Monday, March 4, 2019

Finishing Up Fibers & Clothing

Here are some notes from our final few days of Fibers & Clothing, as well as a bunch of photos from our lessons during this super-fun main lesson block!

Week 1: Wool Experiments, Washing Molly's Raw Wool, Carding & Spinning, Wet Felting

Week 2: Natural Dyes, Mohair & Cashmere, Yarn Store Field Trip, Silk, Crochet Special Guest

Week 3: Weaving, Angora, Camel, Spinning Special Guest, Flax & Hemp, Hemp & Indigo Field Trip

Week 4: Cotton Special Guest, Alpaca Farm Field Trip

Monday, February 25
We wrapped this block up early since I had to travel to a conference at the end of the week. On Monday we had two special guests, both certified as Master Gardeners AND Master Naturalists, visit the classroom to teach us about Cotton. They even brought us cotton seeds to plant in our garden at the school! We've already begun to germinate a few of them.

Tuesday, February 26
On Tuesday we travelled to Rolling Oak Alpaca Ranch in Makanda IL for a very special private tour. We got to pet and feed the alpacas, see a skirting table and a drum carder and a loom and a spinning wheel (this one was Castle; the other one we saw in week 3 was Saxony), and hear about how they work with their fiber to make products for sale. They dye their own alpaca fiber, have goats on the property and make goat milk soaps then wet felt them with alpaca roving, etc. They also talked about sending the fiber to different mills for processing. It was a wonderful way to wrap up this block!

Here are all of my remaining photos from this Fibers & Clothing study:

making wet felted soap stones

our field trip to The Yarn Shoppe in Herrin IL

watching the yarn winder

checking on our crockpot dyeing experiment
white wool batting + white vinegar + 4 beets

the students were quite surprised at the resulting color

the wool batting for comparison: before & after

it's such a beautiful rich golden brown!

our Crochet special guest, Anna O'Neil

helping a student one-on-one

these girls are knitting at the same speed 
they work on finishing up and stuffing their lions

and adding the super-cute manes

our ground and water elements are finished in our collaborative tapestry
now we will weave in the stormy sky

giving a friend a lesson on how to make knitting needles

relaxing for some Handwork time

helping a younger friend sew up her finished chicken 

soooo adorable!!!

looking at the materials from our Silk Discovery Kit
and some books about the Silk Road

learning how to draw a rabbit

our lovely angora fiber

exploring the potholder looms and loops
Handwork supplies are always available in the classroom

experimenting with a popsicle stick as a weaving tool

"I'm going to go over and under"

a friend sits in on the first Knitting lesson

careful concentration

Under the fence,
Catch the sheep,
Back we come,
Off we leap

our Spinning special guest, Lorrie Killion

the Saxony spinning wheel

she attaches our flax top to the distaff
and show us how to spin it into linen yarn

next she spins some of our angora fiber into yarn

she has to hold her hands much closer together
since angora has shorter fibers

time for the drop spindle lesson!

I'm new to this too, so I have my own drop spindle
we are all excited and ready to learn

each child gets a drop spindle to keep

helping a student one-on-one

showing us other kinds of spindles from around the world

our raw hemp seeds from the grocery store have germinated

and so have our raw flax seeds

pulling the fiber out of a cotton boll

we are introduced to the alpacas at 
Rolling Oak Alpaca Ranch in Makanda IL

we get to go inside the pen and feed them beet pulp

the skirting table

we learn about how alpaca fiber is graded using its thickness in microns

the drum carder

the loom

the Castle spinning wheel

lots of lovely things are for sale in their shop
open Wednesdays!

A BIG THANK YOU to all of the local small business owners who generously allowed us to visit their locations...

to all of the very talented people who came in to share their expertise as special guests...

to all of the students for their attention and hard work...

to all of the parents for their support...

and to Miss Flossie for helping me with the transportation!

No comments: