Seminar 2021 | Saturday Workshops
The following workshops were shared in a series of videos or articles at the 2021 Seminar.
Sustainable Fibres | Supportable, Renewable Choices: The Options are Endless
This workshop will show you a few tips on how to combine different fibres from your stash with colour in mind.
Stash Diving for Colour
Alanna Wilcox is an art teacher by day and a fiber artist by night. She loves sharing her passion with others and is constantly making things, especially projects that have to do with color and fiber to express her creativity. She earned the OHS Spinning Certificate with distinction in 2015 and the Master Spinner Certificate in 2017. She is the author of the spinning book "A New Spin on Color" and developed dye formulas to match Pantone® and digital colors. Working with fiber is something that she lives and breathes, sometimes literally. Photograph provided by Instructor
Learning to design your own knitting patterns with your handspun yarn can bring a whole new dimension to your fibre craft, but knowing where to start can be daunting. This class will present the basic tools and concepts that will give you the confidence to start creating your own designs from fibre to finished.
Designing Knits With Handspun Yarn
Alexis Hoy is a knitwear and graphic designer living in Guelph. She is the owner of Phibersmith Designs, and founder of the Guelph Yarn Club where she held monthly yarn-related seminars for more than 5 years. She has been designing patterns for more than two decades, and publishing her designs since 2012, often in partnership with local yarn producers.
Looking to meet or revisit sustainably regenerated fibre friends? In this workshop we will look at how this group of fibres are produced in a sustainable method to create biodegradable fibres. Look forward to exploring fibers that have a lovely sheen, soft hand, drape beautifully and blend well with other fibres. Get in the loop as you meet a group fibres who will play nicely with the reliable favourites hanging out in your stash and what’s on the horizon for spinners!
In the Loop
Beth Showalter has always found inspiration in colour, textiles, fibres and history. She began her spinning journey 20 years ago at the Seminar. Beth completed the OHS Spinning Certificate Program in 2014 with distinction and is now an instructor in the program. She looks for ways to learn new techniques, share ideas and experiment with fibre whenever possible!
This workshop will guide you in weaving a patterned band with your handspun yarn using the double face tablet weaving technique. We will also discuss how to chart your own patterns and how this technique works.
Patterned Tablet Weaving for Handspun
Catharina Forbes has been spinning since the mid ‘80s when she made a spindle with a bar of soap and a stick. She has been weaving bands and ribbons for about 10 years and this is her favourite type of weaving. She is fascinated by the intricate work of previous generations using only basic tools and fibres close at hand. She hopes one day to come close to the skill level of the old masters.
An informative and fun workshop to learn about this noble, heritage breed and its fibre. Let’s explore the many uses, from rug yarn to hand knits, to embroidery yarn. Border Leicester fibre also dyes beautifully and felts well. For both new and experienced spinners.
The Border Leicester - Its History And Its Fibre
Grace Clare has been a shepherd for 21 years. One of the first purebred ewes she bought was Border Leicester ewe lamb, for her youngest daughter's 4 H project. This started a love affair with the long wool breeds. Since then, her flock has grown to approximately 30 adults, many either Border Leicesters or BFL. Her efforts to produce clean, lustrous fleeces have been recognized locally and at the Royal Winter Fair. Grace enjoys spinning and dyeing her Border Leicester fibre and using it in traditional rug hooking projects.
Spinning has ancient origins - and those folks didn’t get to go to a store and purchase ready to spin roving!! So - what did they spin?? And how was it spun? Join Joan for a trip back to the past and learn spinning with your fingers, make cordage, find out what plant materials can be used and experiment with wild plant fibres that have been foraged. She will demonstrate making cordage and show you how to make a twined basket or coaster.
Spinning Gone Wild!
Joan McKenzie is a member of the Etobicoke Handweavers and Spinners and practices a number of techniques – spinning, weaving, dyeing, felting, knitting, rug hooking, crocheting, tatting and various forms of needlework. She's been spinning since 2007 and in 2017 finished a spinning education program and was awarded a Certificate of Excellence in Spinning, from the Ontario Handweavers and Spinners (OHS). Joan has taken many spinning, weaving and dyeing workshops with her guild, OHS, in Ireland, and in Vancouver, BC with the Maiwa Textile Symposium. Of particular interest to her is the use of natural plant material for dyeing – and more recently for cordage. She has participated in a number of shows, with items in the NPCC's Annual Hall Show of the Etobicoke Handweavers and Spinners, as well as at the Ontario Handweavers & Spinners Conference Guild Displays. Photograph provided by Instructor
This workshop will be an introduction to a few of the sheep breeds that are well suited to the Ontario environment, such as Lincoln Longwool, Shropshire, Rideau Arcott, and Border Leicester. Julia will show and discuss typical fleeces of the various breeds, demonstrate some preparation and spinning techniques, and suggest suitable end uses.
Ontario Heritage Sheep Breeds
Julia Lee is a spinner, knitter, and weaver who prioritizes working with locally produced wool, which she most often processes herself. Her business, Provenance Yarns and Textiles, runs a monthly fibre club that distributes Ontario fibres (and descriptions of how to spin them) to subscribers. Julia is a graduate, instructor, and coordinator of the Ontario Handweavers and Spinners (OHS) Spinning Certificate program. She is currently the OHS Spinning Education Chair and active in the Toronto Guild of Spinners and Weavers. Julia loves learning from shepherds and helping to link them with spinners to keep fibre production and use sustainable. Photograph provided by: Kate Michalska, St. Isidore Farm
In this workshop, we will discuss wild silk production, natural colours available and some tips and tricks to spinning silk. With some final projects to showcase the fibres, we will discuss how these fibres fit into your spinning repertoire alongside other natural fibres!
Spinning Silk: From Stash to Treasure
Rachel Smith lives in Langley, BC, Canada, with her husband and 2 amazing kids. Always outdoors, they love to explore, camp and hike. Obsessed with wool, spinning and teaching, Rachel blogs and hosts a weekly podcast Wool n’ Spinning Instagram & Ravelry: @welfordpurls. YouTube: youtube.com/RachelSmith. Photograph provided by Instructor
Raising sustainable fibres in today’s technology dominant world is often seen as idyllic and a dream come true - and for those who do it, it is. There is so much that goes into bringing beautiful fibres to the spinning market that it can sometimes feel lonely and isolated. While talking with other sheep farmers and shepherdesses in and around the Kawartha Lakes Region, Rebecca discovered how their relationships with each other are as equally as important as the fibre animals themselves.
Building A Fibre-Based Community Of Sustainable Fibres
Rebecca Lamperd has a small Shetland sheep farm in Kawartha Lakes and is pursuing a long-time dream of writing. She is a graduate of the OHS Spinning Certificate Program, has been teaching spinning for six years, writes the Spinning Wheel column in Fibre Focus, and has written for Ply Magazine. A spinner for over 25 years, she enjoys the relaxing rhythm of fibres slipping through her fingers.
This workshop will begin by analyzing the complexities within the term “sustainability” as it relates to handspinners. As handspinners, once we understand the issues, we are able to deliberate, prioritize and ultimately decide which of these issues are likely to drive the selections that we make. Finally, an examination of several bast fibres will point to the fact that they satisfy on many fronts.
Various Facets of Sustainability for Handspinners to Consider: Ultimately Demonstrating Why Bast Fibres Satisfy
Teena Jennings. Having been a spinner for some forty years, I have just topped my experience by completing the OHS Spinning Certificate Programme. That truly is the way to find out how little you know and how to rectifiy it! Newly retired, I was a faculty member at The University of Akron in Ohio, USA where I taught all aspects of textiles including fibre science, yarn and textile structure, quality assurance, dyeing, surface design, fibre arts, textile history, conservation and other museum-related aspects. My research was dual pronged – caring for textiles within a museum setting; and, working with indigenous groups including some in Bolivia and Madagascar, re-establishing techniques found within museum collections and strengthening the use of original fibres from a sustainability perspective.