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Alpaca farming in Maryland

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Upcoming Events

Sep
23

"First Response" to Alpaca Health Issues

Come and join Maryland Alpaca Breeders Association (MABA) for a great seminar! Dr. Anthony Stach... Details >

Sep
23

National Alpaca Farm Day at Fresh Start Farm Alpacas, LLC

Join us the last weekend in September as we open our gate for National Alpaca Farm Days! Experien... Details >

Nov
11

Maryland Alpaca & Fleece Festival

Come join us for this great, fall festival with live animals, fiber, FREE demos, and FREE seminars. ... Details >

Seminars and Classes

Class Schedule

Saturday

11 a.m. - 1 p.m.  Core Spun Art Yarn with Alpaca Fiber for Beginners to Advanced Wheel Spinners

Teacher:  Elysa Darling

Fee: 
$50 class fee + $10 student materials fee

Size Limit: 
15

Corespinning Alpaca Cloud Yarn

In this class, you will learn how to make the softest, fuzziest yarn from alpaca fleece using the corespinning technique which takes advantage of the beautiful airy insulating properties of this particular fiber. Corespinning is an easy to pick up technique that is very forgiving for beginners and shows off textures and colors very well. This style of bouncy yarn is great for blankets, hats, and quick-knit wearables for those cozy winter nights by the fire.
 
Skill Level/Prerequisite

    •    Basic wheel spinning (singles)

Student Required Equipment and Materials

    •    Spinning wheel (with large orifice preferred)
    •    “Grabby” mohairy blend fine/lace weight commercial yarn for core
    •    Fiber will be provided, but it’s recommended to bring about 2-4 ounces of carded or loose fleece or roving and add-ins if desired
    •    Additional fiber and core yarn can be purchased from instructor

Instructor Bio

Elysa is a Rhode Island native who has lived in Northern Virginia for over 21 years. She fell in love with the fiber arts as young girl when she attended a summer camp where they learned how to weave on hand-made looms with yarn they dyed from plants they collected. She has a life-long fascination with heritage arts that led her to learn the magical art of spinning fiber into gold.
 
Elysa has a B.A. from Clark University in Worcester, MA with majors in Studio Art/Photography and Art History. She also studied Archaeology and Aboriginal Art at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia.
 
Besides her small yarn biz, 222 Handspun (222handspun.com), Elysa is a User Experience Designer for an online education company and is also an avid photographer. A self-confessed color addict, she loves snuggly things, especially kittens and fuzzy wool blankets. Her dream is to have a fiber studio and small farm of her own. But for now, she enjoys teaching and visiting local farms and fiber festivals.



1 p.m. - 4 p.m.  Drop Spindle Spinning with Alpaca v. Sheep's Wool

Teacher:  Jennifer Lindsay

Who: 
Open to all ages.  No experience necessary.  Children ages 14 and under must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Fee: 
$55 per person, $10 materials fee.

Size Limit: 
12

Learn to Spin at the TWIST Spin Lab


Class Description

Have you ever wanted to learn how to spin your own yarn?  Well, put down your fidget spinner and visit the TWIST Spin Lab at The Maryland Alpaca and Fleece Festival!  Spinning can be creative and exciting, as well as meditative and relaxing.  Whether you are already a fiber lover, or totally new to the joys of fiber as a creative medium, learning to spin will change your world!

During the 3-hour class, learn to spin your first yarns in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere.  We’ll spin and ply some yarns using both supported and drop spindles – the same tools that people from around the globe have used to spin fiber since Neolithic times.  Begin with easy-to-handle wool fibers, and then experiment with natural Alpaca fiber from both Suri and Huacaya Alpacas locally and lovingly raised in Maryland.  Try different fiber preps -- from roving to raw fleece -- to discover what you like best. Take home what you make.

Instructor Bio

Jennifer Lindsay is the creator and curator of TWIST: The Art of Spinning by Hand, an exhibition on contemporary hand spinning that debuted at the BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown, Maryland in 2016.  Called an “immersive spinning experience” by Interweaves Spin Off Magazine, Lindsay’s exhibition featured contemporary artists and makers of tools, fibers, art yarns, art, and art-to-wear who are leading the popular revival of hand spinning today.  Lindsay also opened a hands-on Spin Lab in the gallery where exhibition visitors could learn to spin.  

Lindsay holds an M.A. from the Corcoran College of Art and Design.  She is a lifelong maker, a scholar of the maker movement, and President of an emerging online museum, The Center for Knit and Crochet, www.centerforknitandcrochet.org.  As an independent curator and arts educator, Lindsay led several large-scale collaborative fiber installations in the DC area.  An ardent champion of the mind/body benefits of hands-on activities, Lindsay loves teaching both children and adults how to knit, spin, sew, and make all the fibery things.  She lives in Chevy Chase, MD with her husband, Wade, and an adorable brown dog named Lulo.


Sunday

10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Nuno Felting Silk Scarves with Alpaca and Sheep's Wool

Teacher:  Dalis Davidson

Fee: 
$85 including all materials; Please bring an old towel.

Size Limit: 
20

Nuno Felt Scarf Class

Create your very own, one of a kind, nuno felt scarf. We will start with a hand dyed silk chiffon scarf and layer on various wool, alpaca, silk fibers and embellishments to make a unique scarf. You can wear it home! Learn the art of wet felting, how wool embeds into the silk to scrunch it up to make a ruffle.

Bio of Dalis Davidson

Growing up in the 1950’s in rural South Dakota, Dalis learned good Midwest values and hues. From the wheat fields and rolling hills, to the waves of the Missouri River, color was always present in a huge way. Starting out with watercolors, she created small pieces to sell at local outlets.

Trained as a graphic artist, Dalis experimented with other forms of art as a creative outlet. After a move to the country in the Agricultural Reserve of Maryland and buying her first sheep, she fell in love with the fiber arts. She spins, knits, and felts, but her passion is for dyeing the wool and yarn. Deep, rich, saturated colors are her trademark.

With an expansion into wearable art, Dalis creates nuno felted scarves and shawls. She hand paints all the materials which make each piece unique. Dalis also runs a small cottage business, Dancing Leaf Farm, on her farm in Montgomery County which hosts studio tours 5 times a year.


1 p.m. - 4 p.m. Weaving on a Circular Loom


Teacher:  Melissa Yoder Ricks

Fee: 
$50 / person + $28 / student materials fee

Size Limit: 
14

Description

Circular weaving is portable, creative and flexible! In this workshop, we will needle weave on a circular loom that is warped by simple wrapping technique. Students will learn a variety of weft stitches and incorporate textured yarns and other embellishments in their work, which can be used as wall hangings or made into bags, hats, garments, home furnishings, etc.  Directions will be provided for transforming your woven circle into a hat. An easy, creative and fun way to weave!

Prerequisites

No previous weaving experience needed. To transform the small woven medallion into a hat, student will need basic knitting or crocheting ability. A hat may be finished outside class. However, focus of the class is on creating the woven medallion.

Materials Fee: $28

Includes small 'Weave-a-Round' circular loom, weaving needles, instructions, and sufficient yarn to complete one weaving. Students will select from a variety of different colors and textures of alpaca and other natural fiber yarns, and may bring additional textured or handspun yarns if desired. Optional: students may upgrade to the full 'Weave-a-Round' loom kit which includes both the small and large loom sizes for an additional $20 ($48 total). Large loom may be used to make a completely woven beret.

Instructor Bio

Melissa Yoder Ricks has been crazy for yarn and fiber since early childhood, and has pursued her love of fiber arts full time since 2008 as the owner/fiber artist at Wild Hare Fiber Studio (www.wildharefiber.com). A graduate of Duke University, Melissa has taught numerous classes and workshops, particularly in creative spinning and circle weaving, at New York Sheep & Wool Festival (Rhinebeck), Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, John C. Campbell Folk School, and other venues. Her handspun yarn has appeared in 'Spin Off" magazine and in the book 'Spinning & Dyeing Yarn' and she is a frequent contributor to PLY magazine. Melissa is always looking for innovative ways to use yarns and fibers and loves to experiment with new techniques, which is how she came to design the Weave-a-Round circle loom. She lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia in a 1920's house with her intelligent well-mannered children and an assortment of mostly ginger cats.



Seminar Schedule