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Fiber Week 2024

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Wool, woodstoves, and winter weave together for a cozy week at North House each February.  Join us on campus for this special week-long gathering that celebrates all manner of fiber arts. Featuring speakers, demonstrations, community gatherings, and coursework from long-time North House instructors as well as new guest artisans; tuck in to the warm and wooly camaraderie this winter. Create your own fiber adventure spinning, knitting, felting, sewing, beading and more!

Fiber Friday, a fabulous feature of Fiber Week, will be February 16. We’ll host a day of speakers and mini courses, free for all enrolled students. Meet your fellow students and instructors, expand your interests and enjoy our cozy campus learning atmosphere. Come early or stay late; you won’t want to miss Fiber Friday!

This year’s Featured Guest Instructor is Mette Østman, an extraordinarily talented felter and educator from Odense, Denmark. In 2005 Mette started a small business focused on felt making and teaching, and has gathered fans and students from across the globe. Mette will offer two felting courses during Fiber Week and will be our Fiber Friday Featured Speaker.

Event Details

All Week: Evening Activities

Blue Building, North House Campus (unless otherwise noted)

Tuesday, February 13
7pm | Private Shop Tour and Fiber Circle at Dappled Fern Fibers

Enjoy a special look around local yarn shop Dappled Fern Fibers during a private shop tour with owner Dorothy Broomall. Enjoy light refreshments and stick around for a fun fiber circle with Dorothy. Bring your works in progress or start something new with a just-purchased ball of beautiful yarn! Register here.

Dappled Fern Fibers is located at 15 Broadway Ave, Grand Marais.

Wednesday, February 14
7pm | Exploring Northern Dye Gardens with Cheryl Larsen, Mary MacDonald, and Liz O’Brien
​​​​​​​Red Building

The North is full of a rainbow of dye plants if you know where to look. Get an in-depth introduction to the Penny Rug Garden, North House's own dye garden. Learn about specific northern dye plants and seed sourcing as well as various dye processes. Enjoy colorful dyed samples and a slideshow tour of the plants that bloomed at North House during the 2023 growing season. Bring your dye garden questions!

Thursday, February 15
7pm | Rölakan Rug Weaving with Christine Novotny
Red Building

In 2023, Christine Novotny traveled to the Stockholm archipelago to learn rölakan rug weaving with Ulla Parkdal, renowned Swedish weaver and designer. Learn more about the rölakan technique and tradition, the unique loom used for weaving these dense carpets, and the life and career of Ulla.

Saturday, February 17
7pm | Show & Share, Hosted by the Northwoods Fiber Guild

The Fiber Week Show & Share is a cherished event of the weekend when Fiber Week participants and instructors can come together and share work they have done, past and present. Bring something from home or from a Fiber Week class to share. All are welcome.

Sunday, February 18
7pm | Old Swedish Quilts Up Close and Other Treasures with Laura Brown
Come hear about Laura's trip to Scandinavia through North House's Artisan Development Program. Highlights included visits to museum archives to see quilts from the Åsa Wettre collection up close, as well as other textile and handcrafted wonders.

FIBER FRIDAY, February 16

A day of learning and community, creativity, and exploration! We’ll start the day out with a demonstration from our visiting guest Mette Østman, then enjoy the Fiber Fun Fair. Enrolled Fiber Week students can sign up for afternoon mini courses, and the day will be capped off with Mette returning as our Featured Speaker.

10am | Feltmaking demo with Mette Østman
Boat Barn 

Enjoy a fascinating demo of the wet felting process, where professional felt maker Mette Østman will reveal some of her small secrets in felt making—laying, handling, caressing, and shaping the wool into a firm vessel.

12-2pm | Fiber Fun Fair
Red Building

Enjoy a host of fiber activities under one roof. Drop in and visit instructors and fiber friends all set up to share some favorite fiber projects and processes. You may also encounter cozy circles of knitters, spinners, and more as you gather with fellow fiber enthusiasts. Stay for 10 minutes or two hours! Open to all fiber lovers.

2-5pm: Mini Courses

Students enrolled in courses offered during Fiber Week will be able to enroll in a three-hour mini course on Fiber Friday. Registration information will be provided via email to registered Fiber Week students. Mini courses are tuition-free for enrolled students; materials fees will vary. Registration for mini courses begins in mid January, so sign up for your Fiber Week course today!

 Beginner Embroidery: Crafting a Scandinavian Style Lumbar Pillow
with Jan Shepherd
Create your own embroidered wool pillow perfect for providing a sweet touch to any room and some extra comfort! Learn embroidery and sewing basics as you transfer a Scandinavian-inspired pattern onto wool fabric, stitch your design, and sew a lumbar pillow. Students should bring a pair of small, sharp scissors and any needed glasses for seeing up close. A materials fee of $25 will be collected during class. This fee covers all needed materials and pillow form. Additional wool will be available to purchase for future projects.

• Dutch Mending Pincushion
with Mary Ellen Ashcroft
A traditional European pattern, this pincushion makes a handy and lovely addition to your sewing basket or a practical, intriguing gift, using some favorite leftover fabrics. After we choose fabric, we’ll cut, machine sew, iron, hand sew, and lace the bobbins into their slots. A materials fee of $12 will be collected during class. Students are encouraged to bring along fabric scraps.

• Embellished Upcycled Wool Placemats
with Martha Ritter
Hand-sew your own pair of placemats using recycled, fulled blankets, and personalize with playful designs. Embellishments can include small wool fabric scraps sewn on with a simple running stitch, yarn or fabric couched on with thrum threads, or wool strips woven into the background fabric, and then stitched to secure with thrum threads. Placemats are machine washable. A materials fee of $10 will be collected during class.

7pm: Featured Speaker

The Benefits of Craft—and Felting in Particular with Mette Østman
Blue Building

In our modern world we don’t do craft out of material necessity. Spending time on craft is a way to access relaxation, happiness, or creativity, and most of us do craft by choice. When children are educated in the arts and craft they are connected to important means of developing versatile skills and personality, helping them make sense of their experiences of the world.

Professional felt maker Mette Østman will talk about the benefits of craft, and share some decisions and coincidences that influenced her journey in craft/feltmaking. Join us as Mette explores the question, “Why does felting still make me feel happy?”

Latest Update: View recent changes →

Course Offerings

Felting Bags with Integrated Details

Tue, Feb 13th, 2024  –  Thu, Feb 15th, 2024
9am-5pm each day
Instructor: Mette Østman

Introduction to Nålbinding

Tue, Feb 13th, 2024  –  Thu, Feb 15th, 2024
9am-5pm each day
Instructor: Melba Granlund

Introduction to Tablet Weaving

Tue, Feb 13th, 2024  –  Thu, Feb 15th, 2024
9am-5pm each day
Instructor: Caroline Feyling

Rigid Heddle Weaving: Towels

Tue, Feb 13th, 2024  –  Thu, Feb 15th, 2024
9am-5pm each day
Instructor: Julie Arthur

Rölakan Rug Weaving

Tue, Feb 13th, 2024  –  Thu, Feb 15th, 2024
9am-5pm each day
Instructor: Christine Novotny

Felting a Shirt or a Vest

Sat, Feb 17th, 2024  –  Mon, Feb 19th, 2024
9am-5pm each day
Instructor: Mette Østman

In Search of the Perfect Green and Orange: Natural Dyes

Sat, Feb 17th, 2024  –  Sun, Feb 18th, 2024
9am-4pm each day
Instructor: Stefania Isaacson

Norwegian Needlecraft:Taking the 'Hard' out of Hardanger

Sat, Feb 17th, 2024  –  Sun, Feb 18th, 2024
9am-5pm each day
Instructor: Lori Zimmerman

Sashiko Ori

Sat, Feb 17th, 2024  –  Mon, Feb 19th, 2024
9am-5pm each day
Instructor: Beth Ross Johnson

Wool Pullover Shirt: Sew Your Own Using a Wool Blanket

Sat, Feb 17th, 2024  –  Mon, Feb 19th, 2024
9am-5pm each day