This past Saturday I taught my first drop spindle class of 2014. I taught this method twice last year and then somehow let teaching get away from me. The class was held at the Recycled Lamb in Golden, Colorado and I had a total of 5 students. We spent 2 hours learning how to draft fibers, thigh spin, spin on a drop spindle and then review fiber tools. The next class will be 3 hours so that my students spin a decent amount of a single ply yarn and then we can 2 ply it so they have a small skein to show for their class period. As with any process the more you engage in it the better one can tweak areas to make the process better. Even though I was a bit nervous about teaching others once we started talking about fiber I found my groove.
Things are a bit slow on the production front from last week for several reasons. Primarily I received a record number of 7 sales last week which required packaging and shipping. Also I had to prep for the spinning class and get goody bags together for my students. The second set of goody bags was packaged for the Horseshoe Market in July and given my schedule I am just going to mail the items to the event versus attempting to drop them off this week. The college kid will be assisting in labeling packages which should help me get the 50 bags out the door sooner. I did manage to finish knitting one summer hat and spin a single ply of some merino/silk last week plus there are the 2 skeins finished earlier last week.
I still have knitting and spinning projects in the works this week and will have pictures for you a bit later.
Sunday was not only a huge snow storm in the Denver area but also my “Learn to Spin on a Drop Spindle” class. I reached out to the class participants to see if we should postpone but 4 out of the 5 students wanted to go ahead with the class. Yes I drove across town on decent highways to the ranch and am happy to say that we all made it to our class location and back home safely. We got lots of snow in the metro areas but CDOT was up to the task and kept the highways cleared on Sunday.
As far as the class, all of my students learned how to draft their fiber, spin with a drop spindle using the park and spin method, add fiber, correct a break in the yarn and finally wind on the yarn to the spindle. For future classes I need to give them more breaks or at least force them to take breaks. Everyone was so focused on making yarn that breaks really didn’t occur to them. We did stop and I reviewed with them several of the tools one can use to prep fiber and measure yarn with. We went over a few books and magazines that will be beneficial to them in the journey with fiber. I am happy to say that everyone made a nice amount of yarn with the wool roving and left with some nice alpaca roving to practice on in the future.
I did stress a bit about teaching for a fee but now that I have done it I am more confident for future endeavors. My next class will definitely be in the Spring/Summer when the option of a blizzard is non existent. I also have ideas on improving the class but will probably stay with a size of 5. The class size allowed me to give individual instruction and keep an eye on my students progress.
On the spinning front, I now have fiber on all of my spinning tools (4 tools). I also have 4 skeins of yarn to measure and label. There is only 1 project on the knitting needles though and I do not have plans to start a new one. My newest Russian spindle has llama roving being spun on it. It is the first time I am using roving to spin on the Russians as I normally I am using cloud fiber. I do like how fast I am able to spin with the roving but now in the back of my head that I need to finish spinning up the bison/silk fiber soon.
Praying that everyone in the paths of these snow storms in the U.S. stays safe and warm!