Ply Away 3 in One Week

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:

  1.  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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!

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