School of Yarn

Blue Moon Fiber Arts’ School of Yarn – It’s ALL about that base!!

Who does not love color? I know I do.

We all do, and there is a plethora of beautifully hand-dyed yarns to choose from these days.

A skein of yarn can be a stunning hue, but it doesn't stop there – is it the perfect yarn base for your project?

We’ve all had those moments where we had to frog or scrap a project because it stretched too much, or turned out more like armor than sweater.

Sometimes, it’s easier to pick the colors that make us happy than to choose the yarn base with the right fiber content, perfect spin and correct weight for the project we have in mind.

In the two decades that I have been, spinning, knitting, designing, dyeing and selling yarn, my team and I have garnered a serious amount of knowledge through the experience that only comes with the daily hands-on-work of operating a hand-made crafty yarn business.

The daily inspecting-reeling-twisting-washing-soaking-dyeing-steaming-rinsing-drying-bundling-tagging-shipping and customer service kind of knowledge. The kind that is steam set and lightfast!

The more I am out in the world teaching workshops and giving talks, the more I hear that knitters wished they knew more of what I know, so they could make more informed and confident choices. So that’s where the School of Yarn comes in!

We want to share our experience and knowledge and the story that we know a skein of yarn has to tell with you! Starting at the source (the what and where) and working all the way though the process (the how and why) from sheep to knitter.

In our School of Yarn you will learn all you need to know (and probably a little more!) about yarn as the basis from which all knits grow. This in turn helps ensure not only a fun knitting experience but a successful one – and a resulting project that looks great, fits and wears well, and gives you pride in calling it something you made!

Here’s just a sampling of what you’ll walk away with after the first semester of School of Yarn:

  1. How and why the properties of a sheep’s fleece influence the fabric you make
  2. Why and how the spin and ply of a yarn affects weight and gauge and finally fabric
  3. How swatching can help you find the range of gauges most suitable for that yarn – leading you to more successful project pairings

Our goal is that as each semester of School of Yarn progresses you will become better acquainted with the way of the skein.

You will gain a depth of understanding that will not only enhance your knit experience but also give you an appreciation for and connection to everyone involved in making your yarn – all while building confidence that your yarn selections will “make” your projects!

Info and sign-ups for the 1st Semester of School of Yarn are below.

We are looking forward to sharing with you just how much “It’s all about that base”!

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School of Yarn Faculty

Tina Newton ~ aka depraveDyer
Dean of Dyeing and Yarncraft
Tina’s love of everything fiber and color started when she sat down at a spinning wheel. She has been making yarns, dyeing and knitting them ever since, for about 24 years. Her passion for all that is fiber and color grew slowly but surely and blossomed into a business. Blue Moon Fiber Arts began as a one-woman business, but has grown with the help of quite a few generous and talented women into one of most highly sought-after independent dyers in the fiber world. Most of our yarns – like our coveted Socks that Rock™ sock yarns – are milled to our very particular specifications and are unlike anything else out there. Creator of the very first sock knitting club (the Rockin’ Sock Club, in its twelfth year), Tina likes nothing better than to share her experience and knowledge, infecting all around her with the joy and passion for the fiber arts!

Karen Alfke ~ aka akabini
Professor of Swatching and Fabric Interpretation
Karen started knitting when she was a teenager in Germany – and basically never stopped! In the meantime, she’s pursued a Master’s Degree (not in knitting, more’s the pity) and taught German at the University of Iowa and Cornell College. She’s combined her background in education and her thirty-plus years in knitting to educate hundreds of knitters around the country at yarn stores as well as Stitches and other events. She has been publishing her line of Unpatterns since 2000, and has designed frequently for Blue Moon, including The Traveling Sweater and quite a few patterns for the Rockin’ Sock Club. The only thing she loves more than coffee is yarn (something Tina knows full well). A cup of coffee and a swatch is her happy place.

Maggie Baird ~ aka keyinherpocket
Professor of Projects and DyeMaven
Maggie has been doing handcrafts of one sort or another since she could hold a needle! Embroidery/cross stitch/doll clothes as a kid and then she moved onto costumes and real live people clothes once she hit her teenage years. She ran her own successful handcraft business for quite a few years before Blue Moon was lucky enough to get her talents! Maggie taught herself to knit from books once she moved to the much colder PNW since there isn't much need for wool in Arizona where she hails from. She says, that she did her YO's wrong for a year. Maggie is a Blue Moon dyer extraordinaire and also our social media queen and design coordinator and a designer!

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School of Yarn Supply List

We supply:

  • 3 skeins of yarn – one skein each of three thematic bases, each in a brand-new colorway
  • 1 super-cute notebook from Scout – for your swatching notes
  • Inspirational note-taking pencils
  • Lovely muslin drawstring project bag
  • Ruler of sorts (tape measure)
  •  A PDF ‘textbook’ chock-a-block with all the learning about breeds, fiber, milling, dyeing, swatching, blocking, and project ideas for your yarn
  • Coupon code good for 15% off yarn purchases during your time with us!

You supply:

  • A passion for yarn and knitting!
  • Knitting needles in various sizes for swatching

And yes, there will be homework – it’s school, after all! (We promise it’s fun homework, though – it’s knitting!)

  • Reading your textbook
  • Swatching
  • Swatching some more
  • And making swatch notes, so you can start a project with just the right needle and gauge
  • Then pattern perusing, choosing and then, of course, starting a project!

**Special introductory price of $175.00 until August 15th! After that, it's $200.00 to get in.**

(Price does not include shipping costs, which are calculated at checkout for the 3 shipments going Priority to your address.)



School of Yarn Semester #1 - Targhee

School of Yarn Semester #1 - Targhee

This semester, it’s all about bases made predominantly from Targhee wool. We will be exploring all of the qualities of wool sourced from this one breed of sheep and how they play into the choices we make in everything from the ranching, to the milling, down to the yarn that’s in your hands. We have chosen three bases with very different construction so we can explore how one fiber type works across various platforms in the skein and the knit. These skeins will each tell us their own...
$175.00

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