Friday, January 15, 2016


wool rovings & spinning hooks 

Senior Clarrisa Gutierrez  below (our Homecoming Queen & host of Whitney Live)
makes the learning look easy.
But she and all my other students will tell you it was a struggle
with many of them thinking they wouldn't be able to conquer it.
But they did,
eventually  :)
It took between 6-8 days for them to finally get the hang of it,
to get that ah ha moment,
and then they started to actually enjoy it. 

English teacher Deliana Park,
who is taking the class during her conference hour probably struggled the most.
And the kids loved that since she took to all the other assignments like a duck to water.
So secretly they loved that she had a hard time,
right you guys???
Deliana is the English Dept. chair,
and has many responsibilities besides just teaching her students.
So oftentimes the counselors (like Yen Tseng here)
know where to come find her when they need her help or advice.
What Yen didn't know was that he would become entranced watching Deliana spin her magic
 with the wool roving.
So maybe next year he will also become a student in my class  LOL

One of the many things I love about our students is their willingness to help each other out.
Above senior Christine is coaching 8th grader Iris Lin thru her plying.

Below is junior Insha beginning to ply her yarn.
They were required to spin at least a 5 yard singles
that they could then ply into a 2 yard piece of 2-ply to turn in.
Just in case you are wondering,
I make the spinning hooks from coat hangers.
I can get 4 hooks from one hanger.
The hardest part is finding a wire cutter to cut thru the steel wire.
(I apologize for the messy table tops in my room.
Everyday after the kids leave, I clean and put all back in it's place)

I got some great shots of one of my favorite 8th grade students,
Micah spinning some extra credit roving 
hand dyed by my good friend Lori Lawson of Capistrano Fiber Arts.
After etenuating his piece of roving
you see him drafting it while putting some twist in it with his wire hook.

Before he stores what he has spun on the end of his hook
(bobbin area)
he uses his thigh to help put in a bit of extra twist to make sure it will store well on top of itself,
and will ply later on.

Now he is checking his ply to make sure he has enough twist in it before he stores it.

And here he has just finished storing it on the bobbin area and he is back to drafting again.

So here are all the students first 2 yards of handspun.
After the kids spun their first two yards of yarn,
I asked them to dye it with either Kool Aid
or my Wilton Food Dyes.
It's amazing the wonderful variety of color you can achieve with food dyes 
versus using the more dangerous and toxic acid dyes.


  1. I can appreciate this because I took a class using a drop spindle when I was in my early 20s ... it didn't "take." Several years later I actually supervised the spinners and weavers at Colonial Williamsburg, but I stuck to needlework myself. Kudos to all your students for persevering!

  2. WOW!!! This is just great, SO Great! I have never seen spinning taught this way before, so do-able. Super job everyone- for sticking to it & making beautiful yarn!

    1. Thank you Cindy. They were such troopers for hanging in there!