Letter Re: How/Where Can I Learn About Fiber Arts?

Dear Memsahib:

In your biography, I noticed that you wrote: “I also have taught Fiber Arts. I can shear a sheep, angora goat, or angora rabbit and wash, card, dye, spin, knit, weave, (and/or felt) the wool into socks, mittens, a hat, scarf, or a sweater.”

Speaking for those who happen to have a small herd of Angora goats, but no practical knowledge of shearing or weaving/knitting, to say nothing about “wash – card – dye – spin,” are there any books you can recommend? Or perhaps, alternatively, a DVD? Thanks, – Pete M.

The Memsahib Replies: I think hands-on learning is so much better than a book or DVD for learning fiber art skills. These are truly “hands-on” tactile skills.

I would recommend you look for a Fiber Guild in your area. These are groups (mostly women) who get together to learn spinning, knitting, felting, weaving, etc. Depending on the guild, they may sponsor workshops with a fee to attend, or there may be informal lessons at the meetings. You may also find buyers for your mohair (the fleece of angora goats) as well as your kids (baby goats, not your children) at the guild meetings.

The “Spin Off” magazine web site has a link to a directory of fiber guilds.

Another great resource is your local yarn shop. Our local yarn shop owner offers classes on knitting and crochet for a nominal cost. She also has spinning and felting teachers come in to give workshops several times a year. Maybe your local yarn shop owner can hook you up. (Pardon the pun.)