Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Harveyville Project: Yarn School Fall 08

A few weeks ago I went on a little road trip.As I drove through Iowa, the car had to navigate around hundreds of massive wind-harnessing energy-making thingies and Iowan airplane radar rays for hours. (..and, I, umm, narrowly escaped an Iowan speeding ticket!)Ms. Sassy lent her gps for the trek, and it made the 8.5 hour drive long - but effortless.


I went to Harveyville, Kansas to attend Yarn School - Fall 2008.
Fellow fibernista Nikol Lohr (of Naughty Needles and Art Club fame) purchased four rural schools in the middle of rural Kansas. She maintains the property with Ron, a tattoo artist and music enthusiast. The space is full of fun and interesting details - a perfect storm of creativity and space. (It's worth the drive just to see the school!)

Yoda is a six month old pygora goat from Laura's Pygoras. He's super cute, and he feels like heaven. Yoda and his pack joined us for lunch one day, alongside angora rabbits from Little Angora House on the Prairie.

Waking up on the second morning at Yarn School was an absolute joy. The corridor separating the two Harveyville school buildings was lined with gorgeous columns of dyed fiber.

We all spent hours in the dye studio (a former chemistry room) the day before with Adriane Bizla from Hello Yarn dyeing pounds of wool. ***We all received pounds of fiber to dye upon Yarn School check-in: superwash wool, Mashum, Corredale X, Blue Faced Liester, & a few ounces of sea silk, nylon, and sparkle for dye play. Some people brought yarn and even more fiber to dye, too.

Doesn't Felicia (pictured above ) look adorable in her new roving outerwear? :) She's never without a smile, and sells her dye work online at Sweet Pea Fibers. Over the weekend I had a lot of fun with Molly, who here is upset over a little color loss that morning. She kept on saying, "My carrots and corn ate the peas!".
Nikol set up an awesome batt-making station with six drum carders and buckets of different fiber to play with. I cannot tell a lie. I love the drum carder. Some day I'd like a Strauch!Nikol taught us how to make roving from the drum carder. You need a "diz" (a thingie with a hole in it) to pull the fiber through to create a uniform, consistent length.

Behind Nikol is one of my roommates from the weekend - Christine. I have to say both she and Lisa (unpictured) were great roommates!
Here's a set of batts that I made on the first day of drum carding. I started with a base of bamboo in a topaz color that I brought from home. 100% bamboo can be a pain to spin, so I combined it with random fabulous fibers in autumn shades. I'm really excited to spin these up!
Laid out on my bed was my fiber production from one day at Yarn School. That's right-- one day's worth.

We drove out to Alpacas at Wildcat Hollows Farm to visit the beautiful animals, buy some of their fiber (I purchased raw alpaca), and to eat a fantastic meal. It was a perfect aesthetic experience. The owners of the farm plan on starting two week-long stays. One will be around the time of shearing, and the other during the alpaca birthing period. I have to say, I'm a little tempted to go!

Adriane (below) showed us how to comb fibers. I have to say, the tools are wickedly sharp and a little scary. (Envision miniature pitchforks latched onto your table!) Although, she looks more than happy to comb all day long!

I stayed for an extra day with a dye lab extension. My car was busting with fiber on the way home. The roving below was still drying when I left in the morning.

All in all, I can't recommend Yarn School enough. My fellow attendees were diverse and wonderful people from around the US. We were surrounded by a community of people who more than understand our affliction for fiber. If you are interested in spinning, this would be a great first experience. (There are yarn school wheels to use.) If you are an expert spinner, there's a wonderful experience waiting for you.

I can't wait to go again!


Cathy-Cate said...

Wow, that looks amazing! Good for you, for going! If I spun, I would be tempted.... I've never heard of Yarn School; what creative minds they were that came up with such an experience!

Guinifer said...

That topaz bundle looks just yummy! Sounds like a totally exhausting, yet stimulating trip.

(I love my Garmin - but I mute her all the time.)

Kitt said...

Wow, what fun! Nice to see posts from you again. Did you get a new camera?

Criosa said...

wow, looks like a fun time!

I love your topaz-based batt!

If that's all the fiber you came home with, I need a serious fiber diet before I consider heading down

Anonymous said...

How wonderful!

Liz said...

That looks like a ton of fun!!!

bockstark.knits said...

I am sooooooooo jealous!!! Looks like great fun!

Jillsknit said...

Thanks for all the pics. I've been very curious about Yarn School and your pictures make it look even more tempting!

PCSpring said...

Does anyone know where I can purchase small quantities of cashmere yarn in different colors, to mend moth holes in cashmere sweaters? I've looked all over.

Please email me at:


Kenny Surtani said...

That looks like real fun!!!