Farm to Yarn: Learn to Process, Spin, & Dye Yarn, with Ellie Barbeau

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Farm to Yarn: Learn to Process, Spin, & Dye Yarn, with Ellie Barbeau

August 3 @ 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

$65 – $115

Immerse yourself in a full day of woolly goodness and the wonderful world of fiber arts! Learn how to spin your own handmade yarn, the process of taking sheep wool from farm to fiber, and how to hand dye beautiful fibers for spinning or felting.

We will cover the basics of how to prepare raw wool for spinning– washing, carding, storage, etc. You will become familiar with the amazing variety of fibers that can be used and the work, time and care needed to go from sheep to finished garment or product. The class will include lots of hands-on learning and overviews of different methods and techniques such as skirting, scouring, picking, and carding all using local Wisconsin wool.

This class will be a great introduction to cover the basics of drop spinning. If you can whirl a top, you can spin your own yarn using a drop spindle! A very traditional and ancient craft, this spinning technique has been around for a LONG time – some of the earliest man-made artifacts are spindle whorls- made from wood, bone, and stone! A drop spindle is a versatile and portable spinning tool that with a little patience and a flick of the wrist can create exquisitely unique, handmade yarn. Using prepared wool roving and a top whorl spindle, we’ll work on putting the spindle in motion, drafting the fiber, putting twist into the fiber, and winding the fiber, and plying.

Students will create their own hand-dyed roving and learn the basics of dyeing their own yarn, roving, and fibers using acid dyes. Acid dyes are a great choice for any fiber craft since they can give such vibrant, colorfast results. This portion of the class will cover what materials and equipment are need for fiber dyeing, how to prepare fibers, the basic formulas need to get you started, and will give you the hands on experience to confident dye fibers with confidence.

Various different types of spinning wheels and wool processing equipment such as hand carders, pickers, blending boards, and drum carders will be available for students to try and become familiar with.

Students will receive a kit which includes a handmade top whorl spindle, 4 ounces of commercial wool, a sample of wool wash, and local wool samples.

Instructions: For part of the class, we will be working with dyes so for your safety, please bring a mask, an apron or clothes you are willing to get stained, rubber or latex gloves, an old large towel and a few plastic bags. You are welcome to bring water and snacks for your comfort as well as a pencil and notebook if you so choose for taking notes.

Date: Sunday, May 19 OR Saturday, August 3
Time: 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Ages: 18+
Location: People’s Food Co-op, 315 5th Ave S, La Crosse, WI 54601
Materials Fee: $25

Sliding Scale Course Fee Guidelines (not including Materials Fees)

Supporter Level Ticket: $115
If you move through the world with financial ease and the means to fulfill many of your wants as well as your needs – you are able to eat out when you want, abundantly meet your needs through employment or can comfortably not work, have access to family wealth, own property, etc. – consider paying at this level, which will help us ensure the long term sustainability of our programs while keeping our offerings accessible to those with access to fewer resources.

Sustainer Level Ticket: $90
If you are able to meet your needs with relative ease while budgeting your educational and entertainment spending – for instance, you are able to take classes and eat out occasionally as long as you are mindful – consider paying at this level, which will help sustain the work of the Folk School at a modest level.

Supported Level Ticket: $65
If you struggle to fund your basic needs and have limited access to resources in your family and community, or if you would not be able to access this offering without a discounted payment option, consider paying at this level. We value your presence and contributions to our community and do not want any economic circumstances to be a barrier to attendance!


August 3
9:00 am - 4:30 pm
$65 – $115
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