Fiber Arts Exploration Weekend 2

June 1-3, 2018

(Friday evening through Sunday afternoon)

Workshop is full!

Please check out our

 Natural Dyeing Workshop in October!

Dyeing yarn with marigolds!

Join a friendly group of Midwest spinners and weavers who are excited to share their skills with you! Our Fiber Arts Exploration Weekend will be filled with hands-on learning and practice, great meals, and new friends. Friday evening kicks off with an introduction to the amazing world of natural fibers. On Saturday, you’ll have to opportunity to learn to weave on a Rigid Heddle Loom OR Beginning Spinning OR Spinnig with a Variety of Fibers. On Sunday morning everyone has the option to learn about Dyeing Fibers with Natural Dyes, or continuing to weave or spin. Instructors are providing all of the materials, including looms, spinning wheels and dyeing materials.


Our weekend begins with dinner on Friday, and concludes on Sunday after lunch. All meals and snacks are included. Class size will be small for optimal learning.

No  previous knowledge of weaving, spinning

(or anything to do with yarn!) 

is needed. Beginners are just as

welcome as "experts!"

Our Fiber Arts Weekend includes:

  • Choice of three classes (you must choose just one): Rigid Heddle Loom Weaving (suitable for beginners); Spinning Wheel for Beginners; Fiber Sampler Spinning (see description below);

  • The opportunity to experience Dyeing Fibers with Natural Dyes

  • Looms, spinning wheels and dying equipment to learn and practice on/with all weekend

  • Comfortable classroom space

  • Abundant time to create, learn and work with other fiber enthusiasts

  • Six delicious meals (dinner Friday; breakfast, lunch, dinner Saturday; breakfast & lunch Sunday)

  • Coffee & tea, plus mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks

  • Optional tour of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage 

  • Special price for local commuters

  • NOTE: price does not include accommodations

To Register, Click Here!

$225 per person

includes all meals, instruction

and all materials



Wheel Spinning for Beginners 

Learning to spin can be a great adventure.  This class will introduce participants to the techniques and tools used to produce yarn.  The focus will be natural sheep wool both processed and unprocessed.  We’ll discuss fiber selection, fiber preparation,  color,  and spinning equipment.  Participants will work on a variety of spinning wheels to learn the basic techniques of creating yarn for knitting, crocheting, and weaving.  Spinning fiber is an ancient art that bridges cultures all over the world. No previous knowledge of spinning is required.

Limited to 3 participants.

Fiber Sampler Spinning Class

Here is your chance to sample a variety of sheep wool breeds for spinning without purchasing an entire fleece.   Beginning with a discussion of each sheep breed characteristics we’ll explore hands on processing from clean fleeces.  We’ll be using all natural fibers, long wools,  short wools,  colored and white.  Preparation techniques will include wool combing,  hand carding,  flick carding and hand teasing.   Bring your spinning wheel and your favorite preparation tools.   Hand tools, spinning wheels and drop spindles  will also be available for those who need them.   Spend the day exploring fibers that you may want to work with in the future.   This class is designed for spinners with some previous experience. Limited to 8 participants.


Introduction to Rigid Heddle Weaving

This class will teach beginning weaving students the fundamentals of Rigid Heddle Weaving. Class activities will include a discussion of choosing the right loom and fiber for your project,  warping the loom, hands on weaving and tips on finishing the project.  Looms, loom tools and all materials will be provided for use during the class. Participants should bring a scissors, tape measure and note book.  The finished project will be a hand-woven scarf which they should be able to complete in the all-day session Saturday (with half day session on Sunday if needed). Participants must be over age 18.  No previous knowledge of weaving is required. Class size limited

to 3; priority will be given to those who sign up first.


Dyeing Fibers with Natural Dyes 

On Sunday morning we'll spend a few hours playing around with natural dyes.  We'll have one pot of yellow onion skins (and who doesn't have them as a regular kitchen by-product??), which will produce a brassy gold.  We'll also produce an indigo pot, which yields good old denim jeans blue, and is the closest thing to pure alchemy most of us will ever experience.  The creative amongst us will probably figure out that shades of green will also be possible!  The indigo pot will welcome anything that is 100% wool or 100% cotton and doesn't require any prior treatment of either; we'll just use wool in the onion skins pot, and we'll need to prepare that wool with a tea of alum and cream of tartar the night before.



 Weaving on a Rigid Heddle Loom


Greg Cotton (Spinning and Dying Fibers) grew up on a sheep farm in South Dakota and always wondered what happened to all that wool after shearing was done.  In 1980 he learned to spin, and being a person of generally oddball passions has not stopped spinning since then; in fact, he has been teaching other people how to spin since 1983.  Greg lives in Iowa City with five chickens and a house filled with fourteen spinning wheels, 98 spindles, seven looms, innumerable knitting needles, and enough wool to survive the zombie apocalypse.  When he's not involved with fiber or chickens, he works as the College Librarian at Cornell College (where he never attends a faculty or committee meeting without a knitting project or a drop spindle close at hand).  His non-fiber passions include baking bread with his 27 year old sourdough starter, faithfully writing in his daily diary, and never ever missing a day at the gym.


Barb Krummell (Spinning) learned to spin on a Great Wheel in 1984 and fell in love with all aspects of fiber and spinning.  She collects and restores Great Wheels and also uses a variety of modern flyer wheels to produce yarn in her home studio in NE Missouri.  

Claudia Jervey’s (Rigid Heddle Weaving) love of crochet and yarn led her to weaving in 2009.  She has been weaving ever since using a variety of rigid heddle looms including Schacht,  Ashford and Kromski.  Claudia enjoys sharing her love of fiber and weaving with other fiber enthusiasts and is a member of Northeast Missouri Fiber Addicts.  She creates beautiful woven projects in her studio located in Putnam County MO Several of her projects have been entered and received ribbons at the Putnam County Fair.  Outside of weaving she enjoys crochet, Tunisian crochet, sewing, and scrapbooking.  She is also a BEGINNER….learning spinning and quilting.



To Register, Click Here!


$225 per person

includes all meals, instruction and most materials

Cancellation Policy:  Workshop fee and accommodations charge (if any) are both due at time of reservation. Full refund (less $25 accounting fee) returned with a full 7 days notice.

Less than 7 days notice for a cancellation will result in loss of deposit.

Mercantile rooms: David Brower (above); Aldo Leopold (above right); Rachel Carson (right).

La Casa, where spinning classes will be held.

ACCOMMODATIONS (not included in cost of weekend)

The Milkweed Mercantile has three rooms available here at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage and three additional rooms at a super-comfy off-site farmhouse one mile from Dancing Rabbit. Cost is $50 per night per room. Details will be provided after registration.


Questions? Give us a call!