I had two really fun classes at Madrona. Batts, Roving and Top taught by Judith Mackenzie and Spinning a Self Striping Yarn. I was loaned a great spinning wheel, a Schacht Matchless. It was set up for Scotch tension. Thanks Lisa!
Judith Mackenzie is a wonderfully calm and warm teacher with lots of fiber experience. I have her DVD, The Gentle Art of Plying, which I got about a month ago. It's been very useful.
We tried various types of fibers. Natural top is a very orderly arrangement of fibers. The process of making top is somewhat like ironing hair was back in the day. When a piece is pulled off it leaves a relatively straight line, while roving pulls off in a point. Dyeing top puts back some of the sproing and disorder into the fiber which explains why the dyed braids do not pull apart as easily. She still recommends not stripping top as it disorders the fibers unless it is for color order. She spins across the end side to side. I got one of my burning questions answered. While spinning, sometimes a big tuff gets away and the twist ends up in the fluff. While a small one can be undone, when I showed her a large one I'd broken off, she said, "Throw it on the floor." And so I did:)
Here she is with one of her assistants.
My second class was taught by the the Bellwether, Amelia Garripoli. She too was great teacher and very knowledgeable. Our class supplies included 12 colors of roving, which were divided for a pair of fingerless mitts. We chose our 4 least favorite colors for a background color. This background color was spun at a smaller gauge. The rest of the colors were spun one at a time, then plied with the thinner single. The background color does not show as much so the solids form stripes. I used the left over roving to practice on my new drops spindles and used the completed yarn for a sweater for Won Bin (my iphone)
I really enjoyed my two classes and learned a lot. It was great fun to see the variety of wheels and share tips and ideas.