Many people ask me how they should prepare and/or spin their fleece. Others tell me they want to buy a fleece but they don’t know where to start and what to do next. Many spinners are afraid of doing things the wrong way. In this course I invite you to join me on my journey from fleece to yarn.
The purpose of this course is for you to feel more confident in handling raw fleece and planning the process from fleece to textile. The goal is to produce a wool board to use as a guide for preparing and spinning your chosen fleece.
You need to be comfortable spinning yarn and you need basic knowledge of wool preparation. In the course I use spindles to show different spindle techniques I use. You do not need to know how to spin on spindles to take the course, just use the spinning tool(s) you know. This is not a spinning course and it is not a course in fiber preparation. It is a course in wool knowledge with your own fleece as a case study. I provide inspiration, you prepare and spin your fleece at your skill level. However, I will show you examples of how I prepare and spin the different fleeces and hopefully you will learn from watching me.
- You need a washed fleece to work with as your case study. You can use the course for several fleeces. However, I recommend you to focus on one fleece at a time and go through the course all over again for your next fleece.
- Tools for wool processing – hand cards, combs, wool flickers etc. You don’t need all of the tools and not from the start. Perhaps you can borrow some from a spinning friend or from a nearby guild. Perhaps you have combs and buy cards along the way.
- Knitting needles
- An area to work by where you have room for your fleece.
Suggested extra material
- Note pad and pens in different colours
- Card board or stiffer paper
- Small loom or a piece of card board to make a weaving swatch.
We will go on a fleece journey together with the Swedish sheep breeds Gotland sheep, Gute sheep, Klövsjö sheep, Helsinge sheep and Dalapäls sheep. Each have their own superpowers. You can choose to join me in my investigation and learn more about the breeds I present and about the process I go through when I handle a fleece. You can also choose to take on a mission of your own to investigate a fleece of your choice. This means a lot of work for you but at the same time lots of opportunities to learn more and get a deeper understanding of working with fleece in general and your own fleece you in particular.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make your own toolbox of ways to prepare and spin fleece and feel more confident in buying and handling raw fleece to be able to control the whole process from fleece to yarn.
I invite you to explore, investigate and be curious about the fleece you have in front of you. There is no right or wrong in this. Your fleece is unique, just as your skill level and the wool preparation and spinning tools you have available.
Modules and assignments
The course is organized in five themed modules: Explore, analyze, empower, plan and experiment. Each module has a breed study webinar or video that serves as an inspiration for you in your work with your own fleece. For each module there is an assigment for you to apply to your fleece and document. For each assignment there is a downloadable checklist you can use as a guide when you work with your fleece and document your findings. In the final assignment you will create a wool board where you document your process from fleece to samples and swatches. After the course you will be able to use your wool board as a guide when you process the rest of the fleece. The work and time you invest in exploring the fleece now will bring you closer to the essence of your fleece and to making it shine. And of course you will be able to use the process for other fleeces after the course.
You are more than welcome to ask questions or comment in the comments section below each lecture. And feel free to ask questions or write constructive and encouraging comments on other students' comments. That way we can create a dynamic discussion and you will be able to learn from each other. I would also love it if you posted pictures of your work along the way.
All the videos are fully captioned in English. You can turn the captions on or off by clicking the CC symbol in the lower right corner of the videos.
In the texts below the videos I have provided links for further reading.