Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Home Again

It's a bit hard to believe that it's finally over!  All 6 levels done and just the final in depth study to do.  While I won't miss the homework, I will miss the camaraderie and the learning opportunities.   The homework is a good way of making sure you have at least a bit of the basics down for every fibre and technique we studied though.  That is useful but by year 5, I was so ready for the sample skeins to be done with.

Level 6 had only a few directed learning opportunities.  Mainly it was testing.  From the moment we got in the classroom to the final day, requirements for sample skeins were listed on the white board and we had to produce.   We had 2 dye afternoons, which were long.   The fibre reactive dye on protein fibres was a bit hectic and the Indigo dye afternoon was a little less so.

I did a depth of shade study on two colours to create two sets of gradient coloured skeins.  The Indigo dyed cotton skeins really are skinny and don't look like much.  I am thinking about spinning a bunch more cotton and using them as warp stripes.
We reeled silk, using about 25 cocoons to make a filament.  We then divided up our filament into 4 and spun 4 filaments together to make a single.    We learned how to calculate denier as well.  Let me say that even the 4 filaments spun together don't really amount to very much.   Silk is a very labour intensive fibre, even when the procedure is mechanized.  Really, crazy labour intensive.   We worked in pairs and we were the last pair to get our cocoons ready to go, due to not quite enough pots and hot plates.  However, Michael Cook of Worm Spit had been teaching and he very nicely left not only an amazing booklet for our class but also left his extremely nice silk reel for our class to use, which happened to be on our work bench.   It reeled so smoothly that we pretty much caught up to the rest of the class.   Thank you Michael for that opportunity!   Our instructor had to send it back to him after the class though.

Now to finalize my ideas for my in-depth study and get that on the go.  I will have to say though that the Olds College Master Spinner course was an awesome experience and I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to take part.  I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to understand the technical aspects of spinning, to learn many techniques, experience many fibres and learn to control and hone their spinning skills