Fleece Preparation Workshop with Lori Keller

Our November workshop welcomed Lori Keller to share about her methods for Taking the Fear Out of Selecting and Processing Raw Fleece.

She shared different considerations to include when looking at the price of the fleece, questions to ask the shepherd and different aspects of the fleece that will affect prep time.  Lori explained ‘skirting’ a fleece, advantages to doing it yourself whether you’re cleaning the fiber yourself or not, and brought in a few fleeces for us to practice skirting.

We passed around several samples of wool in various stages of processing: raw fleece, washed fleece, & carded batts Lori made on a drum carder.

We also were given samples of fleece to practice washing & rinsing using Dawn or Unicorn Power Scour so we could compare the products.   

Lori demonstrated how to use hand combs for a more worsted-style fiber prep and hand cards for a more woolen-style prep. Lori also sent us home with samples to practice preparing and spinning!

Thanks to Lori for sharing all of her experiences with fleece with us!

Guild Member Donita Westman

Guild invited to Starry Night: Arts & Science Fuels Imagination

The Westerville Partners for Education was founded in 2011. Parents and teachers saw a need for programming and advocacy. In 2013, Starry Night began as a way to enrich science and the arts curriculum. This free event has grown in scope and size. Organizations, businesses and individuals had skills, expertise and the desire to help with the educational experiences for all Westerville school students and residents. At Westerville North High School, 72 exhibitors and demonstrators participated in zones, each having a specific focus: medicine, machinery, arts & crafts, science & math as well as an area to showcase student projects.

A student tries out a loom at Starry Night

Our theme, Fiber Fun: From Fleece To Fabric, provided hands-on activities so everyone could experience the process. We had a display that featured wet and dry felting, natural and dyed wool fibers, hand and machine carding, hand/”drop” and wheel spinning, as well as table and floor loom weaving. Many handwoven items were also on display. Two freestanding tapestry looms enabled children to weave with wide strips of fabrics. Motor skill “issues” were eliminated on these large-scale looms and the children enjoyed being weavers. Many had done some weaving in art classes and they were proud to show their skill.

The interaction each of us had was wonderful. Ten of our members spent at least 4 hours interacting with attendees. We were well received and asked to return.  The chairperson told us, “I expected a great activity, but your group hit this out of the park! Seeing the whole fiber process at one time was, I am sure, an eye opener for our students and their families.”

 Guild member Linda Hall

Spinning heads

In March, we had a fantastic workshop-“Ply Baby Ply”-given by COWG member Constance Hall.  This class covered 2-, 3-, and chain plies, as well as cabled yarn and novelty yarn made with playing and color combos.  Our heads are still “spinning” with all the wonderful information.

Guild Member Amy Swanson

Creating Dye Recipes

tye-dyed book cover with text "Building a Dye Recipe Book"

In February, the Guild enjoyed a day-long dye workshop by members Pat and Jasna in the dye studio at the Cultural Arts Center. Participants ‘mixed’ the percentages of commercial yellow, red and blue dyes on cotton squares to create a swatch book of colors–and the recipes to obtain those colors. Each participant left with a binder bursting with color, either to replicate exactly or to use as a starting point for other dyes and fabrics.

See the photo-story of the day on our Facebook page!

Thank you, Pat and Jasna!

Guild Member Amy Swanson