Our part of the Pacific Northwest suits a wide range of sheep types, so the fibers will be diverse and appealing—and a number of them will be rare breeds. Within a context of hands-on experience, participants will learn about the historical and cultural backgrounds of the featured sheep, as well as their present-day situations.
Fully rooted in place, this workshop comes about as a collaboration between Twisted Strait Fibers, a local community organizing a cooperatively-owned fiber processing mill on the North Olympic Peninsula, and Bainbridge Artistan Resource Network (BARN), the non-profit community arts organization in Winslow. It will be facilitated by Deborah Robson, fiber author of The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook and The Field Guide to Fleece (and UW graduate).
Students Should Bring to Class
- Spinning wheel or spindle; nostepinne or ability to do Andean plying (and this can be learned in the workshop as well);
- combs, carders, flicker or any other fiber-prep tools of choice (and Deb will have some to share);
- note-taking materials, tape, hole-punch to manage samples—and, although we usually run out of time, you may want some quick sampling tools such as knitting needles, crochet hooks or a small Weave-it loom.
- Please note that for this event, cancellations received 30 days or less before the workshop start date will not be eligible for a refund or credit.
- There is a a $50 material fee for fiber, handouts and other class supplies included in the price of tuition.
- Tuition assistance is available. Click here to apply.
- Skill Level: Advanced Beginner. Workshop participants need to have the ability to independently spin singles and make a two-ply yarn. Beyond this requirement for the workshop, this class welcomes students within the full spectrum of spinning skills — from those with very basic spinning skills through to those who are very experienced and proficient.
- Ages: Ages 14+ Welcome.
- For directions, transportation, and lodging information click Getting to BARN.
- Bring a bag lunch. We have a refrigerator for people to store their lunches and drinks!
Instructor Bio: Deborah Robson is a fiber generalist who specializes in spinning, knitting, and weaving, although she experiments with all aspects of textiles. She is the fiber author of The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebookand of The Field Guide to Fleece, in collaboration with livestock expert Carol Ekarius.
For fourteen years she served as an editor at Interweave Press, including twelve years as editor-in-chief of Spin-Off: The Magazine for Handspinners. At Interweave she initiated the Save the Sheep project and the book Handspun Treasures from Rare Wools. She also edited Shuttle Spindle & Dyepot, has worked in trade, literary, and scholarly publishing, and has written for many publications, including PieceWork, Interweave Knits, Spin-Off,and The Journal for Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, as well as several fiber-related anthologies. Her textile designs have appeared in several magazines and collections.
She is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and of the Colorado Authors’ League, and served two terms on the board of directors of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (now The Livestock Conservancy). Her current research focuses on the millennia of alliances between sheep and humans, emphasizing the fiber perspective and using Shetland sheep as an example of how the relationships have evolved, and she is publishing monographs on fiber-related topics. Websites related to her work are at independentstitch.com, www.DreamingofShetland.com (a site maintained by friends), www.DRobson.info, and www.Fleeceand Fiber.com.