Master Spinner Certificate

Continuing Education - Master Spinner

What can you expect from this program/course?

The Master Spinner Program consists of six progressive levels of classroom and independent study involving skill development, research studies and project assignments in the area of hand spinning of all major types of fibers, yarns and the end use of the spun yarns.  At all levels, students are evaluated on the basis of written assignments, practical projects, oral presentations and skill development.

For a complete guide to the Master Spinner Program, please see the Master Spinner Handbook.

IDS Proposal Submission Form  IDS Proposal List

What will you learn?

Master Spinner Level 1: Requires students to be comfortable with the basic operation of a spinning wheel. This course is not a Beginner's Spinning course.

Master Spinner Levels 2-6: Requires the previous Level's class to be completed. While the completion of the previous level's independent study portion (ie - homework) is not a requirement, it is strongly recommended. Each level builds off of the previous skill developments.

Beginning Spinning: If you have never had any spinning experience, but are interested in exploring the art, we offer a Beginning Spinning workshop during Fibre Week. Located in our Workshops section, classes starting on Friday.

Certification: Certificate

Delivery: Olds Campus
All instructors will be selected from our qualified roster of Master Spinner instructors.

Length of Program: 

  • Levels 1-5 are 5 day workshops, followed by 150-175 hours of independent study on homework assignments.
  • Level 6 courses are 7 day workshops, followed by the completion of an In Depth Study.(Note: Level 6 will not be offered at Fibre Week this year)

Course Dates:

  • June 21-25, 2020
  • Level 6: Not offered in 2020
  • All courses run from 9am – 4:30pm with a 1.5 hour lunch break unless otherwise noted.

Costs & Fees Per Level: 

  • Levels 1-5: $755/Level
  • Level 6: $945
  • Materials: $85

All course tuition prices for off campus courses have slight increases to accommodate additional offering costs, as listed on the off campus offerings page.

Registrations are taken through Olds College and are most easily processed online, or by phone using a credit card.

Materials fees collected at the time of registration are for fibres, etc supplied by the instructor for use during the class. They are not meant to be of sufficient quantity for homework completion.

5% Canadian Goods and Services Tax will be added to all registrations. For more information, please visit the Canada Revenue Agency's web page on Visitors to Canada.

Required Supplies & Materials: All students are required to bring the supplies noted in their course's supply list. Each level has a different supply list, outlined below. In addition to the supply lists, students attending off campus classes should bring bring a 1" binder.

*These courses requires the use of a manual spinning wheel. If you are considering using an electronic spinner, please see our Electronic Spinners Policy.

Course Details

Master Spinner Level 1

This course provides an introduction to the basic principles of spinning yarns; the nature and characteristics of wool; selection, processing and spinning of wool; and nature dyeing.

Pre-requisite: A beginner spinning course or equivalent - must be comfortable with a spinning wheel.

Course Requirements: Level 1 supply list.

Instructor: Kathleen Schneider

Master Spinner Level 2

This course explores advanced spinning techniques such as plying, blending, spinning to specifics and advanced wheel operations. In addition to wool students will learn to spin silk, llama, alpaca, mohair, camel and camel down.

Pre-requisite: Master Spinner Level 1

Course Requirements: Level 2 supply list.

Instructor: Maria Lougheed

Master Spinner Level 3

This course focuses on spinning cotton and silk fibres; more advanced spinning techniques with wool and more complicated nature dyeing techniques.

Pre/Co-requisite: Master Spinner Level 2

Course Requirements: Level 3 supply list.

Instructor: Jayne Deardorff

Master Spinner Level 4

This course focuses on spinning and dying of cellulose fibres such as ramie, cotton and flax; protein fibres-silk, mohair, camel, cashmere and wool fibres; and acid dyeing.

Pre/Co-requisite: Master Spinner Level 3

Course Requirements: Level 4 supply list.

 Instructor: Christie Schulze

Master Spinner Level 5

This course focuses on spinning of cellulose and manmade fibres; spinning to measured specifications and for special purposes; and fibre reactive dyeing of cellulose fibres.

Pre/Co-requisite: Master Spinner Level 4

Course Requirements: Level 5 supply list.

Instructor: Kara Perpelitz

Master Spinner Level 6

This course focuses on using silk, dyeing with indigo, spinning to specific requirements and an in-depth study.

Pre/Co-requisite: Master Spinner Level 5 & Completion of homework in Levels 1-5.

Course Requirements: Level 6 supply list.

Instructor: Kara Perpelitz; Vanessa Bjerreskov

This course focuses on spinning and dying of cellulose fibres such as ramie, cotton and flax; protein fibres-silk, mohair, camel, cashmere and wool fibres; and acid dyeing.
Spinning Wheel Rentals

There are 10 wheels available for rent on a first-come basis. Contact the program coordinator for reservations and make your rental payment when you register. View the rental wheel specifications.

Note: Olds College does not promote or endorse the purchase of a specific brand or type of spinning wheel.

Workbook/Homework Marking

Please include a copy of the requirements you used when you send your work.

Check with your marker for any special instructions before mailing your work. For Levels 1-5, include a cheque equal to your mailing cost for return postage (payable to the marking instructor). Level 6 will require two postage cheques since there are two markers involved.

When shipping workbooks across the Canada/US border, please label them as "Student Homework - paperwork and yarn samples, will be returned to the USA".  If asked the value of the package, indicate that this amount is less than $100.  The best way to avoid any fees is to use the Postal System, not services like UPS.

Homework Extensions

Homework must be submitted for marking within 12 months after the class has ended. If the work has not been submitted by this deadline, the student will not receive credit for the course.

An extension to this deadline can be requested by filling out the extension request form on page 7 of the Handbook and mailing (or emailing) it to the Olds College Operations Manager, Debbie Bailey.  This request must be received at least one month before the due date.  If granted, the extension will not exceed four months beyond the original completion date. Only one extension date will be allowed per course level.

A processing fee of $75 will be applied for extensions.

Homework Extension Request Form

Refund Policy

Refund requests, accompanied by the original course receipt, received at Olds College three (3) full work days prior to the start date of a course will be granted in full, less course specific material fees that have been incurred, non-refundable deposits and an administration fee of 20% of the course tuition or $150, whichever is less. No refunds will be issued less than three (3) full work days prior to the start date of a course. Non-attendance does not constitute notice of withdrawal. In the event that a course is cancelled, registrants will receive a full refund.