Tag Archive | fibre

OHS Level 2: Day 6

What an amazing day!!! Wendy was at the helm today with her first mate, Marty. We did colour blending. If you know me, you know that I’m going to love anything related to colour. I thoroughly enjoyed the class.

Our first assignment was to work around the outside of a colour triangle. My group was assigned the Broken Printers Palette – that means that the cyan was replaced with royal blue (from the painters palette). One thing that I did discover from this exercise is that I’m no longer as determined as I was on the quest for royal blue. While I do love the colour, I’m not so fond of the green/blues that come from it. I think it’s too strong.

Broken Printers Palette - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

Broken Printers Palette – all of the printers palette colours except that cyan has been swapped out with royal blue

Another group did the Broken Painters Palette:

Broken Painters Palette - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

Broken Painters Palette – cyan was used instead of blue

Painters Palette:

Painters Palette - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

Painters Palette

Printers Palette:

Printers Palette - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

Printers Palette

Our next assignment was to work on a shade gradation which involved adding various amounts of black to a base colour:

Shade Gradation - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

Shade gradation exercise

There was a crossing of wires/jumping of the gun in the group I was in (I was just getting back from break) so we ended up doing an even bigger gradation. It turned out so amazing in spite of not being what we were initially supposed to do.

Ten-step gradation - keepmeinstitchez.worpdress.com

Ten-step shad gradation

I don’t think I would have had any trouble with this portion of the course, but I will say that taking the intermediate course certainly gave me a leg up. I’m very confident about this part. I haven’t entirely decided, but I think I’m going to needle felt the samples for my triangle. We’ll see.

After class there was a fibre-related sale. I picked up some wax conditioner for my wheel and some samples of fleece for my breed book. I also picked up a couple of shawl pins.

Tomorrow we’re getting into nature dyes. I’m pretty excited about this. I worked with nature dyes during the fibre arts program. It will be really interesting to see it geared specifically towards wool. Looking forward to what Louise is going to show us.


OHS Level 2: Day 3

Feeling even better than I did yesterday. I was ready to get the show on the road! In fact, I wish we didn’t need sleep. I want to be back at class hehehe

We started the day off with Harriet and doing more work on grading fleece. I find it so fascinating! I commented to a friend that I’d love to learn more about the judging of fleece. Not to be nit-picky, but to help give input/feedback about what spinners are looking for. I’m filing this thought for now, but who knows. At first I was a little nervous about grading the fleece that was put in front of us. I held my breath and did it anyway. Well then Harriet read out what she graded each fleece. I was blown away! All in all, the grades that I gave in many cases were only off by 2 or 3 points. I guess I did know what I was doing!

Fleece to be graded - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

Fleece we were grading

Fleece to be graded - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

More fleece to be graded. They were kept in boxes. Nope. Mine Craft sheep don’t produce real wool!

After working on our grading skills, we further discussed our breed book which is due at the beginning of year 4. At this point, I’m in pretty good shape. We need to have 20 breeds and I’m more than half way there. Today pushed me even closer because I traded some fleece with a couple of classmates.

I also got the fleece that I’m going to spin for fleece LOL Spin a pound, get a pound. Now I know some people may want to give me poop about this. My reasoning is that this is a really good way to further strengthen my technique and I get wool out of the deal. I’m nervous about worsted spinning (at this point). I want to get as much practice in as I can for my assignments. I’m sure I’ll be fine, but I want to be more than fine!

Tunis fleece - keepmeinstitchez.wordpress.com

The Tunis fleece I’ll be working with

In the afternoon, we discussed spinning worsted with Beth and Beth (I asked Beth S. if being named Beth was a prerequisite for being an instructor LOL). Wow. What an amazing team! Well, I already knew that Beth S. was an awesome instructor. She helped me with the “ah-ha!” moment that made me conquer the drop spindle (I’ll never forget that!). I had met Beth A. before, but I didn’t know her last name, so I didn’t make the connection. Anyway, she sure knows how to hook a student’s attention! I thoroughly enjoyed the class this afternoon. Well, I did have a bit of challenge with the long draw on the 6:1 ratio. I generally treadle in a slow, relaxed fashion. I enjoy that. But it means I need to use a higher ratio to get the twist I need. Yeah, that didn’t work so well for me. I knew what the issue was though. I will say that I did not enjoy having to treadle that fast. Oh well. I did it. I conquered it. Now I must sleep.

Tomorrow we’re doing more worsted combing and spinning. I know it’ll be fun! Then it’s a potluck tomorrow night.

Birthday Wool

Yesterday was my birthday. It was hard this year because it was the first one without Mom. So rather than wallow in self-pity, I decided that I was going to dye some yarn for funsies. Of course the base was going to be purple! But I wanted to see if I could fracture the colours like I did with my “happy accident”, but this time on purpose.

Keep Me in Stitchez's Birthday Wool

Wool that I dyed to celebrate my birthday

I think I was pretty successful at my end goal. Of course I had no idea that the blue was going to be so predominant, but I’m perfectly fine with that! This photo is also a little deceptive… There are sparkles in the wool, but you can see it in the photo.

While I was doing the in-class portion of OHS Level 1 this summer, it was discovered that the supplier that made the dyes we were using changed their formula. It was significantly stronger, which meant it took forever for the dye pots to exhaust. I had bought my dyes awhile ago, so I was thinking that they didn’t fall into this category. Wrong I was! So after doing four different strengths and at least 16oz of fibre later… Now I have a lot of really strong magenta yarn and fibre. I’m glad I like this colour! LOL

So when I dyed my fibre yesterday, I hadn’t officially came to that conclusion yet. The purple was darker than what I was aiming for, but I’m pleased with the results. And in the fashion in which I was taught, I documented what I did. While I may not be able to get the exact same results (and why would I want to?!), I know how to get the effect. That ones going in the books for sure!

Spinning: The Next Generation

I am honoured whenever somebody asks me to do a spinning demo. Especially for a group of kids. I love excitement of seeing their little faces when they get to experience something that is no longer “ordinary”. I think back to 6 year-old Kyla and how bright her eyes were when a teacher brought in her loom for the kids to try. That right there is why I do demos… How different would it have been if I hadn’t have got to touch that loom? Would that spark have ever got ignited?

I wonder how many sparks I’ve ignited?

I’ve had a busy week this week with 2 demos. Pictured below are the Kinmount Brownies. I also did a demo today for a group of parents and kids who home school. The photos below are courtesy of Lynne Kilby, leader of the Kinmount Brownies. She was kind enough to share them on the Kinmount Artisans Marketplace Facebook page. Thanks Lynne!

kinmountbrownies04_14 1
kinmountbrownies04_14 3
kinmountbrownies04_14 4
kinmountbrownies04_14 2

Day 3: More Colour Play and Worsted Spinning

Wendy was with us in the morning. We finished up the work with colour and did some more spinning.


Alpaca fleece

Sheesh, I’m sort of dropping the ball on taking pictures! I had spun and plied that alpaca fleece (pictured above) and did get a photo of the end result. I’ll TRY to remember for tomorrow.

Karen joined us in the afternoon. She’s amazing! Her teaching style is different from Wendy’s, both of which I like. She too is a fountain of knowledge, with a lovely, bubbly personality that makes you want to learn more! She raises Shetland sheep. I loved listening to her talk about sheering the sheep and how the “bratty” ones would come over to “help.” I would love to see that! LOL

So Karen showed us worsted spinning and the long draw for woollen spinning. Quite interesting. I think I’ve fallen in love with worsted spinning, although you have to prepare the fibre differently. It’s all VERY interesting. When you spin worsted yarn, it is tighter and sleeker. Woollen yarn is lighter and airier. Both types of spinning definitely have their time and place.


The picture above is a fleece from one of Karen’s sheep. That’s as raw as it gets! We’ve spun some yarn from her sheep and I’ve really liked it.

We ended the day with a trip to Marty’s! WOO HOO! (for those who haven’t seen me mention Marty’s, it’s the local store that has roving, spinning supplies, yarn, health food and lots more… AWESOME store!!!). I picked up a couple of bags of vibrant pencil roving (damn you Louet for not making it anymore!) and a gorgeous braid of black, purple and gold roving. That should keep me busy for awhile!

Day 2: Crepe Yarn and Pretty Colours

I’m a little behind with the updates about the course, but it’s just been so AMAZING that I’ve been playing with fibre rather than posting on my blog! I will back date the post for Monday and I will do my best to put up my thoughts about today’s class this evening. Unless Wendy and Karen show us something that distracts me again. Oooooh, look! Shiny!

Today was ANOTHER mind-blowing day in the Intermediate Spinning Class!

We started out with making Crepe yarn. This plying technique makes the wool extra strong. It’s good for garments and borders, especially from fibres that can’t/won’t hold their shape. Wendy’s example was that of a vest that she made for one of her courses back in the early 80’s. I believe it was a blend of camel down and wool. It was still in perfect condition! I enjoyed this kind of plying and I’m really glad to be able to add it to my toolbox.


This is what I spun into the crepe yarn


The center bobbin and the bobbin on the left will by plied together to make crepe yarn


Crepe yarn

We did a lot of colour mixing today with roving. It is so cool to see what you can achieve by carding colours together. We’re working on a colour triangle. We also covered tones, shades and tints (pictured below). Interesting stuff!


Here, we are looking at the tones, shades and tints with the colour magenta. It’s interesting how some of the puffs of wool look so similar in spite of the different colour contents


This is the scale after we removed the colours that are too close together


The shades of pink here are what my class partner and I carded for the scale above. The yarn in the center is my silk spinning. I had to take a second look at it because it was so well-spun that I questioned whether or not I actually did it!


One of the really cool things we’ve been working on is a colour triangle. Below we’re starting with the three primary colours. All of the colours here are achieved from a combination of carding primaries together. I have to say, this is something that never really crossed my mind before (because the novelty of all the other fun stuff hadn’t worn off and I wasn’t bored yet LOL). This just opens up a whole new door here. If you know me, you know that I LOVE playing with colour.



I started playing with some roving this evening and came up with some cool blends. I’m taking them to class with me, so I’ll try to snap some photos.

I have also officially set my sights on the OHS Master Spinning program. I am so excited about it! I have no idea how I’m going to pay for it, but I’ve learned something after all the crap that I’ve been through. Don’t ask how, just believe it’s going to happen. That’s how I got to the fibre arts course. That’s how I ended up here. It just seems that if I want to do something for the greater good, the clouds part and it magically falls into place. It’s like the Universe knows that I’m going to do something beautiful with these skills, so it sets things up to help me build them. I am so grateful for that!!!!

I can’t wait to see what tomorrow has in store!

And if my Sweet Pea asks, Little Mickey and Pooh did come to class with me:


Day 1: Intermediate Spinning

This week I find myself back at the Haliburton School of The Arts. I tell you, once you take one course there, you’ll want to keep coming back 😉 This time is a little different (and a LOT more relaxed). We’re focusing on spinning. Wendy, who taught the spinning and weaving portion in the fibre arts course I took, is teaching us this week. She’ll also be joined by Karen, who I’ve never met. I’m looking forward to it! I’m also in a group of delightful women which makes the course even more fun!


Course materials

The first day we did quite a lot of work with colour. Have you even had one of those moments where you’d just like to smack yourself upside the head because you “didn’t think of that??!!??” Yes, I had some of those today! We did a lot of colour blending with roving. Well let me tell you, this put a whole new “spin” on spinning for me! If you know me (or have looked around my blog), you’ll know that I LOVE colour. Put colour and spinning together and you get one happy camper.


Colour play on the wheel


Sample card… This is just so that we can remember how we got those colour combinations. Keeping notes in spinning is VERY important so that you can get consistent results if you spin something you love (or know what colour combinations to not do if you don’t!)


A variety of spinning combinations from just three colours



We did a LOT of plying today too. I already knew how to do Andean plying from school. I was introduced to Navajo plying (I realize that this is not the new “politically correct” term, but the other one seems to have slipped my mind since this term has been used for so long). I definitely want to play more with that plying technique because it allows you to keeps strips of colour. That is something that is very appealing to me.

The course is being held at the high school in the music room. So right off the “batt” I was smiling because of all the good memories that room holds for me. That was my home when I was in high school. I think I may see if I can feel anything by standing in the spot where I used to sit for my three years of taking music there. By the way, Pete the Fly is still there. And he’s just as annoying as he was back them. Good times. Good times…


And to those who think they have “won” and that I would be shut down and curled up in a ball this week… Think again.