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HJS Studio

Classes 2004

HJS Studio Logo


Teaching Tutorials

Holly Shaltz, Fiberist
PO Box 136
Boyne City MI
49712 USA
(231) 582 3206
(231) 582 0426

The following presentations are classes, most of which are half-day sessions (3-4 hours of class time), along with some full-day (6-7 hours of class time, not including a meal break). Handouts are included with most classes. Some sessions have a separate materials fee for supplies I provide. Contact me for information on the cost of classes, more specifics on what I cover in each class, or what equipment or materials are needed. Individual and group rates are available, and all classes are available in the studio as well as at your store or guild meeting. Generally there's a limit of 20 attendees for hands-on classes. Many classes can also be presented as lectures, with no attendence limit.

Specific Fibers Fiber Preparation
Spinning Skills Color and Fiber
Specialty Topics

Specific Fibers

Spinning Angora
I've had to reluctantly discontinue this popular class, as I have developed an allergy to angora fiber. I'm very sorry this has occurred, as angora is my next favorite fiber after wool. Look for tutorials in the near future on various aspects of spinning angora, while my skills remain fresh.

Handspinning Fine Wools
Very fine wools such as Merino and Rambouillet have a reputation of being hard to work with. Actually, they are ideal for beginners, as they need quite a bit of twist to hold together as yarn, so if you still find yourself spinning tightly-twisted yarns, you'll enjoy spinning these wools. You'll also learn how to wash fine wools without felting them.
Level: Beginners and up Time: Three hours

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Fiber Preparation

Commercial Fiber Processing
Small cottage fiber mills are springing up all over, and more spinners are using their services every day. How do you choose fiber for commercial processing? How do you wash it to save on shipping and washing or rewashing charges? What do the mills need to know to process your order accurately? What can the mill do that can make your roving or batts unique and beautiful? This class will provide an overview of how to take advantage of what cottage fiber mills can offer.
Level: Beginners and up Time: Three hours

Estimating How Much Fiber to Spin
It can be challenging to figure out how much raw or processed fiber you need in order to make a specific project. We will talk about several methods of estimating the fiber needed, with plenty of samples to illustrate the process. There's no guarantees you won't run out of fiber, but this class will make that less likely to happen.
Level: Beginner and up Time: Three hours

Basics of Handcarding
Handcards are easy to use, low-cost, and capable of producing luscious color and fiber blends. Learn how to use handcards effectively, without stressing your fiber or your hands. We will also cover how to choose appropriate fibers for handcarding.
Level: Beginners and up Time: Three hours

Basics of Drumcarding
Drumcarding is fast and simple and effective. Learn how to use and care for a drumcarder and how to choose fibers that work well with a drumcarder, as well as the basic techniques for drumcarding fiber. We will card batts that you can spin in class or take home to spin.
Level: Beginners and up Time: Three hours

Drumcarding by Design
In this class we will go into detail about blending fibers and colors to create one of a kind and reproducible yarns. We'll learn a bit of color theory, and how to use the drumcarder to help estimate how much fiber to prepare for your special project.
Level: Beginners and up Time: Three hours

Basics of Wool Combing
Woolcombing is a far older technique than carding, and one that is returning to popularity today. This class will include an introduction to types of combs, safely using woolcombs, choosing fibers to comb, and the basics of producing beautiful handcombed top for spinning.
Level: Beginners and up Time: Three hours

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Controlling Your Spinning

Talk about Twist
What is twist really all about? How much twist does my wheel put in my yarn? How do I measure twist, and why bother? What is fresh twist and stale twist? What is a balanced plied yarn? How can a singles yarn be balanced? How can I choose and control the twist in my yarn? Who cares about twist, anyway? Bring all your questions about twist, and how it affects your spinning, your yarn, and your project to this class.
Level: Intermediate and up Time: Three hours

Plying Tips and Tricks
Everything you wanted to know about plying but didn't know who to ask! Plying a perfectly balanced yarn without samples, plying from a center-pull ball, using a tensioned lazy kate, plying without a tensioned lazy kate, how many plies to choose for your project, Navajo plying, fresh and stale twist dynamics, and much more. Never have your plying in a tangle again! This is not a class about 'designer' plying, but one that will give you all the basic plying skills you need.
Level: Intermediate and up Time: Three hours

Woolen or Worsted?
If you're confused about the differences between woolen and worsted spinning techniques and yarns, this is a great class to take. You will learn a bit about the historical background of the processes and resulting yarns, see demonstrations of preparing fiber for woolen and worsted spinning, learn about the differences in spinning methods, and do some woolen and worsted spinning yourself. A variety of samples will also illustrate the differences, including strengths and weaknesses, of these traditional spinning categories.
Level: Intermediate and up Time: Three hours

Measure Your Yarn
Why would you ever want to "measure your yarn"? Suppose you have a special project in mind, and you spin, then begin weaving or knitting your special item.....and as you get close to the end you realize you're going to run out of yarn before the project is finished! Learn to record your yarn's vital statistics as you start spinning, so you can create matching yarn later on if you need to.
Level: Intermediate and up Time: Three hours

Designing Handspun Yarn
Are you the kind of spinner who always spins the yarn first, then tries to find a suitable project to use it? This class can teach you how to decide what kind of yarn suits your special project from the fiber on up. Don't worry that this is a rigid approach to spinning! It's really no different from choosing the right commercial yarn for a project, only you're the one creating the right yarn.
Level: Intermediate and up Time: Six hours

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Color and Fiber

Spinning with Color
Do you admire the colors of the high-end commercial yarns in stores, and feel that you can't come up with beautiful combinations like those? This class will give you a chance to play with dyed wool to create combinations that look like they were designed by professionals. Just a touch of color theory, and you'll be creating whole palettes of color for your projects! We will use drumcarders to create batts of color to spin from. You'll also learn how to keep track of the colors you use, so that you can recreate that gorgeous yarn later on if you wish.
Level: Intermediate and up Time: Three hours

Color Fun
Do you feel that some people are born with a "knack" for working with color, and you weren't one of those fortunate few? Take this class, and discover the fun you can have with color! You will learn all the basics of color theory, and make your own color wheel, with the paints provided in this class. This is not a class on wool dyeing, but everything we discuss will be directly related to working with dyed fibers, and there will be plenty of handspun pieces to illustrate the points in fiber.
Level: Beginners and up Time: Three hours

Basics of Dyeing Wool
Dyeing protein fibers with synthetic dyes doesn't take a chemistry lab! It can be easy, safe, inexpensive, fast, and very rewarding to create unique, bright, and subtle colors with acid dyes. Solid color dyeing, space dyeing, random dyeing, rainbow dyeing, all will be covered in this hands-on and colorful class.
Level: Beginners and up Time: Six hours

Microwave Rainbow Dyeing
Using a microwave that's just for dyeing can give the instant gratification we all crave, and beautifully bright or wonderfully subtle colors to spin, weave, or knit. Bring your yarn, roving, or raw protein fibers, and we'll have a great time mixing and blending colors, then a quick zap and they're ready to wash, dry, and spin.
Level: Beginners and up Time: Three hours

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Specialty Spinning Topics

New in 2004: Darn That Hole!
If it hasn't happened yet, it will someday: You take your precious handspun, handknit item out of storage and find it's been chomped by bugs. Or your socks have holes under the foot. Or your toddler took a pair of scissors to your scarf. Not all disasters can be mended, but many can. This class will cover reinforcing thin areas, mending small holes, how to attack large holes, suggestions on how to avoid holes in the future, and tips on spinning new yarn to match the old if needed. You can bring your 'holey' items and we'll work on them in class.
Level: Beginner and up Time: Three hours

Spinning Warp Singles
Yes, handspun singles yarns can be used for warp, and yes, you can spin them! This hands-on class will cover the basics of how to spin a sound singles yarn for weaving, from choosing and preparing the fiber to spinning and sizing. See the 'tug test' in action, and learn how to apply it to your warp yarns as you spin.
Level: Intermediate and up Time: Three hours

Spinning and Knitting Singles Yarns
There's a lot of prejudice against using singles yarn in knitting. We're told they make knit items slant, and don't hold up well. This class will focus on the definition of a balanced singles yarn for knitting, what kinds of wools are most effective in singles knitting yarns, and explore the effects of various amounts of twist when knitting. You will receive a good overview of twist energy in singles yarns, which will also help when using plyed knitting yarns.
Level: Intermediate and up Time: Three hours

Adapting Knitting Patterns to Handspun Yarn
If you've seen the perfect, must-knit pattern, but want to use your handspun instead of the commercial yarn specified, this is the class for you. We'll explore how handspun is different from and similar to commercial yarns, how to measure your handspun to see how it compares to commercial yarn, and how to estimate the amount of fiber to spin for the pattern's project. We'll also touch on actually changing the pattern to fit your yarn.
Level: Intermediate and up Time: Three hours

Spinning Great Sock Yarn
I won't make socks from commercial yarns anymore! My handspun yarns are not only far more beautiful, they are also warmer and more durable--even though I use only natural fibers. Learn to choose just the right wools and other fibers to make socks that are perfect for you. As a bonus, you'll receive a generic sock pattern that will allow you to use any yarn you spin to fit any foot you like.
Level: Intermediate and up Time: Three hours