So I’ve spent this week taking a class. It’s on Craftsy and it’s called Spinning Dyed Fibers with Felicia Lo. You can find it here. Felicia is the founder of Sweet Georgia Yarns. I’ve never used her yarns but I know her spinning fibers are fantastic. The colors are luscious and inviting and easy to spin. Though I have never met her in person, I’d like to hang around with her I think. She describes her colors as relentlessly saturated and unapologetically vibrant. I agree.
I made notes for myself while I was watching the class because I knew I would want to talk about it here. This class has been good for me in many ways. Though I spin dyed fibers once in a while, I really have been focusing on natural colors and unprocessed wools over the last few years, so when I decide to spin some color I usually just grab the end and start spinning. Sometimes I might go as far as splitting it in half and then plying to match the colors as close as is possible but that’s generally the extent of it.
This class has given me some new ideas and has refreshed some things that I knew but hadn’t practiced for a long time.
I have nothing to show you because all of the ideas are in notes and I haven’t begun to try some of these techniques yet.
Felicia begins by talking about her beginnings as a spinner. Our learning to spin experiences were similar! Spindle was hard to learn and frustrating so we both bought a wheel! Right off the bat I felt a connection to her.
In the early part of the class there is excellent information about how the style of dyeing will effect the final yarns. Longer clear colors will result in longer stretches of clear color. More splotchy dyeing will result in more subdued colors and lots of overlap in the ply when doing a 2 or 3 ply. All of this is demonstrated with finished skeins and knitted swatches.
This class contains a great demonstration of chain plying. I like to learn the same thing from several teachers so I can incorporate different techniques or understand better. So if you haven’t been able to grasp this technique yet here’s another opportunity with a great teacher you can rewind again and again.
While watching this I was thinking about how making all of the samples using techniques included here is a great way to use some 4 ounce bits of dyed fiber that don’t have an intended purpose. Keeping the swatches in a book with good records will give an idea for future purchases even though the future colors will be different.
The next thing I thought about was how this class is great for people who don’t dye, don’t have space to dye or just don’t like it (like me). Here are ways to play with color without getting wet or messy but still the opportunity for playing with color is there.
Not only did Ilearn some techniques, the class added a ton questions for me and made me think about new things to try. I would recommend a notebook sitting by your side while you watch or spin along with Felicia.
If you have been collecting 4 ounce braids of fiber, Felicia shows how to combine the different braids of different colors so that you can make a large project. Since many of us stick within a certain palette when we choose colors these tactics could be a great addition to your skills. Even braids that are extremely different in color can be combined successfully, and can result toning down some bright colors and helping other colors to pop.
Felicia also shows how 2 ply and 3 ply can affect the end result yarns and help to subdue some colors which might feel too bright.
Other information contained in this class includes a brief discussion about woolen and worsted spinning, spinning from the fold, and wraps per inch.
My only picky complaint is that the portion of the class which shows how to Andean ply is not actually an Andean Plying bracelet but a good modified method to use instead.
The class is long. More than 3 hours all together. And there is a ton of information in here that you can go back and look at over and over. You can also ask questions of the instructor and get involved in discussions on the Craftsy site.
I think this class would be great for beginning students as well as more advanced spinners who need some color inspiration. It will help keep new spinners out of a rut and encourage all spinners to break out of their usually style.
And now I have a special link for you which will get you this class for a discounted price. Just go here!
Let me know what you think.