The Gypsy Tinker

Still Spinning, Still Weaving, Still Crazy
Spinning thru Grief, Weaving New Life, Will Work for Wool

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Patty Blomgren
21 Bunler Road
East Dummerston. Vermont
Workshops & Private Lessons Available To request a workshop or private lessons email Patty or call 802-254-9792 or 802-779-4877 Spinning & Dyeing
Beginner's Wheel Spinning Drop Spindle Creating Art Batts Beyond Basics Skirting & Scouring
Natural Dyeing Microwave Low-impact Dyeing Novelty Yarns Wool Combing Know Your Spinning Wheel

Weaving A Life

I am a certififed Weaving Circle Leader through Weaving A Life founded by Susan Barrett Merrill

This is a series of workshops where we explore working with our hands finding peace within ourselves. And through finding this inner peace we can share with our community and with the earth. These workshops offer ways in which we can enrich our understanding of ourselves and our place in the world. The series begins with the Amulet: Invocation A call for change. Where words cannot reach, a mythic pattern speaks with your heart through your hands. The amulet is an invocation to awaken to the need for change.

New weavers will learn tapestry techniques, and seasoned weavers find new sculptural dimensions in their work: the essence of the Weaving a Life process is an experience of weaving our personal fabric.

  Beginner's Wheel Spinning This class focuses on creating beautiful, unique yarn using spinning wheels. Plenty of time will be given to establish the essential coordination skills and basic techniques every spinner must master to gain competence in spinning. You will venture into areas of fiber preparation, tools of the trade, terminology, drafting and plying techniques. Overviews of wheel mechanics, maintenance and spinning history will be scattered throughout the class. By the end of the class you will be putting yarn onto the bobbin, admiring your first skein of yarn and leaving with the confidence to continue spinning on your own! No experience is required, nor do you need to own sheep! We will supply the fiber and even the wheel if you do not own one. For those bringing a wheel please be sure it is in excellent working condition. Should you have questions about the condition of your wheel please call Patty at 802-254-9792 before the class.
  Drop Spindle The drop spindle is an ancient tool still being used today by man cultures of the workd for spinning beautiful yarns and fibers. The are easy to use, eonomical, portable, and fun! Using a drop spindle makes learning to handspin easy. Ideal for beginners and advanced spinners, or anyone wanting to learn the skill of handspinnin, but aren't ready to invest in expensive equipment. We begin by making our own CD drop spindle in this class, so no need to buy one... yet! Once you learn the art of drop spindle on you homemade spindle you can go shopping for an unlimited number of beautiful spindles available now. We will card wool with handcarders and learn some basic spinning techniques. Lots of informationa about fiber, washing and preparation will continue while students practise their new skills.
  Creating Art Batts Work through the variables involved with preparing and blending fibers and colors on a drum carder. Carding is a traditional method of preparing fleece and fibers for spinning soft, lofty yarns of varying fiber lengths. The purpose for carding is to separate and straighten the wool fibers. But the real fun begins when you start blending colors, fibers and textures! Clean out your fiber stash and even the leftover yarn from knitting or weaving projects to create a true one-of-a-kind yarn. Most of these tchniques can be transfered to hand cards but once you work on a drumcarder there's no going back. Instructor supplies drumcarders and fiber.
  Beyond Basics This workshop is intended for spinners who have mastered basic spinning techniques. Topics include drafting techniques, beyond 2-ply, ways to measure yarn and how to spin for a project. Students will spin samples of novelty techniques and core spinning. With time permitting we will explore the techniques for adding in elements to create fun and fanciful yarns. There is homework that must be finished before the class begins. Instructions will be given at the time of registration.
  Skirting & Scouring Just in time for the shearing season! In the morning we will learn how to skirt, judge and prepare a fleece for handspinning or to send to a mill for processing. We will have hands-on instruction at the skirting table and discuss what makes for the perfect fleece. Even if you don't raise your own sheep, this knowledge is essential to the handspinner when choosing a fleece at a show or festival. In the afternoon we will learn a variety of washing techniques. We will talk about breeds and projects. Make the most from your investment. No more crying over felted wool.
  Natural Dyeing Natural dyes are dyes or colorants derived from plants, invertebrates, or minerals. The majority of natural dyes are vegetable dyes from plant sources –roots, berries, bark, leaves, and wood—and other organic sources such as fungi and lichens. In this workshop we will dye with dried or fresh plants (if available) and Earthhues - a processed powder from natural plants. We will examine a variety of dyes stuff, use different mordants, make some dyed samples and record your dyeing experiments. A day filled with fun and color!
  Microwave Low-impact Dyeing Greener Shades has come up with a low-impact chemical dye. While having all the convenience, fastness, color dependability it has a low impact on the environment. When combined with microwave techniques we can acheive immediate gratification. This workshop will teach how to make concentrated dye stocks and how to use them. We will dye scoured fleece, roving and skeins using the microwave to set the dyes. This is a wonderful way to see how the same use of colors can look so different depending on dyeing and fiber preparation.
  Novelty Yarns Novelty yarns include a wide variety of yarns made with unusual features, structure or fiber composition such as slubs, inclusions, metallic or synthetic fibers and varying thickness introduced during spinning. In this workshop we will explore a variety of yarns including slubs, cocoons, coils, curls, knots, locks and just about anything you can think of. This class will teach the student the structure of yarns and ply directions in order to spin new exciting yarns of their own creation. Many novelty classes are designed for bulky spinning wheels, but this class focuses on the average spinning wheel. All techniques can be used on a bulky wheel as well.
  Wool Combing Combing is a method for preparing fiber for spinning worsted yarn. Combing separates out the short fibers by means of row of steel pins. The fibers in the 'top' it produces, have been straightened and lie parallel to each other producing a smooth and firm yarn. This workshop will teach the basic priciples of using wool combs, hand-held Vivking combs and mini combs. We will also spend time blending colors with a blending hackle. This is an excellent opportunity to try combs before purchasing.
  Know Your Spinning Wheel This informative class for intermediate and advanced spinners will help you to better understand how your wheel works, especially the dreaded ratios. You will also learn how to troubleshoot when things go wrong, feel at ease with your wheel, and gain confidence to create any type of yarn you desire. If you love your wheel she will love you back.
  • Which wheel do you have?
  • What do you want to spin?
  • Drive Ratios
  • Pulleys and Tension Exercise
  • Wheel Maintenance
  • Trouble Shooting
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