We are excited to offer a range of classes that cover most disciplines in the fiber arts.  Join them to hone your skills, or learn a new one! 

 

DYE CLASSES

 

Our instructor:   CHRISTINA DRENNAN COGHILL is a life-long textile artisan. She crochets, spins, and knits. Her interest in fiber processing led her to become a Certified Redding Method dye instructor. Using the Redding Method Christina can more precisely control the outcome of her yarn dyeing—without becoming overly-embroiled in the tedium of measuring, weighing and calculating. It is a a dynamic method that is both precise and intuitive.  She offers these classes:

FIX THAT BAD DYE JOB 

 

If you have ever dyed some precious yarn (perhaps hand-spun or maybe a coveted exotic fiber) and been disappointed with the result, this is the class for you.  Or, if you are just interested in learning new dye techniques to enhance your skills, this class is also for you.  Learn methods of over-dyeing to revive dyed yarns that did come out as expected.  Learn a new way to think about dyeing to apply to future projects.

Please dress appropriately for dyeing.  Bring note-taking materials and rubber gloves, along with a 2-1/2 gallon non-reactive pot to dye your project.

3 hour class

 

RAINBOW DYE POT

We sometimes see multicolored yarns from the same dye pot and wonder how the artisan who did them got such brilliant colors.  How were the dyes controlled to avoid mixing and getting muddy colors?  Learn the secret from Certified Redding Method Dye instructor Christina Drennan Coghill.  The Redding Method is based on a fundamental understanding of fiber structure and how that structure relates to the take-up of dye.  Once you know fiber and dye properties, you can intuitively explore the interaction between dye chemicals and specific fiber types.  This is a dynamic methodology that is spans the the gap between tedious measured dyeing and “no rules” experimentation.

Please dress appropriately for dyeing.  Bring note-taking materials and rubber gloves, along with a 2-1/2 gallon non reactive pot for your project.

3 hour class

 

 

WEAVING CLASSES

We are pleased to have three weaving instructors:  

ROIANA BUCKMASTER currently lives in Mount Pleasant, Tennessee, where she is working with her husband Mike and youngest son Nick to build a flock of Icelandic sheep (along with chickens, guinea fowl, ponies, puppies and whatever else she can smuggle into the barn when Mike isn’t looking). Roiana was given knitting needles at the age of 6 (to keep her out from underfoot), embroidery at the age of 10 (to encourage sitting still) and plunged headlong into the shadowy worlds of spinning, weaving, tatting and various other fiber arts from there. It’s a slippery slope, but what a ride! 

RUTH HUTTON began her path into Fiber Arts from her talented mother, starting at an early age with knitting and embroidery. She graduated from college with a Textile Design degree in 1981 from Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science (now known as Philadelphia University). Ruth worked as a Jacquard fabric designer for 26 years producing upholstery fabrics. In 2007 to 2015 she operated a yarn shop in Elkin, NC. During these years, she extended her fiber art experiences to weaving, spinning, dyeing, needle-felting, and kumihimo braiding. She now enjoys practicing her craft from her home and introducing others to the pleasure and satisfaction of engaging in fiber crafts. 

PAT PAWLOWICZ is a fiber artisan from Tennessee, but she teaches classes and workshops and over the US and in Europe. She can be found teaching at shows, shops, guilds, and for private groups. Her goal is always to present fun and informative classes. She gets her greatest satisfaction from her students' accomplishments. 

The weaving classes offered this year are: 

 

INTRODUCTION TO INKLE WEAVING with Roiana Buckmaster

 

Inkle weaving is a means of producing warp-faced bands on a narrow wood loom.  The bands can be a utilitarian plain weave or highly patterned, depending on how the warp threads are manipulated.  This is a centuries old technique for making items like straps, belts, and headbands.  An attractive feature of inkle weaving is that the looms are generally portable and relatively inexpensive.  If you have always thought that you would like to try weaving, this class provides the opportunity to learn weaving fundamentals via an ancient technique.

You will use a Mini Inkle Loom with a simple heddle system to create a basic warp-faced fabric that will introduce you to some of the principles of weaving on multiple harness looms.  You will learn to warp your loom, make heddles, create 2 different sheds to pass the shuttle through, how to keep your edges tidy, how to fix a broken warp thread, and how to begin and end your project. The class fee includes a  handcrafted wood loom and shuttle for you to keep, along with the yarn for your class project.

Students should bring scissors and note-taking materials.

4 hour class

 

 

RIGID HEDDLE WEAVING with Ruth Hutton

 

Many weavers are introduced to their craft by using rigid heddle looms.  These are wood frame looms with wood heddles having plastic yarn spacers that hold the heddle unit rigid..  The heddle unit both creates the sheds for weaving and acts as a beater.  It is a simple efficient design capable of producing an awesome variety of fabrics.  Because these looms are easy to use, portable, and inexpensive, many people begin their weaving journey using rigid heddle looms.  The versatility of these looms, however, leads many weavers to continue using them even after mastering their craft.   Rigid heddle looms are not just for beginners.

In this class, you will be introduced to the basics of weaving, you will learn weaving terms, and  how to plan a project.  You will warp your loom with cotton for a cotton towel.  Finishing techniques will also be discussed.

Students must provide their own looms and shuttles (an 8 to 10 inch stick shuttle is recommended). Please bring a loom stand or clamps for attaching the loom to a table.  A hook for threading, scissors, a warping peg, and a calculator will also be needed.

Yarns for warp and weft and warping paper will be provided by the instructor for a $10 materials fee.

All day class (6 hours) with break for lunch

 

WEAVING STICK WORKSHOP with Pat Pawlowicz

 

Weaving Sticks have been used for centuries by many cultures around the world. This is a simple hand-weaving technique used to create belts, pouches, jewelry, straps, headbands and even tapestries.  Household items are easy to learn and work up quickly.  This is a great way for beginners, including kids, to be introduced to weaving, but it is also another useful technique for more experienced fiber artisans.  There are  many possibilities with using these versatile sticks, and in this class you will learn to weave with 2, 3, 4 and 5 sticks for different effects. Create a bracelet of your own design to wear home proudly! 

All materials and use of tools will be provided.  There is a $10 materials fee payable to the instructor.

Please bring small, sharp scissors and don’t forget your glasses if you need them!

2 hour class

 

 

LUCET WEAVING with Pat Pawlowicz

 

The Lucet is an ancient hand-weaving tool originally used by the Vikings. This simple device creates a square braid, used for making belts, cords, ropes, handles, jewelry, headbands and even clothing embellishments. You will work with two sizes of lucets and lots of different fiber choices to get the feel of the tools, and you will be introduced to the double lucet as well. You will receive written and illustrated instructions to take home to continue your new craft.  Easy to learn, potable, and no sharp needles make this a fun craft for all.  Students aged 8 and up are welcome.

All materials and use of tools provided for a $10 materials fee paid to the instructor. There will be  great range of colors and fiber blends for experimentation.. 

Bring small sharp scissors, and don’t forget your glasses if you need them!

2 hour class

 

 

KUMIHIMO BRAIDING 

 

KUMIHIMO BRACELET with Ruth Hutton

 

In Japanese kumihimo means “to gather threads.”  This is a traditional braiding technique used to make colorful and intricately patterned cords.  It is fun, fast, and portable.  In this class, students will learn to use a “kumi” disc to create a bracelet.  Calculations for thread lengths, attaching beads and braiding instructions will be covered in the class.

Students must bring note-taking supplies, a magnification aide (reading glasses will do), and scissors.  All other supplies are included in the materials fee of $15 to be paid to the instructor.  These materials include the class handout, glass beads, braiding threads, a finishing needle, a kumihimo disc with 8 bobbins, and a bracelet finding. 

3 hour class

 

 

EMBROIDERY 

 

EMBROIDERED PENDANT with Ruth Hutton

 

Embroidery is the art of embellishing fabric using thread in creative stitching.  Enhance your embroidery skills by creating a delicate pendant.  This is a fun and easy way to produce a unique piece of wearable art.  Five stitches will be covered in class:  back stitch, straight stitch, woven wheel,  satin stitch, and french knots.  Finishing the project will also be covered.

Students must bring note-taking supplies, a magnification aide (reading glasses will do), and scissors.  All other supplies are included in the materials fee of $15 to paid to the instructor.  These materials include the class handout, an embroidery hoop, printed fabric, pendant kit, embroidery threads, and a needle.

3 hour class

 

 

RUG HOOKING 

Our instructor:  

MARY HENCK is a McGown Certified rug hooking instructor. She has been hooking for over 20 years and teaching for over 15 years. She is the owner of Mary’s Wool garden, President of the Shockoe Slip Rug Hookers and Chair of the Virginia Rugfest Hookin in Richmond, VA. She has exhibited her work at the Visual Art Center (Richmond, VA) and at the Virginia Rugfest. Her specialty is dyed wool for rug hooking, braiding, and quilt applique. Mary lives in Richmond

 

TRADITONAL RUG HOOKING 

 

Rug hooking is an art of humble origins in early nineteenth century America.  Originally developed as a means of using leftover yarns and fabrics, it has evolved into a distinctive art form.  Students in this class will learn the basic technique of traditional rug hooking using strips of wool fabric hooked into a linen backing. The class is open to all levels from beginners to more experienced “hookers.”   

Students will learn using a kit provided by the instructor.  Each kit includes 15” x 15” (approximate size) pattern on linen backing, cut wool strips and a hook.  The kit fee is $45 payable to the instructor.

Students should bring a scissors and 12 or 14 inch Quilter’s hoop (or rug hooking frame if they have one).  Hoops are also are available for purchase for $15.00.

3 hour class 

 

NEEDLE FELTING

We have two instructors for felting.  Read about Pat above (she's multi-talented!) 

JUDY WILSON is a self-taught fiber artist in both needle-felting and wet-felting. She uses these techniques to create both two and three-dimensional pieces. Her inspiration comes from the love of sheep and their fiber. After retiring from the sheep show circuit, she began felting about four years ago and has not looked back since. She sells her artwork through juried shows through-out our region.

 

FELTED WOOL GREETING CARD with Judy Wilson

 

Using a special barbed needle, you will earn how to make colorful wool pictures on a wet-felted wool base.  It is rather like painting with wool.  You will make a greeting card that can be used as a gift or be framed.  Once you master the techniques, you will see the broad creative possibilities of using needle-felting by itself or in conjunction with other fiber arts.

All supplies will be provided by the instructor.

2 hour class

FELTED SOAP with Judy Wilson

 

Needle felt a decorative wool blanket onto a bar of handmade wine soap.  The scent of the wine enhances a luxurious bathing experience while the wool softly stimulates the skin.  This is a good way to learn the versatile craft of needle felting while producing a gift for yourself or someone else.  

All supplies will be provided by the instructor.

2 hour class

 

NEEDLE FELTED CRITTERS with Pat Pawlowicz

 

Even if you have never picked up a felting needle before, you can create the critter of your choice in just a couple of hours! Learn the correct terminology and safe techniques to sculpt a 3D animal, add eyes and blend colors and add fur. Enjoy watching other students' different animals come to life as well! 

Written and illustrated instructions are included; all materials and use of tools will be provided.  There is a $10 materials fee payable to the instructor.

Please bring small, sharp scissors and don’t forget your glasses if you need them!

2 hour class

 

 

KNITTING

Our instructor:  

RENÉ E.WELLS has been knitting since she was a child taught by her beloved Grandma Kay. She has enjoyed all aspects of knitting and sharing them with others. “Teaching brings me joy. I enjoy seeing how fiber and skill inspire others to further explore the art of knitting.” She teaches at retreats, festivals, yarn shops and of course in her home with a pot of tea. 

 

ESTONIAN LACE KNITTING:  Gathered Stitches with René Wells

 

Lace knitting is both intriguing and a bit frightening for even advanced knitters, but it does not need to be.  Once you understand the logic of lace knitting, the fear goes away and you can enjoy the challenge of knitting a lace garment that will inspire complements and a bit of envy.  Styles of lace knitting evolved differently in different parts of the world.  In this class you will be introduced to the one of the special characteristics of Estonian lace knitting:  Gathered stitches.  These are the stitches that make the traditional floral patterns of Estonia come alive.  There are several special gathered stitches that will be taught in this class.

Students taking this class should know how to knit, purl, increase, decrease, and knit from a chart.

Materials to bring include smooth white or cream fingering yarn, needles appropriate to fingering weight yarn (bring several sizes 5 to 7, if you have them), and any other knitting supplies that you like to have on hand.

Charts and instructions to be provided by the instructor.

3 hour class

 

ESTONIAN LACE KNITTING:  Making Lace Nupps with René Wells

In this class you will learn another unique feature of Estonian lace.  Nupps are a bubble-like feature used to enhance floral designs in Estonian knitting.  They define a lace pattern and provide texture.  In this class you will learn to make both vertical and horizontal nupps.  

Both Estonian knitting classes can be taken separately, but if you really want to immerse yourself in this technique, we recommend taking both classes in sequence.

Students taking this class should know how to knit, purl, increase, decrease, and knit from a chart.

Materials to bring include smooth white or cream fingering yarn, needles appropriate to fingering weight yarn (bring several sizes 5 to 7, if you have them), and any other knitting supplies that you like to have on hand.

Charts and instructions to be provided by the instructor.

3 hour class

 

BEADED WRIST WARMERS with René Wells

 

There are few things as elegant and practical as beaded wrist warmers.  They are decorative and keep you warm.  The Norwegians say, “Warm your wrists and be warm all over.”  Beaded wrist warmers are an excellent gift for those who play musical instruments, keyboard, and craft--but also for those who like a bit of bling.  

Knit in garter stitch, this is a fun beading project for all levels of knitting.

Students must be able to knit and purl.

Kits, including yarn, glass beads, and threader, will be provided by the instructor.  You will be given a variety of patterns and beads from which to choose.  Kit fee is $15 to be paid to the instructor.

Students must bring double point or straight knitting needles, sizes 0, 1, or 1.5  Metal needles are a good choice.  Bring smaller needles if you are a relaxed knitter. 

3 hour class

 

SPINNING

Our instructor:

GINGER CLARK brings 40 years of spinning experience to the classroom. Her background in teaching spinning and experimenting with different fibers has given her a strong understanding of the unique qualities and properties of fibers from different animals. Ginger was a production spinner for 10 years and became proficient at producing yarns for a variety of end uses. Today she has a specific interest in controlling colors during spinning for beautiful lace gradient colors yarns. 

 

FRACTAL SPINNING TO TAME THAT WILD ROVING with Ginger Clark

 

With the proliferation of independent dyers, there is no end of brightly colored roving.  The colors call to us and we want to spin them into yarns that look like the roving just purchased.  To get the most of these preparations, you need a plan to highlight or tone down colors and create the yarn that you have in mind.  Fractal spinning is one means of doing this; it is a method of controlling colors that might become muddy without planning.  In this class you will learn to evaluate rovings and then learn how colors shift during spinning and plying based on the thickness of your roving.  Planning for fractal spinning will allow you to make the yarn you want rather than get the yarn that just happens.

Students must be able to spin a continuous yarn.  Please bring a spinning wheel in good working order, hand carders, note pad and pencil, and a calculator.  Also, bring any wild and crazy roving that you have been wondering how to spin.

Fiber to be provided by the instructor for a $20 materials fee payable to her.

3 hour class

 

WOOLEN vs. WORSTED SPINNING with Ginger Clark

 

The vast majority of fiber preparations are roving or top.  While roving makes it easy to get started spinning, it also tends to restrict the yarns that spinner spins.  Woolen yarns are light and airy while worsted yarns are tighter and smoother.  During this class you will not only learn the differences is structure, but you will also learn about fiber preparation, which preparation would be used for which type of project.  You will then spin your own woolen and worsted yarns from the same fibers so that you can see the differences.

Students must be able to spin a continuous yarn.  Please bring a spinning wheel in good working order, hand carders, note pad and pencil, and a calculator. 

Fiber to be provided by the instructor for a $20 materials fee payable to her.

3 hour class

DROP SPINDLING

Our instructor:   CHELSEA FEHSKENS  is a fiber artisan and local sheep farmer.   When time permits, between caring for her critters and new baby, she also shears sheep.  She and her mother have been a fixture in the local fiber community and can also be found on Fiber Days at the Independence, Virginia, Farmers Market.

You may wonder why anyone would use a drop spindle when there are so many good spinning wheels on the market, but drop spindles are efficient, inexpensive, and really portable.  A drop spindle lets you take your spinning anywhere.   In this class you will learn the centuries-old art of creating yarn on a wooden drop spindle. You will learn the step-by-step process including some basics of wool types and preparation. Each student will leave with their own drop spindle, a mini yarn skein, and extra wool roving so you can keep spinning!  

 

 

 

 

BASKETRY

Our instructor:  REBECCA ARRINGTON became enchanted with basket weaving when given a wine basket filled with local wines at her wedding in 2003. She began studying under Helen Springer in Holland, Michigan, and has been hooked on the craft ever since. In recent years, she has added gourd work and sewing to her repetroire. 

 

MAKE A MARKET BASKET with Rebecca Arrington

 

Students will learn how to measure, cut, and design their own market basket.  If you are a beginner who has always wanted to learn basket making, this class is definitely for you, but basket-makers with experience will enjoy sharpening their skills.  Everybody will leave the class with a 9” by 11” market basket.

All materials will be provided by the instructor for a fee of $35 payable to her

All day (6 hour class) with a break for lunch

 

 

TATTING

Roiana Buckmaster is another of our multi-talented instructors.  Her bio can be found in the weaving section.

 

BEGINNING SHUTTLE TATTING with Roiana Buckmaster

 

This class will introduce students to a simple method of tatting that takes the mystery out of this wonderful lace form.  Students will learn the two halves of the ttting stitch, making a picot for decoration, making a ring, and joining rings—all by crafting a butterfly pin.  

All materials are provided by the instructor as well as tatting shuttle for students to keep.

3 hour class

CROCHET

Our Instructor:   Sheryl Means is a life long crafter who learned to crochet as a Girl Scout. Yarn has always captured her fancy which ultimately led to being a yarn shop owner in 2006. For many years knitting and crochet kept her busy, then she learned to spin, weave, felt. There was no turning back. The shop closed in 2017, but Sheryl has not stopped working with fiber. Her new life is as a fiber artist and calls her business The Woolen Hook. Sheryl is dyeing yarn and fiber, creating fiber batts, and making art with her yarn and fiber. Sheryl is a published crochet designer having designs in Interweave Crochet, Crochet! Magazine, and had two books published by Leisure Arts. 

Freeform crochet is a method of making creative, multi-directional cloth using basic crochet stitches, stitch patterns, and traditional crochet construction methods. While there is no pattern for the finished item, you will learn basic guidelines to make something completely unique and beautiful. In addition to circles, we will make spirals, textured stitches, learn surface embellishment, seaming, how to work for a specific shape. The class handout will include instructions for finishing and making a unique bag. So, let’s have some fun with yarn and hooks.

Students should have a working knowledge of basic crochet stitches and construction and some homework is required. Please prepare as follows: Circle: Chain 4, 11 dc in 4th ch from hook. Join to top of beginning chain 4. End off. Make three - can be different colors, the same color, or a variegated yarn that coordinates with your palette.

Materials to bring: Small amounts (50-75 yards) 5-6 colors of yarn all in the same weight - Sport, DK, Worsted; a selection of crochet hooks in sizes appropriate for your yarn, a yarn needle and scissors.

3 hour class
Sunday 9:00 to 12:00 

 

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