Spinning & Fiber Arts
We are passionate here at MadWool about fiber, and it shows! From the bits of sparkle and fluff on our clothes, to the many projects being worked on, we have a love of the fiber arts. Spinning is our true love, with knitting a close second. Spinning is unlike any other fiber art; the feel of fiber in your hands, making yarn to use or just ‘be’…it’s relaxing and exhilarating all at once! We want you to be obsessed, too. As they say -”A fiber addiction is cheaper than therapy” and it’s true…plus you get something useful out of it in the end! We are always here and ready to talk fiber!
Since we opened in June 2011, we have hosted a number of National and International Teachers. For Spinning/Dyeing we were proud to host Lexi Boeger, (www.pluckyfluff.com) each June from 2012-2014 (her retirement from teaching). We have also hosted Michelle Snowdon of Australia (www.wooldancer.com) in 2013-2014, Kathy Hattori (www.botanicalcolors.com) for Natural Dyeing in 2014, as well as Alissa Allen (www.mycopigments.com). We are fortunate to have talented local friends that teach often - Shannon Herrick for spinning and felting (www.spunmonkey.com) and Ashley Martineau for spinning (www.handspunartyarn.com). On the knitting side, we have hosted retreats with Shannon Okey in 2012-2013 (www.cooperativepress.com), and many others. Yes, we have lots of classes!
We also have rigid heddle and tri-looms in stock, as well as parts/accessories for Ashford Knitters Looms. Our handmade, 7 foot (non adjustable), triangle looms are handmade by Debra and Joe at Picasso’s Moon Yarns in Sarasota, Florida. Beautiful, waxed, and an amazing deal for $180.00!
Current Looms in Stock (4/15): Ashford Sample it Loom, 8 inch weaving width. $130.00. Extra heddles- 2.5, 5, 10, 12.5 dpi available for Sampleit and for 12 and 20 inch knitters looms.
We sell used wheels ! Contact us for details on how to get yours into the shop for sale.
Used Wheels in the shop (5/15):
Louet S-10, Double Treadle. Used very little, like new. Comes with Art Flyer ($150.00 value), 3 bobbins, and original flyer. $650.00 (pick up only).
We have a Majacraft Fusion Engine in stock! An amazing carder that can do anything! It has a gearbox, so fiber does not clog the belt and the carding action is very smooth. Perfect for funky chunky art batts!
Thanks to Janet Lynn of ‘The Wheel Thing”, we are able to carry Bluebonnet Spinning wheels! We currently have a Crafty Bee in stock. A great wheel at a great price: $395.00. Comes with two large bobbins, plus a jumbo plying bobbin. All waxed and ready to roll. We always have several wheels in stock to try-stop in or call to make an appointment to try one!
Majacraft: The Aura: $1250.00, comes with 3 large bobbins. and the Overdrive Head ($383). A wheel that will take you from beginner to expert. You won’t outgrow this wheel! It is a double drive, which basically means it can be adjusted to have a good strength of pull, yet go slow..perfect for working on tail spun or add in yarns. Two wheels in stock!
Ashford: Traveler, double drive, double treadle and The Country Spinner 2! all can be ordered, not currently in stock. Comes with one bobbin, which holds over 2 lbs of fiber. This wheel was built by me, and waxed with Ashford wax. Can leave natural, or paint or stain it. It is the next step in Irish Tension wheels, after the Louet S-10 or S-17. This has a huge orifice, and large bobbin to make rug yarn or any type of textured yarn you can dream up. It has a decent strength of pull, which can be tweaked with some tricks (which we are happy to show you!). Ashford is very easy to order from; wheels are always in stock, and it takes exactly 7 days to get here from when I place the order, so happy to get any model that you would like in!
Louet: The S-10 ($595.00) and S-17 (none in stock)., and handcarders ($75.00/pr) Each comes with 3 bobbins. What is the difference between these two wheels? They are popular with our beginner spinners, as they seem to like to go only the ‘right’ way. I love mine, and use it as my default to spin just about anything! The S-10 is a bit, well, ‘fancier’…lacquered wood, open hole in the wheel, slight difference where built in lazy kate is….but NO difference in yarn spinning quality! I built and waxed the unfinished S-17, and have used it in the shop with no noticeable difference with the S-10. It is a great wheel at a great price, and one that you can begin and get expert on. You can paint or stain this wheel any color, and have great creative fun with its’ exterior.
Louet Art Yarn Flyer: $150.00. You can spin anything on this flyer!!
When you purchase a wheel from Madison Wool, you can be sure we have your back! I build and wax all wheels (that need waxing), and have tested them to make sure they are working properly. We are here to help, repair, order parts, fiber…whatever you need! Each happy wheel customer is entitled to either a 4 oz braid of roving of their choice, or let me card a 4 oz art batt for you! We also help sell wheels for customers, so if you have one you want to get off your hands, contact us, we can help! I am happy to order parts and ship as well, so always feel free to get in contact. I have been known to repair an Ashford or Louet Wheel or two, so it’s worth checking in if you need a repair. We want to keep you spinning!
Spinning, Weaving, and Felting Classes
Spinning Classes and Workshops:
Private Spinning Lessons: $35.00 per hour, includes fiber and use of wheel/drop spindle. Please call or email to arrange.
Spinning Wheel Repair: $50.00 per hour, plus cost of materials.
Sunday Sit and Spin! Sundays, July 4 (10-2 PM) and 5 , and 19, 2015 2-4 PM. Free! Bring a wheel or drop spindle and join us to sit and spin! Enjoy 20% off all fiber, loose and braids, all day too!
Beginning Handspinning or Spinning for Knitters, Session 10 -2014 1-4 PM each day.**2015 dates to be added!** $100.00 (includes all fiber, use of drop spindle and wheel-not necessary to own your own wheel). $25.00 deposit holds your space. Instructors: Dayna Mankowski and Susan Snider.
If you would like to learn how to create unique yarn for your knitting or fiber projects, this class is for you. This workshop will teach: why wool spins into yarn, how to prepare wool for spinning, how to spin on a drop spindle and a spinning wheel. Part 1: will teach the basics of fiber preparation, drafting and spinning on a drop spindle. Part 2: will teach spinning on a spinning wheel, plying and finishing your skein. Equipment will be provided and studio time is included in the fee. (Studio time=time to spin on wheels at Madison Wool; wheels can only be used at the shop).
This class has been very popular, with many of our students confidently taking classes afterwards with our national/international visiting spinning teachers, and even winning prizes at local fiber festivals for their handspun yarns! We are proud and happy to be able to teach them a solid foundation in the basics of spinning.
Please call /email to reserve your space (203-245-5921)! Maximum of 5 students.
About Susan: A self taught spinner, Susan has been spinning for over 30 years and is currently working towards her Excellence in Handspinning from the Handweaver’s Guild of America. Susan learned to weave while an exchange student in Sweden. Her love of all things fiber has been a constant in her life. She has taught at the Rowayton Arts Center and in her home studio in Norwalk, CT. She is very active in the Handweavers’ Guild of Connecticut and Nutmeg Spinners Guild. She has exhibited at the Biennial Show hosted by the Handweavers’ Guild of Connecticut, the Rowayton Arts Center and was a member of the Connecticut Sheep Sisters, a sheep to shawl team which competed at the Connecticut Sheep & Wool and New York Sheep & Wool Festivals. Susan currently resides in Waitsfield, VT, and is an active spinning and weaving teacher there too.
To register: Call the shop at 203-245-5921 or email Dayna at email@example.com to reserve your spot.
Spinning 2: Beginning Art Yarn Spinning, Part 2: Spinning Exploration ** Sunday February 15, 2015 , 10-1 PM With Shannon Herrick, The Spun Monkey! $75.00 (includes all instruction and fiber). Max=5 students. $20.00 deposit holds your space.
This class is meant to fill the gap between Beginning Spinning and the many Art Yarn inspired Spinning events we hold! Many students want to learn how to make ‘ art yarn’ ( textured, funky style yarns) right out of the gate. A solid foundation in learning how to spin a basic single and two ply yarn is important. As Pluckyfluff ( Lexi Boeger) says ” you have to learn the rules before you can break them”.
In this class, we’ll explore techniques for creating artistic, textured yarns. The format will be open to whatever challenges you are interested in diving into, from coils to cocoons, to adding non-fiber elements to your yarns. Come with your questions and materials, and we’ll work through it together! It is not necessary to have taken the previous class in this series, but do have basic spinning skills at the ready, and a willingness to spin outside the box!
We are lucky to have the accomplished spinner, Shannon Herrick, to teach this class! Her work is available for sale in the shop or on her website, www.thespunmonkey.com. Shannon is a talented technical spinner and patient teacher, and you will walk away from this class with new knowledge (and yarn!). All fiber provided; bring anything you would like of your own fiber / add ins. Wheels available for use or bring your own. You will come away from this class with new techniques to try at home and some fun yarns!
Fiber Arts Classes and Camps:
*New Dates and Format!** First Annual Madison Wool Fiber Camp for Adults! With Mary Crosby and Dayna Mankowski, held at Madison Wool. Select Sunday afternoons in August and September, 2014. You asked for it! “Why don’t you have an adult fiber camp?” Here is our answer! This will be an in depth coverage of fiber arts for adults. Starting with a dirty fleece, you will wash, dye, spin and more! Pick the Classes you want. Price includes instruction and supplies.
Sunday, August 3, 2014, 2-5 PM. Free! : Drop in Spin! Bring your wheel or spindle, and we will have a free form afternoon.
Sunday, August 10, 2014, 2-5 PM: $40.00: All about Fleece. Skirt, clean and learn!
Sunday, August 17: 12 PM- ?. $50.00. Dye and Forage! (part of Food and Forage). Meet at MadWool, and join us for a Natural Dye forage, lunch, and dye workshop. (lunch not included).
September classes TBD.
Learning to Weave on the Ashford Knitter’s Loom (Rigid Heddle Loom)–Instructor: Susan Snider. **2015 dates to be added 10 am-4 pm $100.00. $25.00 holds your space. Max of 3 students without looms. *Includes the use of loom and all materials; if you have your own loom, please bring it* . Learn how to weave on the Ashford Knitter’s Loom!. This portable,easy to use rigid heddle loom provides an infinite amount of design possibilities. It is called the Knitter’s Loom because it is a great way to use your left over yarns from knitting projects. If you have your own rigid heddle loom, feel free to bring it!
Have you ever looked at a beautifully woven item and thought, “I wish I could create something like that?” then this class is for you. Rigid heddle loom weaving is simple to learn and offers an extraordinary range of creativity. In this workshop students will learn basic weaving terminology and techniques and be weaving in no time. You will weave a sample which will teach different weaving patterns and allow for exploration with color and texture. If you’re a knitter or spinner this is a great way to use up your stash! You will be surprised by how a small loom can inspire the fiber artist in you. Looms and materials provided.
Advanced techniques in Rigid Heddle Weaving-Using a Second Heddle, exploring Double Weave–Instructor: Susan Snider. *2015 dates to be added** 10 AM-4 PM. $100.00. $25.00 holds your space. Max of 5 students. Includes the use of loom and all materials.
Advanced techniques in rigid heddle weaving will explore weaving with two rigid heddles. Double heddles expand weaving possbilities by allowing for a wider range of setts and offers the ability to weave double weave. We will also explore the use weft and warp floats in the same piece with the use of multiple pick up sticks. No previous weaving experience needed- join us for this creative class! A great way to use your handspun and yarn stash!
Needle Felting Classes with Shannon Herrick
Beginning Needle Felting- ***New Date***Sunday, February 15, 2015 1-4 PM $50.00 (fiber provided) Maximum=6 students. Felting kits: needles, mat and extra fiber additional cost. Class is intended for adults or older children due to the use of sharp needles. *$10.00 deposit holds your space.
Needle felting is a fun way to make shapes such as flowers and animals. Come and learn how to make a Ladybug, Mouse or a flat felted piece with Shannon Herrick, aka The Spun Monkey– a talented felter, dyer, spinner, and all around crafty lady!. You will learn how to manipulate wool roving and loose fibers with sharp, barbed needles that cause the fiber to felt without water. Bring your sense of fun and adventure!
SPINNING EVENTS AND CAMPS
- Designing a Story Yarn Workshop with Elysa Darling (222 Handspun Yarn and Fiber. www.222handspun.com). Sunday, July 26, 2015. 1-5 PM. $45.00 ($20.00 deposit holds your space).
In this workshop you will learn how to design and create a narrative art yarn using color, texture, and spinning techniques to tell your unique story. We’ll look at influences in traditional and contemporary storytelling, the meaning of colors and building palettes, selecting fiber, and creating texture by combining different fiber prep and spinning methods. Skill Level: Includes intermediate and advanced spinning techniques.
About 4 oz. of fiber. What type of fiber should you bring? Anything you like, but in particular washed fleece, dyed locks, yarn cones, fuzzy mohair blend lace weight yarn for core spinning, sparkle, beads, shells, feathers, or any other found objects that can be spun are good choices. A selection of 222 Handspun art batts and loose fiber packs will be available for you to purchase.
There will be a free fiber sharing table that you can sample from. You are also welcome to bring your own special fiber to play with, share, or trade with other attendees.
Spinning wheel with large orifice and 2-3 bobbins (at least one large). (Some wheels available at MadWool for sharing if needed)
A print out of words or a picture of a story that you want to tell: For example a movie, song, sonnet, artwork, fairytale, folktale, myth, legend, fable, dreaming/songline, etc., or just about anything that has a point of view, characters, or narrative and inspires you.
I’m a RI native living in Northern VA for almost 20 years. I fell in love with the fiber arts as a kid when I attended a summer camp where we learned how to weave on a loom we made and used yarn we dyed from plants we collected. Partly because of my artistic upbringing and being a product of the 70’s, I have a life-long fascination with folk and heritage arts. About seven years ago I became interested in spinning and dyeing my own fiber. I took lessons and immediately got hooked and I’ve been spinning ever since.
I have a B.A. from Clark University in Worcester, MA with majors in Studio Art/Photography and Art History, concentrating in Non-Western Art. I wrote a thesis on one of my favorite subjects – the role of the Fool/Chaos in culture and storytelling, which still plays into a lot of my work. I also studied Archaeology and Aboriginal Art at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia.
Besides my small yarn biz 222 Handspun (222handspun.com), I have a day job as a User Experience Designer for an online education company and I’m also a photographer. I’m a color addict, and I love snuggly things, especially kittens and wool blankets. My dream is to have a fiber studio and small farm of my own. But for now, I enjoy visiting local farms and fiber festivals.