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Daedalus Fly-In Retreat 2024 Teacher Spotlight - Jill Duarte

Before we dive into our next teacher spotlight we'd like to remind everyone that the deadline for signing up for the Daedalus Fly-In is December 1st! All classes still have some room in them with the closest ones to filling being the classes by Esther Rodgers. Now onto our final teacher spotlight.

Jill Duarte is a dyer, a spinner, an equipment aficionado, a fleece sniffer, a former academic and an unabashed fiber nerd. Jill is one half of the duo behind HipStrings and spends their days geeking out about all things fiber, diving into the nuances of fiber preparation, color, and the act of spinning.

Since picking up spinning over a decade ago, and then starting HipStrings, Jill has taken an approach to spinning that is grounded in a technical approach married to historical context and a lot of curiosity as to how things work. In other words, they read all the books and tried all the things and made lots of mistakes so that you don’t necessarily have to.

As an instructor, Jill excels in explaining the “Why?” of spinning, whether it’s exploring the relationship between fibers and spinning techniques, the physics of handspinning and the tools we use for spinning, or providing insight in how to make something work for you. Jill challenges students to try fibers new to them, explore novel fiber blends and techniques, revisit things they’ve tried before and to step out of their comfort zones in order to expand their horizons as spinners.

Jill’s workshops for the Deadalus Fly-In are focused on encouraging spinners to try new fibers and learn more about the wide, wild, and wonderful world of fiber through a framework of fiber structure and characteristics. With the information presented, students should leave with the confidence to explore new fibers, to seek out new challenges and fiber blends, to boldly go where no spinner has gone before.


So Many Different Fibers Out There, How Do I Choose?

Full-Day $30 materials fee

Hand spinners have access to an extremely wide range of available fibers for hand spinning, so how are you supposed to make informed choices about what fibers are suitable for the project you have in mind or which fibers you might enjoy spinning?

In this workshop, we will discuss a simple method for the categorization of spinning fibers that will enable you to acquire fiber you enjoy spinning and create handspun yarn you’ll want to use. We will discuss how fibers behave when spun alone versus when included in a blend and how to characterize fibers based on staple length, crimp and structure.

How to pair fiber preps and dyeing methods to your desired handspun yarns will also be discussed. Students will sample a variety of fibers including different wool breeds, camelid fibers, silks, viscose, and a variety of plant fibers.

Level of Spinning: Participants should be able to spin and ply independently

Students should bring:​

  • A spinning wheel in good working condition

  • Extra bobbins

  • Notebook

  • Lazy Kate

  • Niddy Noddy

Supplies Provided by Instructor: a Fiber Sampler containing 4 different wool breeds, alpaca, silks, viscose and several cellulose fibers, notebook.

Fiber Speed Dating

3 hours $25 materials fee

Explore nine different fiber blends while discussing approaches to spinning different fibers - which drafting methods pair well with particular fiber preps or blends? Should you judge a fiber by your first impression? We will discuss worsted and woolen drafting methods and how they relate to the fiber you spin. Fiber blends will include a variety of different wools, silks, flax, viscose and luxury fibers such as yak, camel and cashmere.

Level of Spinning: Participants should be able to spin and ply independently.

Students should bring: ​

  • A spinning wheel in good working condition

  • Extra bobbins

  • Notebook

  • Lazy Kate

  • Niddy Noddy

Supplies Provided by Instructor: a Fiber Sampler containing 9 different fiber blends - 1/2 ounce of each blend, notebook.

Find Jill at:

Facebook If you'd like to learn more about the Daedalus Fly-In Retreat for 2024 check out the official website. Sign ups are open until December 1st!

Stay tuned for our vendor spotlight!

- Evanita

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