HM 230 - Fiber Arts I


Spring, Fall


Wool and other natural fibers invite students to explore technical aspects of fiber arts and the broader cultural influences thereof.  Discussion and supplemental materials may include but are not limited to topics such as plant and animal fiber properties, sources and cultivation of fiber, fiber in history and tradition, economic and social impacts of fiber production and manufacture, and global and local fiber connections.  

Fiber Arts I Syllabus

Spring 2013

Instructor Jody Stoddard

Required Text  Amos, Alden.  The Alden Amos Big Book of Handspinning.  Interweave Press, Loveland, CO. 2001.  Price:  $40 or less

Supplementary Readings TBA. Handouts on the reserve shelf.


Classes introduce principles and techniques of fiber selection, preparation, spinning, dyeing, design, and manufacture of knits and felts.   Written component includes self-critiques of selected projects and responses to assigned questions.  

Course Objectives

Students will learn skills associated with making yarn, felts, and knit fabrics; will know how to find supplies, tools, and resources for further study; will practice critiquing the work of self and others, and will learn to think critically about the past and present cultural place of fiber.     


Students will be evaluated on attendance and participation (50%), and completion of assignments and a final exhibit of work (50%).  Unexcused absences will result in a letter grade drop.

A  consistent attendance, all work presented at exhibit, work well done
B  some absence or tardiness, most work presented, work finished
C some absence or tardiness, most work presented, some unfinished
D poor attendance, several items missing or incomplete
F  poor attendance, no products on exhibit

Course Calendar/Outline (Approximate)

Date Topic
Class 1 Introduction and Wool Scouring
Class 2 Fiber Preparation tools.
Class 3 Drop Spindles—intro to spinning
Class 4 Yarn Specifications, Yarn Packaging
Class 5 Wheel Intro, Plying on Wheels
Class 6 Spinning Wool Singles on Wheels
Class 7 Exploring Other Fibers
Class 8 Knitting Basics, Gauge Swatch
Class 9 Dyeing Wool—Natural Dyes
Class 10 Hat Design, Knitting Techniques
Class 11         Knitting—Various Techniques
Class 12 Dyeing Wool—Acid Dyes
Class 13 Hat Progress Check, More Knitting Techniques
Class 14 Wet Felting—Flat and Roller Methods
Class 15 Needle Felting—Flat and Sculpted
Class 16 TA’s choice
Class 17 Project Free-for-all
Class 18 TA’s choice, followed by Project Support
Class 19 Individual Presentations I
                                Class 20         Individual Presentations II, Exhibit in Brown Library, Final Thoughts
                                TBA                       Reception for arts classes, Brown Library

Learning Differences Statement:  Students bring a variety of learning styles to class.  We do our best to support different learning modes by mixing lecture, discussion, hands-on work, and visual information.  Please feel free to let us know what mode works best for you—we will do our best to accommodate your learning style.   If you have a learning challenge or documented disability, please check in with Leland Peterson, Learning Support Coordinator. Leland can help you determine accommodations that can be helpful in this course.