Everything’s coming up wooly

After what feels like a very long time, my life has turned back to the fibery side. I’d been very down about the way Spin-U turned out, so much so that I wasn’t really looking forward to what the future held for my personal spinning.

I had signed up for Olds College Master Spinner Level 1, to be held in (fairly) nearby Smithtown.

Completing either the Master Spinner courses, or a COE (Handweaver’s Guild of America’s Certificate of Excellence in Handspinning) has long been on my bucket list. When I saw the Master Spinner Level 1 course being offered less than an hour from me, I had to sign up. I was a little nervous going into the class, but soon realized that it was a perfect way to put my toes back into the spinning water.

I took a lot of photos, but the gist is this:

I packed for class the day before. If you follow the link to Flickr you can see notes on what is in my trunk, but the basic packing list was:

  • Bosworth Single Treadle Journey wheel
  • The big travel box of spinning stuff
  • 1 stock pot for dyeing yarn
  • My Nikon D7000 DSLR
  • Hansen Mini Spinner – just in case
  • Other assorted stuff that lives in my trunk or travels with me everywhere.


One of the very first things we did was to sort a fleece into its six standard sections:

  • Shoulders
  • Back
  • Britch
  • Sides
  • Belly
  • Legs


We washed up some of this columbia wool in a few different ways:


Washing Locks in a packet


Washing Locks in a packet – a little differently


Same sheep, different packet method



Washing wool in a bucket

You’ll note that there wasn’t a whole lot of spinning on day 1. There actually wasn’t a ton of spinning on ANY of the days.

This isn’t a class for a really experienced spinner. Most people with a few years of spinning under their belt can PLAR out of level 1 and do just fine, I think. It was helpful to note that everyone washes wool slightly differently. Mostly, this first day I enjoyed taking photos of fleece.