Felicia's Notebook, SweetGeorgia, Taking Back Friday

Saving Our Souls

Spinning - Handspun Yak+Silk yarn dyed in Tea Leaves custom Spinzilla colourway for SweetGeorgia

I can not believe that it’s already September! September for me will always be about back to school. No matter what is happening in the world, to me it always means back to school. So, today I want to talk to you about the School that we’ve been building for SweetGeorgia.

In the photo above, you can see that I’m almost finished spinning up this braid of Yak+Silk fibre that’s been in my stash since 2016. It’s taken that long for me to really settle into a rhythm of spinning this beautifully delicate fibre and to understand how to move my hands and the wheel to make the best yarn I can from this fibre. After years of spinning a few yards from the fold, then spinning a few yards using short forward draw, I listened in on Debbie Held’s e-spinning workshop for the School of SweetGeorgia and was reminded of the technique of cross-lacing. Lo and behold, holding small folded chunks of this fibre and spinning from the fold with a supported long draw while the yarn is wrapped around one arm of the flyer… this is how I’m spinning the best yarn of my life. The time spent with this fibre has been restorative and comforting. And the resulting yarn is (so far) full of spring and life. Learning these skills and techniques has been a long journey and it’s taken many hours of at the wheel to gain this experience. I’m so thankful for this path and that I am blessed with the chance to do this. My hope is that by building the School of SweetGeorgia, we can introduce makers to the incredible depth and breadth of the fibre arts and that it might help restore us and bring us joy. That maybe it can be something that saves our souls.

In today’s Taking Back Friday video, I want to talk about the fibre arts school we’ve created called the School of SweetGeorgia. This is a project we started a couple of years ago, and is designed to teach the fibre arts – the continuum of the fibre arts. And by the continuum, I mean that I don’t believe that the fibre arts is just one thing. It’s not just spinning on its own. Or weaving on its own. Fibre arts is this big, long continuous journey; from the point where you take the fibre from a sheep or plant, and then process the fibre into something that can be spun into yarn. The yarn is then transformed into fabric either through knitting, crochet, weaving or even tapestry. And then all of that is dependent on colours – on how colours are mixed and blended in either the dyeing, spinning, plying, knitting or weaving process.

All of these activities, and this entire body of knowledge, is what I consider to be the fibre arts. And so what I have been trying to do in building this school, is show how all of the fibre arts are connected. To show how they affect and influence each other. How one thing you change at one end, can change your output at the other end. And how the journey that we’re on, learning the fibre arts, has no end point.

Join me at today’s Taking Back Friday vlog episode to hear more about the School. I also talk a bit about how SweetGeorgia will be celebrating our 15th Anniversary on September 9th, and about the rebranding process that we’ve gone through this past year, along with a studio move to a new location.

 

IN THIS EPISODE

  • what I’m wearing: I’m wearing my Navelli Tee designed by Caitlin Hunter. I knit my version from two skeins of test-dyed Tough Love Sock (closest colour is Deep Cove), plus one skein of Fauna and one skein of Auburn. We have some colour sets for Navelli here too.
  • what I’m talking about today: In today’s vlog episode, I’m talking all about the School of SweetGeorgia. You can also read more about the SOS site in my recent blog post here. including details about our new SOS Mobile app available for download to both iOS and Android devices!
  • want to learn more about the fibre arts? Visit us at the School of SweetGeorgia! We hope you join us on your journey of learning about the fibre arts. We are continuously adding new content to learn and explore — fibre arts courses, tutorials, helpful articles, our friendly community forum space for makers to chat and ask questions, plus much more. Don’t miss our Back to School special as well, where you can enjoy 20% off for the month of September with the coupon code: BACKTOSCHOOL.
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About Felicia Lo

founder + creative director of SweetGeorgia // designer + dreamer // wife + mama // dyer, knitter, spinner, weaver, youtuber + author // been writing this blog about colour and craft since 2004 // see what I am making @lomeetsloom and @sweetgeorgia.

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