As a self taught spinner, I have wondered many times over the years if I was doing it “right.” My conclusion ended up being that if I was creating yarn I was happy with, I was doing it “right.” But, that didn’t stop me from desiring to take a class.
This fall, I had the opportunity to take both “Drafting Techniques” and “Beautiful Boucle” while at the Taos Wool Festival. The classes were with Jacey Boggs, of Spin Off fame. (Seriously, go subscribe.)
With the drafting class, I just kind of wanted to know if I was on track with my spinning. Since I’d not had an opportunity in the past to learn from anyone, this seemed wise. The first rule of the class seemed to be that we weren’t to talk about “longdraw.” And in the end, that’s what we learned to do, by carefully deconstructing our spinning and then constructing it quite purposefully. Basically, I spent the entire class spinning, only to find out that I already spin point of contact long draw. The class was fun, and since this information was news to me, it was also worthwhile. I also learned a ton of tips to go back to worsted spinning, something I’ve been struggling with since intuitively picking up long draw some time ago.
Then the next day was learning to make boucle yarns. This was a bit of a stretch for me, as I tend to lean toward smoother yarns. But, I was quite eager to learn. We started with a very simple boucle. I’ll be showing pictures of these yarns in progress, as well as a picture of the yarn once it was washed and finished.
(The white skein being the corresponding skein for that yarn. This was all done with wool.
Then we branched out to mohair. Which, by the end of the class I found out I am quite allergic to. Good to know!
Mohair makes those lovely little loops that you see with boucle, so it is a lot of fun to work with.
We then created a coreless corespun yarn to make into a boucle. Since my coreless corespinning tends toward thick, I didn’t like this much. My wheel can’t quite handle that thick a yarn.
(The gray skein in the second picture.
And then p next was a wool combo boucle spin. Basically at this point we are practicing.
Our last yarn was something we could just choose to make, and I used thread as the final ply on this.
This was not mohair, just a wool.
I created quite a few textured yarns, and I also created a TON of scraps.
The class was fast paced and knowing how to spin in the first place was quite necessary. And we worked hard! Once it was over, we had the opportunity to sign the wheel.
And then I was done, 2 days of classes and a ton more knowledge in my head, and I was ready to put my wheel away for a good long time! It is only recently I’ve started wheel spinning again. Burn out is certainly a thing!