Spotlight: Beth Smith

Let’s meet the teachers!  I would like to introduce you to Beth Smith.


Beth will be joining us from lovely Michigan and she is a wool and fiber queen! She has a wonderful blog where she talks about all things fleece and fiber related.  Her more recent article is a great piece on how to properly wash your fleeces. Additionally, she has many “how to” spinning related videos on her site that demonstrate a number of helpful methods and tricks

Beth has published a couple books, which we have just started to carry at The Yarn Underground! She has written many articles for various knit and spin publications and we are so excited to have her at the fiber festival.  Beth has a wealth of knowledge and has been teaching for a number of years.  You will be able to learn and grow so much by taking her informative and well rounded classes.

Here’s a bit more about her from her blog10255746_10202769833581487_5320527600336781658_o

Beth Smith is so obsessed with fiber that she has fleece in every room of her house, including her bathroom.

She teaches the whys and how-tos of preparing and spinning as many breeds as a spinner can in her classes taught all over the world and in articles written for Spin Off, Knittyspin and Entangled magazines. She also writes for Ply Magazine and serves as a member of the editorial advisory board.

She is the previous owner of the world famous online shop ,The Spinning Loft, renowned for it’s selection of raw wool, including rare breeds of sheep , available by the ounce (or more) for studying, sampling or just stashing.

IMG_20160512_131858299.jpgHer book, The Spinner’s Book of Fleece: A Breed-by-Breed Guide to Choosing and Spinning the Perfect Fiber for Every Purpose, will be published by Storey Books in July 2014

And what can WE learn from Beth?  Come take one or all of her four classes at Palouse Fiber Arts Fest! How to buy fleece with a walk through of the festival fleece sale, different Idaho breeds of sheep, how to spin a consistent and high quality yarn, and what makes each wool different than the next.


Saturday AM:  Fleecing! (all ability levels welcome)892047_10151340610072393_1348307081_o

How to buy a good fleece: it’s more than shoving and kicking your competitors. We won’t go over tackling in this class but we will learn how to select a fleece perfect for a project
you have in mind. We’ll walk through the steps of choosing a sound fleece including a hearing test, considering lock length and a closer look for hidden problems. We’ll also learn what makes a superior fleece and fleece barn etiquette (no shoving). Then it’s off to the fleece sale for the hands on portion of the class, actual fleece shopping. SHOPPING!!! Come to class with a fleece worthy project in mind.

Saturday PM: Woolie Clif Notes (must be able to spin a consistent thread)

Most people categorize wool into three or four or five categories. I like five. In this class we will look at one breed from each of the five categories and talk about why they are in that category. What makes each breeds wool different and how this can influence your decisions about how to spin them. We will talk about crimp, staple length, lock shape and more. This little bit of information can help you make good decisions about what kind of wool to choose for each project you are planning.

IMG_20150228_145959Sunday AM: Idaho Breeds (must be able to spin a consistent thread

This class will look at breeds that were developed in Idaho! These breeds are a diverse lot, bred to improve the production of more sheep, as well as useful wool. They were also bred to improve the sustainability of rangeland ecosystems. All of them are fun to spin and all are extremely interesting to explore. Lets look at the history of what we have right here in the Idaho.

Sunday PM: Going Steady! Consistency in Spinning (must be able to spin a consistent thread)

If you want more consistent yarns, this is the class for you. I will show you important tricks to spinning more consistent yarns. We will get hands on with some glorious fibers and explore how drafting, twist and ply effect a finished yarn and how to manage each one for a consistent yarn in grist and twist.

But it’s not just all class and learning. You will have an opportunity to play “What Went Wrong” a spinners game that diagnoses the specific problems in finished yarns that aren’t quite right.


So, come.  Gather.  Learn.  Chat.  Enjoy each other.  Let’s be a community, and welcome Beth to Idaho!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s