December classes

December 1st, 2016

726 Mohawk Trail, Milford, OH 45150
(513) 248-0752

(open late on THURSDAYS until 9:00)


The Holidays are right around the corner…
Stop in to see what’s new at Fiber Optic Yarns and pick up the perfect gift for the knitter, weaver, or spinner on your list! We have beautiful new luxurious yarn bases for knitters and weavers.
Want to let someone know what’s on your wish list? Come fill out a page or two in our WISH BOOK. Then when your loved one stops by, they can sit by the fire while the Fiber Optic Yarns elves gather all the goodies on your list! All they have to do is bring up their selections to the register to purchase them and we’ll put everything else back in its place – easy peasy and stress free! We can also mark off what has been purchased so there are no duplicate gifts if you have more than one person shopping for you!

Need a small hostess gift or stocking stuffer for a friend (or yourself)? We have many new cute limited edition accessories that are a treat to use, including needle gauges, stitch markers, new wood and metal-tipped knitting needles , and real fox & raccoon hat pompoms (ooohhhh, so soft!).
Feeling stressed this holiday season? Come relax with a cup of tea/coffee by our fireplace and peruse through some of our many new books to get you inspired! Or take a class to learn something fun and connect with new friends!

CLASSES- several new ones
for January & February!!

Learning to Knit

Thursday December 1, 15, 29

Maximum: 6 students

Cost: $60 class fee

Materials fee: $12 payable to
Fiber Optic Yarns

Teacher: Kimber Baldwin

Bring your needles and learn the basics of knitting – casting on, knit stitch, purl stitch and casting off – while you make these beautiful fingerless mitts. This class will teach these fundamental knitting skills, step by step, and you can expect to finish at least one of the mitts and have the skills to finish the second one by the end of class. This class will also cover the basics of reading a knitting pattern, including following a chart, and finishing/blocking techniques.

Crocheted Wreath & Star Ornaments

Saturday December 3

Maximum: 6 students

Cost: $45 class fee

Teacher: Rosanna Ortlepp

Pick up your crochet hook and learn some new techniques while you crochet two festive ornaments, just in time to hang on your Christmas tree! These star and wreath ornaments will use various techniques, including working into a plastic ring and chain spaces as well as working a picot and double crochet stitches. Students should bring a size D crochet hook and FIber Optic Yarns mini skeins in their choice of colors wound into balls prior to class.

Fiber Optic Christmas Fest!!

Saturday December 10

10am – 1:00 (felted garland)
1:00-2:00 lunch break
2:00-5:00 (bird in a nest ornaments)

Cost: $45 class fee,
$5 materials fee (payable to the instructor)

Teacher: Susan Gilbert

Come enjoy a day away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds while creating beautiful Christmas ornaments and festive garland for the Christmas tree using simple needle-felting techniques. Christmas cookies and mulled cider will be provided. Come join in the laughter and fun as we celebrate with friends, new and old .

Coffee Cup Cozy – Learn to Crochet

Saturday December 17
Thursday January 19th

Maximum: 5 students

Cost: $40 class fee
$5 materials fee (payable to the instructor)

Teacher: Rosanna Ortlepp

Learn the basics of crochet – how to hold yarn and crochet hook, how to work three different basic crochet stitches (chain, single crochet, and double crochet), and how to read a pattern. You will learn how to make this sweet coffee cup cozy to keep or to give as a gift during this holiday season.

Ply on the Fly!!

Thursday January 5
6 – 8:00pm

Cost: $25 class fee

Teacher: Kimber Baldwin

Bring your empty drop spindle and an ounce or two of wool fiber and learn how to spin and ply yarn on the same spindle!!! This fun and useful technique allows you to produce a finish plyed yarn without winding off the singles and plying them later back onto a spindle. Students should have prior experience spinning with a drop spindle.

Learn to Spin on a Drop Spindle

Saturday January 7th 10:00-12:00noon

Maximum: 6 students

Cost: FREE! (with purchase of drop spindle and pencil roving)

Teacher: Kimber Baldwin
Have you ever wanted to learn how to spin your own yarn but aren’t yet ready to invest the time and money into a spinning wheel? Are you a wheel spinner, but want to be able to take your spinning anywhere? If so, then this is the class for you! For the cost of a student drop spindle ($25) and a bag of pencil roving ($19-$23) you can be on your way to becoming a spinner on the go!!!

Spinning Wool – Breed Study

Thursday January 12, 19, 26
6:00-8:00 pm

Maximum 6 students

Cost: $75 class fee
$25 materials fee

Teacher: Kimber Baldwin

Bring your spinning wheel or drop spindle and learn the long and short of wool fiber and sheep breeds! Spin test yarns and learn how to optimize your spinning to take advantage of the various wooly characteristics of the different breeds of sheep. Note pages to record and keep your yarns will be provided.


Saturday January 14 9:00 – 1:00 – CLASS FULL.

Saturday February 4th 9:00-1:00

Cost: Free with the new purchase of a Cricket Loom at time of class registration

Instructor: Kimber Baldwin

Limit: 4 students per workshop

It’s quick and easy it is to weave a scarf on a rigid heddle loom! Learn the basics in this class and take home your loom warped and ready for weaving your first project. Under a couple hours to warp and a few more hours to weave, it’s easy and fun to weave a scarf in a week (and sometimes a weekend!). This makes rigid heddle weaving a wonderful way to convert stash to beautiful finished items!!! Please purchase your rigid heddle loom when registering for the workshop and have it put together (about 1-2 hours) to bring to the workshop. The rigid heddle loom comes with enough yarn for your first scarf (or bring your own from your stash or purchase at Fiber Optic Yarns).

Felted Candy Hearts Garland

Saturday January 21
10:00am – 12:00noon

Cost: $30 class fee
$2 materials fee
(payable to the intructor)

Instructor: Susan Gilbert

Remember eating those candy hearts with the fun sayings on them as kid? …or perhaps you still enjoy them!! Either way, we’ll be recreating them in felt with the colors and sayings of your choice in a sweet (but calorie-free!) garland for Valentine’s day! Come join us for a fun filled morning and take home a lovely Valentine decoration!

Felted Heart Swans

Saturday January 28
10:00am – 4:00pm

Cost: $60 class fee
$7 materials fee
(payable to the intructor)

Instructor: Susan Gilbert

Come spend the day needle felting this beautiful centerpiece of a pair of swans that when paired nose-to-nose forms a heart. So sweet! This all day workshop will focus on needle felting onto an armature, shaping/sculpting, and then adorning with locks of wool for the wings. A beautiful and elegant celebration of Valentine’s day!

Beginning Spinning on a Wheel

Thursday February 9, 16, 23
6:00 – 9:00pm

Maximum: 6 students

Cost: $100 class fee,
$25 materials fee

Teacher: Kimber Baldwin

No spinning experience necessary! This class will focus on learning various drafting techniques while spinning and plying a wide variety of fibers. Students will have the opportunity to use many different spinning wheels and will learn drive and tensioning systems. This is an ideal class for those considering the purchase of a wheel – by the end of the class, students should have a definite opinion on which wheel(s) they prefer. Wheels are available in the store for practice between classes.

Waffle Weave Towels

Saturday February 11 9:00 – 3:00
(lunch break 12-1:00)

Saturday February 25 9:00 – 3:00
(lunch break 12-1:00)

Maximum: 4 students

Cost: $75 class fee plus purchase of 8/2 cotton and pick up stick

Teacher: Kimber Baldwin
Ready to tackle a new weave structure? Bring your 15 inch rigid heddle loom (and warping peg) and learn the skills necessary to warp and weave beautiful waffle weave towels/breadcloths! This is a much requested class and space is limited so be sure to register early!
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Drum Carding and Blending Board Classes Now Open for Registration

July 26th, 2016

Fiber Optic Yarns is very excited to offer a pair of special intensive fiber preparation classes!!!

Exploring The Drum Carder on September 3, 2016

Introduction To Blending Boards on September 4, 2016

These classes provide the fundamentals for preparing spinning fiber as batts and roving in Exploring the Drum Carder and as rolags in Introduction to Blending Boards. Together they cover nearly everything you need to know to prepare both woolen and worsted spinning fiber!!

Exploring The Drum Carder
I personally took this class last month at the Estes Wool Market from Henry and Roy Clemes and found it to be an incredible wealth of information and a tremendous amount of fun. Henry and Roy Clemes are the owners of Clemes & Clemes, Inc., suppliers of quality equipment for fiber artists since 1971. Henry and Roy have graciously agreed to come all the way from California (4 day drive!!) to teach the class here at the Fiber Optic Yarns studio!! I am beyond thrilled and excited to be able to offer this opportunity to spinners.

Class Description: Drum carders are a mystery to the average fiber artist: fiber is fed into the carder, ends up on the big drum, and something magical happens in between. In our ‘Exploring the Drum Carder’ class, students begin the day by learning the history of drum carding, how they work, and why they function the way they do. The fun goes hands on for the rest of the day as we delve into the differences of woolen and worsted carding, explore the many tools that make drum carding more efficient, and crank out six different batts. The first batt will be hand cranked before switching over to Electric Drive for the duration of class. All materials, carders, and tools will be provided by the instructors.

This is a wonderful opportunity to discuss the theory and technique of drum carding with 2 nationally-recognized experts in this field. We are deliberately keeping this class small, with a limit of 10 students so everyone gets a chance to interact one-on-one with Henry and Roy (normally the class limit is 16). Each student will get their own electric drum carder for use during class and will go home with approximately six different spinning batts of fiber (1-2 ounces each) that they produce themselves. All fiber is provided in the class fee. Students also will get a ‘goody’ box of 6 batt lifter refills to store their fiber batts and Unicorn Power Scour and Fiber Rinse samples.

This class qualifies students for accreditation to use the drum carders at Fiber Optic Yarns. We will begin renting time on them this fall on a per hour basis for in-store use and exploration. We will provide vouchers to each student, good for 3 additional hours of in-store drum carder use within the next year.

When and Where:
Saturday September 3rd from 9:00 to 4:00 at the Fiber Optic Yarns studio in Milford, Ohio. There will be a one hour break for lunch in the garden (weather permitting). Fiber Optic Yarns will provide sandwich fixings, sides, and iced tea for lunch. Feel free to bring your own lunch if you prefer.

Cost & Registration: $135.00 payable at time of registration.
Please call the studio at (513) 248-0752 or stop by the store to register. This class is a ‘first come first served’ opportunity. If you don’t get into this class, we will keep a waiting list in case of cancellations – please let us know if you would like to be added to the wait list.
If you need to cancel, please let us know. If we can fill your spot we will refund the class price.

Introduction to Blending Boards

Rolags make spinning short staple fibers, such as cashmere, yak, camel or other down fiber or cotton a straight-forward and enjoyable experience! This class will teach you the fundamentals and nuances of making rolags from various fibers. Where the drum carding class teaches how to prepare fiber batts and top for spinning, this class teaches the entirely different technique of how to prepare rolags.

Class Description: In 2011, Henry and Roy were approached by Gwen Powell, a well-known fiber artist on the West Coast, to create a new tool that eventually became the wildly popular Blending Board. This class will not only demonstrate the versatility of the blending board – blending fibers of various types, lengths, and colors – but also the strength of the blending board – quickly preparing fiber in rolags for woolen spinning.

Students are encouraged to bring their wheel or a drop spindle to sample their rolags. All materials, blending boards, and tools will be provided by the instructors.

When and Where
: Sunday September 4th from 10:00 to 3:00 at the Fiber Optic Yarns studio in Milford, Ohio. There will be a one hour break for lunch in the garden (weather permitting). Fiber Optic Yarns will provide sandwich fixings, sides, and iced tea for lunch. Feel free to bring your own lunch if you prefer.

Cost & Registration: $75.00 payable at time of registration.

Please call the studio at (513) 248-0752 or stop by the store to register. This class is a ‘first come first served’ opportunity. If you don’t get into this class, we will keep a waiting list in case of cancellations – please let us know if you would like to be added to the wait list.

If you need to cancel, please let us know. If we can fill your spot we will refund the class price.

Boys and Their Toys

March 28th, 2014

A couple of weeks ago the outside crew showed up to cut out part of the parking lot to make way for the dyer’s garden and outside terrace. It’s amazingly fun to watch the dump trucks, tractors, and various other earth moving equipment carve out the beginning of what I’ve only dreamed about up until now…an outside gathering place in the garden for fiber artists.

We’ve Been Framed

March 27th, 2014

It’s been over a month since the last photos of the studio construction. However, that doesn’t mean that progress isn’t being made…just that I’ve been focusing on dyeing inventory so we have SOMETHING to put in the store!!! I’m back-dating these photos so you can get some sort of feel for the time-line. Today’s photos are all about the new walls….

The load bearing wall in the retail area came out and the support beam and posts went in. It’s amazing how open the store feels now.

Did you catch the fireplace in the photos above? That didn’t exist when we started. It was one of those must-have items that I’ve dreamed about for forever. So Chris and Dean made it happen. Can you imagine gathering around it with friends on a snowy winter day?

Another one of my favorite design elements is the 29 foot long counter in the back of the retail area that allows for direct viewing of all the materials handling in the studio. This half wall will be topped with black cherry butcher block countertop.

The dyeing room is coming along as well:

The concrete floor needed to be dug up in order to lay new pipes for floor drains. Afterwards, they poured the new concrete. It’s difficult to imagine the random things you learn when doing something like this project. For instance, see the white pipe sticking up out of the floor in the photo below, near the back of the new concrete? I was quite concerned about that since it is in the middle of a main pathway. Apparently, it will eventually be cut off at floor level so it’s not an issue – it is there to allow for the expansion that occurs when the concrete cures so that no ‘air bodies’ are formed under the surface of the concrete. However, when it was explained to me, all I caught were the phrases ‘air tube’ and ‘to prevent bodies in the concrete’ – let me tell you that makes your adrenaline jump a bit! I must have looked a little frightened because the contractor was very quick to explain it in a bit more detail. Every time I look at that tube I have very Jimmy Hoffa-esque imaginings…and I have a VERY vivid imagination.

Open Wide

January 29th, 2014

The demolition continues, but it is now easy to see the future areas. Like an archeological dig, the rooms we need were always there, buried under the catacombs of small rooms that were here when we purchased the building.

We knew that the building had been added on to a couple of times and that the old wall shown below (all that is left is the wood 2 by 4 support studs) was an external wall, but it was fun to see where the old window used to be just the same. This load bearing wall runs through the retail space, bisecting the front of the retail from the back. It will be coming out in the next few days and the support beam will go in.

Load Bearing Wall Running Through Retail Space

This is the future dye studio. You can see that it is divided by a wall, which will come out shortly.

Future Dye Studio

The future classroom continues to open up.

Future Classroom

Future Classroom

Framing supplies for future walls – very exciting!!!

Framing Supplies

Taking Shape

January 27th, 2014

Demolition continues…the future spaces are becoming recognizable:

Future Classroom

Future Classroom

Future Materials Handling

Future Retail Area

Future Retail Area

Future Retail Area

The Walls Came Tumbling Down

January 25th, 2014

Putting My Money Down for the Building Permit. Bud White (Milford City Engineer) and Dee Dee (Milford City…I don’t know what her official title is, but she’s like the city Superhero, keeping everything going on an even keel).

All Those Walls Coming Down Have to Go Somewhere – the First of Many Dumpsters

Future Classroom

Walls Coming Down in Future Retail Area

Ready, Set, Go!

January 24th, 2014

Finalizing plans with our general contractor, Chris Gorman of Chris Gorman Homes, in the temporary office (middle of the future retail space)

Walls Marked for Demolition

Mike and Scott Denny (of Denny’s Electric) Discussing the Electrical

Removing the Electrical From the Ceiling

My Future Office – the room – NOT the closet (for a change) – Woo Hoo!

Paintbox Gradients on Yarn

February 18th, 2013

Wow! I’ve really been a recluse for the past month, haven’t I? In my defense, I’ve been working on a new dyeing project, with which I’ve been rather consumed these past weeks – paintbox gradients.

Each paintbox gradient comes as a set of fifteen mini-skeins, each containing 30 yards of either Foot Notes (80% superwash merino/20% nylon) or Kashmir (80% superwash merino/10% cashmere/10% nylon) fingering weight yarns, for a total of 450 yards. During the first year, the paintbox gradients will be based on the colorways of our spinning gradients – Copper to Verdigris, in the case of the photo above. While we have plans to eventually offer paintbox gradients on additional yarn bases, initially the focus will be on these two yarns.

Dyeing each color in the gradient individually allows a knitter to choose how they wish to use the yarns – whether in chromatographic sequence for a gradient (shown in the shawl above) or individually in a mini-skein project such as The Beekeeper’s Quilt or the Mini Mania Scarf or multiple skeins in a fair isle project similar to the Béret généreux. The second advantage to dyeing each color separately is that it allows us to focus on the optimal dyeing conditions for that color, making the labor costs and resulting retail price very reasonable – A paintbox gradient on Foot Notes yarn retails for $36 and one on Kashmir retails for $40.

We will be introducing the first paintbox gradient colorways in limited capacity beginning March 23rd on the Fiber Optic Yarns website during the weekly store update.

When joining yarns in the paintbox gradients, we recommend using the Magic Knot technique. This join leaves no ends to weave in and the knot is similar in thickness to the yarn itself and virtually disappears within the purl stitches on the wrong side of the fabric. I was a bit skeptical of this join since for decades I had been told to avoid knots in my knitting at all costs. But I have to say that after using this join for all fifteen skeins in the shawl pictured above, I’ll likely never use a different join for superwash yarns. This shawl will be a model at the festivals so if you will be at the festivals where we will be vending come and take a closer look at the joins! They’re quite inconspicuous.

Accent Piece

January 12th, 2013

I love this piece, which is really saying something considering that the yarn was pulled from the bottom of the stash and is at least three years old. Yes, I have lots of stash that predates this yarn, but after three years of existing in the stash, most of my initial purchase-excitement for this yarn had worn off. Kind of sad really, since it’s a rich lovely chocolate brown color and the fiber content is merino wool and angora. With fiber like that, the yarn is wonderfully soft and luxurious to work with. I came across it again when I was tossing the stash back in November. I had sixteen 50-gram skeins purchased with the intent of making a sweater. I don’t know why I did this. I don’t care for angora in sweaters – it sheds like mad and the tactile feel of it against my skin is like nails on a chalkboard. So it sat for three years, sealed in a bag at the bottom of one of the yarn bins.

Until last month when I came across a freebie pattern on pinterest (time-sucking site, that one) called the coin lace and cable wrap. There is nothing unusual about the pattern – it’s a giant rectangle with alternating 4 by 4 cables and coin lace. I instantly envisioned this in chocolate and thought it might be a great way to use up all the angora blend yarn and obtain a new wardrobe accent piece in the bargain. Additional bonus points were awarded since the wrap could be worn over a long sleeve top meaning that the angora didn’t actually have to have much skin-contact! WooHoo!

The wrap blocked out to 84 inches long by 20 inches wide – Big enough for a dramatic wrap belted with a skirt! Additional stash busted = 1 pound 11.2 ounces. Still way behind but a few steps closer to goal.

1-5-13 Talley: 2 pounds 13.4 ounces Fiber/Yarn lost on the stash diet!