If you are interested in knowing where I will be teaching in the fairly near future, see the list below, although be sure to confirm with the event’s website: some of these are still in the planning stage, although far enough along that I know I’ll be there, even if what I’ll be teaching is not fully confirmed.

If you would like to know more about the Explore 4 events (listed by date in sequence on this page), they have their own section.

If you are interested in obtaining information on what is involved in having me teach at your event, head over here. I can only accept a few invitations each year; I do aim for geographic diversity.

March 25–28, 2019    Washington

Explore 4 Spring Fiber Retreat, Friday Harbor, Washington
Four-by-four: Four fiber types in four days (original)

See Explore 4 pages. Arrive the 25th, depart the 2nd.

Spring retreats do not repeat fibers that have been featured in previous spring retreats. For fibers already reviewed in spring, there may be a fall Four-by-four.

Most of these are sheep breeds, although we sometimes branch out and explore other animals’ offerings. It’s always challenging to announce the fibers in advance. One goal is to present at least three forms of each fiber, in order to give an idea of the range of qualities within the breed or fiber type. That means I need to have in my hands those examples before I commit to including them. It often takes a year or more to collect the right fibers for a single day.

Another goal is to be sure that the four days offer different experiences in terms of color, texture, and history.

March 29, 2019    Washington

Talk: BARN (Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network), Bainbridge Island, Washington
“A Fiber Odyssey: How The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook Came to Happen”

The plan was for a short jaunt: two authors would spend nine months putting together a small, pretty guide to wools, with color pictures of sheep and of locks of wool, along with summary information for quick reference use.

Ha! Here’s the inside story of the little project that grew, and of the four years I spent researching, writing about, and spinning every animal-grown fiber the team could reasonably get its hands on.

Come learn how I tore my life apart to put a book together. If I’d known in advance what the project would involve, I would never have said yes (the task was impossible). In retrospect, I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. It was amazing and wonderful.

This event is free for people who register for the workshop on March 30–31 at BARN. There’s a registration fee otherwise.

March 30–31, 2019    Washington

Two-day workshop: BARN (Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network), Bainbridge Island, Washington
Spinning the 3Ls and 3Cs:
Leicester Longwool, Border Leicester, and Bluefaced Leicester;
Coopworth, Corriedale, and Cormo

Over two wide-ranging days, we’ll experiment with six wools in two sets of three that relate to each other historically and yet differ radically from each other. We have a very early breed in this group, quite a modern one, and several that developed in the centuries in between. On the practical side, we will (of course) spin samples. As we do, we’ll talk about history and how the breeds came into existence and are defined.

Three Ls: Leicester Longwool, Border Leicester, and Bluefaced Leicester. The three Ls are all English longwools, and they’re all related to each other. Yet they’re astonishingly diverse. Come get acquainted with them.

Three Cs: Cormo, Corriedale, and Coopworth. These three breeds from Australia and New Zealand demonstrate the shift from traditional to modern production breed definitions and development. They’re also splendid wools to spin: not only different from each other, but from the three Ls. Your spinning life will be enriched by familiarity with them all.

May 1–15, 2019    Maryland

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, Frederick, Maryland
  • Wednesday, May 1, Crossbred Wools, full-day workshop
  • Thursday, May 2, co-facilitating Breed Study for Knitters with Gretchen Frederick and friends, full-day workshop
  • Friday, May 3, Love the One You’re With: Managing Difficult Fleeces, full-day workshop
  • Saturday, May 4, Sheep breeds barn walkabout, half-day
  • Sunday, May 5, Sheep breeds barn walkabout, half-day
  • Sunday, May 5, Lecture: A Close Look at Wool from a Fiber Geek’s Perspective

November 4–7, 2019    Washington

Explore 4 Fall Fiber Retreat, Friday Harbor, Washington
Wild Card—Color Blending with Wool and Limited Palettes

See Explore 4 pages. Arrive the 3rd, depart the 8th.

After doing some casual color-blending exercises at the Spring 2018 retreat on weft-faced weaving, I was asked to do a whole four-days of color-blending with wool. Here it is! We’ll be playing with concepts from oil painting and applying them to fiber, using limited palettes to produce a wide range of colors. Because I love breed-specific wool, we’ll also be using at least two breeds’ fiber and seeing how color interacts differently depending on the type of wool.

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