Gabi dove headfirst into the world of fiber and has never looked back! She has been spinning for six years and won Best in Show at the Maine Fiber Frolic Skein Competition. She has her own tiny flock and three angora bunnies. When she’s not spinning, she’s busy as the Volunteer and Demo Coordinator for Maine Fiber Frolic and is Co-Coordinator of Fleece Tent at Common Ground Fair. Gabi will teach Luxury Fiber Blends at Fiber College on Saturday, September 10th from 9 AM-1 PM. Students will learn about and prepare luxury batts using a wide variety of (delicious!) fiber and will want to bring a drop spindle or a spinning wheel to try out the beautiful batts and rolags they have created. Let’s meet Gabi and then you can go sign up for her class here.
As we celebrate the tenth year of our Fiber College community, tell us about how community plays a part in your life as a fiber artist.
Without the fiber community, it is possible I would have very little social life, or it could be that I choose to spend my precious free time on the thing I love best, the fiber arts! My fiber friends are the ones I turn to with good news and when I need help. I have never been a part of a community that is more inclusive and welcoming as the fiber world. I love it!
Tell us how you entered into the world of fiber and the fiber arts.
While growing up, my great-grandmother taught me to crochet but like most children I didn’t progress much past trying to make a dress for my doll. However, when I was pregnant with my first born I was put on bedrest and my next door neighbor came over and said, “I’m going to teach you to knit.” I was bored out of my mind so I was an eager student. My knitting took second place to quilting until I discovered spinning six years ago. I was fully addicted within a month; I bought two fleeces and didn’t even have a spinning wheel yet. Six years later I have sheep, angora rabbits, and plans to continue expanding my fiber flock! I still love starting with a raw fleece and ending with a yarn I made myself.
How do you keep your creativity fresh and new? What have you experimented with in the fiber arts in the past year?
I love trying new spinning techniques, art yarn, and also dyeing is something I am trying out. I have tried several dyeing techniques: microwave, crockpot, dye pot, and I’m currently saving onion skins. This may be the year I buy an indigo plant!
What does your studio space look like now? What change would you make if you could?
My studio is full of drying wool right now. It is a great place to work and play. I need more shelves and storage, and I would love to have a dye kitchen.
Tell us about a proud moment you’ve had as a result of your students’ efforts.
I am currently teaching a small community knitting class. Most of the students are a bit above beginner. So one evening as we sat knitting and discussing how to decrease at the top of a hat, a student said she was amazed at how much she had learned. During that class she finished the hat, which was for her daughter. It was almost as if I had made it myself; I was so proud of how happy she was to be able to make hats and other knitted items!
What’s the most important thing that you want potential students to know about you?
I’m learning new things about fiber all the time, there is so much out there! The main goal of my classes is for students to have fun and enjoy being a part of the fiber world while learning something new. My secondary goal is to ensure they are as fully addicted to fiber as I am.
How do you ensure plenty of time to be an artist?
Even when I’m tired I spin, card, or knit every single evening after my kids are in bed. Actually these questions are cutting into my fiber time—time to wrap it up!
If you could go back in time, what might you change about your fiber journey?
I would have started sooner! I would have told the beginner fiber artist not to get too frustrated with the learning process. Enjoy the journey!
You can learn more about Gabi and her fiber farm here: www.Gabispins.com
Don’t forget to go get some more details about her class; sign up here!