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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!)

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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.

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Teacher Spotlight: Miriam Felton

Along with an amazing group of vendors, YarnCon is also host to some great teachers, and I want to introduce this year’s lineup, starting with Miriam Felton. Those of you who take classes on Craftsy might recognize Miriam from her Lace Shawl Design class. We are fortunate to have her in person this year at YarnCon!

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Perhaps you already know how to do a bit of lace knitting, but fear of making mistakes is keeping you from doing more? Miriam can teach you how to overcome that fear in her class: Fearless Lace Knitting: How to Fix Mistakes.

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Maybe you are a sock knitter, but who wants to wear hand-knit socks in the Summer? The answer is to make footies! Footie Socks for EVERYONEComfy to hang out in, awesome under your clogs, and a great use for leftover sock yarn!

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Workshop sneak-peek

I don’t know about you guys, but even (or maybe especially) as an organizer, I can’t stop staring the beautiful goodies our vendors are preparing for YarnCon this year! But, as we all know, YarnCon is not just about the wonderful fiber goodness our vendors have for sale, it is also about learning new ways to put that fiber to use, and we have some great workshops lined up for you.

We are hard at work getting the registration system ready (new and improved, go Team YarnCon!) and we will let you know in the next few days when it goes live. Perhaps you would like a hint of what is in store? OK!

Miriam Felton (http://www.miriamfelton.com/) will teach you how to fix mistakes in your lace knitting, and how to make footie socks everyone can wear and enjoy.

Maybe you are just about done knitting a lace shawl, but you want a really special bind-off for it. Corrina Ferguson (http://picnicknits.com/) will be teaching a variety of ways to bind off lace shawls and shawlettes, to make that project extra special.

We are so pleased that Theresa Schabes (http://woolly-wits.blogspot.com/) will be joining us again this year to teach four classes, with something for everyone. You can learn ways to recycle yarn, entrelac, how to weave in ends, and how to block your finished projects.

If you are interested in learning how to spin yarn, you can’t go wrong with a class from Vera Videnovich! She will teach you the basics of both drop spindle and wheel spinning. You can show up not knowing the first thing about it, and leave with hand-made yarn. Trust me, I was one of her students!

If you already know how to spin, and want to take it to the next level, we have you covered. Emily Wohlscheid (http://www.bricolagestudios.blogspot.com/) will be teaching how to spin from fleece and locks (and then you will know what to do with those amazing locks you saw the vendors selling,) and how to add enhancements to your hand-spun yarn. And Renée Jones (https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheBunnyBadger) will be teaching a class on corespinning! The possibilities are endless!

Maybe you know some kids who would like to learn to spin? Susan Levitin will be teaching kids how to spin yarn, on both Saturday and Sunday.

Spinning is not the only thing you can do with all of that fiber. Renée Jones will be teaching kids and adults how to make hand-felted soaps, and will be teaching about animal fibers in the process.

Speaking of felt, Denise Handwerker (http://www.feltwerker.com/) is back with brand-new classes on how to recycle wool sweaters into lovely and useful felt creations, and a class on how to take that old sweater and turn it into a warm pair of felt slippers!

So much talk about knitting, spinning and felt, but what about crochet? Kathy Kelly has you covered with two classes about Tunisian Crochet. In her first class she will teach you how to do it, and in the second class you can learn how to make a three-color Tunisian lace cowl.

Speaking of color, our workshop line-up would not be complete without classes that teach you to use color. Susan Levitin can teach you to play with color and learn how to make colors work together. And if you want to dye that yarn yourself, you can’t go wrong with Samantha Lynn’s dyeing workshops! She teaches two workshops, one with Kool-aid dyes (yes, you read that correctly) and one with traditional acid dyes. They are always a hit, and fill up quickly.

So, while you plan your fiber shopping budget, leave some room for some mad new skills to take your crafting to the next level.