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. 

For the longest time, I felt intimidated by the idea of learning to spin silk yarns. It felt like the epitome of luxury fibres for me. At a KnitCity festival, looking at the Sanjo silk studio booth, I became mesmerised by the shine and character of the silk yarns. As a then-beginner spinner, I got myself a few packs of silk and wool-silk spinning fibres which I promptly sampled going home. After looking at my plyback samples, I stashed those fibres for the longest time, for whenever I would be good enough to spin them.⁠

Continue reading Greta`s @gretacornejomakes new Learning to Spin Silk Yarns article at the School where she encourages you to source some luxury fibres (@sweetgeorgia has lovely kits) and add them to your spinning stash. Or unearth that luxury fibre you got a few seasons ago and play. Even five grams can ignite a lot of fun and creativity to your craft.⁠

#sosspinning #spinningsilk #handspunsilk #silkfiber #spinningsilkyarn #spinnersofinstagram #schoolofsweetgeorgia

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In a few short years, the development of e-spinners for every budget and every level of experience has made the electric spinner go from purely aspirational to totally attainable. Have you ever wondered if spinning with e-spinners might expand your spinning practice? Have you considered getting an e-spinner, and if so, which model is right for you? ⁠

Over at the new Spinning with e-Spinners course, instructor Debbie Held @doodler01 will answer these questions and more as she teaches how to use this unique spinning tool! Learn just how versatile they are with loads of tips and tricks to help you improve your skills. And then at the SOS Community Forums, you can share your project pictures, ask questions, and join in the spinning chat.⁠

Find the Spinning with e-Spinners course page at our link in bio!⁠

#sosspinning #schoolofsweetgeorgia #espinners #electronicspinningwheels #spinningwheel #spinningyarn #handspun

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Following the release of Rachel Smith`s @woolnspinning Spinning Luxury Fibres: Silk where we began the exploration of spinning with a variety silk fibres, we`ll soon continue on the luxury fibre path with the upcoming Spinning Luxury Fibres: Camelids!⁠

With an introduction to Camelid fibres, including types, locational varieties, and considerations for spinning, and exploring Merino wool and silk blends with these luxurious fibres, Rachel will briefly introduce the camelid family of mammals and discuss how their genus breaks down. Then we get into specifics with alpacas, llamas, and camels.⁠

Now available, you can find the materials list for the course so you can begin preparing for the lesson launch on April 6th. There you can also find the link to the new Spinning Luxury Kit, shown here, at the @sweetgeorgia shop! ⁠

#sosspinning #schoolofsweetgeorgia #camelidfibre #camelidfibers #spinningcamelids #alpacafiber #llamafiber #camelfiber #spinningfiber

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As much as I want to have a really deep, profound reason for making things, it’s really simple: I just really love making things with my hands. I’ve always worked with paper, collaging and glueing, knitting, and playing with yarn and patterns. I find my podcast is an extension of that creative energy, to be able to create something digitally and share that with others.⁠

Rachel Smith @woolnspinning is a passionate learner, a kind and clear teacher, and a jewel in our community. At the new SOS article `Learn About Spinning Instructor Rachel Smith`, Greta Cornejo @gretacornejomakes speaks with Rachel and shares some insights into her work. If you haven`t yet watched Rachel’s online spinning courses at the School, we encourage you to do so.⁠

Read the full article at the School – link in bio »⁠

#sosspinning #schoolofsweetgeorgia #woolnspinning

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In a few short years, the development of e-spinners for every budget and every level of experience has made the electric spinner go from purely aspirational to totally attainable. Should you get an e-spinner and if so, which model is right for you? ⁠

Instructor Debbie Held @doodler01 will answer all of these questions and more as she teaches us how to use this unique spinning tool at the coming-soon Spinning with E-Spinners. Debbie will have loads of tips and tricks to help you improve your skills. ⁠

View the materials list to get your supplies ready before the course launch on March 16th »⁠

#sosspinning #schoolofsweetgeorgia #espinner #espinning #spinnersofig

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I recently became the new owner of a Louet S10 spinning wheel. I had been letting the idea of learning to spin churn around in my mind for the last year or so, but I never let it get past the “I’d like to learn that” phase. It just seemed like there were too many hurdles, and it wasn’t the right time.

Well, I happened to throw it out into the universe (Aka Makers Circle😂) one night that I would really like to learn to spin. Less than a week later, I had a wheel. Another knitter in our community was ready to pass hers along, and I happily took her home. She’s from the 80’s (just like me) and a bit of a tricky beast to learn (also, like me 😉) but I’ve named her Lizzy, after her former owner and her new one, since we share a name!

So, this is where the fun begins. Starting at absolute zero is a challenge, but I’m reminding myself that it is important to continue to learn and grow. And, I do know quite a bit about yarn after all, so at least I know what I’m aiming for. Now to just learn how to get there.

Pictured here is my first skein of yarn. Yarn, that I made! In all it’s perfectly imperfect glory.

Also, I really appreciate all the advice/account recommendations that I’ve received in my stories as I shared about this the last few weeks. If you’d like to pop your favorite books/Insta accounts/podcasts/websites below I’d love to keep them all here as a resource for all of us!

The best advice I received so far was to sign up for schoolofsweetgeorgia since I haven’t found anyone local to learn from yet! This first skein is a product of the learning to spin from scratch class.

Cheers to being a beginner! 🥂

#handspunyarn #handspunhabit #spinnersofinstagram #sosspinning #schoolofsweetgeorgia #knittersofinstagram #spinittoknitit

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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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