Workshops

During the conference you have a chance to get hands-on experience working with fiber and in a variety of fiber arts.

Join one of the intensive workshops with a limited number of seats. Registration is required and fees vary per workshop. Some workshops will require you to bring supplies and will be stated in the description.

Register for Workshops

Beginning Spinning

This class is for anyone who wants to learn to spin yarn on a spinning wheel. The class will cover parts of the wheel and maintenance, how to choose a fleece or roving to spin and, of course, how to spin a good yarn.

Students should bring a spinning wheel. An assortment of spinning fibers will be provided for the class.

Presentor

Jennifer Bennett

Friday • July 13 • Workshop

East Building
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Cost $75 • Limit 8


Blending Alpaca on the Drum Carder

Have you ever wondered how blending alpaca with bamboo, silk, milk, pearl, or even wool affect alpaca? Can you blend huacaya and suri together? In this class we will take an average quality fleece and enhance it with many different blending fibers and then compare the effect that it has. This class will teach you basic drum carding skills and if time permits we may get into creating layered batts, how to pull roving from a carder, and gradient batts. I will also review why I think that Strauch drum carders are the best for alpaca and how they compare to other carders.

Presentor

Elizabeth Taylor

Saturday • July 14 • Workshop

School House Building
8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Cost $40 • Limit 10


Characteristics of Fiber: Evaluating Your Fleece (All Levels)

Learn some quick steps in understanding fleece characteristics but more importantly how some of the characteristics are bound to each other. Learn how to rationalize out the differences in alpaca qualities using characteristics. Class samples are welcome for discussion.

Presentor

Wade Gease

Friday • July 13 • Workshop

East Building
8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Cost $20 • Limit 8


Designing and Knitting Irregular Triangular Shawls

A Beginner to Intermediate class with a prerequisite that the knitter knows how to cast on, bind off, knit, and purl. I will teach the rest. Most local yarn stores have a colloquial Irregular Triangular Shawl pattern as it's a fun and easy knit for any season. In this workshop we will discuss the construction, the edges, the material, and finishing off the shawl.

Students to bring knitting needles and one skein of needle-appropriate yarn, suggested US-8 with worsted weight yarn.

Presentor

Mary Sue Moore

Friday • July 13 • Workshop

Main Exhibit Hall
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Cost $25 • Limit 10

Sunday • July 15 • Workshop

Main Exhibit Hall
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Cost $25 • Limit 10


Drop Spindling

For Brand New-To-Spinning or experienced wheel spinners, this class will cover spinning with top and bottom whorled spindles. Spindle spinning is a handy, portable way to thoroughly enjoy the tactile wonders of making yarn from a cloud a fiber.

Spindles and fiber are included in the class fee, but spinners are encouraged to bring their own spindles if they have them.

Presentor

Jennifer Bennett

Friday • July 13 • Workshop

Main Exhibit Hall
3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Cost $60 • Limit 10


Dyeing Yarn to Make a More Unique Product

While the 22 natural colors of alpaca are beautiful, sometimes you need to add a bit more color to help your yarn sell better. In this class we will look at different techniques that you can use at home to dye your yarn. You will be able to look at examples of different techniques such as hand painting, variegated, tonal, speckled, and self striping. We will use acid dyes to produce a professional lightfast yarn.

You can bring your own skein of yarn to dye if you wish. The yarn needs to primarily be alpaca or wool, otherwise yarn will be provided.

Presentor

Elizabeth Taylor

Friday • July 13 • Workshop

East Building
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Cost $40 • Limit 10


Intermediate Spinning

This class is for spinners who can make a yarn that holds together but want a little more control over the yarn they make. We will work on techniques and fiber handling skills to make the yarn you want rather than settling for whatever comes out. An assortment of fibers will be provided for the class and there will be discussion about how each fibers characteristics influence the new yarn.

Spinners should bring their wheel and any fiber they particularly want help with.

Presentor

Jennifer Bennett

Saturday • July 14 • Workshop

East Building
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Cost $75 • Limit 8


Knitting Chemo Patient Hats

A Beginner to Intermediate class using Baby Grand Alpaca where we cover three types of soft and comfortable hats. Prerequisite is experience with knits and purls. Experience knitting in the round is helpful.

Students to provide circular knitting needles, US-11 or US13, and one skein of Baby Grand Alpaca.

Presentor

Mary Sue Moore

Friday • July 13 • Workshop

Main Exhibit Hall
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Cost $25 • Limit 10


Knitting with Different Yarn Weights

Explore how to use different yarns, stitches, and textures to create one-of-a-kind fabric that can be used in scarves, placemats, or pillows. Sample swatches created and discussed in the class. This is a Beginner to Intermediate class with a prerequisite that the knitter knows how to cast on, bind off, knit, and purl.

Students to provide needles. A variety of yarns will be provided as fabrics are created.

Presentor

Mary Sue Moore

Sunday • July 15 • Workshop

Main Exhibit Hall
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Cost $25 • Limit 10


No Fear Fleece Skirting

In depth seminar covering management factors that help produce usable fleece and a hands on skirting practice by all participants. Demonstration and practice of the correct way to noodle fleeces according to the AOA rules. Participants will learn an easy proven 1-2-3 method on how to skirt a fleece without fear.

Presentor

Char Johnson

Saturday • July 14 • Workshop

School House Building
1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Cost $25 • Limit 25


Sorting and Grading: What, Why, and How

Sorting and Grading is now becoming a normal occurrence before sending fleece to be processed. This workshop will help you understand what it means to separate fleece into uniform batches (sorting) based upon a 3 micron range (grading). The requirements in marketability of raw fiber in artisan as well as commercial use can be very different in how sorting and grading is approached. These differences will be covered as they pertain to the market today. Included is discussion on the importance of uniformity, consistency, and why it is necessary in end products. Plenty of samples as well as hands on evaluation of fiber will help to grasp the concept.

Note that this is not a training on how to sort and grade nor a certification course. For those interested in further training in Sorting and Grading, I offer a Part One Basic Farm Sorting/Grading Course through SUNY Cobleskill/PACE which leads to a certification in the process. Details on this all day program can be found on the website at sortgradeclass.com.

Presentor

Wini Labrecque

Sunday • July 15 • Workshop

School House Building
8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Cost $40 • Limit 25


The Distaff: Spindle Spinning with Comfort and Control

Drop spindles are inexpensive, portable, and simple to use, but many people find them uncomfortable to use. Our ancestors found a remarkably simple and practical solution: the distaff. A hand held distaff can make spinning far more relaxed and comfortable. It can also help you to control your yarn, even to spin fine lace yarn with ease. We will talk about ancient distaffs, and even look at some artifacts up close. Then we will play with modern replicas. Everybody will get to try various types of distaffs and spindles. Although small amounts of fibers will be provided for people to try, please feel free to bring some of your own, if you wish. There will be many types of spindles, but you are welcome to bring along your favorite, too. You may find it helpful to bring a camera to take pictures or videos of spinning with a distaff.

Experience Level: Advanced beginner. This class will make more sense to you if you are already a little familiar with how spinning works. However, if you are a beginner and wish to come, bring a spinner friend who can help you at first.

Presentor

Kim Caulfield

Sunday • July 15 • Workshop

Memphis Room
8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Cost $35 • Limit 12


Understanding Suri Fiber

Suri fiber is rare, exquisite, and frequently misunderstood. We will look at its special properties, and then explore the ways to use suri fiber. We'll look at yarn weights and structures that work well, and talk about why others do not. We will talk about finished projects that show off suri's luster, halo, and drape. We will explore using suri in blends. There will be samples to see and feel, and handouts for everyone.

Presentor

Kim Caulfield

Sunday • July 15 • Workshop

Memphis Room
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Cost $20 • Limit 25


Weaving: Rigid Heddle

Interested in weaving but just not sure where to start or sure if it is for you? This class is the entryway to weaving using a rigid heddle loom to create your first weaving project. The class takes the attendees through all the steps of warping and weaving a basic loom. We will discuss the steps as we do them so you feel comfortable in going forward on your own if you choose. You will also receive a handbook that will assist you so you have a reference in the future. By the end of the class you will have created a woven piece from alpaca fiber that you will be able to show your workmanship.

Presentor

Christian Davies

Friday • July 13 • Workshop

Main Exhibit Hall
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Cost $60 • Limit 8

Saturday • July 14 • Workshop

Main Exhibit Hall
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Cost $60 • Limit 8


Cancellation Policy

If you have to cancel your workshop and/or conference ticket(s), please us an email at nationals@alpacainfo.com at least 2 weeks before the event. Once you cancel the ticket(s) you will receive a refund of your reservation. There will be a 15% cancellation fee for all registrations. Cancellations made within 2 weeks prior to the first day of the event and attendees who fail to attend will not be considered for refunds.