Register for Classes Today!

Class registration is LIVE!
The classes are posted, and registration is open! Most of YarnCon 2020’s classes and workshops will take place April 2-3 at the YarnCon Symposium right before our weekend fiber fair opens. But don’t worry, we still have some 1-hour classes over the weekend, too.

New in 2020: a Hotel Room Block!
Stay close to the action at the Crowne Plaza West Loop! We’ve reserved a block of rooms, and you can book online or by calling 312-829-5000 and mentioning Group Code MYF. The deadline to book a room is March 5, so call now! Operators are standing by.

Advanced Spinning Classes
Lots of classes on spinning at YarnCon this year: Wheel Navigation with Emily Wohlscheid and Spinning Wheel Primer with Heavenly Bresser both aim to teach students the ins and outs of their wheels. If you’re further along in your spinning journey, try your hand at Spinning for a Project or Spinning Wirecore and LED Lights! These classes are designed for students who have already some  spinning experience. Bring your own wheel and learn something new!

Brioche Knitting Forever
We’re welcoming back Javier Jara for another year at YarnCon. Learn a new skill in his Brioche Knitting class, or if you’re familiar with single-color brioche, why not up your game with his Mastering Two-Color Brioche class? Sign up soon — his classes always sell out!

New Friends and Old FavoritesNew to our workshop schedule this year: Jenn Watkins, Rita Petteys, and Jules Huntsberger.Hailing from North Carolina, Jules is ready to help you with Short Rows
 and Picots and Bobbles! Usually behind a booth at YarnCon, Jenn is sharing her knowledge of Lace Knitting and Cables, and Rita will teach you how to put those leftover Bits and Bobs to good use!Perennial

YarnCon favorites Vera Videnovich (DIY Handspinning) and Samantha Lynn (Intro to Dyeing I & II) are back, along with Kathy Kelly’s classes on Tunisian crochet.Check out the whole schedule here! Register to pick up a new skill or brush up on something you thought you’d forgotten. 

Volunteer at YarnCon!
We can always use extra hands in many areas: helping vendors unload their wares and schlep them to their booths, working various information tables, booth-sitting for vendors who need a break, and then on Sunday, helping the vendors move their remaining goodies back to their vehicles.In return for your help, you’ll get a special volunteer YarnCon goodie bag! Also, our undying gratitude. Seriously, it’s one of the best gigs going.

Fill out the Volunteer Form to sign up for weekend spots, or click here to help out Thursday and Friday at the YarnCon Symposium!

We are really excited to once again be offering Dark Matter coffee, thanks to their amazing support! Visit us at the beautiful bar downstairs for all of your hot coffee (and tea) needs.

And Now for Something Completely* Different

*Okay, not completely, but very new!

We are proud to announce the inaugural YarnCon Symposium! We have wanted to expand our workshops for some time, but the limiting factor has been availability of space at the Plumbers Union Hall. We love being at the Plumbers Union Hall, and we have no plans to leave, but it has made hosting classes more and more complicated. So: a new space was in order if we wanted to expand our class offerings. That led to another change we have always wanted: to be able to attend classes and parties while registered as a vendor at a show.

Intro to Dyeing class at YarnCon
Intro to Dyeing class at YarnCon

The solution is the YarnCon Symposium: two days of classes at the lovely Crowne Plaza West Loop!

On Thursday and Friday, April 2 and 3, 2020, we will host our first annual symposium, with classes on both days and a reception on Friday evening. Then on Saturday and Sunday, April 4 and 5, 2020, we will have YarnCon at the Plumbers Union Hall, as we have since 2013. We will still have beginning dyeing and spinning workshops over the weekend during YarnCon, but sit-down classes in classrooms with all of the amenities will take place at the Crowne Plaza. The hotel is just down the road from the Plumbers Union, and is the perfect place to stay if you are coming in from out of town!

If you are a teacher and have thought about teaching with us, but weren’t so keen on the open layout we used to have, now is your time to join us. We think you will be pleasantly surprised, as we have put lots of thought into the care and feeding of instructors. This means competitive pay, lodging, and travel expenses. You can see the details, and fill out the application at the following link:
https://forms.gle/z6CdUUx2DgC8FX4F7

Seeing as we are growing and expanding, we also thought it was time to have a party to celebrate! We are planning a reception at the Crowne Plaza on Friday night after classes have wrapped up. We will have more information on that soon, so be on the lookout, as tickets will be limited. Sign up for our mailing list to get the info!

Let’s plan some classes!

Planning for YarnCon 2018 is moving along at a fast clip this year, dare I say we turned up the dial to 11? (Yeah, I went there.) We have never filled the vendor spaces as quickly as we did this year! You really like us! And now it is time to show the same love to the educational side of the show. 

If you have ideas for a workshop, now is the time to send those proposals, and here is the form you need to fill out: https://www.yarncon.com/yarncon-2018-request-for-workshop-proposals/

We can’t wait to see what you have in store for us!

Buy yarn, and learn to make your own! (and an announcement)

Spring is here, and YarnCon is right around the corner! April 1 and 2 to be exact, and we are busy getting everything ready! Anyone who has attended YarnCon in the past knows there is a wealth of stunning hand-dyed and hand-spun yarn with which to enhance your stash, but what about all that lovely unspun fiber? You can learn to needle felt it, or you can learn to spin it, and we have four different teachers ready to share their knowledge with you!

Vera Videnovich has not only been teaching an introduction to spinning since YarnCon was in its infancy, she also taught Sara, Lindy and Natalia how to spin. If you want to get a feel for spinning, DIY handspinning is the class for you. 

If you want to expand your skills, you will not want to miss Emily Wohlscheid’s classes! Emily will teach you to make your own batts in order to create a custom tweed effect in her Tweed: Custom Blend! workshop.

Another clever trick to learn is how to blend your fibers to create fractal color repeats in your finished yarn, and you can learn how in Emily’s Fractal: Blend and Spin workshop.

Have you ever wondered how hand cards work, or want an opportunity to take a class with your kids and make colorful batts? Maegan Burkart has you covered in her Kids Color Blending on Hand Cards workshop. Maegan has more color skills to add to your arsenal, she can teach you to prepare and manipulate your singles yarn and make your colors match up in striping plied yarn in her Controlling Color Changes While Spinning and Plying workshop.

And finally, newcomers to YarnCon, Tom and Joanne Blodgett will be demonstrating the process of turning flax into linen in Straw into Gold!, and will even have a young flax plant to show you. This should be a fascinating presentation, with some hands-on components.

 

That only covers the spinning classes! We encourage you to to head over to the Classes page to see all of our amazing workshop offerings, with small class sizes and experienced teachers, you really can’t go wrong.

And, you made it to the end to see what the announcement is! We are really excited at YarnCon HQ about our 10th birthday, and birthdays mean birthday presents, right? So, for our birthday, we are giving you presents!! Instead of 50 goodie bags each morning to the first 50 people in line, this year we are giving out 75 goodie bags to the first 75 people in line! The bags alone are worth it, they are our organic cotton, fair trade Work + Shelter bags that we are so fond of. But, because it’s our 10th YarnCon, we asked some of our incredibly talented vendors to dye up some YarnCon birthday limited edition colorways just for the occasion, and you will find some in those bags. Say what? (Please don’t start camping out yet.)

 

Two exciting new additions to the line up!

This is the time of year I get to see the workshop registrations fill my inbox. I love that our instructors’ expertise is appreciated, and that so many people are eagerly signing up for workshops! If you haven’t signed up, you should go take a look!

This year we have a couple of exciting new additions to our workshop line-up.

First, we have a demonstration called “Straw into Gold!” by Tom and Joanne Blodgett. Tom and Joanne will demonstrate the steps traditionally used to extract fiber from the flax plant, spin the fiber into thread, and then weave the thread into linen fabric. We have expanded into an extra classroom for this event, and it is limited to 20 people per session (2 sessions, both on Saturday). There are hands on components to this demo, so it will be a lot of fun, and very educational. 

Straw Into Gold!

I am so thrilled about this next announcement! YarnCon veterans Tanya and Carla of Maybea Crafted and cjkoho Designs are offering a free workshop called Sheep to Needles detailing how they have created an artisan kit from a local shepherd’s flock, local processing, indie dyer and local designer to create hat/cowl kits. This will also be held in our fancy new classroom, and we will have one session on each day. We are so grateful to them for offering this free presentation as a gift to our students! You can sign up right here or on the registration page.

Sheep to Needles

YarnCon is less than a month away, so don’t wait! Register today!

Class Registration is Live!

And we are so excited about this year’s line-up, and we think you will be too! You can register right here at https://www.yarncon.com/classes/

We have new spinning classes, along with the basics; you can learn new crochet techniques; add new bind-offs to your skill set, and new and better ways to weave in the those ends (yes, please!!); ever run into garter tabs in a shawl pattern, but had no idea, we have you covered; carding; dyeing (an annual favorite, better hurry, that one sells out every year); seriously, don’t take my word for it. Go check it out for yourselves, and sign up for our fun and informative workshops. After all, you will want to sit down and learn some new skills for all the wonderful new yarn and fiber you just purchased from our outstanding vendors.

Just over a month to go before our 10th YarnCon, and we are counting down the days! What are you looking forward to at this year’s YarnCon?

Samantha teaching Intro to Dyeing at YarnCon 2013 

 

YarnCon may be months away, but the 2017 application is live today!

With the winter holidays upon us, even imagining spring seems like an exercise in futility, but as far as Team YarnCon is concerned, April is right around the corner!

The 2017 application is live now! We are taking applications until January 21, 2017, which is sooner than you think, so head on over to the Vendor Application and show us what you make! And please spread the word to anyone you might think has some yarny talents to share.

The deadline for Workshop proposals is January 6, 2017, so if you would like to teach at YarnCon, please head over to the Workshop RFP page and get us your proposal post-haste.

 

In the meantime, happy crafting, and happy holidays!

Felting Fun Workshops

There is more to working with fiber than yarn. Before if becomes yarn, and even after it has been worked up, it can be felted into all kinds of fun and useful objects. This year we are offering three different workshops that will teach how to make the most of felt!

Denise Handwerker will be teaching two workshops of making the most of old sweaters that need a new life. In Sweater Hoarders Road to Freedom she will teach you how to turn old wool sweaters into felt, and demonstrate some of the fun things you can make with your new felt.

Denise pic

Already know how to make the felt? Learn how to turn your felt into a great new pair of slippers in Old Sweaters to New Slippers.

Green & Grey Slippers

For the kids (young and old alike) Renée Jones will be teaching Wash Those Woolies for Kids: Felting Handmade Soaps. The felted soap bars are fun, quick, and easy to make. Besides making great gifts, they are a great way to teach children about the properties of animal fibers and where wool comes from.

YarnCon is a week away, pre-register for classes now so you secure a seat!

Workshop spotlights: Make your yarn!

Learning new stitches and techniques is grand, and I highly recommend it! Yet, there is more to learn about yarn than how to use it, what about how to make it and how to customize it? We are here to help with a number of fabulous workshops!

Let’s start at the beginning (well, not quite the beginning, we cannot bring sheep into the Plumbers Union Hall!) We have some great spinning instructors that can take you from learning to spin your spindle and draft your fiber, all the way through making amazing art yarns that will be like no others out there.

Vera Videnovich is well known to many YarnCon regulars, and even taught yours truly how to spin on a spinning wheel. She has been teaching DIY Handspinning since our second YarnCon, and we are always happy when she can join us (this woman is seriously busy teaching and organizing craft shows all over town, so I am not kidding about being lucky!) In her class you will learn to use, and even make, a drop spindle, and the basics of wheel spinning. If you have ever been curious about spinning, but not sure where to start, start with Vera.

4022774540_b5e5b15a1c_o

Vera teaching DIY Handspinning at YarnCon 2009

This year we are introducing a spinning class for the kids, so bring them along for a fun and hands on introduction to spinning with Susan Eiseman Levitin in her Spinning for Kids class.

_MG_3276

For those who already know the basics, and are ready to learn to make new kinds of yarn we have classes by two more of our YarnCon veterans, Emily Wohlscheid and Renée Jones. Emily will be teaching Spinning from Fleece & Locks and Handspun Enhancements.

Wohlscheid_Handspun Enhancements3 Wohlscheid_Spinning From Fleece and Locks1 Wohlscheid_Headshot

Renée will get you to work your core in Work Out Your Core! aka Corespinning 101. In these classes you will learn so much about all those interesting fibers and locks, and how to make core-spun yarns and bee-hives, and so many other cool and lovely things! Bring your wheels and your imaginations!

Maybe you already have the yarn, but it needs color! We are always happy to welcome back the ever popular Samantha Lynn! On both Saturday and Sunday she will take you through the basics of acid dyeing (not scary, I promise! think Kool-aid!) in Dyeing I: Kool-Aid Dyes and in Dyeing II: Acid Dyes. These classes sell out every year, so hurry up and register. You will not be disappointed. Plus, thanks to a generous donation by Wool2Dye4 the yarn for the class has already been provided! How Kool is that? (see what I did there?)

Samantha teaching Intro to Dyeing at YarnCon 2013

Samantha teaching Intro to Dyeing at YarnCon 2013

All this and more, at YarnCon 2016!

Teacher Spotlight: Corrina Ferguson

We are very excited to welcome a new teacher to our lineup this year: Corrina Ferguson, coming all the way from Jacksonville, Florida! (As a Chicagoan, I would not mind being the one to visit her right now!)

cferguson-profile-pic

Corrina is teaching Fancy Finishes for Knitted Lace on both Saturday and Sunday morning, and it looks like a great way to spend a hour before shopping for yarn! Take your knitting to a fancier, more lovely level by adding beautiful finishing touches to your lace projects. Techniques will include: lace bind-offs, extra stretchy bind-offs, picot bind-offs, crochet loop bind-offs, and manipulating the last few rows of knitting to provide extra stretch for dramatic lace edgings.

cferguson-fancyfinishes-evanthe cferguson-fancyfinishes-jovia