Fiber Workshops at Steam Valley Farm
Classes are held at the farm to incorporate learning about the animals in addition to exploring the art of spinning. Whether you watch the Angora goats at play or the lustrous Border Leicester sheep, you are sure to be enchanted by the animals. Come enjoy life on the farm while you learn the art of spinning your own yarn.
Annual Spring Farm Tour
2012 Spring Farm Tour is May 5 from 10 am - 3 pm.
Free Tours of the barns to see the lambs and goat kids.
Fiber Arts Demonstrations.
Rain or Shine
Directions to the farm are found under our Information Menu
For questions, contact Phylleri at 570-998-2221
Or email email@example.com
Fiber Artist & Shepherdess
Phylleri Ball has been a Fiber Artist for 3 decades, with experience in spinning, dyeing, fiber processing, knitting, crocheting, weaving and felting. Her passion for fiber began with learning to crochet while travelling about the country in a homemade truck camper. Her younger sister, who wove professionally for 20 years, gave Phylleri her first fiber animal, an Angora Rabbit. Then followed the spinning, dyeing and later the weaving lessons by the same sister.
Phylleri and her family moved to Steam Valley Mountain in 1998 with 5 Angora Goats, a Border Collie, one barn cat and a half dozen Angora Rabbits. Fourteen years later, our summer head count is approximately 80 head of Angora Goats, Nubian Goats and Border Leicester Sheep. As if that isn't enough work, there are also 3 Border Collies, 2 Maremma livestock guardian dogs, 3 barn cats, and 3 dozen Bantams, Silkies and Arucanna Chickens.
A decade of washing and dyeing the fiber from her herd of Angoras and flock of sheep has enhanced Phylleri's skill and appreciation for fiber processing. Additional fleeces are purchased, with Steam Valley washing and dyeing over 150 fleeces each year. Dyeing, being one of Phylleri's key passions, led to developing her own line of Hand-Dyed Yarn and Dancing Rainbow Socks.
Phylleri strives to meet each student at the level of their abilities and encourages them to be persistant. Her teaching motto is, There are infinite spinning styles that produce a good handspun yarn. Find the way that works for you, because there is no right or wrong way to spin. You've attained your perfect yarn when you are happy with what you have spun.
Steam Valley schedules one day workshops at the farm on spinning, fiber processing, synthetic dyeing and natural dyeing. Phylleri is also teaching spinning workshops at The Daily Grind in Mifflinburg. Workshop descriptions and schedule are listed below. To arrange private lessons, contact Phylleri at 570-998-2221
Or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For Workshop Schedule visit our Calendar page.
Material Requirement: Students may bring their own drop spindle or purchase one for use at the class.
Course Description: The spindle class will begin with basic skills of spinning wool with a spindle to produce a single ply yarn. Advance skills will include plying, skeining and preparing your yarn for knitting or future projects.
Beginning Spinning Wheel Workshop
Material Requirement: Students need to provide a spinning wheel or call in advance to reserve the use of a wheel during the workshop.
Course Description: This workshop begins with learning to spin wool roving into yarn. You will learn the skill of drafting, producing a balanced yarn, and plying techniques. Fiber preparation of wool fleece, using hand carders or a flicker brush is followed by spinning from your own prepared fiber.
Intermediate Spinning Wheel Workshop
Material Requirement: Students need to provide a spinning wheel with 3 or 4 bobbins and a lazy kate. Students must have novice spinning skills.
Course Description: Learn greater control of your spinning to produce finer yarn using higher drive ratios or thick yarns with a low drive ratio. Explore how fiber preparation effects the outcome of your handspinning. Explore techniques for spinning novelty yarns.
Fleece Processing & Dyeing- Skirting & Washing a Fleece, Carding & Dyeing
Course Description: This class will explore fiber preparation from skirting a fleece to carding techniques. Learn how to wash a fleece and how carding methods affect your yarn. Follow one fleece through the stages of skirting, washing & dyeing. If you have raw fiber that you want to learn how to process, bring a sample to the class. Equipment Optional: Bring your own hand cards & spinning Wheel or spindle.
Dyeing Wool Workshop
Material Requirement: Fleece, millspun yarn & roving samples for dyeing are provided.
Course Description: We will dye washed fleece, roving and yarn with synthetic dyes. Emphasis is on students mastering the overall dyeing process so they can proceed to do dyeing projects at home.
Natural Dyeing Workshop
Material Donation: You may bring local natural dye plants that you would like to share with the class. Most material must be presoaked & cooked, so contact us for instructions. Common Examples: Onion skins, Marigolds, Coreopsis, Black Walnut Hulls, Goldenrod, Yarrow, etc.
Optional - Bring 1 oz. handspun skeins of yarn to sample colors from the various dye pots.
Commercial yarn for dyeing will be provided.
Course Description: We will dye yarn with a variety of natural dyes. We will work with local plants as well as purchased dye stuff like Cochineal. Both casual dyeing - throw it in a pot and see what happens, as well as measured recipes will be explored. Handouts for dye recipes are included.
Kidding and Lambing Workshop
Material Requirement: Clothes appropriate for the weather and working in the barn with livestock. Clothing must be clean and boots rinsed with bleach water before entering the barns to prevent the spread of disease.
Course Description: This is a hands on workshop during our kidding and lambing season. While we can't guarentee that you will see a live birth, we can promise that you will hold newborns and watch lactating mothers. Learn managment techniques for handling normal and difficult births, saving weak kids and caring for new mothers and their offspring.
To register for a class or to arrange private instruction, contact us by email or phone.
Send $10.00 class deposit to:
Steam Valley Fiber Farm
2304 Steam Valley Road,
Trout Run, PA 17771