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 about fiber, and to help you find something to do with that 50 yd skein of yarn you just spun…..
Spinning and Weaving are a new addition to MadWool! In conjunction with Janet Lynn of The Wheel Thing (http://the-wheel-thing.com/) , we have several Majacraft Spinning wheels in stock for sale and for use during spinning classes. Janet is an authorized retailer for all brands of wheels and looms, and has a great selection of drop spindles and other fiber equipment. She has on hand a large selection of Kromski wheels, so if you are interested in one of these wheels, we can arrange a test drive for you. In the back room, we have loose fiber and roving for sale, and a Louet Classic drum carder for use to make your own batts. We can order you a drum carder from Louet or Ashford as well, or any parts you may need.
In addition, MadWool is an authorized retailer for both Louet and Ashford, with models in stock for sale and for use during classes. There are always wheels around to try out (my personal wheels: a double treadle Babe for making fun art yarns, plus a Majacraft Pioneer with the wild flyer attachment, and my Louet S-10 comes in as well). Currently, for spinning yarns, we have for sale a single-treadle Louet S-10, Louet S-17 ,a big bad Ashford Country Spinner, and from Majacraft, a Rose and the Aura. The Aura, the ‘cadillac’ of art yarn wheels, was developed by Majacraft with the help of all around cool gal, Lexi Boeger of Pluckyfluff. Both are put together and ready to demo!
Here are the current wheels for sale in the shop, 8/21/13: Feel free to come and test drive! Note: although wheels always here, I’m not…always good to call ahead so I can help you if you are a complete newbie with a wheel, as some of the MadWool staff not as familiar with spinning as others (my usual days off are Saturday and Monday, unless something comes up).
Majacraft: The Aura (pictured above): $1250.00, comes with 3 large bobbins. 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: Wool handcarders in stock ($65.00 per pair), and The Country Spinner! ($595.00). and The Country Spinner 2! ($695.00) 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 ($350.00). 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.
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 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: $30.00 per hour, includes fiber and use of wheel. Please call or email to arrange.
Beginning Handspinning or Spinning for Knitters, Session 8, -**Sunday, January 19, 2014, 1-4 PM and Monday, January 20, 2014, 1-4 PM (or at your convenience)**. $95.00 (includes all fiber, use of drop spindle and wheel-not necessary to own your own wheel). $25.00 deposit holds your space. Instructor: 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).
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 *New dates to be added** 2-5 PM. $80.00 (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 Camp Pluckyfluff! 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”. These funky yarns are not “bad spinning” as some traditional spinners might think and tell you. They require a technical skill that can be learned and takes practice to execute.
In this 3 hour intensive, you will learn:
How to spin a thick and thin yarn
How to spin from a batt ( and how to card a textured art batt)
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:
Nuno Felted Scarf- October 27, 2013, 10-1 PM, $ 95.00 ($25.00 deposit holds your space) The Spun Monkey returns! Shannon Herrick will be back to teach her popular Nuno Felting class at MadWool-this time at Wildwood Farm. Nuno felt is a technique that combines wool fibers with an open weave fabric to create wearable pieces with beautiful drape and textural interest. If you have never seen a nuno felted scarf, there are several on display and for sale at MadWool. In this class, we will learn about the properties of wool and how it becomes felt, combining fine merino with silk or cotton fabrics to create a thin, wearable piece that also has structural integrity. This is a wet-felting class, AND VERY PHYSICAL, so come prepared with work/play clothes and a towel or two (Sham-wow towels work great!). Other materials required:
*6-foot length of bubble wrap, bamboo blind or pool cover material (at least 1-foot wide)
*equal size length of tulle or other nylon net type fabric
*dowel or rolling pin as wide or wider than your bubble wrap (Note: MadWool can provide you with all of these for use in class/for sale as a felting kit for $12.00).
Wool and silk materials are included in the class fee. Feel free to bring additional materials of your own if you would like to experiment-Merino wool, silk or cotton gauze, chiffon fabrics, lace, any natural, open weave material. Vintage Lace can be especially nice!
Introduction to Triangle Loom Weaving. **New Date: Wednesday, October 30, 2014, 7-9 PM.* $45.00 -includes use of loom and some materials* at Wildwood Farm, 55 Sheep Pasture Rd, Madison, CT . Instuctor: Debra Lambert, owner, Picasso’s Moon Yarn Shop, Sarasota, FL. $20.00 deposit holds your space. *Triangle Looms will be available for sale during class. $185.00*. Have you always wanted to weave with your handspun or textured yarns? Are you not really into warping a loom? Come meet and learn from Debra Lambert, the owner of Picasso’s Moon Yarn Shop in Sarasota, Fl, and an amazing spinner and weaver. Deb is fitting this class in to her busy schedule by popular demand! The Triangle (Tri) loom is a versatile tool, which uses a continous warp and weave structure. These looms are very easy to use and, like tapestry looms, do not require a warping board. Weaving progresses from the corners to the center, and from top to bottom, all at the same time using one continuous thread. Because of the resulting triangular shape, tri-looms are ideal to quickly weave a shawl, a jacket, pillows, afghans and more! Come learn the possibilities of this loom in the beauty of the Wildwood Farm Studio. Light refreshments will be served. Debra will be our ‘artist in residence’ at Madison Wool from Tuesday, October 29 to Thursday, October 31, and will have her yarns and woven and sewn creations with her as a Trunk Show for purchase. If you cannot make the class, please stop by the Shop to meet this fabulous and inspiring artist!
Learning to Weave on the Ashford Knitter’s Loom (Rigid Heddle Loom)–Instructor: Susan Snider. **Sunday, October 6, 2013, 10 am-4 pm, at Wildwood Farm, 55 Sheep Pasture Rd., Madison, CT $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. **new 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 Laura Lyons
Beginning Needle Felting- Sunday, November 3, 2013, 2-5 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 penguin or a flat felted piece with Laura Lyons of Wildwood Farm. You will learn how to manipulate wool roving and loose fibers with sharp, barbed needles that cause the fiber to felt without water. You will find this craft addictive!
Advanced Needle Felting- . *Fall 2013 dates to be added* 2-6 PM, $60.00 ( fiber provided). Maximum=6 students. Prerequisites: Beginning Needle Felting or equivalent experience. *$10.00 deposit holds your space.
Come and learn how to make felted animals with Laura Lyons! If you love her large standing animals, she will teach you techniques to make your own using a sheep as a model. You will also learn how to incorporate other materials (wool garments, etc.) into your creation. Let your imagination run wild!
SPINNING EVENTS AND CAMPS
BOOK SIGNING AND SPIN IN WITH ASHLEY MARTINEAU: Saturday, December 7, 2013, 1-6 PM. Come join local talent Ashley Martineau, author of ‘Spinning and Dyeing Yarn’ here at MadWool for an informal book signing, and spin in! Bring your wheel, stuff to spin (or partake of the MadWool fiber bar), and create and relax with a fun group of spinners! Refreshments will be served.
Third Annual MadWool Camp Pluckyfluff , June 7-8, 2014*** go to www.pluckyfluff.com for more info, and to register*
We are lucky to have Lexi Boeger, aka “Pluckyfluff’, come for a third year to teach at MadWool, for one of her ‘Camp Pluckyfluff’ art yarn spinning events! This will be at MadWool /Wildwood Farm (Laura Lyons’ farm in Madison) June 7-8, 2014. Read all about it on her website, www.pluckyfluff.com/camp.html . This always fills up fast, so don’t wait! Please call or email the shop with any questions. This is going to be a fun event! Lexi is planning on techniques that YOU want to learn, to individualize the camp for those who have participated before.
A WEEKEND WITH ‘GIRL WITH A HOOK’-HEATHER LIGHTBODY! March 1-2, 2014 at Wildwood Farm, 55 Sheep Pasture Rd., Madison, CT **Call Madison Wool with questions; 203-245-5921 and register directly with Heather at www.girlwithahook.com . * Heather taking deposits also on her website, so please do so if you are interested in the workshop(s)*
We are fortunate to be able to host Heather Lightbody all the way from Oregon for this one of a kind workshop! Heather is the maker of some of the most amazing free form crochet hats, and also headbands too (I have one in the shop if you would like to see one in person!). She will teach a two day workshop perfect for beginning spinners and crocheters, or just crocheters or those who want to learn how to let go and go free form! Get out of your end of winter funk and join us for some fun at Wildwood Farm!
Art Yarn Spinning and Freeform Crochet Introduction-March 1, 2014, 10 AM-5 PM. $120.00. Wildwood Farm, 55 Sheep Pasture Rd., Madison, CT
-Spinning wheel (note: if you do not have a wheel, we have some to loan at Madison Wool and Wildwood Farm. Let us know!)
-Ability to do VERY basic crochet (chain) and VERY basic spinning. (if you need to learn from scratch I can teach you, but you might want to contact me or Dayna to see about coming early or the day before).
Bring to Class:
-a single still on the bobbin (will use for sluggy plying, any thickness)
-Any add-ins you want to use (felty bits, flowers, beads…anything that will fit through your spinning wheel’s orifice, some add-ins will be provided)
-locks for tail spinning (anything longer than 1.5 inches should work)
-any fiber you want to incorporate into your art yarns (a variety of textures would be great)
-any fiber you want to donate to the sharing table
-any thin thread or cone yarn you want to use for plying (there will be some cone yarn available to share)
-crochet hook (any medium size, f, h, i…some will be provided)
This class will cover a variety of techniques including: tail spinning, Navajo plying, sluggy plying, add-ins, twists, possibly how to crochet parts while spinning, and anything requested during class. I’ll go over how to create a nice textured batt using a drum carder AND will show you how to create a textured yarn WITHOUT a drum carder. This class is about letting go of the notion that yarn is just what sweaters and socks are made with. It’s about letting go of gauge, wraps per inch, being balanced, yardage. We’ll be creating art that can also be used on it’s own or added to a project.
We’ll use some of the yarn you just spun up to create the start of a headband or neck wrap (or both!). You can also bring yarn you already made previously if you want. I’ll show you how I start a headband and a few different techniques I use. I’ll also show you a super easy way to create an art yarn neck wrap!
Freeform Crochet Headband/Neck Wrap-March 2, 2014, 10 AM-2 PM. $50 per person or $40 for those who enrolled in the spinning /freeform class March 1.
A lot of people are intimidated by the thought of “freeform” crochet. There’s really NOTHING to be scared of. If you don’t like how it’s looking…you can easily just undo it and go in another direction! That’s what I love about crochet!
This workshop shows you how to use all that great art yarn as well as those singles you don’t know what to do with to make a unique wearable piece. This is also a great way to use all that scrap yarn you have laying around. We’ll freeform crochet a headband from start to finish and learn how to shape, make holes, make ruffles, showcase texture….all without counting or thinking too much! You’ll learn how to appreciate and find the beauty in “mistakes”.
The neck wrap is super simple and you can use a super bulky art yarn to create these. Make sure you have at least 4 or 5 yards of art yarn or you can tie them together to make the yardage better.
-You must already know how to do basic crochet…..just a chain even. You don’t have to know how to do stitches or anything fancy, just how to hold your hook and keep tension with the yarn.
-Bring some of your own yarn (multiple yarns can be included in one headband): a single (worsted to bulky weight) and/or an art yarn of your choosing (it can become the base or an accent). There will also be some of my yarn available for purchase.
-crochet hooks (an H and I preferably). I will bring extra hooks just in case.