Felicia Lo’s Spinning Dyed Fibers + giveaway

by Shannon on August 24, 2012

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!

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Beth clawson August 24, 2012 at 5:50 am

Cool interview. Please sign me up for the giveaway.

Aleda August 24, 2012 at 6:01 am

What a neat interview, interesting to hear how she got her start. And thanks for having a giveaway. 🙂

Word Lily August 24, 2012 at 7:56 am

I’m definitely interested in learning more about dyeing, and natural dyes have interested me since I was a child, although there was a many-year break in there …

Anne Marie August 24, 2012 at 8:03 am

I’d love a copy of your book, AND to try my hand at dying.

Peggy August 24, 2012 at 8:24 am

I’ve just stuck my toe in the (dye) bath water and have had a blast. I’ve also bought some yummy multi-colored rovings from other hand dyers. But I’ve only had so-so success with spinning finished yarns that I’m pleased with. So your fun interview with Felicia and description of her class sure got my attention. Thanks!

Lelah August 24, 2012 at 9:12 am

Felicia really inspires me as a dyer! Sign me up, please.

Linette August 24, 2012 at 9:22 am

I’d love to win your book.
I absolutely love Felicia’s yarn & fibres. They are so beautiful. =)

Hilary Wilson August 24, 2012 at 9:49 am

Great article. So curious about the dyeing thing. Please drop my name in the hat for the giveaway! Thanks!

Cecile August 24, 2012 at 11:07 am

Thanks for the giveaway and the interview.
I love Sweet Georgia yarns, so I was very excited. That’s great! I’m a beginner dyer and tried dying with Kool-Aid, food coloring or things that I’ve got in my fridge (like beets or carrots). That’s a lot of fun: each dye pot is an adventure to me! As I don’t really want to play around with toxic stuff in my kitchen, I’m highly interested in natural dying and I hope I’ll win your book 😉

Zaelia August 24, 2012 at 11:44 am

The variety and vibrancy of colour in yarns is amazing. I’d love to learn more about the process of colouring with natural resources.

Debbie H August 24, 2012 at 11:47 am

I have tried dyeing and would love to learn more. I would love this book. thanks
gussek on Ravelry

Marsha August 24, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Great interview, I think this class is exactly what I have been needing. And I recall the kool-aid smell that still seems to permeate one of my shawls. Now off to Craftsy!

Suzanne Shattuck August 24, 2012 at 12:47 pm

I found it interesting that whatever her current interests or moods were, that it showed in her finished product.

Donna August 24, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Ah yes natural dyeing something I would like to investigate.

ann-marie August 24, 2012 at 1:52 pm

I have toyed with Natural Dyeing with my Spinning Guild, but would love to do more! 🙂

Sheila August 24, 2012 at 2:54 pm

I would love to win a copy of your book! I’ve only done a little dying but would love to get more into it, especially using natural dyes.

Savannagal August 24, 2012 at 3:05 pm

I’m very much interested in learning to spin and dying my own yarn. I love handspun and dyed yarns, I just can’t afford to buy them. I’d love to win your book. Thanks for the giveaway.

Mary Jo August 24, 2012 at 6:26 pm

I signed up for class. I bought my daughter a spinning wheel for her birthday and she is having a great time spinning but trouble viewing the dyed batts and getting the yarn she wants when she spins. And I am sure this will help.
hopefully she will teach me to spin later this fall.
I have been dyeing a little for a few years but there is so much to learn so I love the chance to win your book – sign me up.

Diane August 24, 2012 at 11:19 pm

Oooh…count me in! Sounds fab. Thanks for the give-a-way.

Mariann August 25, 2012 at 1:55 am

I hope heaven looks like a yarn store, with all the colors of
hand dyed yarn. I would enjoy reading your book, and having it on
the shelf in my craft room. Wonderful article !!

Anna August 25, 2012 at 7:27 am

I have been trying to learn to spin for four years. Im ok with a drop spindle, but its so slow!

Natalie August 25, 2012 at 7:54 pm

I love Felicia’s work – both the yarn & the wool.

Carmen August 25, 2012 at 8:59 pm

Love this! Thanks for the chance to win the book

Eloise August 25, 2012 at 10:30 pm

I would love to win a copy of this book. Natural dyes sound so interesting and somthing I would like to try.

Alicia August 26, 2012 at 11:35 am

I would love to check out this book!

Cathy August 26, 2012 at 6:15 pm

I saw Sweet Georgia at the trade show this summer. Really Great to hear the how and why’s behind the yarn. Thanks

Mickey August 26, 2012 at 7:40 pm

I dyed with crushed black walnuts in a crockpot in my back yard. I had some lovely chestnut color and a good laugh watching a squirrel ripping the lid off the crockpot to get at the good smells inside.

lindaran (on Ran) August 29, 2012 at 12:47 pm

So many things to learn…..
I’d love a copy of your book. Thanks for the opportunity .

MelissaG August 30, 2012 at 9:26 am

I’ve been eyeing Felicia’s colors, have dabbled with Kool Aid dyeing, and am spinning with color now. Timely interview and post–thanks!

Julia C August 30, 2012 at 7:13 pm

This looks like an interesting class, I will have to check it out:)

Daisy September 2, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Fun interview!

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