Chronicles of a yarn farmer, shepherdess, and fiber geek!

Chronicles of a yarn farmer, shepherdess, and fiber geek!

June 29, 2009

Master Spinner Program (Level 2) - Day 1

I thought I'd post a bit during the week to share what I'm learning all week. I have access to the Olds College library and can use the computer. Can't upload pics but will have loads of them posted when I get home.

Before the Master Spinner course started today I took a two-day Wool Judging Level 1 course. OMG, it was excellent! The instructor was from New Zealand and is an expert wool grader, wool judge, and wool anything. I learned a ton about wool, sheep, and fleeces. I was up to my elbows in wool for two days. The course was designed to teach the participants to judge a wool show. I have to say, we all did very good by the end of the two days. Then we watched the judging of the wool show here at Fibre Week. I'd like to apprentice with other wool judges first. Next year I plan to take the Wool Judging Level 2 course.

Day 1:
The Master Spinner Level 2 course (out of six levels) gets into the technical aspect of spinning. Today we were introduced to the concepts of twists per inch, wraps per inch, twist angle...I mean the mathmatical calculation to figure this out. I felt like I was back in math class. Many people don't want to be bothered with TPI and WPI and twist angle...and that's o.k., but at the master level we have to know it and be able to produce yarn accordingly. I don't have time right now to explain why, but there are many, many advantages to knowing the technical aspects of spinning (just ask Mabel Ross). Our instructor, Gayle Vallance, is very techical when it comes to spinning and VERY knowledgable, and a VERY good instructor. My brain will be fried by the end of the week, but a good sizzle!

We also learned the proper traditional long draw method of spinning to produce a true woolen yarn. Gayle provided hand carded woolen rolags from her Corriedale lambs that we used to practice the long draw. Wonderful rolags! In the past I could never master this spinning methods. Today I think I got it! I'll need practice of course, but I get it now.

I've got homework tonight. Have to go back to the townhouse and wash some Merino, Corriedale, and Romney wool. Tomorrow we'll be combing, carding, and spinning the three and decide which one we want to use later in the week for another project. I also have to prepare a presentation. My topic...Bluefaced Leicesters! Oh, and I have to do some reading.

I goofed off enough after class today and attended a sock darning demo with a really neat darning egg so now I have to get to work.


RMK said...

Sounds fantastic .... thanks for sharing!

Claire said...

Wow, I am really looking forward to seeing more of your posts on this. It's something I'd like to try in future. I am still in part time law school for the next two years, but after that, I'm sure I'll need a less stressful educational experience!