Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Spinning Workshop

This morning I headed out to the historic Damascus Fiber Arts School.  It was known for years as the Damascus Pioneer Crafts School, but when it closed some years ago, one of the dedicated teachers took up the torch and kept the school going, with a name change.  Today I took my first class there after wanting to do so for literally decades!  It was a Spinning Workshop.  I have spun for 30 some years but was hoping to enjoy the fellowship of other women and also to have the instructor help me to figure out how to "tune" my wheel as it's a fairly new one for me and has a LOT of adjustment places.  Here is the teacher showing me how to use the Scottish tension on the wheel.  
I was thrilled to see my new blog friend, Gracie, join in and we got to meet in person for the first time!  She's adorable and so sweet!!  Her blog is "Gray Sea Sailor".
And here is my friend from high school, Kevynne (who also has a blog).  She and I reconnected on Facebook and while reading her posts I realized how much we have in common - she's a talented weaver all around artist!!  It's Kevynne who told me about the spinning and basket classes here and encouraged me to join in.  Thank you, Kevynne!  I hadn't seen her since our 20 year reunion, so it was great to see her again! 
I snapped some photos around the school.. here is a Navajo weaving in progress. 
Here are the ladies at work... 
Here is the other weaving room.  There are wonderful weavings hung all around the walls in the school, donated by grateful students. 
Here are some very brightly colored weavings. 
A shot into the kitchen from the weaving room. 
Here is the little shop area in the entry hall.  Yarn for sale! 
The other side with more yarn for sale. 
In my rush to get out of here this morning I forgot my spool rack!  Argh!  So, I had to make a ball of the one ply of white wool I'd spun and then ply it into 2 play using the ball - both ends of the same ball.  It was a good thing to learn to do, but it took up half my class time just getting the spool empty so I could spin. :-)  
Once I'd plied it then I took it off the spool using my old niddy noddy. 
I had several hanks of unspun alpaca to choose from, gray, dark brown and some tan.  But I finally decided on the colorfully dyed hank I got at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival we went to in the Fall.. remember?  This is Alpaca and Tussah Silk blend!
 Another view of the yarn.  I'm spinning it fairly fine as I will then ply it when I have 2 spools full.
My basket of fiber.  Yum. 
I just shot this photo of the amount of alpaca silk that I got done in the last half of the day.
 I had to soak the white wool I plied today to make it not so curly.  Isn't it fun and home-spun looking? :-)
Here is my wet white yarn.  LOL!  It's not perfect but I actually like the imperfection of it.
I look forward to next week, another workshop.  Then in a few more weeks my basket class here!  I couldn't bear hauling my "big girl camera" today with all the other stuff I had to cart into the school.. so all these photos were taken using my trusty iPhone 4S.  

If you live in the Portland area, I highly recommend taking classes here!  Next I might try some weaving!!  Tomorrow I volunteer at the falls... 

So.. how are you doing?  What's new?  Thanks for coming to visit.  ((hugs)), Teresa :-) 


  1. Wow how neat! I love all those weavings, and all that yarn! I know nothing about spinning and the wheel and spool and all that, but if I were there I'd love to learn it. It looks like a learned art.

    Have fun!!

  2. This was an awesome post Teresa--I loved all the photos of the weavings and of your beautiful white yarn! I am almost positive I have a photo of the outside of this school taken during one of our drives to get a photo of Mt Hood many years ago! Also, if memory serves me correctly, my great grandpa wrote that his dad preached there in the late 1800's.
    I am super excited for you to have this opportunity--enjoy!

  3. Hi Teresa,
    What an exciting day you had! I loved all the weavings and all the beautiful wheels. What an inspirational setting to be in. I wish you lots of fun and luck.

  4. I want to come play. I want to learn how to spin. I want to live by you and go to that school. What a treasure. All those blog friends to so close, you are one lucky gal. All those weaving are fabulous too. Just look at all that color in one place. Take us to class with you next week too.

  5. Hey Teresa! What a lovely and interesting blog post! I have no clue how it all works but it looks fabulous! I love the colorful yarn you have spun! Have fun next week again!

  6. Oh my! I am SOOOOOOO jealous! This looks so amazing. I'm so glad you got to go and enjoy. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Ohhhh, Teresa! I'm so glad you took all those pictures and I can't believe I just took one! I'll do better next week. Hope you have fun at the Falls tomorrow. You are a blessing to me. <3

  8. What a wonderful resource to have close by. And a whole day devoted to spinning, I am really rather envious!! They don't fancy opening such a workshop in the Midlands of the UK do they?

  9. Ooh, such a great inspirational place, I LOVE the colourful weavings on the walls. Your homespun alpaca silk looks lush, so does the white wool. These classes must be such fun! I'm looking forward to seeing more picures, I absolutely love my little visits to you ;-) xxxx

  10. Wowsers! You had a really productive day. What a fantastic place to go and spin. Your yarn and fibre stash look so inviting. I remember you getting that fibre in the fall, isn't it spinning up beautifully. It is great to spin in good company too. What a great adventure :) x

  11. Oh My!!!!! That looks like Heaven! I bet you just had the most fantastic time and can I just say how jealous I am. I want to learn to spin but have too much on my plate right now so I will live through you and your adventures.

  12. Your wheel is awesome! I love the yarn you created, too. I loved this post! I can't wait for the next visit. So much fun. :)

    Blessings always

  13. How wonderful that someone took up the torch and reopened the school. What a terrific place Teresa. Looking forward to seeing your work. What fun to meet up with 2 friends too.
    Jane x

  14. Wow! It is so interesting to see all the process pictures! I love the yarns you ended up with - just beautiful!

  15. Oh that place looks fabulous - I want to come and live by you. I bet you had an amazing time. The wall hangings are gorgeous - I wish I had even a quarter of the talent that the creators of those must have. As always your photos are brilliant. How lovely that you were able to meet a blog friend. Love Anne x

  16. How fun to meet so many fiber artists and chat away. That is a beautiful shop.

  17. You must have had so much fun at the workshop Teresa...I wish I could join you!...Your yarn looks wonderful....So lovely to meet up with old friends too...
    Hope you have a lovely weekend,
    Susan x

  18. Oh Mrs. Teresa you do so many fun things! I absolutely would LOVE to learn to spin and maybe grow my own wool to spin :)! I love the Navajo print tapestry. Oh my I love Native American prints.

  19. Oh such a gorgeous post, Teresa! I just wish I can be there with you, how fun!
    I have an award for you, please drop by my blog and take it!
    Enjoy your weekend!
    Best wishes, LS

  20. Hi Teresa, I'm always fascinated by the whole process of spinning and loved seeing your photos. I'd love to have a go at spinning one day. How lovely to meet old and new friends. Have a great week ((Hugs)) Joanna x

  21. What a wonderful place to have nearby.


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