Learn about the time-honored art of spinning yarn from fiber during the Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market in February and beyond.
GULFPORT – The time-honored art of spinning yarn from fiber will be the subject of hands-on classes during the Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market in February and beyond.
Billie Rodriguez and her daughter Brennan will teach students in a one-on-one process for as many one-hour sessions as desired. Registration for classes begins immediately, and lessons will commence at the Market on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Waiting lists for additional lessons and classes will be maintained for others interested in learning. The cost for lessons will be $15 per hour.
Spinning wheels and fiber, including angora and other types, will be provided. The initial class will cover an introduction to spinning, fiber characteristics, drafting, hand/eye/feet coordination exercises, and beginning spinning. In additional classes, students will learn beginning techniques, adding on wool, plying and skill refinement. Students may continue classes for as long as they wish.
To sign up for classes, visit Billie and Brennan at the Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each Tuesday, or 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month.
The open-air market is located on Beach Boulevard South below 29th Avenue South.
Billie and Brennan are mother-daughter proprietors of their own Funny Face Farms, a small urban farm begun in 2010 in Valrico, east of Tampa. They joined the Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market last year, demonstrating the art of spinning during the market and offering their own hand-spun yarns and crocheted items for sale.
They began raising rabbits, intent on breeding and reselling them as pets, but became too fond of their herd-to-sell any of the offspring.
Their practice in spinning began with their adoption of an English angora rabbit named Magi, a rabbit which had been a prizewinner in shows but was retired from the show circuit by his previous owner. Magi’s “funny face” became the namesake for their farm.
Funny Face Farms now has over 75 Angora rabbits as well as other breeds. The previous owner of Magi introduced Billie and Brennan to the centuries-old art of spinning, using fibers the rabbits shed naturally. Brennan took up the art form first while Billie used the yarn she created to make crocheted items. Billie then began to spin herself nearly two years ago.