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Long Thread Media

Three Bags Full: How to Select, Prepare, & Spin a Great Fleece with Judith MacKenzie

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Access more than 140 video courses (including this one) with a Long Thread Media All Access subscription, bringing you up close to experts in spinning, weaving, needleworking, felting, and dyeing. View Three Bags Full: How to Select, Prepare, & Spin a Great Fleece with Judith MacKenzie on our streaming platform.

Judith MacKenzie offers in–depth instruction on selecting, preparing, and spinning a great fleece in this streaming version of her four–hour comprehensive video! This is an ultimate guide for any spinner wanting to gain more knowledge about spinning wool.

Have you wandered around the fleece tent at a fiber festival, eager to buy a fleece but intimidated by all of the choices? Do you know what to look for in a fleece? How do you choose the perfect one for the project that you have in mind? Will you have enough to make a sweater or a shawl?

In this video, wool judge and master spinner Judith MacKenzie shows you what to bring home (and what to pass by).

Travel with her to the Estes Park Wool Market in Colorado and look through dozens of fleeces as she finds the best choices for any project, whether you are looking at knitting a fine shawl or weaving a sturdy rug.

At the Estes Park Wool Market you will look at:

  • Primitive Fleeces
  • Luster Longwool Fleeces
  • Fine to Medium Fleeces

Once your fleece is home, what do you do with it? Judith demonstrates how to examine your fleece and sort it for a better spinning experience; clean it; and then store it until you're ready to spin. Learn several ways to wash fleece, and how to comb and card it. Finally, spin that fiber into the perfect yarn for your project.

In This Online Workshop, You Will:

  • Learn how to spot the best fleeces in the wool show (and the ones to avoid)
  • Meet the sheep that produce your fleece, from spotted Jacobs to magnificent Merinos
  • Learn to lay out a fleece and sort it, from the choicest sections to seconds to waste
  • Discover many options for washing wool, from the washing machine (really!) to lock by lock
  • Card and comb fiber to create cushy batts and dreamy top
  • Use fine, medium, longwool, and primitive fleeces in your spinning

You'll walk away from your next festival with the fleece of your dreams and the knowledge to create any yarn you please.

This workshop comes with a handy pocket guide to choosing fleece as well as a downloadable guide to washing wool.

Lesson Outline:

  • Introduction & Workshop Overview
    • Meet Judith MacKenzie
  • Welcome to the Estes Wool Market
    • In the Fleece Tents
    • Meet Some Sheep!
  • Caring for Your Fleece
    • Sorting
    • Washing
    • Storing
  • Preparing Fleece for Spinning
    • Introduction to Fiber Preparation
    • Carding
    • Combing
  • Spinning
    • Fleece Transformed
    • Spinning Your Fleece
  • Conclusion and Course Survey

Watch a Preview Now:

Techniques Covered: Evaluating & selecting a fleece; sorting, washing, and storing fleece; combing and carding wool; spinning wool.

Skill Level: Any level will benefit from this online workshop. Whether you are a new spinner or have a lot of experience, you'll find something to enjoy here.

Materials Needed: None required. Optional: drum carder or hands cards; hand combs; buckets and containers for washing and storage; gentle detergent; spinning wheel or spindle.

This Online Workshop Includes:

  • Access to your videos anytime, anywhere, with a computer, tablet or smartphone
  • Unlimited access to watch videos at your time and pace
  • Videos, downloads, and interactive content designed for a better learning experience
  • Video Lessons: Run time 236 minutes

About the Instructor

Judith MacKenzie has been spinning and weaving most of her life. Her traditional training has been expanded with world travel, deep research, and industry consultation. She writes and teaches extensively, and is the author of The Intentional Spinner and The Practical Spinner's Guide to Rare Luxury Fibers.

Author/Designer: Judith Mackenzie