In this two-part workshop, participants will learn to clean, card, and spin wool from a raw fleece, suitable for crochet, knitting, or weaving. We will use fleeces sourced from the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival Fleece Show for this class, which will be processed from raw wool into roving by washing and carding in Class I. In Class II, participants will reprise carding and learn to spin their roving into yarn. The class will be led by master spinner and fleece judge, Holin Kennen, of the Victorian Technology Institute.
Processing a Fleece
October 17, 2:00–5:00-ish p.m.
Class I will deal with sourcing and choosing a fleece locally (there’s a lot to say about that), skirting the fleece (getting all the undesirable parts of the fleece off), then washing the fleece, and an introduction to cards, combs, and flick carding. Experienced spinners who want to take their production to the next level are encouraged to attend.
Students will need to bring a large bath-sized towel for holding their washed fleece to dry. Please let us know if you have your own cards (not required).
Learning to Spin
October 24, 2:00–5:00-ish p.m.
Class II will review carding, combing, and flick carding, and then students will begin to spin. Students can begin to learn on a drop spindle (which will be available for use in the class and/or available for $17 to take home), but they can also bring a functioning(!) spinning wheel if they prefer to learn on that. If you have a niddy-noddy, please bring that as well.
Classes can be taken individually or as a set of two. The fee for each class is $75, although a sliding scale rate of $65 is available. The two classes each have a $15 materials fee to cover handouts, mesh bag (Class I), and the fleece you’ll be practicing with and taking home. The reduced rate for enrollment in both classes is $130 (sliding scale rate: $110), a savings of $20. Extra washed fleece can be purchased at $2.50/oz., while supplies last.
Please wear weather-appropriate clothing. We plan to be outside. With light rain, we’ll be under cover, but in case of inclement weather, we have indoor space available if needed. We’ll have drinking water and snacks available, but please feel free to bring your own additional beverage.
The workshop will take place at the Low Technology Institute, 11927 W. State Road 59, Evansville, WI 53536. We are located in historic Cooksville: from Madison take 14 south; left on 59; the institute is the fifth house on the right in town with a sign out front.
Register by purchasing a ticket through our online store. Space is limited and we will keep a waiting list. Get on the list by “purchasing” a waitlist ticket at no cost, also in our online store. Also, participants must fill out this liability waiver. Your registration is only complete when the waiver is filled out.
This event is a joint production of the Low Technology Institute and Victorian Technology Institute. Donations are always welcome to help defray the cost of our workshops and programming. Please visit our respective websites to find out more about supporting the work we do.
∇ COVID-19 CONSIDERATIONS ∇
Due to the ongoing pandemic, we will be taking precautions against spreading the virus among ourselves. This event will be outside as much as possible. A bathroom is available. We will follow CDC and Rock County guidelines. At this time, we can only accommodate fully vaccinated people (find a vaccine appointment here). We may have to wear masks, according to conditions at the time. Hand sanitizer, etc. will be available.
Holin Kennen is an award-winning spinner and the author behind the blog The Victorian Technology Institute. She has been spinning for nearly 40 years and teaches classes in spinning, baking, wood stove cookery, and other preindustrial domestic arts. She is the coordinator of the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival fleece show and specializes in wool judging and fiber preparation.
Scott Johnson, from the Low Technology Institute, will be facilitating the class. (Photo courtesy Rona Neri.)