Workshops

Workshops taking place throughout Fibre Week are always a success. Our 2019 Fibre Week courses include:

Friday, July 5

  • Beginning Spinning
  • Cards & Combs…Tips & Tricks
  • Dive into Design
  • Feeding for Fleece
  • Felted “Landscape and Birds”
  • Focus on Sleeves
  • How Much Wool Do I Need to Make a Sweater
  • Into the Zone…drafting zone!
  • Make a Wet Felted Vessel
  • Management 101..Keeper of the Stock
  • Setting Yourself Up for Sweater Success
  • Spinning with a Navajo Spindle – Traditional and Non-Traditional
  • Natural Dyes: 25 Colours from One Dye Pot

Saturday, July 6

  • Colour Adventures: Exploration in Colour and Yarn Making
  • Fabric to Dye For
  • Felted “Landscape and Flowers”
  • Hand Embellishments for Knitwear
  • Locker Rug Hooking with Alpaca Roving
  • Shaping in Cables
  • Up to Batt
  • You Bought a Fleece – Now What?!

Sunday, July 7

  • Beginning Weaving
  • Design Your Own Hat or Mittens
  • Felted Dimensional Landscape
  • Hand Carders: A Spinner’s Best Friend
  • Proper Spinning and Finishing of Luxurious Fibres
  • Spindling 2.0 – Taking it to the Next Level

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. Full course descriptions and fees are listed below. 

FRIDAY JULY 5, 2019

Beginning Spinning
Friday, July 5 – Saturday, July 6, 2019 9am – 4:30pm

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 + $35 material fee + GST


Cards & Combs…Tips & Tricks
Friday, July 5 – Saturday, July 6, 2019 9am – 4:30pm

Do you have a set of Cards and Combs that you want to use more?  Come and explore different ways to work with these interesting tools.   We will look at several styles of carding cloths and what fibres are best to use together.  Blending different fibres and colours will be examined. 

Come and have fun working with these great tools and make some special yarns.

Instructor:  Jayne Deardorff
Difficulty/Prerequisite: Must be able to spin on a wheel.  Bring to class a set of cards, combs if you have a set, pen and paper.
Tuition:  $295 + $40 material fee + GST


Dive into Design
Friday, July 5, 2019 9am – 4:30pm

A single image can be a great springboard for generating many design ideas.  In this workshop, Fiona will supply images and show you how to dive headlong into your interpretations.  Part one will allow you to work on your own samples and share ideas with fellow participants.  Part two will give you time to refine the ideas begun in part one and work on new ideas. 

WARNING: This workshop may change the way you see the world!

Instructor: Fiona Ellis
Difficulty/Prerequisite:  Be able to knit and purl.
Tuition:  $195 + GST


Feeding for Fleece
Friday, July 5, 2019 9:00 pm – 12:00 pm

An important part of raising wool animals is knowing what to feed in order to obtain good quality wool. Whether you come from an operation with hundreds of head or just a small backyard flock, understanding the principles of feeding management and the effects that nutrients have on wool production could mean higher quality fleeces for you.

Instructor:  TBA
Difficulty/Prerequisites:  Open to anyone
Tuition:  $95 + GST


Felted “Landscape and Birds”
Friday, July 5, 2019 9am – 4:30pm

You are invited to come and play with wool and make some beautiful art!  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 different trees, moons, sunsets, rocks etc.  We will also be focusing on pictures that incorporate birds such as owls, ravens, chickadees, cardinals, roosters etc.  You will then be shown ways to mount or use your work of art when you take it home.  We will be learning both needle felting and wet felting and use merino, silk and other embellishments.

Instructor:  Lois McDonald-Layden
Difficulty/Prerequisite:  All experience levels welcome.
Tuition: $195 + $50 material fee + GST


Focus on Sleeves
Friday, July 5, 2019  1:30 pm – 4:30pm

Understanding how a variety of sleeve types are constructed and how to adjust them can bring greater satisfaction to your sweater making.  This course will give you an overview of sleeve types, discuss how to modify them and methods of construction, including how to set them into the sweater.

Instructor:  Jessie McKitrick
Difficulty/Prerequisite: Familiarity with basic knitting and measuring gauge is an asset. 
Tuition:  $95 + GST


How Much Wool Do I Need to Make a Sweater
Friday, July 5, 2019  9am – 4:30pm

How much wool do I need to make a sweater?  This class came from that simple question.  In this class you will learn how to choose an appropriate fleece for your pattern, and then learn how to correctly determine how much fleece you need by both using calculation from your pattern as well as preparing your chosen fleece.

Instructor:  Sue Clausen
Difficulty/Prerequisite: Able to do simple knit or crochet, and spin on which ever form they are most comfortable with.
Tuition:  $195 + $35 material fee + GST

Into the Zone…drafting zone!
Friday, July 5, 2019  9am – 4:30pm

We start the day spinning our default yarn.  Then we move into learning seven drafting techniques starting with short forward draw, short backward draw, and so forth, ending with the supported long draw.  We work with prepared fibre: combed top for the first four and carded rovings for the last three drafting techniques.  Students put a sample of the yarn on their card stock sample card and also make a mini-skein of each.  The mini-skeins are labeled with plastic labels so they can be washed and kept track of.  Then we compare these to the unwashed samples.  The rest of the day we mix and match different fibre preparation techniques: combing, flick, hand and drum carding, with different fibres to get a variety of results.

Instructor:  Diana Twiss
Difficulty/Prerequisite:  Must be able to spin a continuous thread and be comfortable with plying.
Tuition:  $195 + $20 material fee + GST


Make a Wet Felted Vessel
Friday, July 5, 2019 9am – 4:30pm

Wet felting is a method of creating art using wool as your medium.  This felting method is thousands of years old and has a rich history in many cultures.  In this workshop you will learn about the different breeds of wool and their properties.  We’ll start by making a sample piece of felt to help us understand the unique, natural properties of wool.  Each participant will then put their new-found knowledge to use making a felt bowl or vessel.  Wet felting is a hands-on, sometimes messy art process.  Wear comfortable clothes that you can get wet and not worry about.  Barbara Leighton, founder of the Leighton Art Centre, believed that every person is an artist – they just needed to find the right medium, perhaps wool is yours!  Try felting and find out.

Instructor:  Leah Cathleen Donald
Difficulty/Prerequisite:  Beginners and up
Tuition:  $195 + $20 materials fee + GST


Management 101..Keeper of the Stock
Friday, July 5, 2019 1:30 – 4:30pm

Seeking all those interested in a learning the basics and beyond!  This half day workshop will give you a great hands on approach to setting up your own operation regardless of how big or small.  We will look at several aspects of the livestock production from facilities to health and everything in between.  This is your opportunity to make industry connections with people that can really help you improve your cost of production. 

Instructor:  TBA
Difficulty/Prerequisite:  none
Tuition:  $95 + GST


Setting Yourself Up for Sweater Success
Friday, July 5, 2019 9 am – 12pm

If you’d like to make  your first sweater, or if you’ve been discouraged by past sweater efforts, this course will help you to plan for a great sweater project.  Understanding not only how to read gauge, but also a variety of pattern conventions can greatly enhance your sweater knitting experience.

Instructor:  Jessie McKitrick
Difficulty/Prerequisite:  None, other than an interest in making a sweater; familiarity with knitting an asset. 
Tuition:  $95 + GST


Spinning with a Navajo Spindle – Traditional and Non-Traditional
Friday, July 5, 2019 9am – 4:30pm

The Navajo spindle is an easy way to learn to spin. The novice or experienced spinner can work slowly at first when using a Navajo Spindle which is unlike working with a drop spindle or wheel.  You will have the opportunity to practice drafting, with a long draw technique while building confidence to gather speed.

You will learn a brief history of the Navajo Churro sheep, how to spin with the Navajo spindle using the traditional Churro wool ranging from raw to nicely prepared, have time to practice and then deviate from traditional to non-traditional spinning using blends of the Churro wool with a variety of fibres. The instructor will share some of the great possibilities learned when completing the independent study on Churro sheep for the Master Spinner certificate.

The traditional techniques that will be taught include: spinning in the grease from raw wool, spinning from carded rolags, 2 plying yarn and learning the Navajo 3 ply, finishing and putting the yarn into skeins. The non-traditional techniques will include: preparing blends of Churro and other fibres by using a variety of tools, spinning and plying on the Navajo spindle, finishing and ending with skeins of yarn.

Instructor:  Kathy Schneider
Difficulty/Prerequisite:  Beginner spinner to the experienced that are new to Navajo spindle
Tuition: $195 +$30 material fee + GST


Natural Dyes: 25 Colours from One Dye Pot
Friday, July 5, 2019 9am – 4:30pm

Plant-based natural dyes create a soothing palette of colours, but did you know we could extend the range of colours from each dye by using a variety of mordants and modifiers? This workshop exercise, based on work by natural dye guru Jenny Dean, lets us explore the full potential of the range of hues that one dye bath can yield. This full-day class will introduce students to the basics of mordanting for natural dyes, the use of natural dyes, and modifying dyed skeins, as well as safe dye room practices and disposal of materials. By the end of the day, participants will have at least enough yarn to knit or weave a small scarf to show off the array of colours. (Yarn for all samples will be provided, but if a participant wishes to bring additional fibre, they are encouraged to contact the instructor for instructions to prepare skeins for dyeing.)

Instructor:  Michelle Boyd
Difficulty/Prerequisite:  None
Tuition:  $195 + $45 materials + GST

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Colour Adventures: Exploration in Colour and Yarn Making
Saturday, July 6, 2019 9am – 4:30pm

Working with blending boards, dyed corriedale and some extras, we will make a series of colour combinations and then we will spin these up.  Our choice of colours, the order we build the layers and then our spinning techniques will be all the factors we manipulate as we explore colour in spinning.

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


Fabric to Dye For
Saturday, July 6, 2019  9am – 4:30pm

In this class we will experiment with creating colour on fabrics.  Using both procion dyes on cellulose fabrics, and acid dyes on protein fabrics, we will explore resists, stamping, printing and layering colours to achieve the looks we want.

Instructor:  Kara Perpelitz
Difficulty/Prerequisite:  Any level; beginner to master
Tuition:  $195 + $50 materials (includes 4 different fabric types, dye and the required chemicals) + GST


Felted “Landscape and Flowers”
Saturday, July 6, 2019 9am – 4:30pm

You are invited to come and play with wool and make some beautiful art!  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 different trees, moons, sunsets, various flowers, rocks etc.  You will then be shown ways to mount or use your work of art when you take it home.  We will be learning both needle felting and wet felting and use merino, silk and other embellishments.

Instructor:  Lois McDonald-Layden
Difficulty/Prerequisite:  All experience levels welcome.
Tuition: $195 + $50 material fee + GST


Hand Embellishments for Knitwear
Saturday, July 6, 2019 9am – Noon

Here is a way to look at making a simple knit garment very special and totally unique.  Fiona will demonstrate several methods of embellishing your projects, some technical, some whimsical.  During the class participants will work on their own individual samples exploring the endless possibilities this approach has to offer.

Instructor:  Fiona Ellis
Difficulty/Prerequisite:  None
Tuition:  $95 + GST


Locker Rug Hooking with Alpaca Roving
Saturday, July 6, 2019 1:30 – 4:30 pm

Rug hooking is an ideal way to use your stash of yarn, top/roving, locks of mohair, unwashed fleece, or even plastic bags. This art was traditionally used to recycle and use the materials to make useable rugs, clothing, and blankets. For this class, you will be able to use purchased or originally prepared alpaca roving to quickly make a very soft and sturdy rug.

Instructor:  Kathy Schneider
Difficulty/Prerequisite: Any level
Tuition: $95 + $30 materials + GST

Shaping in Cables
Saturday, July 6, 2019 1:30 – 4:30pm

Stitch patterning, be it cables, lace, texture, or colour, often can be central to a sweater’s design.  Stitch patterning is also one of the best ways to explore your own sweater creativity!  But it can sometimes offer up challenges too – many of which center around shaping and pattern.  In this workshop, Fiona will teach you how to tackle shaping and stitch patterning with confidence and a sense of fun.  The workshop will cover how to gracefully add waist shaping in a patterned piece, how to run the pattern seamlessly around necklines and beyond.  Fiona will focus not only on the methods of increasing and decreasing stitches used to change the shape of a piece, but how they can be used to create decorative effects within the cable fabric itself.

Instructor:  Fiona Ellis
Difficulty/Prerequisite:  Familiar with basic cable knitting
Tuition:  $95 + GST


Twist for Grist
Saturday, July 6, 2019 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Change the relative thickness of your yarn, just by changing the amount of twist. This class will explore the factors that control the amount of twist that goes into yarn and how you can use these factors to change the diameter of the yarns you make. Using the same fibre, we will make 3-5 different yarns, simply by changing our twist!

Instructor: Michelle Boyd
Difficulty/Prerequisite: Intermediate to advanced workshop; students must be confident in ability to
spin a continuous yarn.
Tuition: $95 + $12 materials + GST


Up to Batt
Saturday, July 6, 2019 9 am – 12:00 pm

Tempted by that beautiful batt, but not sure how to spin it?  This short workshop will look at different ways to take advantage of the unique characteristics of both smooth batts and wild textured art batts. 

Instructor:  Michelle Boyd
Difficulty/Prerequisite:  Students should be able to spin a continuous yarn.
Tuition: $95 + $25 materials + GST


You Bought a Fleece – Now What?
Saturday, July 6, 2019 9:00 am – 4:30 pm

This class will teach you how to choose your fleece to fit your project.  You will then learn how to properly wash and store your fleece, as well as how to prepare your fleece for use.

Instructor:  Sue Clausen
Difficulty/Prerequisite: Desire to buy that first fleece
Tuition: $195 + $50 materials + GST

Sunday July 7, 2019

Beginner Weaving
Sunday, July 7 – Thursday, July 11, 2019, 9am – 4:30pm

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 a fast and efficient way 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:  Norma Westcott
Difficulty/Prerequisite:  None – come ready to learn about weaving!
Tuition:  $495 + $65 materials + GST


Design Your Own Hat or Mittens
Sunday, July 7, 2019 9am – 4:30

Part 1 will allow students time to get creative with patterning, experimenting with either colour or texture; dreaming up their own combinations suitable for a small project.  Part 2 will look at mitten and hat constructions and various shaping techniques that will allow the design ideas developed in part 1 to be incorporated into a pattern of your own.

Instructor:  Fiona Ellis 
Difficulty/Prerequisite: Must be able to knit and purl
Tuition:  $195 + GST


Felted Dimensional Landscape
Sunday, July 7, 2019 9am – 4:30pm

You are invited to come play with wool and make some beautiful art! This was a popular request by last years’ students to focus on more embellishments and more slightly 3 D advanced techniques. Each participant will make a large felted wool ‘painting’ of a landscape scene of their choice with lots of detail. You will learn to make trees with lots of texture and relief, rocks that stand out from the background, flowers that rise from the surface, etc.  We will be learning both needle felting and wet felting and using merino, silk and other embellishments. 

Instructor:  Lois McDonald-Layden
Difficulty/Prerequisite:  Any previous felting landscape workshop with Lois
Tuition: $195 + $50 material fee + GST

Hand Carders: A Spinner’s Best Friend
Sunday, July 7, 2019 1:30 – 4:30pm

Hand carders are often the first fibre preparation tool spinners buy and use.  They are the true workhorses of the fibre prep tools.  They are simple, relatively affordable, and easy to use tools, but do you know the full range of things your hand carders can do for you?  Join Diana in this class to learn how to learn how to make bouncy rolags from unprocessed fibre; combine fibres with wool (such as alpaca and silks); blend colours to make original colourways; add texture to your rolags; and spin with these preparations.  Along the way  you will learn sound ergonomic practices so you can hand card all day without hurting yourself, and you will want to because it is that fun!

Instructor:  Diana Twiss
Difficulty/Prerequisite:  None
Tuition:  $95 + $15 material fee + GST


Proper Spinning and Finishing of Luxurious Fibres
Sunday, July 7, 2019, 9am – 4:30 pm

This class is for the spinner that has not yet jumped into using luxury and exotic fibres for fun.  You will learn about the fibre, tips on how to prepare, spin, finish, and extrapolate the luxury by blending. We will not be concentrating on the technical perfection but you will learn how this is an asset to making wonderful yarn. Bring your wheel, tools if available and savor the qualities of alpaca, chigora (dog), angora (bunny), flax, silk and possibly more!

Instructor:  Kathy Schneider
Difficulty/Prerequisite:  Student should be comfortable with spinning a continuous single and plying on your wheel.  Comfortable with spinning both worsted and woolen.  Perfection is not necessary, just comfort!
Tuition:  $195 + $35 material fee + GST


Spindling 2.0 – Taking it to the Next Level
Sunday, July 7, 2019 9am – 12:00pm

This class is for spinners who are able to make a continuous thread with a suspended spindle (also known as a drop spindle).  If you want to learn more such as spinning with different styles of spindles such as Turkish, Navajo, Russian supported, Tahkli, spinning faster and having more options for plying.  In this half-day class, participants will learn techniques to that will make their spindling experiences more satisfying.  You will learn the basics such as making a leader, drafting and winding on; drafting techniques such as worsted, woolen and spinning from the fold; strategies for spinning difficult or challenging fibre; tips for spinning soft singles and lace weight yarns; an assortment of ways to ply yarn (including chain-plying) with a spindle; how to spin on a variety of supported spindles to spin cotton, yak and bison; how to spin with Turkish spindles; and the importance of setting your yarn and how to do it.

Instructor:  Diana Twiss
Difficulty/Prerequisite: Must be able to spin a continuous thread on a spindle or a wheel. No experience with plying necessary for this class.
Tuition:  $95 + $15 material fee + GST