flat warp from scratch. 

The instructor will share images of garments in museums across North America and Europe, as well as samples that duplicate elements of these garments.

Instructor: Carol James
Difficulty/Prerequisite: None
Tuition: $195 + $50 material fee


Peg Loom Weaving  |  Sunday, June 17 (9 am – Noon)

The peg loom is simple and easy to construct. In this workshop you will learn how to use one, various applications, and we will use straws to weave a neck warmer or scarf. 

Instructor: Catherine Ross
Difficulty/Prerequisite: No special experience or knowledge needed
Tuition: $95 + $5 material fee


Spinning Textured Yarns  |  Sunday, June 17 (9 am – 4:30 pm)

Do you want to learn how to make designer yarns but have no idea where to start? Are you interested in making textured, multi-coloured yarns just for fun and to see if you can do it? The skills you learn in making textured yarn will actually sharpen and refine your skills as a spinner, so it’s a win/win.

In this workshop, you will learn the foundations for making textured yarn. You will experiment with spinning for texture by blending different fibres in your spinning, spinning thick and thin and making core spun yarn. You will also learn plying techniques that will use and combine the textured singles such as spiral plying, making stacks, coils, and supercoils.

Instructor: Diana Twiss
Difficulty/Prerequisite: Must be able to spin a continuous thread and be comfortable with plying.
Tuition: $195 + $40 material fee