Working from Fleece

In this fibre prep course taught by Kim McKenna, we take a look at the difference between woollen and worsted yarn. We'll walk through the equipment for carding and combing clean, scoured fibre, teaching you how to prepare combed sliver and roving as well as carded roving and rolags. Also learn how to finish your handspun, where you might find a few surprises when you sample the different methods presented. 

In the course lessons, you will also learn Kim's small batch scouring method, which Kim uses when working with medium fleeces—fleeces with crimp between 6 to 10 crimps per inch. The other scouring method taught is one reserved for those very special, very fine fleeces; ones worth the extra work involved in scouring the fleece lock-by-lock.

Kim McKenna · August 16, 2022

Join instructor Kim McKenna in Working from Fleece. This workshop was developed in response to requests from the SOS community who were curious about how to choose and scour a fleece. 

In this workshop, you will learn:

  • differences between worsted & woollen yarns
  • combing & carding equipment: combs, hand carders & blending boards and dizzes
  • how to use the fibre prep equipment to prepare:
    • combed sliver and roving
    • carded roving and rolags
  • parts of a fleece and how to assess it
  • small batch scouring method for medium fleeces
  • small batch scouring method for very fine fleeces
  • how to finish your handspun four different ways:
    • hot/cold water method
    • soaking method
    • thwacking method
    • Kim’s stove top method
  • how to block your skeins 
  • class resources and more!

We hope this online class leaves you with some new tools and skills and that it: 

  • gives you a bit more confidence in choosing a fleece 
  • gives you a better grasp on how to scour fleece 
  • helps improve your fibre preparation techniques 
  • helps you realize how fibre preparation affects the characteristics of your handspun 
  • helps you take a closer look at the finishing method you use, to choose the best method for the fabric you wish to knit or weave!

Let’s get started!

Share your course progress with us – we’ll be chatting over in the SOS community forums, plus tag your Instagram posts with #sosspinning and #schoolofsweetgeorgia. 

Reminder to join us today for our final Zoom meetup as part of the Spinning Study Group: Working from Fleece with Kim McKenna @claddaghfibrearts! Starting today, November 10th at 11:00 AM PT (2:00 PM ET), bring along the fleece you've scoured, prepped, and spun over the past six weeks and share it with us as we wrap up this fabulous and fun group study. ⁠

Find the Zoom link at the SOS Events Calendar (link in IG bio). We'll see you soon!⁠

#sosspinning #sosspinningstudygroup #schoolofsweetgeorgia #fleeceprep #fibreprep #handspun #claddaghfibrearts

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As daily life can become busy, taking back a bit of every day for crafting is my happy place. Learning new skills by myself can feel challenging and being the only fiber-obsessed human in my household, lonely too. There is a reason make-alongs are so popular with so many crafters: even if we love our “me time,” sharing the process and the takeaways make it more meaningful as it didn’t stay only with us, but may have helped someone else too.⁠

At Greta Cornejo's @gretacornejomakes new article: Level Up Your Fibre Arts Skills with Study Groups, Greta shares more about how these study guides have helped her along her own journey of exploring the different SOS course content. Helping her to level up her own learning. Find the article at the SOS site (direct link in bio)!

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I love it when I know the sheep’s name 🥰

First baggie of fleece for my School of SweetGeorgia raw fleece study is done.

39% Gotland, Dorset & Charollais: 58yds, 37g, 707ypp, 13wpi, 9bpi, 10% elasticity.

#sosspinning #schoolofsweetgeorgia #rawfleece #washingfleece #handspinnersofinstagram #wool #makingyarn #slowmaking #spinnersofinstagram #handspunyarn #handmadeyarn #spinningwool #handspinnersofinstagram #naturalwool #woollove

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Working from raw fleece study continues.

It isn’t just about washing dirty fleece. It’s examining the wool, determining the best way to scour it and processing the fleece in a way to make each lock of wool come to life and reach its fullest potential.

I expect to have some failures along the way but I also see some great successes.

This is just the beginning ❤️

#sosspinning #schoolofsweetgeorgia #rawfleece #washingfleece #handspinnersofinstagram #wool #makingyarn #slowmaking #spinnersofinstagram #handspunyarn #handmadeyarn #spinningwool #handspinnersofinstagram #naturalwool #woollove

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It's week three at our Spinning Study Group: Working from Fleece and we'll be focusing on the fibre prep process along with some spinning and sampling too! ⁠

There are tutorials to easily reference the different fibre prep techniques, plus download Kim McKenna's @claddaghfibrearts great Sampling Fibre to Yarn worksheet for compiling all the options you could have in your fibre prep. This can then help determine which way you want to fibre prep the rest of your scoured fibre. Also now available for viewing is last week's recording from our Zoom Progress Meetup with chapter notes to quickly find all of the helpful info shared there. ⁠Read more at the week three update at the study group page!

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Brännö fleece ready for a wash. As a longwool it is very lustrous but it is also suprisingly soft. Interestingly enough, I haven't seen this breed listed anywhere and it seems to have few sheep and fewer shepherds.
I'm curious to experience the spinning and process of turning it into cloth.

I've been sampling scouring methods and spun up a little sample this week.

If you had these beautiful locks in your hands, what would you make?

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#sosspinning study group: 28 g of cormo fleece singles spun to be plied like my middle 2-ply sample in the middle of my sample card. Using loads from both claddaghfibrearts courses schoolofsweetgeorgia

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From scouring, fibre prep and sampling in the #sosspinning study group schoolofsweetgeorgia

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If you intend to scour wool, you will need about 100 g/ 3 oz of raw fleece plus all the materials you can find on pages 26 and/ or 29 from the "Working from Fleece workbook" (find downloadable files below).

Remember your 15% off discount as a SOS member available here!

Have questions about this course? Click here to discuss it in the forum »


About Instructor

Kim McKenna

My fibre journey is a delicate balance between science and art. Curiosity and research help me to understand the intrinsic nature of my materials and practice helps me to improve upon the mechanics of skill. There is a point, however, where I must turn my mind off and allow my hands and intuition to guide me.

3 Courses

Not Enrolled
Available for All-Access Members

Course Includes

  • 9 Lessons
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