The Gathering

The Gathering 2016

Will take place November 4,5&6 at The Fort William Henry Hotel and Conference Center, Lake George NY. (  We will have classes with Patsy Zawistoski, Beth Smith, Jillian Moreno , Alana Wilcox, Donna Kay , Cal Patch and Jane Woodhouse.   Spin ins on Friday and Saturday nights, vendors for your shopping fun.  We hope you will join us!

Starting Oct 15 available, individual classes will be sold
$60.00 for 3HRS, $110.00 for a 6 HR class or 2, 3 HR classes
Weekend 9HRS $150( $135 members)
See the classes with openings below

contact Gathering Chair Maria Hughes

Please note: In order to keep our class fees low, we require anyone attending to register for classes.

The class fee for 2016 will be members $135, non members $150 for 9 hrs of classes( 6 hrs Saturday 3hrs Sunday)
Refund Policy: Full refund prior to August 1st, 70% prior to October 1st                      no refund after October 1st.

Anyone who would like a copy of The Gathering brochure please contact me at and I will email one right out to you.

Classes with Openings

Saturday All Day Classes 6 hrs

How to Spin a Hand Painted Roving 12+Ways – Alanna Wilcox

Cotton: The Handspinner’s Last Great Frontier

Saturday Morning Workshops 3hrs

Twined (or Two End) Knitting – Donna Kay

Pattern Drafting for Knitters – Cal Patch

Saturday Afternoon Workshops. 3 hrs

Beginning Handspindle – Donna Kay

Embroidery for Knit and Crochet – Cal Patch

Sunday Morning Workshops  3 hrs

Knitting with Handspun- Donna Kay

Crochet on the Edge – Cal Patch

Greener Indigo-Jane Woodhouse

Wool Spinners Tune Up – Patsy Zawistoski 

Below is a list of all the classes so the participants can check their materials list and materials fee. Many of these classes are filled see above for classes with openings.

 Saturday All Day Workshops

How to Spin a Hand Painted Roving 12+Ways – Alanna Wilcox   6 hours  AW 1

This workshop analyzes how rovings are hand painted and how the fiber can be spun in 12+ ways to yield different color combinations in the final yarn. The focus will be on color and how to achieve beautiful color results instead of mud. Stitch variation in knitting will also be discussed.  Materials Fee:  $15

Materials List:  Hand cards, working wheel, spinning wheel oil, tensioned lazy kate, 4-5 empty bobbins with leader,         1 ounce hand painted roving to spin, a hand painted roving you are curious about spinning, examples of yarn that you don’t like the way the colors spun up.

Color Play: Stress Free Ways to Spin with Color – Jillian Moreno  6 hours  JM 1

Are you ready to change the way you think about spinning with color? Do you have fun when combining colors or is it just a mess of stress?  Do you have a collection of beautiful braids, bundles and batts in colors you love, but haven’t cracked them open because you’re not sure how to spin them without bungling the colors? In this class, we’ll throw out the color wheel and learn to work with dyed fiber in a bunch of stress-free ways.  You’ll spend a day spinning and knitting yarns from beautifully dyed fibers and working with spinning single color and variegated fibers into yarn you’ll love to knit with. You’ll learn what effects color in spinning and get tips on the how to work with different breeds, fiber blends and preparations.  You’ll learn how to stretch your stash by combining variegated braids with naturals, semi solids and other variegated fibers.   You’ll work with drafting, plies, marls and fractals, and spin and knit samples that you can refer to after class is over.  You’ll learn how to keep colors as they are, how to blend colors for depth and subtlety, and how to combine colors, all without breaking a sweat.

Materials Fee: $40 Materials List: A Spinning wheel in good working order, 4 bobbins, lazy kate, knitty-noddy, tags for markings samples.

The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing – Jane Woodhouse      6 hours  JW 1

One day intensive dye workshop using natural dye extracts.  We will begin with a short discussion of dye theory and then dye in a gradiated series using 4-5 dye extracts and a natural ferment indigo vat to create a pallet of colors.   Students will produce approximately 75 color samples. Each student will receive a comprehensive dye notebook with workshop instructions as well as notes for working on your own.  Included in the notebook will be a set of dye samples produced in class.

Materials Fee:  $25

Materials List: Rubber gloves, scissors, Sharpie marker, masking tape, an old towel or two, and old clothes to work in.

Cotton: The Handspinner’s Last Great Frontier – Patsy Zawistoski   6 hours  PZ 1

Take charge; don’t feel intimidated by cotton anymore. This notoriously short fiber is easily tamed and mastered by changing a few simple techniques. Cotton is always soft, easy care, washable and machine dryable. It’s a great yarn for weaving, crochet and lacy knits. It is available in a variety of natural colors, and preparations. Learn how to gin, card and prepare a puni – the perfect short fiber spinning package. Materials Fee:  $20.00

Materials List: A good working wheel, (scotch brake or double drive is recommended) or assortment of spindles include a light weight on and your charka if you would like some help with that. Lazy kate, extra bobbins, hand cards or carding board, small towel, rubber gloves, small plastic tub, apron, and appropriate clothing for dyeing, hole punch, scissors, small baggies, pen and paper .

Saturday Morning Workshops

Twined (or Two End) Knitting –  Donna Kay       3 hours  DK 1

This unique Scandinavian knitting technique (tvaandsstickning in Sweden and tvebandsstickning in Norway) is created by “twining” 2 strands of the same yarn as you work producing a dense, warm, flexible double fabric.  The patterns created are unlike any other in knitting. Learn the techniques such as 2 color cast on, “hook stitches”, as you knit a pair of wrist warmers.  Chart symbols and 2 color braid will be covered.

Skill level: open to all with basic knitting skills.

Materials Fee: $5

Materials List: Double point needles US 3, stitch markers, scissors

Pattern Drafting for Knitters – Cal Patch       3 hours  CP 1

Whether you plan to knit, crochet or sew a garment for yourself (or anyone else), the first step is determining the unique size, shape and proportion of the body you wish to clothe. Like snowflakes, none of us are exactly alike, and not until we assess our actual dimensions can we begin to achieve the goal of perfect fit! Cal will show you how to properly take your measurements and use them to draft a sloper (simple pattern) for your personal fit profile. Think of it like a life-size schematic, which you can refer to as you knit from a pattern, or while designing your own! We will also discuss the concept of ease, both positive and negative, and how it affects the end result. Understanding and taking control of these elements will allow you to create pieces that fit and flatter YOU.

Materials Fee: None

Materials List: Pad or roll of paper, at least 14″ wide (can be newsprint, drawing paper, etc.), pencil, eraser, sharpener, notebook, scissors (for paper), ruler (ideally 2″x18″ clear plastic sewing ruler) and tape measure, clear tape

Going Steady – Beth Smith         3 hours  BS 1

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 affect 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 spinner’s game that diagnoses the specific problems in finished yarns that aren’t quite right.

Materials Fee: $15

Materials List: A spinning wheel in good working order, 3 empty bobbins, lazy kate, note taking materials

Saturday Afternoon Workshops

Beginning Handspindle – Donna Kay       3 hours   DK 2

Come join us and learn the basics of spinning on a drop spindle. We will cover drafting, spinning, plying and finishing your yarns. If you do not have a spindle, one will be provided. No experience necessary! Spinning fibers will be provided. Proficiency Level: Open to all

Materials Fee: $5

Materials List: Drop spindle (if you have one)

Embroidery for Knit and Crochet – Cal Patch      3 hours   CP 2

It’s easy to embellish and personalize your knit or crochet projects with a touch of embroidery, taking them from simple to stunning! Cal will show you a variety of stitches, from simple to elaborate, that you can use to add some flair to anything you make.

Materials Fee: None

Materials List: Scraps of yarn (fingering or worsted), tapestry needles in a few sizes, knitted swatch to work onto (can be old gauge swatches, cut from old machine-knit sweaters, t-shirts, or fleece)

Colorwheel Carding – Beth Smith       3 hours   BS 2

It’s all about getting the perfect color. We can do that simply with a little fiber and a pair of hand cards. We will begin with just the primary colors and black and white. We will learn how to adjust and blend just the right amount of these colors to make a wide range of colors for your projects. You will leave the class with more faith in your ability to use hand cards as well as knowledge of how to blend colors consistently for even the largest of projects. Materials Fee: $15

Materials List: Spinning wheel in good working order or a spindle, pair of general purpose hand cards (72 up to 112 tpi) *battery powered scale that can measure in 0.1 ounce quantities if you have one.

Sunday Morning Workshops

Knitting with Handspun – Donna Kay      3 hours   DK 3

Do you spin yarn and then try to decide what to knit? Not sure what to do with that special yarn? Whether your handspun or purchased yarn, Donna will give you an easy method for evaluating and determining the best uses for your wonderful, one of a kind yarns.

Proficiency Level: Open to all

Materials Fee: None

Materials List: Samples of handspun yarn (small balls are fine), knitting needles in various sizes, paper hang tags for labeling, ruler or measuring tape, scissors and a pen for notes.


Fractal Frolic –  Jillian Moreno        3 hours   JM 2

Almost every spinner has tried fractal spinning with variegated fiber, but do you do it the same way every time? Fractal spinning for knitting has endless possibilities!  What happens when you change the size of your fiber or use fiber dyed in different patterns? Fractal spinning hand dyed fiber creates striping patterns that are beautifully complex, compared to a matching ply. Fractals are simply different sizes of the same pattern, in our case a line or stripe. In this class we’ll work with hand dyed top to explore fractal color patterns.  We’ll start class by making a matching 2-ply yarn. Then we’ll divide and combining different color lengths to create fractally plied yarns that are intricately striped. We’ll explore the effect of fractal plying on different styles of dyeing too. We’ll see what happens with gradient and randomly dyed fibers. Before we’re done we’ll play with plies to see what happens when working with more than 2 plies and a textured ply or two. We’ll see what happens with our fractals when we change the size of our yarn.

Fractal spinning comes alive when it’s knit so we’ll look at knitted samples to see the unique explosion of color that fractals create.  This class moves at a fast pace, so come ready to spin!

Materials Fee: $30

Materials List:  Wheel in good working order, 4 bobbins, lazy kate, knitty-noddy, tags for markings samples

Crochet on the Edge – Cal Patch        3 hours   CP 3

Adding a crocheted yoke to the neckline of a T-shirt is a stunning way to upcycle, or make from scratch, unique and gorgeous garments!  You will learn several ways to work directly into the edge, and then experiment with different crochet stitches to design your own statement piece. Students must be comfortable with the basic stitches (at least ch, sc and dc).

Materials Fee: None

Materials List: Assorted scrap yarns to play with (fingering/sock is a great size), swatch(es) of old T-shirt fabric to practice on,compatible hooks (smaller steel hooks are great if you have them), old T-shirt that needs a makeover, tapestry needle, scissors


For the Love of Longwools –  Beth Smith       3 hours   BS 3

The Longwools category of wool sometimes gets a bad rap. What do you think Masham or Lincoln or Wensleydale is good for? Many spinners will say it’s too scratchy and is really only good for upholstery or carpets. It is good for both of those things if you spin it for those purposes BUT there is so much more to this category. It makes wonderful lace that really shows off all of those important holes. It is great for outerwear because it spins into a denser yarn that pills much less than other shorter stapled fibers. This class will focus on the preparation and spinning 3 to 4 breeds with a 5”staple or longer.  We will learn how to get this fiber to do the things you want, including the secret to getting next-to-the-skin yarns from longwools. We will use commercially prepared fibers as well as prepare our own from washed fleece. By comparing and contrasting you’ll see what benefit there is to processing your own Longwool fleece and how bring out the best in these wools.

Materials Fee: $15

Materials List: A spinning wheel in good working order or Spindle, hand held combs, note taking materials  A lap cloth is also helpful.

Spinning for Socks – Alanna Wilcox         3 hours   AW 2

This workshop covers the best fiber choices for spinning sock yarn, how to spin a 3 ply yarn with color in mind, chain plying, and analyzing yarn qualities that make a good sock yarn. Materials Fee:  $15

Materials List: Working wheel, spinning wheel oil, tensioned lazy kate, 4-5 empty bobbins with leader, 2 ounces hand painted roving – sock yarn you’ve spun in the past (optional) -commercial sock yarn you like (optional)

Greener Indigo – Jane Woodhouse       3 hours   JW 2

We will make a simple but very reliable indigo vat using ingredients to get a fast fermentation vat up and running quickly.  We will not be using lye, thiourea dioxide or sulfuric acid nor will we be inhaling toxic fumes from the vat.  The strongest odor will be from the indigo itself.  Instruction will include making and maintaining a healthy vat.

The class covers making a reliable natural vat that is not difficult to control.  In addition we will produce samples of colors to overdye in the indigo.

Materials Fee:  $10

Materials List: Rubber Gloves, scissors, Sharpie Marker, masking tape, old towel or two is useful, old clothes to work in

Wool Spinners Tune Up – Patsy Zawistoski      3 hours   PZ 2

Can you spin and ply wool but still don’t understand how to best use the features of your wheel or how it is different from other wheels.  Here’s a class filled with hints, how-tos, why-fors, and techniques.  Learn about the types of wheels, drive ratios, take-up issues and maintenance hints.  A quick review of various wool preparations, drafting, and plying techniques will finish out this important class.  Come with your wheel, tools and questions.

Materials Fee:  $12 includes fiber to spin, booklets, worksheets, incidentals

Materials List: A good working wheel that you are comfortable spinning on, hand cards or carding board, small towel,  hole punch, scissors, small baggies, pen and paper, other tools: oil, etc. for your wheel


Donna Kay has been teaching knitting and designing for over 25 years. She is also an accomplished handspinner. “Folk” knitting is her passion and delights in sharing her knowledge with others through her teaching and designs. Donna’s designs have frequently
appeared in popular knitting magazines and in books such as Christmas Stockings and Knitter’s Stash. In order to further promote the art of traditional hand knitting she started her own company, Tree of Life Designs.
Jillian Moreno is passionate about making things with handspun yarn. Jillian has been a knitter forever, and a spinner almost as long.She knits, stitches, crochet and sometimes weaves with her handspun yarn. Jillian is the editor of Knittyspin and Ad Manager and
Catalyst of Knitty Magazine. She is a regular contributor to Ply Magazine, and currently sits on the editorial board. Her recent book,Yarnitecture A Knitter’s Guide to Spinning: Building Exactly the Yarn You Want includes a Forward by Clara Parkes and Jacey Boggs.
Cal Patch has been making, designing and teaching all things textile-related since 1991. She sews, crochets, embroiders, spins,prints, knits, dyes, and more. She has designed clothing for Urban Outfitters, Free People, Gap, and Old Navy before developing her own line of one-off pieces called “hodge podge”, which she currently sells at craft fairs and in her Etsy shop. She contributes to books and magazines and teaches in the Hudson Valley and at events like Squam Art Workshops, the Makerie, and Lucky Star Art Camp. Her first book, Design-It-Yourself Clothes: Patternmaking Simplified was published in 2009.
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, Ply and Entangled magazines. Almost everything she knows is in her book, The Spinner’s Book of Fleece: A Breed-by-Breed Guide to Choosing and Spinning the Perfect Fiber for Every Purpose.
Alanna Wilcox has been spinning for over 10 years but has been drawn to the fiber arts her whole life. She completed the OHS Spinning Certificate program and is currently completing an in-depth study to earn the title Master Spinner. Her study is focusing on
the different ways one can spin painted top and she hopes to publish her study to share with other spinners.
Jane Woodhouse has spent the last 32 years working as a production weaver. In 1991 she earned an MFA from San Francisco State University with a concentration in textiles. She lives in VT on Brigid’s Farm which is home to a small flock of Border Leicester X sheep, natural colored angora goats and dairy goats. She specializes in natural dyes and teaches in her studio as well as workshops at the NY and Vermont Sheep and Wool Festivals and in the midwest. Jane’s other interests include spinning and knitting, ethnic textiles,and surface design techniques on hand woven fabrics.
Patsy Zawistoski is known for her understanding of the art of spinning and all aspects of spinning wheels and creating yarns. She delights in seeing her students reach that “aha” moment in their spinning skill set. She is totally committed to teaching spinners
efficient ways to create their own source books of yarns. Sampling and record keeping create invaluable yarn collections for choosing and repeating yarns when needed. Patsy says, “Having taught spinning and weaving over 30 years, I continue my own fiber
explorations, weave with my handspun, write, and teach across the USA and internationally.” Patsy’s three videos continue to be favorites.

Northeast Handspinners Association would like to thank the following businesses for their support:
Battenkill Fibers & Spinning Mill Greenich NY
The Woolery Frankfort KY
New England Felting Supply East Hampton MA
Schacht Spindle Company
Moose Manor Handpaints
Green Mountain Spinnery
Bay Haven Short Tails
Looliemom Fiber Arts

Vendors at The Gathering will be:
Battenkill Fibers&Spinning Mill
Port Fiber-Caey Ryder,
Savage Heart Farm-Peggy Allen,
The Spinning Studio-Robin Russo,
A Touch of Twist
Furry Face Fibers