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Spinning in Scandinavia with Silja Devine: Spinnefest 2014

by SiljaD on October 19, 2014



2014-09-04 10.41.35During the first weekend  of September,  I attended Spinnefest 2014 in Lillehammer. Spinnefest was put on by Spinnvilt.  Eirik, Tove and Unni had gotten the one and only Esther Rodgers aka Jazzturtle to come! I was fortunate enough to have 2 days of classes with Esther and two days of a spinning meet where she also had some mini classes. I learned so much during these days! I think I had some “light bulb” moments every 5 minutes or so! Esther is a fantastic teacher and she really explained what the best way to do things is and why in depth.

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We started out with a class on Thursday, September 4th in a conference room next to Spinnvilt and  all 15 participnts said our names, where we were from and how long we had been spinning (some for decades and one only had about 4 hours and was a true newbie).  Two Swedes had traveled about 12 hours to be part of this too! After that we started working with concepts in yarns and everyone presented their ideas.  Esther gave us advise on how we could prep and spin the fiber to get the look we were seeking. For some this was a fast and easy task, and for others a little more difficult. Before we went into creating our yarns, she gave us instructions on different ways to use the tools for fiber prep:  drum carders, hackles, combs and blending boards. Day Two was the class for Bobbin to Body wear, and Esther really challenged us with this class! We spun blindfolded, we spun on wire, on elastic, we multi-plied  and she shared her tips and tricks to do this the best way.

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2014-09-05 16.37.175 of the 6 Norwegian taking part in the Journey to the Golden Fleece course were also present during these two days of classes and we managed to get a picture taken along with Esther.


Over the weekend, we gathered at a small and cosy hotel, where 53 spinners met up and had a blast! 50  + spinners in the same place is a huge deal since most of the Norwegian spinners just sit at home and spin by them selves. There were people here from ALL over Norway, from the very north to the very south, and of course the two Swedes :)

2014-09-06 09.28.52 2014-09-07 11.26.12We also had a spinning championship, and we each got 5 grams of finer merino and had 20 minutes to spin the longest thread! The top three girls were all from the same guild and Ine in the middle had 63,9m!! Katrine on the left came in second and Solveig on the right came in third! I have no idea on how they can spin this yardage in those few minutes! I was happy with my 30 meters!

Esther also had a couple of classes during these two days.  One was Wild Fiber prep and the other was about Tailspinning.  Many of us were looking foreword to learning the secrets of tailspinning! And as an added bonus for me I got to tag along on Esther’s Skype session with Arlene on Saturday night! I know for sure we all had fun during these days! It was hard to go back to work again on Monday after four very inspiriing days with Esther and all of the other spinners!

2014-09-06 16.28.50 2014-09-07 11.43.07Before I close off I want to remind you that Esther, Suzy and Arlene are having some very exciting spin sessions over at Fiberygoodness.com, and after my experience with Esther’s class I would say that if you have a chance to join one of her sessions you really should!

Arlene:  Thank you so much, Silja for sharing with us your experiences in this wonderful event.  I certainly wish I had been able to join you!!!

Gosh, it feels like I have been away for the longest time.  I went to the Woolfest Festival at Taos and attended parts of Jane Thornley’s On Higher Ground Cadre awesome vacationing thrown in for good measure.  If you want to read about those adventures, make sure to subscribe to the Spin Artiste newsletter (see the signup icon on the right hand side of the page) where I share the behind the scenes stuff!  The Taos edition will be coming out within the next week or so.

One of the beautiful projects made from the Secret Stash Game 5 kits!

One of the beautiful projects made from the Secret Stash Game 5 kits!

…And, the Secret Stash Game Kits are out, but there is still time to get one and have fun with us!  I have been looking over my kit and hatching my plan. You can read more about this round and get to the sign up page here.

Meanwhile, over at Fiberygoodness.com, we have opened enrollments for the Journey to the Golden Fleece! This is a creativity course designed just for handspinners of all levels.  To make these even more exciting, we have an opportunity to show final projects in an art museum next year.  This has been a dream for us all along and now it looks to be coming true!

Until next time, all my fibery best, Arlene




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