Yarn School is offered twice a year: late April, offered back-to-back with Rigid Heddle School, and again in early October, back-to-back with Felt School. Spring registration opens in January and Fall registration opens in June.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?
Enjoy a long weekend packed with lessons and supervised hands-on practice dyeing fiber and spinning yarn. It’s a wonderful workshop for all skill levels. Novice yarn makers will build fundamentals, while experienced students focus on improving and picking up new techniques. Everyone will go home with a huge spinning fiber stash they’ve dyed and carded themselves, plus a sweet goodie bag!
You’ll get the chance to practice your craft with people who share your passion. Enjoy a full slate of mini-workshops and demos, or just pick those of interest to you and while away your time knitting on the porch, crocheting on the swing set, or spinning in the old maple-floor gymnasium.
Teachers: Classes are taught by Adrian Bizilia and Jennifer Schermerhorn.
Fiber Animals: Bonus field trips, visits, and Q&As from local fiber animal growers Alpacas of Wildcat Hollow, Little Angora House on the Prairie, and Wabaunsee Co. Wool & Fiber. You’ll also get snuzzles or grunts from our wee flock of two: chocolate Romney Fudgy the Whale and Shetland wether Uncle Honeybunch.
The workshop fee includes EVERYTHING–classes, supplies, equipment use, your room, meals & snacks & a great goodie bag including a special Yarn School colorway by Hello Yarn. If you’re on a tight budget, there are discount options for the group room and an a helper discount program that brings the cost down by $200!
Yarn School Photo Pools on Flickr:
YARN SCHOOL FAQ
What experience do I need? All levels are welcome. Complete novices can learn all the basics, while more experienced spinners/dyers can refine their techniques and enjoy the great work space.
Do I need my own wheel? We have plenty of student wheels. If you do bring your own wheel, you’ll get your choice of an exclusive Hello Yarn colorway made just for Yarn School (4 oz), or 1 pound of undyed wool top to dye yourself.
What do I bring? Most importantly, bring yourself & a love of fiber. Optional: your wheel or spindle, accessories, interesting fiber you want help spinning, and any destashed or personal yarn, fiber, or equipment you’d like to sell, trade, or give away at the Swap & Shop.
Which airport should I use? Kansas City, MO (airport code MCI) if you want to take the shuttle. If you’re planning to rent a car, you can also try Wichita (just over 2 hours) or Oklahoma City (about 4 hrs).
Note: Several regional lines service MCI, so if you’re not finding good rates, check Spirit (crazy cheap sometimes, but be sure to buy your checked bag with your ticket or it will cost 4x as much), Frontier, Southwest, Midwest, etc. They’re not always listed on expedia, etc.
What’s up with the shuttle? Details and times to use as a guideline are listed on the registration page.
How far is Harveyville? About 2 hours from Kansas City or the Kansas City International Airport, an hour from Lawrence or Manhattan, 40 minutes from Topeka.
If you’re driving from farther way, please use our directions to double check, as GPS/Google maps/Mapquest may try to route you down rough or impassable dirt roads.
STANDARD DOUBLE/TRIPLE ROOM This is the default Yarn School room included in your tuition, a shared double in a large former classroom. These rooms have two or three double or queen sized beds. You may choose your roommate, or we can assign.
GROUP ROOM (-$75): 6 – 8 singles in a large room (dorm/hostel-style). Let us know if you’re coming with a friend, so we can make sure you’re in the same room.
HELPER/GROUP ROOM (-$200): DETAILS HERE
PRIVATE ROOM (+$150): Just little old you. Most are cozier rooms with doubles or queen beds; a few are regular double rooms with no assigned roommate.
BYOW FIBER BONUS Bring your own wheel and get your choice of an extra pound of undyed wool combed top or a 4 oz bundle of an exclusive colorway of Hello Yarn Hand-dyed Fiber, free!
FACILITY (General info & pictures here.)
ROOMS Most of the guest rooms are large (average 700-900sf) former classrooms with charming schoolroom details (chalkboards, maps) and tons of natural light. Private rooms are typically smaller rooms (former offices and teachers’ lounges). All of our beds have quality mattresses, cotton linens, and down blankets or comforters (cotton or down alternative blankets instead on request).
BATHROOMS AND SHOWERS are shared (the original school facilities in the high school, plus a single shower in the grade school). Towels and washcloths are provided.
MASSAGE On-site massage is available by appointment from massage therapist Cindy Jones. $40 for a half hour or $65 for a full hour.
BREAKFAST is continental, so come early to chat and knit, or sneak back to your room with coffee and a little something if you’re not a morning person. Breakfast includes coffee and tea, waffles, fruit, cold cereal, yogurt, pastries, toast, etc.
LUNCH and DINNER are family style. As always, you’re free to enjoy the group or fix a plate and skip out, if you’d prefer a little solitude.
SNACKS (chips, popcorn, cookies, candy, fruit, etc.) and leftovers are available free around the clock.
SPECIAL DIETS We can accommodate vegetarians at no extra charge. Very specialized/exclusive diets (gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, vegan) are available at an extra charge, or you’re welcome to bring your own food.
If you’re bringing your own special snacks or beverages, you may keep them in one of the group fridges.
Check-in runs 5-7pm. PLEASE NO EARLY BIRDS! Settle into your rooms and lockers, get your goodies and TWO POUNDS of undyed fiber for Friday’s Dye Lab, then set up your wheel in the gym or explore the grounds.
Airport Shuttles will start making the rounds at 4pm.
Thursday Night’s Swap & Shop.
Thursday evening, we’ll have an hors d’oeuvre supper/cocktail hour so you can mix and mingle with your fellow students. Our fiber library will be on display for your perusal/inspiration.
And if you have a destashing resolution, be sure to cull your stash for yarn, fiber, or tools from home for a Stash Swap & Shop. You can swap, sell, or just give it away.
After breakfast, we’ll break into two groups. Half will hit the Dye Lab (in the schools’ old Home Ec/Science room), and the other half will hit the Fiber Stations in the Gym.
The Dye Lab is stocked with a rainbow of acid dyes, crock pots & microwaves. Adrian will teach some color theory and acid dyeing basics, and demonstrate dyeing methods. Then you’ll dye up your undyed wool into a big stash of spinning fiber to take home.
Down in the gym, Jennifer will cover hand carding, combing, raw fiber, drum carding, and drop spindling! Try out all the techniques yourself with fiber from our wonderful fiber buffet!
We’ll break for lunch with a field trip to a local alpaca ranch, Alpacas of Wildcat Hollow, where you’ll get to meet the adorable alpacas and hard-working Maremma guardian dogs, sample Ed’s wonderful cooking, and purchase local fiber if you wish.
For the afternoon session, groups switch dye/prep sessions. After dinner, you can spin, knit, card up some more fiber, or just relax and chat.
Saturday’s for spinning! We’ll cover wheel and maintenance basics, then split into two groups (beginners and intermediate/advanced). Before lunch, massage therapist Cindy Adams will demonstrate stretches and exercises to ease spinning tension.
Weather permitting, our lunch break will be outdoors and will include a special visit from some local fiber critters. You’ll meet angora rabbits from Little Angora House on the Prairie, and angora goats from Wabaunsee Co. Wool & Fiber.
Afternoon workshops will focus on planning your yarn, plying, including chain ply, and spinning luxury fibers.
After dinner, you can spin, knit, prep more fiber, or just relax.
We’ll wrap up the workshop with more spinning. Work on your fundamentals, get feedback on your progress, or try your hand at some wilder techniques.
Mini-workshops will focus on specialty techniques and art yarns. Hooray yarn!
Shuttle riders will head out after lunch, and Dye Lab students will relax or spin until 2pm.
Adrian leads the Dye Lab add-on from 2-6pm.
After dinner, spin, knit, card, or just relax.
Dye Lab shuttle riders will have an early breakfast then head out first thing.
Yarn School photos by Robyn Eden, Jennifer Miller, Adrian Bizilia, Sarah Kincaid & John Wise.