Are you a fiber lover? Have you dreamed about making your own yarn? Now that vaccinations are in place and the virus is starting to wane. I am going to start offering my in-person classes to a small select group of people.
This spinning class will be limited to 2 people at a time. Depending on the weather, we may be able to do this outside on the porch unmasked. Or if we need to be indoors we will wear masks at least until that mandate is lifted. I will be offering this once a month for the next few months. If my dates don’t work for you, please contact me and we can work out an alternate date or time.
This is a 3 hour class offered from 1-4pm on each of the dates. You don’t need to bring anything, I have spinning wheels and spindles for you to use. If you do have equipment that you would like to use, just let me know.
You will learn how to prepare the fiber for spinning. You will learn how to use a spinning wheel and/or a spindle to make yarn from roving. If there is time, you will also learn how to ply your yarn too.
It’s ON!! Flying Goat Farm will have another TdF team this year. And I thought I should put out an invitation to my readers. Tour de Fleece has been running for many years. I’ve had a team for the past 6 years, I think.
Here’s what it is….. This is a spinning event that runs concurrently with the Tour de France. Participants are to spin all the days that the cyclists are racing on the tour. You can rest on their rest days too. The days that are mountain stages, each participant will determine a spinning challenge for themselves. This year the tour runs from 6/26 to 7/18. The rest days are 7/5 and 7/12. The mountain stages are July 4, 5,7, 11, 14 and 15. Whew! That’s a lot of mountain stages.
Why do it? Well since my first year, I have found that this 21 day spinning event has done so much to improve my spinning skills. Just the act of sitting and spinning each and every day for 21 days builds my confidence and builds my skills.
For the FGF team, here’s my suggestions (not rules): First of all spin each of the race days. Spin for at least 10 minutes. If you can spin more, do that. Make a goal for yourself for those 21 days. In the past, I have challenged myself to make yarn for a handspun sweater or picking several art yarns and practicing spinning those each of the challenge days. Or last year my main goals was to spin fibers I hadn’t tried before like linen and faux cashmere.
So this year, I haven’t yet picked my overall challenge. I am taking some spinning classes with Jillian Moreno during MD Sheep and Wool in a couple of weeks and I think that will inform my decision.
I’m getting back into the dye kitchen. It’s been a while since I’ve been enthused about mixing colors and yarns and roving. For today, I stocked some new colors of Polwarth Silk Hand Dyed Combed Top. These are lovely. They are 60% polwarth wool and 40% silk. Polwarth is a lot like merino if you’ve never tried it. And the addition of silk makes it really lustrous and so, so fun to spin.
I’m working on replenishing my hand dyed roving…. Here are the ones I just took out of the dye bath.
Remember these will dry lighter of course. I’ll post in social media when they are available for sale. This is superfine alpaca top. It is pretty slippery, and so makes some really fine singles if you like to spin fine yarn!!
I haven’t talked to the spinners in our community for a month, since the TdF part un concluded. Why 2 parts? Well, a little background. .. The tour de fleece is based on the tour de France and that was delayed due to covid 19 concerns. The spinning community decided to hold the tour de fleece at it’s usual time, just in case the cycling race was cancelled over all. I went with that. And now it looks like the tour de France will be on starting this Saturday. It runs from 8/29 through 9/20. There are 2 rest days: 9/7 and 9/14. And there are challenge days when the bike race is in the mountains, spinners challenge themselves to do more or do better or do different. There are a lot of those days this year: 8/30, 9/5, 9/5, 9/11, 9/15, 9/16, 9/17.
This time I’m collaborating with Patty Sanville of Budding Creek Farm. We will be combining our teams for the prizes. Both teams are on Facebook. The prize categories will be most yardage spun, most different types of spinning fiber (plant, animal and man-made), most different “Shave Em to Save Em” breeds spun and most different spinning equipment, such as electric wheel, number of treadles, different kinds of spindles and even a charka if you have one (hint: I do!)
So how do you participate? First join one or both of the facebook groups. Click here for FGF Tour de Fleece group. Click here to join Spinning in Circles group. Have a goal for these spinning days whether that’s spinning for a certain project or just stash busting. Then spin everyday. Do you have to spin the whole time the race is running? No! You can of course do that and you would be in the running for the most yardage. But any spinning every day is fine. I’ve found this to be the single greatest way to improve your spinning. You are building up hours of practice. You are learning your wheel and your fibers and building stamina.
I do hope you will join us! Its a fun community. I will be doing at least one Zoom spin-in. More info on that on the group page.
I’ve been thinking about getting an e-spinner for several years now. I couldn’t really rationalize the high price of the most popular model. Last year at the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival, I saw a woman spinning on an eel nano. It seemed so small and delicate. I looked at reviews, I looked at other espinners. And I found the one for me.
I bought a Heavenly Handspinning Vespera, Gen 2. I had it unpacked and put together in under 30 minutes.
And I was spinning very shortly afterward. HH has nice YouTube videos to help you set up the machine and to get started spinning. And I did use them to make sure that I had all the cords connected in the correct way.
Where to find us
Open by Appointment! Email me for an appointment or FACETIME
We are located in Frederick MD. You can shop in person with a mask and lots of social distance! Or buy online and stop by to pick up…I’ll run your purchases out to you in your car.
Next Open Studio:
April 17 11-4pm
Maryland Sheep and Wool Virtual Festival
May 1st and 2nd We will be open from 11-2pm for your in person shopping pleasure…. Or you can participate virtually