Felicia Lo’s “Spinning Dyed Fiber” Craftsy Class Reviewed

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I’m giving the blog over to Denise and Judy—two of our passionate fiber enthusiasts here in our Schacht office. I hope you’ll enjoy Denise and Judy’s enthusiastic explorations. -Jane

While Jane was on vacation (more about this in a future post), the Schacht girls decided to do something fun, so we took Felicia Lo’s Craftsy class “Spinning Dyed Fiber”.  We had a blast!  I was hooked at the introduction. I loved listening to how she got started in the craft, her fascination with art, learning all she could, and then teaching it to others.

Felicia is one of our dealers, so I have had the privilege of getting to know her both through business as well as on a personal level.  I especially love how Felicia blends logic and intuition. You can see it in her web site (sweetgeorgiayarns.com), in her fiber dying, and now in her Craftsy class.

In “Spinning Dyed Fiber”, Felicia lays things out logically so concepts are easy to understand while catering to the intuitive spinner in all (or most ?) of us. In her class, she gives a great overview and refresher of spinning styles, fiber preparation, and color theory. It is not the same old color theory I learned in art class, she puts a hip and trendy spin on it (another gift of hers).

Felicia is a master of beautiful color!  She gives more than a half a dozen awesome ways to mix color, to keep them crisp or subdued, depending on your desired outcome. Plus, she offers bonus ways of working with color that are great! Of course I had to try it all immediately!

We were curious how the our spun samples would weave up compared to knitted, so I wove up some swatches and Judy got her needles flying. –Denise Renee Grace: Schacht customer service go-to fix it gal

“Passionate. Relentless. Unapologetic colour.”
–Felicia Lo

These words sucked me in a few years back when I discovered Felicia Lo’s SweetGeorgia website. I LOVE these descriptions that speak of the power of color.

Color has been one of the common denominators in my education, work, and interests and I have approached it with a fair amount of confidence.  As a somewhat new spinner – not so much. The guidance and techniques featured in the Craftsy Class, “Spinning Dyed Fibers”, are a game changer for me.

Beginning with the color wheel as it translates to fiber, to the many ways to achieve a desired yarn, this class has made me an inspired spinner. Although most of my fiber-loving history has revolved around knitting, I’m most eager to use my future handspun in weaving, particularly as a warp yarn with “presevered” color. Weaving on the Cricket allows me to play with color in a way I have never done with knitting. Sometimes I’m planning my next exploration in color before I’ve even begun the current one. Thanks to Felicia, I’m now armed with the knowledge (I’ll work on the skills) to pursue color in spinning and I will take on that challenge with enjoyment. Sign me up for a bump of yellow, magenta and cyan…and a carder! Think how different those early school days in art could had been if we had been given those pure colors instead of yellow, red, and blue.

Knowing the color wheel can be a powerful thing – enhancing the experiences with color with clear direction and reasoning. It’s nice to know how it all works and why. Felicia does a great job addressing color definitions and harmonies in her lessons as she demonstrates so many different techniques to create desired yarns. Translating these skills and knowledge to the basics of colored fiber for spinning is truly inspiring and empowering!
–Judy Pagels: Sales and Service manager with special super powers

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We tried 4 different techniques.  The colored roving is Mountain Colors “Firestorm” from Shuttles Spindles and Skeins. For the woven swatches, Denise used an Alpaca yarn from Natural Fiber Producers for the warp.  This provided a nice neutral color for the warp so it would showcase the colored weft yarn. You can tell that the neutral warp muted the colors in comparison to the knitted swatches which were pure color.  Weaving would also provide another opportunity to explore: mixing warp and weft colors.  Using two of Felicia’s color techniques, one in the warp and one in the weft could be stunning.  Oh, the possibilities seem endless, and with the Cricket, it is oh so easy and fast!

On the far right, we tried the long color change technique. It turned out pure and beautiful, not much difference between the knitting and weaving. The next one over is the short color change technique.  For some reason, there seemed to be more of a difference between the look of the knitting and weaving. The saturation of color pops a lot more in the knitted samples in this one, as well as the other two remaining sample couples. The other sample in the middle is created with fractal spinning. Of course we had to try that!  It was a favorite, without a doubt.  We loved how the color manifested itself in the weaving. The last one (furthest left) is the most subtle. Here, we split the fiber several times, took two strips, flipped one around and spun them together. This muted the colors quite a bit. Both of us like the subtle “muddy” look, so we were pleased with this one, although we love the passionate, relentless, unapologetic color too!

We know this may seem like a bold statement, but we think that this has completely changed the future of spinning for the Schacht girls!  The class has been eye opening and surprisingly liberating, a true joy!  It was our own little vacation at the office.  Craftsy has done such a wonderful job with their classes, and this one was a hit here!  Although it is totally worth the full price, you can take this class at a discount with this link-it’s a great deal!

Denise Renee Grace

Denise Renee Grace first learned to weave as a student at Bethel College. She later moved to Boulder and worked in a re-purposed product company where Barry Schacht discovered her and hired her to work in our sales and service department. Denise’s first love is spinning and she is especially fond of working with natural fibers on all four of her Schacht Wheels. When it comes to weaving, tabby tickles her. In charge of customer care, Denise spends her days here helping people—something she does so well.

Judy Pagels

Judy Pagels comes to Schacht from a varied background in printing, graphic design, and flower arranging. Hired initially as our shipping manager, Judy shortly afterwards was promoted to sales and service manager where she is in charge of new accounts, as well as sales and service. Judy is first a knitter, but also weaves and spins—always with a keen eye to great design.