One week until Ply Away 3!
Ply Away is an annual fiber conference put on by Ply Magazine in Kansas City, MO. With a brilliant roster of teachers and an incredible marketplace, Ply Away has quickly become one of the notable fiber events in the United States. I count myself lucky to have the opportunity to go again this year.
Take-Aways from 2017
Last year was quite an adventure.
I took a class on Russian lace with Galina Khemeleva where I really learned how to improve my support spindling technique. I also got some great insights into what makes a good Russian spindle and how I can make them in my shop.
Then I took a full day of lock-spinning. First I learned the “Magic Thumb Technique” with Laura Spinner and then spun Icelandic in Keeping it Wild with Maja Siska. I really gained a new appreciation for Icelandic and this reinforced my love of art yarns.
I took a weaving class with John Mullarkey, the mind behind the Zoom Loom and I finished with a sampling class with Jillean Moreno where we sampled sheep cheese and wool.
I’m not going to lie, I also spent a fortune in the marketplace and came home with lots of new tools and fiber. I picked up a book charkha and combs. I also picked up some yak/silk blends, and focused on finding “colors I wouldn’t normally pick for myself.”
What’s Ahead for Ply Away 3?
This year I have a full lineup:
- Classic Down Wools
- Basic Things Every Spinner Needs to Know
- Teaching Spinning
- Twisted Together
- The Gentle Art of Plying
- English vs American Longdraw
- Spin & Nosh
Every event I attend, I try to have a focus and goals to guide my learning experience. I want to get the most out of my money, my time, and the teachers’ time.
I have three areas of focus:
- Learn to teach – I teach online during our live streams and in person at events. I will look at each class through this lens. Ultimately, I want to come back to the fiber community with a more nuanced understanding of the topics covered and improved words and teaching skill set.
- Network – I plan to network with a number of artists and fiber companies. We’ll meet up with our wholesaler, DM Fibers. We’ll also be meeting up with BobNWeave.
- Testing Wheels – I will be trying out new wheels in the vendor market. I am looking for a new workhorse wheel to begin saving for. I am interested in the Schacht Matchless. At this point, I need a wheel which can keep up with my production.
Because the Twitch community has been key in helping me be able to attend Ply Away again, I plan to come back with a minimum three ideas/concepts/techniques to share with viewers, as well. I have no doubt that we’ll exceed that goal!
I can’t wait to report back from the conference!