Workshops

Get hands-on experience working with fiber and in fiber arts.

Join one of the intensive workshops. Registration is required and fees vary per workshop. Read through the descriptions for any supplies that you are required to bring to the workshop.

Register for Workshops


Beginning Spinning on a Wheel

This class is for beginners who would like to learn to spin. Participants will learn the basics of spinning and go home with a small hank of their own yarn and a drop spindle. The class covers wheel set-up, drafting and plying. Wheels are provided, but bring your own if you have one (let the instructor know if you will be bringing your own wheel). All materials provided.

Instructor

Beth Collier


Beginning Your Saori Journey

Saori weaving is sometimes called “weaving from the heart.” Bring a sense of fun and an adventurous mind and explore the possibilities. No experience needed! Students will weave on pre-warped Saori looms using a variety of yarns and materials (provided).

Presentor

Sherrie Wilson & Q Wirtz


Continuing Down the Saori Path

If you enjoyed the class “Beginning your Saori Journey" and want to try more, come on in! Bring your imagination and learn additional Saori techniques for texture, interest, and of course color. We will build on the techniques you learned in the first class and use what Kenzo Jo calls “cre-ito” to make your own one-of-a-kind yarns using the built-in bobbin winder on the Saori loom.

Students will be weaving with various materials on Saori looms, already warped and ready to go. If you register for both classes on the same day, you can continue to weave on the same loom you started on and go home with a BIGGER piece of cloth!

Instructor

Sherrie Wilson & Q Wirtz


Creating Pre-Felt

In this hands-on class students will create their own pre-felt from wool and novelty fibers. Then they will dye it during class in their choice of colors. The pre-felt can then be used later in a variety of projects such as the "Peaceful Garden" Pre-felt Scarf, and also table runners, purses, and other wearables and home decor. An easy and useful class for all skill levels.

Instructor

Vickie Clontz


Designing and Knitting Irregular Triangular Shawls

“Designing and Knitting Irregular Triangular Shawls” is 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. We will start a sample shawl that demonstrates the constructs covered.

Presentor

Mary Sue Moore


Estimating Micron Count

One of the best skills to have as a breeder is the ability to estimate microns. Join this hands-on class building your own Micron Chart!

Great for beginners and veterans go through samples with Wade at this fun, skill-building class. And you get to take home your own CHART!

Presentor

Wade Gease

Friday • July 9 • Workshop

Exhibit Hall Classroom 1
8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Cost $15


Fantastic Breeds & Where to Find Them

Eager to fill out your Shave 'Em to Save 'Em passport but not sure what to do with the breeds? Join me on a tour of the Livestock Conservancy breeds! We'll explore the history and characteristics of these rare sheep, get hands-on with fiber samples, discuss what projects you could use each for (even the hair sheep!), and most importantly learn where to find quality representation of each breed standard. This fun, interactive workshop brings fiberists together from all the arts and skill levels!

Instructor

Madeline Rosenberg

Sunday • July 11 • Workshop
Exhibit Hall Classroom 1
8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Class Type: Fiber Arts
Class Size: 12
Fee: $70


Free Form Weaving Using Bobbin Lace Techniques

Traditional Bobbin Lace is based on simple braids and weaves. Using wooden bobbins and basic techniques, we'll create simple motifs that can be used as jewelry or appliques. Each student will complete one or two motifs during class time.

Instructor

Sally Brandon


Get Wired! Adding Arms & Legs to Your Needle Felting

Ready to move to the next level of felting? In this workshop students will learn how to add arms and legs to your felted objects by making a small animal such as a sheep or goat. We will discuss tools, wire sizes, proportions, and stiffening for horns or hooves. Some experience needle felting is strongly suggested, but it is not required. All materials included.

Instructor

Beth Collier


Hand-dyed and Felted Windowpane Scarf

Have fun playing with color as we dye silk chiffon scarves in your favorite hues! Then we'll add texture with a simple nuno-felting windowpane technique using merino, alpaca, bamboo, silk and other novelty fibers to make your scarf uniquely you. A fun and creative class for all skill levels.

Presentor

Vickie Clontz


Introduction to Felting: Basic Wet Felting Techniques

This is a basic felting class for students with little to no experience or knowledge of wet felting. Students will be creating an original 12”x12” piece of felted fabric which the student can then transform into an item of their own choosing (small purse/bag, wall hanging, eyeglass case, coaster, etc). Topics covered will include: a brief history of wool and its use in felting, how felting occurs, and the felting process using the wet felting technique. Instructor demonstration and hands on assistance will provide students with a small felted sampler to take home. All materials are provided, however, students may want to bring an apron and towel as we will be working with soap and water.

Presentor

Angela Turner


Introduction to Felting: Wet Felting with A Resist

This is a basic felting class for students with little to no experience or knowledge of wet felting. It is preferred that students take Introduction to Felting (Part I)--Basic Wet Felting Techniques prior to this class but it is NOT REQUIRED. Students will be creating an original wet felted pouch/purse using a resist. Topics covered will include: a brief history of wool and its use in felting, how felting occurs, and the felting process using the wet felting technique. Instructor demonstration and hands on assistance will provide students with a small felted pouch/purse to take home. All materials are provided, however, students may want to bring an apron and towel as we will be working with soap and water.

Presentor

Angela Turner


Introduction to Natural Dyeing

Colors produced from nature can be the most beautiful rich shades. Learn how to create these colors using non-toxic materials. We will explore some common things found in your house or yard and some seasonal roadside plants that will produce beautiful lightfast colors on protein fibers. We will also discuss things that you think might produce color, but do not. We will have several small dye pots in action. Mordanted wool yarn and dye materials will be provided.

Instructor

Sue Gazell


Introduction to Needle Felting

This is a basic felting class for students with little to no experience or knowledge of needle felting. In Part II, students will either continue embellishing their previously wet felted piece, or create an original 12”x12” piece of 2D felted fabric which the student can then transform into an item of their own choosing (small purse/bag, wall hanging, eyeglass case, coaster, etc). Topics covered will include: a brief history of wool and its use in felting, how felting occurs, and the felting process using the needle felting technique. There will also be instruction of 3 basic embroidery stitches and 3D techniques that can be used to further embellish the work.

Instructor demonstration and hands-on assistance will provide students with a small felted sampler to take home. All materials are provided. Payment for the course is expected prior to class. Children are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult as needle felting involves sharp needles.

Instructor

Angela Turner


Introduction to Weaving

Using lap-sized, all-in-one laser-cut weaving looms, participants will create a small tapestry of materials and will learn a variety of weaving techniques. After looking at some examples and talking about a few basic design principles, participants will use colored pencils to create a rough design for their tapestry, working on intentionality. Then they will learn how to warp a basic frame loom as well as different methods of weaving techniques in order to create a variety of textured effects.

Instructor

Justin Near


Introduction to Wool

Want to learn more about natural fibers and wool? In this class, participants will learn about plant and animal fibers and their attributes by examining their physical properties and processing those fibers from their raw form. We will examine samples and discuss what we observe visually and tactilely and what attributes result from those observations. We will continue our observations and discussion while physically processing raw materials, walking through the various stages of processing wool — skirting, scouring (where we’ll talk about lanolin), picking, and carding (where we’ll talk about differences in yarn attributes that result from different methods of preparation). Join us!

Instructor

Justin Near


Needle Felting for Beginners

Ever wanted to learn how to needle felt? In this workshop, participants will learn the basics of felting by making a little figure like a penguin, bird or ladybug. Students will learn how to safely create a shape, add color and contour.

The felting needles are VERY sharp so children should be at least 8 years old (with adult) and 10 if they will not have an adult buddy. All materials will be provided, and participants will take home a completed little creature.

Instructor

Beth Collier


No Fear Fleece Skirting!

Got fleece that's causing you anxiety because you don't have a clue how to skirt it? Have no fear! Char is here! In this workshop, we will cover how fleece is accessed and why it's important. We will also touch on some shearing day helpful hints and the Alpaca Owners Association (AOA) rules for showing and proper presentation of fleece. You will learn the steps in skirting a fleece. Then armed with this knowledge, we will dive into actually skirting fleece with hands-on guidance and feedback by Char. Workshop participants may bring one or two noodled fleeces to skirt.

Sunday • July 11 • Workshop

Education Building
9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
30-minute break for lunch

Instructor

Char Johnson

Skill Level

Beginner

Skills Needed

None

Students Need to Bring
  • One or two noodled fleeces (please — no fleece dumped in a bag)
  • Skirting table (Easy transportable skirting table — two Rubbermaid TightMesh 6-ft x 20-in White Universal Wire pantry shelves cut in 3 foot lengths PLUS two 36-inch long 2x4's. We will lay these on top of a folding table.)
  • Two plastic 1-mil 30-gallon bags per fleece
  • Two to four plastic drawstring kitchen garbage bags
  • Scissors
  • 12 zip ties
Cost

$50


Orchil Dyes from Lichens

Purple from green stuff that grows on trees? Yes! Certain lichens can produce shades of purple. In this class you will learn how to identify those lichens, how to sustainably harvest them, and how to prepare a vat to make a purple dye. We will dye wool, alpaca, and silk in class, then prepare a jar of dye for you to take home and develop. Instructor will provide the dye bath for the class dye, and lichens for your jar to take home, ammonia, and distilled water. Students please bring a clean glass jar with lid (pint size or larger is good). You may also bring SMALL samples of fiber or fabric to throw into the dye pot. They do not need to be mordanted, but must be clean and dye ready, meaning washed free of soil, oils, or other substances that might hinder the take-up of dye. Bring latex or rubber gloves, and wear an apron or old clothes. I do not expect this to be a messy process, but be prepared to work with dye. Bring a plastic bag in order to carry home wet materials.

Instructor

Sue Gazell


Overdyeing the Alpaca Rainbow

Have you ever looked at a pile of brown yarn that wasn't selling and wondered what to do with it? Have you only ever dyed white yarn? While alpaca comes in a lot of beautiful natural colors, those colors can all be changed to something else. In this class, we will assemble a dye sample card showing the effects of multiple different dye colors over different colors of alpaca. Looking at how the base color is affected by cool and warm tones of dye will open your eyes to a whole new realm of possibilities.

Instructor

Elizabeth Taylor


Spin Like a Peruvian

Spinning in the Andean region of Peru is not a high-tech endeavor, yet these men and women spin and weave the most gorgeous fabrics on simple spindles and back strap looms. Learn how Peruvians prepare fiber with their fingers only, and spin those fibers on simple low whorl spindles. By the end of class, you will have the skills needed to practice at home. Alpaca fiber and spindles will be provided and will be yours to keep.

Instructor

Sue Gazell


Spinning with a Drop Spindle for Beginners

Spinning beautiful yarn does not have to be a costly venture. Learn how to spin on a simple tool that can fit in your purse and your budget, the drop spindle. You will learn how to draft and spin wool roving into a single, then explore several ways to ply this single into a yarn. By the end of the class you will have a short length of balanced yarn and the skills to practice spinning yarn on your own. A simple wood spindle and some wool roving will be provided, and is yours to keep.

Instructor

Sue Gazell


Wet-Felted Beret

Create a beautiful beret of wool and novelty fibers in your choice of colors! Learn to wet-felt using a resist to make this unique hat that will be the envy of your friends. Choose from instructor's "fiber buffet" of wool, alpaca, silk, bamboo, and Angelina fibers to create a one-of-a-kind design you'll love to wear. We'll also explore using pre-felts in our designs for sharper, cleaner edges. A very creative class!

Presentor

Vickie Clontz

Saturday • July 10 • Workshop

Wet-Felted Lattice Scarf

Create a wet-felted lattice scarf of wool and novelty fibers in your choice of colors! Students will choose their own materials from the instructor's "fiber buffet" of merino wool, alpaca, silk, bamboo, curly mohair, and Angelina fibers. Explore how various fibers interact together when felted and the rich textures you will create. A very wearable scarf for all skill levels.

Instrucotr

Vickie Clontz


Wet-Felted Wallet or Small Shoulder Bag

Experience the joys of wet-felting with a resist as we create a beautiful 5" x 7" wallet or small shoulder bag, perfect for cell phones or other necessities. We'll explore how various fibers such as wool, alpaca, curly mohair, silk and bamboo "play" together and interact to add exquisite textures to your project. Students will choose their own fibers and embellishments in their favorite colors from the instructor's "fiber buffet" to create a personal and unique accessory. No previous experience necessary, all skill levels.

Instructor

Vickie Clontz


Cancellation Policy

If you have to cancel your workshop and/or conference ticket(s), contact us at nationals@alpacainfo.com at least two weeks before the event. A refund will be given minus a 15% cancellation fee for all registrations. Cancellations made within two weeks of the first day of the event and attendees who fail to attend will not be considered for refunds.