Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ready or not, sink or swim spin!

Today was the first day of our homeschooling co-op's winter term. In a co-op, the parents are responsible for teaching all the classes. Among the classes I have taught so far are a high school cooking class, several high school figure drawing classes (I will be teaching another one next term by request), a class on horses, two "living history" classes, and a couple others as well. Teaching a fiber class of some sort has been rattling around in my brain for awhile now, and I finally decided to take the plunge this term. I've titled it "Textiles 101," and the 6th graders are my guinea pigs students.

Today I introduced our topic and gave a brief history of textiles, from the first mention of human coverings in Genesis through the Industrial Revolution to today. The next seven weeks will be spent learning "post-apocalyptic skills" (ha!) - scouring, dyeing, carding, spinning and plying wool, then card-weaving and finger-knitting with both their homespun and commercial yarn. I am crossing my fingers and toes that I can keep the kids busy and engaged. Some already know how to knit; one hyperactive boy is surprisingly enthused; several of the girls were grossed out when they learned about lanolin, of all things! (How will they react to raw wool?!?)

I think I have everything I need. Among my tools and stash I have a crockpot, electric teapot, Kool-Aid in various colors, hand-cards, a dog flicker brush, a drum carder, and white long-wool roving. My farrier's wife donated some skirted white fleece from her flock; my friends Duane and Jeannie at Santiam Shetlands donated some roving, commercial yarn, and all the prepped materials for spindles; and a local art gallery and frame shop donated mattboard with which to make card-looms. I have two adult helpers, one of whom spins and knits. I'll let you know how it goes!

That's it for now from . . .

9 comments:

Laura said...

sound like fun! (although the captcha word is gulog - what's that say...)

Maybe you shouldn't tell them that violin strings were made from sheep intestines, even though they were called "cat" gut...

Theresa said...

Yes, sounds like lots of fun!

If you really want to gross out the girls, just bring in some crude oil and tell them all the stuff that they make from that - lanolin will seem so much better!

thecrazysheeplady said...

Sounds like great fun!

Susan said...

Sign me up! It sounds like an interesting and comprehensive class, Michelle. There should be something to keep everyone engrossed! Can't wait to see what turns up (talent-wise).

Jamie said...

Sounds fantastic! Wish I could be one of your students. :) I'm sure your enthusiasm for the subject will make this one of their favorite subjects.

melanie said...

I wanna come!

A :-) said...

I love that you're doing this!!!

Cariann said...

I am across the hall while you are teaching and was going to peak in, maybe the yearbook girls and I will sit in a little in the next couple weeks... sounds like a great class.

Poppy said...

Oh how I wish I could take your class and I'm a grown up! My uncle kept sheep, sheared, carded and all that good stuff that I know very little about. He made some beautiful things with the wool. I've always thought it would be such an amazing thing to learn to do!

I'm looking forward to following your blog.

Have a great day!

RaShell