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Back in the 1970s and '80s the main class option at MSW was a six-week intensive where the students arrived and were handed a raw sheep's fleece and proceeded to go through all the steps of sorting, washing, picking, carding, spinning, and weaving a fully handspun wool blanket. It was an unforgettable experience that truly shaped and inspired many of Norman's early students. 


We are pleased to once again offer students the life-changing opportunity to create a blanket entirely from start to finish. Using Vermont grown wool roving carded by Green Mountain Spinnery, students will begin by learning how to spin woolen yarn on a great wheel for their blanket warps. We will then visit Center Farm in East Montpelier to learn about what is involved with raising sheep from Erica Zimmerman. Mary Lake of Can Do Shearing will introduce us to her work as a shearer as she shears the fleeces from Erica's sheep that will become our weft yarn. With clip in hand we will skirt and scour the fleeces and learn how to pick and create rolls for spinning using hand cards. Our wefts will be spun on the great wheel (you'll be getting good at it by this point) and some of the yarn may be dyed using natural dyes if time allows. The final week will be spent weaving, either a throw-size blanket, or two-panel bed-size blanket depending on each student's output, and the webs will be waulked (hand fulled) at the culmination of the month. Target goals for yarn production each week will be available to help guide your progress.


This is an intensive class that will challenge students of all experience levels and a unique opportunity to craft a textile directly from the land it originated on through to its final use. To reach their targets, students may need to work out of class time and over the weekends.


Materials will be billed separately by weight.


Prerequisite: None.

Fleece to Fulling | Justin Squizzero

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