New Home Forums Course Ideas & Outlines Wool types, milestones & lessons

2 replies, 2 voices Last updated by  Louise Llewellyn 6 years, 7 months ago
Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #16319

    Deb Robson
    Adventurer
    @robson

    It’s good that we have extra time here. If I were rushing this, I think I would have gone astray, pushing something that didn’t want to be pushed.

    Here’s my original overview structure:

    1 – Miniature miracles—an introduction to wool fiber

    Understands that wool fibers are nearly infinitely variable, and that each type has qualities that suit it to different uses.

    2 – Camisoles to carpets [to camel halters?]—the right fleece in the right place

    Understands that there are categories of wool, with clusters of similar characteristics, and that each category has typical ways of preparing, spinning, and using the fibers.

    3 – The start of a long-term relationship—from sheep to swatch

    Learns how to evaluate a raw fleece and understand how it undergoes transformation during processing, and how samples can help determine how best to use it.

    ____

    As I worked on milestones and lessons, I got stuck between 2 and 3 and it took me a couple of days and some poking to discover the realization that 3 may need to be separate. Which in turn means I need to find a different wrap-up for the wool types course.

    ____

    I’m going to post the MILESTONES AND LESSONS in two sections, first 1 & 2, then the #3 that seems to want to be separate.

    EDITED TO ADD: skipping #3 for now. Used all my hand capacity for the day trying to get HTML codes imported with copy/paste to not turn into garbage in what someone else will be trying to read.

     

    #16326

    Deb Robson
    Adventurer
    @robson

    1 & 2 MILESTONES AND LESSONS

    1 – Miniature miracles—an introduction to wool fibers

    1-1 – Welcome to wool

    Lesson purpose (key points):

    • Not all wools are alike.
    • Idea that the differences affect the ways they function in textiles.

    Delivery methods:

    • Video—conversational and welcoming. Approximately 1200 breeds of sheep worldwide. Emphasis here on those in English-speaking countries, with mentions of others in Europe and South America. Baseline information can be applied to other wools, e.g., native Chinese and Indian subcontinent. (The world of wool is WIDE.)
    • PDF list of fibers to be used during the class and possible sources.
    • APPLIES TO ALL: Support at: will this be live and guided, or self-paced?

    Call to action:

    • Obtain fiber samples.
    • [FIGURE this out: so they can order a set from a supplier, or provide their own samples from other sources—what types those should be.]

    Supporting documents:

    • PDF list of fibers to be used during the class and possible sources.
    • PDF of supplies—handspindles are fine, as are spinning wheels. Mention use of knitting needles, crochet hooks, or pin loom for samples (in unit 2 especially). Supplies list (unit 2): string tags, Sharpies, washable labels made from milk bottles or similar.

    Added notes:

    Have comprehensive supplies list at the start, but break it out by units so they know they can get started without the whole array.

    • Is there a way to put this together so it suits both yarn-users and yarn-makers? (E.g., knitter/crocheter/weavers and spinners.) Or do there need to be two courses, with a lot of cross-over material, for the two audiences?

    1-2 – The miniature miracle: an introduction to the basics of fiber structure

    Lesson purpose (key points):

    • The basics of fiber structure—how can there be so many wools that are so different from each other?
    • Three fundamental structural components of a wool fiber:
    • Scales.
    • Cortex (orthocortex and paracortex).
    • Medulla.

    Delivery methods:

    • Video—conversational and welcoming.
    • PDF list of fibers to be used during the class and possible sources.

    Call to action:

    • Obtain fiber samples.
    • [FIGURE this out: so they can order a set from a supplier, or provide their own samples from other sources—what types those should be.]

    Supporting documents:

    • FILL.

    1-3 – Picking out a lock or fiber

    Lesson purpose (key points):

    • Begin handling wool for evaluation and information-gathering purposes.
    • How to pull a lock from a fleece (define lock; several types of fleeces).
    • Mixed-fiber fleeces (define, roughly, wool, hair, and kemp).
    • Prepared fiber (define roving, top, and sliver)—pulling out some fibers; what information has been lost in processing, and what can still be learned.

    Delivery methods:

    • Video—talk about key points and demonstrate pulling locks and fibers.
    • PDF list of basic lock types.
    • <i>Support at: will this be live and guided, or self-paced?</i>

    Call to action:

    • Pull some locks from fleeces [DETERMINE SUPPLIES SOURCES].
    • Classify locks by type, using PDF sheet.
    • Pull some fibers from top and roving. Describe how they are different from each other (more guidance on specific qualities to evaluate will come).

    Supporting documents:

    • PDF of basic lock types.

    Added notes:

    Need clean fleece samples, and samples of roving and top that will be from different breeds.

    1-4 – Evaluating length

    Lesson purpose (key points):

    • Length first: how to measure; an idea of the ranges of lengths (.5” to 15”, 1.25 to 40cm).
    • Length as potential and actual, and relationship to other fiber qualities.
    • Ease-of-spinning lengths (3-4”, 7.5-10cm). Quick preview of length and processing options (the rules, and that we’re going to sometimes want to break them).

    Delivery methods:

    • Video—show measuring, show different lengths in same breed (Cotswold?).
    • PDF of measuring (imperial and metric).
    • PDF of record sheet? [to be used in next several lessons]
    • <i>Support at: will this be live and guided, or self-paced?</i>

    Call to action:

    • Take locks from 1.2. Measure length. Make notes.
    • Take fibers from 1.2. Measure length. Make notes.

    Supporting documents:

    • PDF of measuring (imperial and metric) and of crimp dimensions.
    • PDF of record sheet?

    1-5 – Evaluating crimp

    Lesson purpose (key points):

    • Crimp and orthocortex/paracortex (it’s “built in”).
    • Crimp and elasticity; how to measure (roughly, and roughly is adequate).

    Delivery methods:

    • Video—show crimp (frequency, amplitude).
    • PDF of crimp dimensions.
    • <i>Support at: will this be live and guided, or self-paced?</i>

    Call to action:

    • Take locks from 1.2. Evaluate crimp. Make notes.
    • Take fibers from 1.2. Evaluate crimp. Make notes.

    Supporting documents:

    • PDF of crimp dimensions.
    • PDF of record sheet?

    1-6 – Fiber diameter, part 1

    Lesson purpose (key points):

    • Define fiber diameter.
    • History of wrong ideas about crimp and fiber diameter.
    • Talk about micron counts, Bradford, USDA measurement systems.
    • Talk about fiber diameter as an average measurement.
    • Fiber diameter averages for mixed-fiber fleeces.

    Delivery methods:

    • Video—talk about diameter and crimp, and the various evaluation systems historically. Microns as the most recent. Strengths and weaknesses of micron counts.
    • PDF of fiber diameters and comparative systems.

    Call to action:

    • Take locks from 1.2. Note relationships between length, crimp, and estimated fiber diameter. Make notes.
    • Take fibers from 1.2. Note relationships between length, crimp, and estimated fiber diameter. Make notes.

    Supporting documents:

    • PDF of comparative fiber diameters, and comparative systems.
    • PDF of record sheet? [continues from 1.3]

    1-7 – Fiber diameter, part 2

    Lesson purpose (key points):

    • Fiber diameter in relation to fiber length.
    • Fiber diameter and luster (introduction to scales).
    • Fiber diameter in the global marketplace.
    • Fiber diameter and softness.
    • Fiber diameter for the fiber artisan.
    • Fiber diameter and pilling.
    • Fiber diameter and <i>trust your hands.</i>

    Delivery methods:

    • Video—show locks and talk about how the diameters vary, and talk about the relationships between diameter, length, and luster (scales, ref. 1-2).

    Call to action:

    • Take locks from 1.2. Check out softness and crispness; matte or luster surface. Make notes.
    • Take fibers from 1.2. Check out softness and crispness; matte or luster surface. Make notes.

    Supporting documents:

    _____

    2 – Camisoles to carpets—to camel halters?: the right fleece in the right place

    2-1 – Overview of categories of wool types

    Lesson purpose (key points):

    • Wools are infinitely variable and categorizing can be problematic.
    • Nonetheless, there are basic categories and knowing what they are can be helpful in selecting, preparing, and successfully using fleeces or yarns.
    • The big-chunk categories: fine wools, medium wools, longwools, and fleeces with mutiple fiber types (often called “multi-coated” or “double-coated”), along with potential uses.

    Delivery methods:

    • Video—talk about sheep and wool as global concerns; talk about adaptation to environments, and something about travel history (in almost all locations, sheep came from somewhere else), and fleece/environment relationship. Cover difficulties of categorizing, and show examples from the core categories. Revisit lock-shape ideas from 1-3. SHOW example uses.
    • PDF with category names, representative lock types, and some overview information of types.
    • >PDF of an explorer’s record sheet that recognizes not all information will be available. Puzzle with pieces to be filled in and pieces that can’t be? —no one piece definitive? —consider this idea as a potential “fleece identification game.”

    Call to action:

    • Look at the pulled locks from 1-3 and guess at the categories, given available information.
    • Fill out Explorer’s Puzzle Sheet (if this happens).

    Supporting documents:

    • PDF with category names, representative lock types, and some overview information of types.
    • PDF of an explorer’s record/puzzle sheet.

    Added notes:

    Need to be able to show in video (not in detail right now, but as background—they reappear in detail in individual category lessons):

    • fine-wool camisole or similar—shawl, etc.
    • sweater/mitten/blanket group
    • dog leash
    • carpet
    • rug
    • camel halter
    • other

    Questions:

    • Mix of (1) commercial products (e.g., Icebreaker, Rambler’s Way), (2) made from commercial yarn, (3) made from handspun?
    • Can I get a sample of Shetland carpet? Or Herdwick? Get in touch with Martin Curtis, Adam Curtis, Jeanne Carver (Imperial), Jeanne de Coster, etc. This could involve some making of items and may be verging into another class, although core elements belong here.

    QUESTIONS for 2-3 through 2-7:

    • Will there be both fleece and prepared fibers of each wool type in the samples?
    • If the supplies vary (either because supplier’s resources shift or because participant provides own), will there be a way for people to upload snapshots of what they have so I can help them?—only works with a live/guided option. This could get pretty high-maintenance.

    2-2 – Woolen and worsted

    Lesson purpose (key points):

    • Define woolen, preparation – spinning – uses. Insulation, puffiness, lower cost.
    • Define worsted, preparation – spinning -uses. Density, durability, drape. Handspinning can produce pure worsted. Mechanical preparation does a good approximation.

    Delivery methods:

    • Video—sample yarns and items.

    Call to action:

    • Look at the pulled locks from 1-3 and consider which would suit which method, given available information. (Note that all is not as it seems, and we’ll be breaking “rules” later anyway.)

    Supporting documents:

    • PDF of woolen/worsted continuum.

    Added notes:

    Need:

    • sample woolen yarn
    • sample woolen textile
    • sample worsted yarn
    • sample worsted textile

    2-3 – Fine wools

    Lesson purpose (key points):

    • Fine wools dominate the global market. Australia, New Zealand, (U.S.), [U.K.], China. Merino is the wool type most people have heard of and it’s readily available in all finished goods and commercial yarns. Merino, Rambouillet, Targhee, Romeldale/CVM (introduce idea of rare breeds?), etc. Mention briefly that some “primitive” fleeces have components that are as fine or finer. (Get into the fact that there are different Merino breeds? Maybe not.)
    • Fine wools are soft; they are not durable.
    • Revisit lock shapes. Talk about lengths, fiber diameters, and weight loss from grease to clean fleece. Felting propensity.
    • Preparation: quick intro to woolen and worsted prep and spinning; commercial combing v. carding lengths; hand-preparation decisions to comb or card.
    • Uses: high touch, low friction. Risks of pilling. Mention of need to make sure twist captures fibers (i.e., decent bulky yarns are hard to make).

    Delivery methods:

    • Video—Map? Needs to be an overview map or it’s another course. Samples of locks. Samples of commercial items and yarns, and handspuns. Talk about why the particular yarn works well in its application.

    Call to action:

    • With the FINE WOOL(s) in the samples, spin a few yards and make a sample square (knit, crochet, or pin-loom). Try woolen. Try worsted.

    Supporting documents:

    • PDF with representative lock types, length overviews, micron counts.
    • ?PDF of an explorer’s record/puzzle sheet.

    2-4 – Medium wools

    Lesson purpose (key points):

    • Medium wools are workhorse wools. New Zealand, U.K., South America (Peruvian Highlands). Some numbers. “100% wool” yarns and sweaters are pretty often in this group.
    • Not as soft as fine wools, and more durable (unless damaged in processing). Bouncy. Good insulation.
    • Revisit lock shapes. Talk about lengths, fiber diameters, and weight loss from grease to clean fleece. Felting propensity—or resistance to felting. The felting mystery.
    • Down wools as a distinct subcategory of the medium wools, with particular characteristics of both sheep and fibers. Growing of Down sheep primarily for meat; unique characteristics of the fiber, difficulty of finding good fleeces or yarns, and low commercial value of the wool (i.e., unsung value of the fiber).
    • Preparation: generally prepared by carding and then spun woolen; contrarian decisions to comb instead—emphasize inherent qualities of the fiber and how they prevail over prep/spinning methods.
    • Uses: everyday textiles with good balance between softness and durability. Some people may find that some are “itchy.” Reduction of itch propensity by combing. Pilling and damaged or inadequately twisted fibers. Mention of need to make sure twist captures fibers (i.e., decent bulky yarns are easier to make than with fine wools, but watch fiber length).

    Delivery methods:

    • Video—Map? Needs to be an overview map or it’s another course. Samples of locks. Samples of commercial items and yarns, and handspuns. Talk about why the particular yarn works well in its application.

    Call to action:

    • With the MEDIUM WOOL(s) in the samples, spin a few yards and make a sample square (knit, crochet, or pin-loom). Try woolen. Try worsted.

    Supporting documents:

    • PDF with category names, representative lock types, and some overview information of types.
    • ?PDF of an explorer’s record/puzzle sheet.

    2-5 – Longwools

    Lesson purpose (key points):

    • Longwools reign in durability and luster. The English longwools (importance to medieval British economy), and their Australia/New Zealand counterparts, plus other breeds that have similar qualities. Number of classic longwool breeds that are endangered and why.
    • Dense, sturdy, drape well—and don’t underestimate them for clothing.
    • Revisit lock shapes. Talk about lengths, fiber diameters, and weight loss from grease to clean fleece. Why longwools are not commonly jacketed.
    • Prickle factor, and spinning worsted to minimize it.
    • Spinning longwools woolen style.
    • Preparation: Worsted as the classic preparation sequence for longwools (luster). Prickle factor, and spinning worsted to minimize it.Spinning longwools woolen style.
    • Uses: durability! Rugs, pillows, woven outerwear, upholstery, but also some laces.

    Delivery methods:

    • Video—Map? Needs to be an overview map or it’s another course. Samples of locks. Samples of commercial items and yarns, and handspuns. Talk about why the particular yarn works well in its application.

    Call to action:

    • With the LONGWOOL(s) in the samples, spin a few yards and make a sample square (knit, crochet, or pin-loom).<span class=”Apple-converted-space”>  Try worsted. Try woolen.</span>

    Supporting documents:

    • PDF with category names, representative lock types, and some overview information of types.
    • ?PDF of an explorer’s record/puzzle sheet.

    2-6 – Fleeces with mixed fiber types

    Lesson purpose (key points):

    • Fleeces with mixed fiber types come in many configurations. General lack of commercial value. Talk about multi-coated/double-coated terminilogy.
    • Natural colors.
    • Revisit fiber types: wool, hair, kemp (cf. 1-3).
    • Revisit lock shapes. Talk about lengths, fiber diameters, and weight loss from grease to clean fleece. Talk briefly about primitive breeds, and shedding (Northern European short-tails; middle eastern breeds).
    • Preparation: Separating or spinning combined fibers. How to separate. Fiber lengths and drafting.
    • Uses: Traditional and contemporary. Navajo textiles, Oriental carpets, insulation, modern carpeting. Feltability of some. Yurts. Bags. Pillows. Some suitable for garments.

    Delivery methods:

    • Video—Map? Needs to be an overview map or it’s another course. Samples of locks. Samples of commercial items and yarns, and handspuns. Talk about why the particular yarn works well in its application.

    Call to action:

    • With the MIXED-FIBER WOOLS(s) in the samples, spin a few yards and make a sample square (knit, crochet, or pin-loom). Consider separating or not.

    Supporting documents:

    • >PDF with category names, representative lock types, and some overview information of types.
    • ?PDF of an explorer’s record/puzzle sheet.

    2—7 – What about the lost souls? Unidentified or crossbred fleeces

    Lesson purpose (key points):

    • With the information gathered so far, you should be able to determine the qualities, and therefore good uses for, unidentified or crossbred fleeces.
    • FILL.
    • Feltability, if it matters (either way).

    Delivery methods:

    • Video—Map? Needs to be an overview map or it’s another course. Samples of locks. Samples of commercial items and yarns, and handspuns. Talk about why the particular yarn works well in its application.

    Call to action:

    • FILL.

    Supporting documents:

    • FILL.
    #16534

    Louise Llewellyn
    Adventurer
    @Louise

    Wow, this is amazing Deb!  I can’t believe how much you’ve done, fantastic!

     

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.