Spinning Dyed Fibers, with Felicia Lo
Who it’s for: Spinners, all levels of experience
Length: About 3 ½ hours – depending on how much you pause
Materials: Any collection of colored fleece; Craftsy sells a Spinning Color Six Pack
This is the first Craftsy class I have taken. I’m impressed with the format, and the value of the class. Professionally produced and edited, there is an intimate live-workshop feeling to the presentation. It was longer than I expected—honestly, I didn’t look for the video length when I started watching, but there was a ton of information packed in there.
The main screen is the video, with the instructor in a studio setting, and the video can be stopped at any time, and replayed as often as you wish. To the right of the main screen is a forum for asking questions, which is a really neat feature. Answers come from both the instructor and from other students, making it feel a lot like you’re in an afternoon workshop with a bunch of other classmates.
Here are some examples of questions that were being asked in the forum:
“How much will I need to spend on materials for this course?”…..
“I love the cardigan you’re wearing. Do you remember the pattern you’ve used?”…..
“How much should I comb my fiber? Is there a proper number of strokes or a certain amount of time?”
You can see that the questions are very informal. Students obviously feel comfortable asking a wide variety of questions. The forum also includes the ability to share your photos of your work, so you can inspire and be inspired by other students.
You can skip lessons, pause, repeat, or stop and come back another day with this format. There are a couple of other nifty little features, like a 30 second repeat loop so you can watch a tricky bit over and over while you try it yourself. I also like the “add note” feature, where you can bookmark a spot in the video with a tip or idea you know you’ll want to return to see again.
The class teaches how to prepare fibers for spinning, using combs or cards for different effects. It moves on to using prepared batts and rovings, and teaches how to control the amount of blending between color changes or the length of solid patches of color.
General spinning lessons are part of this class. Beginning students or experienced students can all benefit, and there isn’t ever a feeling that you can’t learn about the color control promised in the class unless you know more about spinning. No fear- the basics are covered. If you have questions about woolen vs. worsted, how to Navajo ply, spinning from the fold, long draw, using hand cards, drum carder, or wool combs, these techniques are all covered in detail in this course.
The only complaints I had about the video were a few weird editing choices. There were some moments of flashing between finished yarn and fiber prep faster than the eye could focus on either one. I suppose I could have used the pause button to stop it, but it was mildly annoying to watch. Also, there were times in the middle that could have done with some editing. Felicia Lo is a beautiful lady, and a really accomplished spinner, but we just watch her spin for long periods of time and I wanted to fast forward. These are very small complaints. On the whole, the presentation was very professional and polished.
I won’t describe all the color control techniques taught in the class, because I really recommend just buying it. For just $30, you get a really great value. It provides hours of very useful information, and once you’ve purchased it, you can return and re-watch any time.
This class definitely gets the SlowYarn seal of approval. (I just made that up. We don’t really have a seal of approval, but if we did, we’d stamp it on this class.) Spinning Dyed Fibers (Online Spinning Class)with Felicia Lo is a great class for spinners of any experience level.