Just 40 hours after vending ended at DFW Fiber Fest (check my previous post for more on that), our first classes at PLY Away started in Kansas City, 500 miles away.

And, yes, that’s a TV in the middle of the room. We’ve gone digital with part of the presentation of Exploring the Drum Carder, our beginning drum carding class. Not only does this keep us from lugging an additional 10 carders around the country, we can show much more about how carders function and how they are built.

We taught over 60 students across 3 days: one day of Exploring, one day of Adventures in Drum Carding, and two half-day sessions of a new class called Anything But Batts. PLY Away bills itself as an “International Spinning Get-Together” and it truly lives up to that; one fourth of our students in one class were international – two from north of the border in Ontario, and two from Norway. PLY Away even had an international scholarship winner from Slovakia this year!

One day’s worth of batts, rolags, and sliver from Adventures in Drum Carding.

The view from our hotel room. Those 2 hour lunch breaks during class were nice!

One of the highlights of PLY Away is always the eats. Of course we had BBQ a couple of nights (when in Rome…) but this pork chop from the teacher’s dinner was my favorite meal of the trip.

As I said earlier, I taught a brand new class called Anything But Batts. It’s only a half day class, and students learn how to make rolags and carded sliver. They don’t take home any batts! These students had shirts made just for the debut of the class; they say “Got Batts?”

Hey, what’s that ginormous carder on the right of our demo table? That would be our new Crankless Doublewide, which we debuted just a week earlier at DFW Fiber Fest.

I worked with PLY’s photographer, Bernadette, on a photo shoot for an upcoming issue. It was a lot of fun watching Jacey and Bernadette interact.

The Friday night talk was none other than Clara Parks, who spoke about all things made of wool. Yes, that’s a wool coffin in the photo from her talk. As she said, “It’s fully biodegradable, even what’s inside.” She’s always a hoot and a half and was nice enough to oblige me with a selfie when she wandered into the booth Saturday afternoon, just before we closed up and headed home.

And that’s it for PLY Away IV! I’m already looking forward to #5!



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