Esther Rodgers: Yarn Fest Color Feast
Esther Rodgers, otherwise known as Jazzturtle, is known for her buoyant blend of creativity and technique. She seems to fearlessly tackle that interesting nexus of yarn design, fiber and materials, and artistic impulse. And if you want to see her approach put into practice, you can wander through the Jazzturtle booth at a number of fiber events each year. It’s always packed with gorgeous skeins, hand-dyed fibers, and textured batts. Follow her on Facebook to see her beautiful textiles and follow her international teaching travels.
Esther is gearing up for a busy teaching year and just spent a weekend in Michigan with the Weavers Guild of Kalamazoo. Next on her list is Interweave Yarn Fest, which will be held in Loveland, Colorado, on March 31‒April 3, 2016. She is offering an amazing line up of workshops. Here are a few that caught my eye:
Tailspinning: The Long and Short of it!
Tailspinning, a handspinning method that incorporates undisturbed locks into a yarn as the yarn is formed, is one of the many great skill-building art yarn techniques. Tailspinning isn’t difficult, but it helps you improve dexterity and think creatively about how to incorporate fibers into your yarns. Esther uses a wide variety of locks for tailspinning. She will share what she looks for in a fleece and many methods for incorporating the locks into a stunning, textured skein. This technique will advance your spinning skills no matter what type of yarn you spin!
Have you ever considered plying your plied yarn? The very idea can feel a bit daunting! This workshop covers more familiar yarn structures, and from there Esther will help you to chart your own course. She says, “I love layered plying because it opens up endless possibilities of texture and color options. Crepes and cables have amazing structures and are only the beginning of the journey! A 2-ply can become a 6-ply cable by chain plying, but then a 7-ply crepe by plying that cable with a single, and a chain ply can be cubed by chain plying it again!” These yarns become complex, but they are created one step at a time. Join Esther to deepen your knowledge of twist, ply direction, yarn management, and more.
Expressive Spinning and Yarn Design
Esther also sometimes refers to this class as Art Yarn 201. It’s a workshop that evolves to meet the interests of the students, who come with a few kernels of ideas of their own. She says, “This is an expressive class that will develop the spinner’s personal style and builds their creative process. Students come to class with inspirations or stories they want to tell in their yarn. This class is a special group learning experience—techniques are taught as they come up in the design process. Together we explore color, texture, and design, and students will lock into their own personal process.”
Visit the Yarn Fest website to read the full class descriptions and registration details. There’s nothing quite like working with Esther in person, but if you can’t get to Yarn Fest, check out her new videos: How to Spin Art Yarns and Card Wool for Color: How to Spin Gradients, Ombres, Fractals, and Self-Striping Yarns.