Know Your Wool
A free mini-class that includes almost 90 minutes of information on basic wool types and how to use them, released by Craftsy. Developed and produced with Liz Gipson, and we had a lot of fun with this one. Among other things, I talk about my swatching technique (not quite the usual approach) and how to locate breed-specific yarns. The tech folks at Craftsy set up a cool computer interface so you can watch the searches and results. I also got to put my feet up on the table.
Handspinning Rare Wools
Three hours on rare-breed sheep and wools, produced by Interweave. An overview of wools from all wool-growing sheep breeds listed by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy and Rare Breeds Survival Trust at the time of filming,* with comments on their history and quick demos of how I work with a huge variety of wools. Although the set is being marketed for spinners, textile folks who don’t spin have said that they’ve learned a lot of useful information.
* There have been a few minor changes in the lists since: principally the addition of Border Leicester and Florida Cracker sheep. Handling Border Leicester is much like handling the other longwools, although of course it has unique qualities, and for Florida Cracker see the Gulf Coast coverage, because for quite a while there were studies underway to determine whether it was a genetically distinct breed; It is.
- There’s a 5.5-minute excerpt from this project available on YouTube, about North Ronaldsay sheep.
- Available from some local yarn shops in a physical two-DVD set (also available from online sellers) or as a download or through CraftDaily (I can’t say I especially understand the latter option, not having done more than find it online).
Knitting Daily TV (KDTV) episodes
There’s a Knitting Daily blog post about what it was like to be in the studio taping these segments. It was a somewhat surreal experience: I had to get new-to-me clothes in specified colors and styles, as well as a manicure, and to wear more makeup than I’d ever had on in my life. Taping involves a lot of precise constraints concerning timing, body positioning and language, where the props can be, how you interact with the host, and what you can and can’t say on air. I ended up with more vocal pauses (“um”) than I like to hear! But the hosts (Eunny Jang and Shay Pendray for my segments) and organizers at KDTV were fantastic to work with and if you want to see me looking dressed up, this is the place to go. Each of these segments has about 27 seconds of intro material before the topic begins.
- Episode 603’s how-to segment: on wool’s transformation from raw to yarn, with Eunny Jang (6 minutes).
- Episode 612’s how-to segment: on wool types, with Shay Pendray (5 minutes).
- Episode 804’s how-to segment: more about the transformation from raw fiber to yarn, as well as some info on caring for fabrics, with Eunny Jang (6.5 minutes).
- Episode 806’s how-to segment: on why yarns pill, with Eunny Jang (6.5 minutes).
- Episode 810’s how-to segment: on yak fiber, with Eunny Jang (7 minutes, including Eunny’s presentation of a hat pattern at about 3:40—it was fun to be her “interested observer” during that section).
I’m considering developing additional online workshops and classes. If you’re interested in this option, or a particular topic, send a note by way of the contact form. Thanks!