This past week I took a 3 days of classes with Jacey Boggs, Corespinning, Boucle and Cable and Crepe yarns.Â It was a lot of new things for me, I’ve had one other class in Boucle yarns, spun along with Jacey’s DVD, poked around on You Tube, and tried to figure highly textured yarns out from books, with not a lot of success. I was prepared to work.
What I wasn’t prepared for was how Jacey taught.
Many spinning teachers teach in a style that I call, “Want this? Do this.”Â Sort of like paint by numbers, following along exactly how the teacher spins – how they hold their hands and treadle – you make the class yarns. It works, and sometimes spinners can adapt their style of spinning to make it work for them away from the class.
But for me these aren’t the classes that make a change to my spinning or truly open up a new pathway in my spinning thinking.
Jacey teaches the thinking kind of classes. Actually, she can teach both kinds at the same time. If you are there to learn to replicate, fantastic, she’s a crack demonstrator – she’ll show you, then make sure your hands are doing it right, until you leave with yarns similar to hers.
But if you are there to learn, to have your spinning brain cracked open and shaken like a dusty rug, you are in for the best kind of class.
She explains the how and the why in detail. She wants her students to make yarns that are balanced, repeatable and useable. She has spent hours and years figuring out all of this and how to best explain it. She is excited by it all and it’s infectious.
I was ready for it. I went to classÂ open minded, open brained. We went through many steps, many explanations and many fibers. Some of the best were the ones that didn’t work – it looks like corespun or cabled yarn but you wouldn’t want to knit with it.
While she’s teaching, demonstrating and making you think, Jacey also talks about what’s exciting her now and what she’s puzzling on. A peek into future books and classes.
The best analogy I can come up with is that Jacey is a living, spinning version the the David McCauley book, The Way Things Work.
All three of her classes so fully engaged both my hands and my brain that I was wholly present for each – no worrying about what wasn’t getting done at home , no mental or actual list making for the week to come – just thinking and spinning. My yarns didn’t come out perfect, the are all over spun, but I didn’t care because I was learning so much. I was tired, but not exhausted at the end of each day and mentally excited.
Now looking at my yarns from the classes I know exactly what to do to repeat them, make them better or make them different. I feel really ready to step on the textured yarn path.
Jacey has a book/DVD combo coming out in late Fall, Spin Art: Mastering the Craft of Spinning Textured Yarn. So, if you can’t take a class with her you can still get her to explode your brain. If you follow the book link and scroll down there is an 8 page preview of the book. Just try not to swoon.
Jillian is the author of the best-selling spinning book Yarnitecture. She is the editor of Knittyspin and Developmental Editor for PLY and PLY Books. She kinda loves this spinning thing and wants everyone who spins to love it too, so she teaches and writes a lot. She knits, weaves, and stitches and tries to do as much of it as she can with handspun yarn. She's always cooking up all kinds of exciting and creative things combining fiber arts.
She likes her mysteries British, her walks woodsy, and to spend as much time as she can laughing.
Spy on her on her website jillianmoreno.com