I love Felicia Lo from Sweet Georgia Yarns! We first met in person many moons ago while I was in Vancouver taking photos for my book Spin to Knit, and we’ve worked together on a number of projects, including my book Alt Fiber (she dyed all the natural fiber yarn samples) and books for Cooperative Press.
Now she’s got a new class called Spinning Dyed Fibers at Craftsy, and you can get a discount on it by using this link.
The class is described in part as follows: “In addition to teaching you different ways to prepare your fiber and preserve your color, Felicia demonstrates useful techniques such as Andean and Navajo plying, spinning from the fold and the on-trend method of fractal spinning. Learn to use color theory to harmoniously match and blend fiber into hues so vibrant and beautiful, the yarn will never see your stash.” Felicia’s hitting the (virtual) road to talk about the class on a blog tour and today she’s all ours, so I wanted to ask her some questions about actually creating the class itself!
What was the most interesting part of actually filming the class, Felicia?
The most interesting thing about filming the class for Craftsy was figuring out how to best use video to demonstrate what I was trying to teach. It’s one thing to be in a classroom, face-to-face with students where they can touch and feel the yarn or fibre and ask questions that will lead my teaching, but it’s a whole other thing to have to get all the content super organized upfront and try to find ways to convey the details through the computer screen. I hope we did a good job of showing students up-close shots of the spinning and the samples, so it could be like they were “right there” looking over my shoulder. That was interesting to me… plus the fact that we filmed in an old burrito factory.
Whoa. Sorry. Got distracted by the words “old burrito factory” for a second there.
With the Craftsy class we needed to keep it pretty focused so that we wouldn’t confuse students or leave them overwhelmed. But there so much more that I’d love to teach on their platform. I’d love to see more spinning, dyeing, and weaving classes offered especially since those kinds of classes and retreats are hard to come by for a lot of interested people… myself included.
How did you learn to dye? What about the process originally appealed to you?
In terms of learning to dye, I taught myself back in early 2005 with some Kool-aid and Corriedale fibre. I remember how all the yarn I spun for weeks smelled like Kool-aid. Right from the start, I was hooked on colour and fibre and spinning. There was something about it that was so perfectly tangible and creative… it was like painting, but I didn’t have to create pictures of anything. Instead, I could create colourways that represented my thoughts and ideas. If I was obsessed with a particular band or song, it would come out in my dyeing. Or if I was entrenched in a mood (good or bad), it would come out too. When I realized I was drawing more positive creative energy from dyeing than my existing graphic design work, I made the switch and focused entirely on making hand-dyeing my business.
So when did you make that decision? What drove it home for you?
I can remember the exact moment when I decided to make dyeing my focus. I vaguely documented it here. Actually, it was during the time I was natural dyeing for your book, Shannon — Alt Fiber. Alongside the yarns I dyed for your book, I dyed a skein of cultivated silk in weld and marigold. It glowed like amber in the morning light and seeing it at that moment, I was overcome with a feeling of pure awe. I’ve never felt anything like that before. I was touched and transformed by seeing light and colour, more than I had ever been by music, art, film or anything. At that moment, I just knew that was it.
Check out Felicia’s class here at Craftsy.com!
Want to know what the fuss was about with those natural dyes? One commenter will win a signed copy of my book Alt Fiber — leave a comment or a question below and we’ll pick a winner!