Ploughshare’s New Classes for 2012

We’ve greatly expanded our class offerings for 2012.  Below is a list of new classes. To find out more about a class or register for it, click the class name.


This comprehensive series of gardening classes will teach you how to raise a large portion of your family’s food, sustainably.

  • Gardening I – In this workshop, you’ll learn the foundational concepts and principles involved in gardening and how to select the best site for your garden. You’ll learn about soil and soil fertility, compost, growing beds, watering your garden, and pest control.
  • Gardening II – In this class, you will learn how to plan your garden, how to keep journals and records to improve your results, proper crop spacing, crop rotation, cover crops, how to start seeds, how to transplant, and ways to protect your crops in order to extend the gardening season.
  • Gardening III – The third class builds on the previous two classes. You’ll learn about saving seed from your current garden for next year’s or next season’s garden along with companion planting. We’ll also cover greenhouse design and how to do year-round gardening, so that you can get a food supply from your garden in all seasons.


  • Beginning Garment Sewing – This three day class builds on our Sewing 101-103 class. You’ll learn to make an elastic waist skirt. In this project, you’ll begin developing skills that you’ll be able to apply to other sewing projects. Next, you’ll learn hemming. We’ll teach you four ways to finish raw edges and four different hemming stitches.  Closures are next. You’ll learn how to insert both regular and invisible zippers, make button holes, sew on buttons, attach snaps, and use hooks and eyes. At the end of this class, you’ll have the skirt that you sewed, along with the pattern, a hemming sample book, a closures sample book, and step-by-step instructions for both hemming and closures.
  • Baby Jumper with Pantaloons – In this two day class you will further strengthen and develop your sewing skills.  You’ll make a baby jumper and matching pantaloons.  In making these projects, you will learn more about cutting out sewing projects, sewing a crotch seam, making a French seam, and other skills.
  • Paneled Skirt and Vest with a Collar – In this three day class, you’ll learn simple ways to adjust patterns for proper fit, how to make a one piece collar, and how to insert an invisible zipper. You’ll also learn about facing, understitching, and darts.  At the end of the class, you’ll take home your completed skirt and vest, along with the patterns and well-illustrated instructions.


  • Baby quiltBaby Quilt – In this two day class, you’ll learn the basic quilt making skills of fabric selection, rotary cutting, chain sewing, piecing squares, adding borders, laying-up, hand quilting, and making and applying a binding as you begin making a 36″ x 36″ baby quilt.  You will cut out, piece, and lay up your quilt in the class, and we’ll teach you hand quilting and binding, so that you can complete your quilt at home.
  • Table Runner – This one day class is a nice introduction to quiltmaking on a small project.  You’ll learn several quilt making skills, including fabric selection and rotary cutting as you sew an 11 1/2″ x 38 1/2″ table runner. In the class, you will cut out, piece, and lay up the table runner, and you will learn all the skills needed in order for you to complete the project at home.


We are offering three new half-day crocheting classes that will you teach you the basics of crochet along with the three primary crochet stitches. After completing these three classes, you’ll know how to follow any basic crochet pattern.

  • Crocheting 101 – This class is an introduction to crocheting. Learn single crochet then use this stitch to make a potholder, beginning the project with a chain stitch and completing it with a whipstitch.
  • Crocheting 102 – Further your skills as you learn half-double crochet to crochet a cotton dishcloth.  In addition, you will learn to read and follow a crochet pattern.
  • Crocheting 103 – Learn double crochet and make a baby hat using this stitch. In this workshop, you’ll also learn how to increase stitches, check gauge, and make a pompom (for the top of the hat).


  • Pottery Basics – This three day workshop is a great introduction to the art and craft of making pots on the potter’s wheel. You will learn to make a cylinder and a bowl first. Then we will teach you some simple shaping techniques and ways to make handles.

Rigid Heddle Weaving

In this series of classes, you will learn a variety of skills and patterns that you can then use as you weave attractive scarves and other projects, such as shawls, cushions, towels, and fabric.

  • Buffalo Check Scarf – In this class, you’ll be weaving a two-color buffalo check scarf and finishing it with an overcast stitch. The scarf will be made of merino wool/tencel yarn.
  • Houndstooth Scarf – You’ll use two shuttles to weave a traditional houndstooth patterned scarf made of merino wool/tencel yarn.  We will also demonstrate fringe twisting.
  • Brooks Bouquet Scarf – In this class, you’ll learn how to make a beautiful Brooks Bouquet lace pattern scarf (Brooks Bouquet is a finishing technique that can be used to weave lace). You’ll be weaving the scarf from cotton/bamboo yarn.
  • Chenille Scarf – The project for this class is a variegated scarf woven from rayon chenille. Chenille makes a soft, attractive fabric that drapes well.  Weaving with chenille requires proper techniques, which we’ll teach you in the class.
  • Pick up Stick Scarf – The pick-up stick is a tool that you can use to manipulate the threads to make complex patterns on your rigid heddle loom. We’ll teach you how to use the pick-up stick, then you’ll weave a scarf using your new skills.  You can use one of three finishing techniques to start and complete the scarf. For this project, you will use pima cotton/modal/silk yarn.
  • Spot Weave Lace Scarf – This class will further your skills with the pick-up stick, as you learn to use two pick-up sticks to weave a scarf using a 5-thread lace (spot weave) design from baby alpaca and silk yarn.

You can also learn to weave a dish towel on your rigid heddle loom:

  • Cotton Bouclé Dish Towel – In this class, you will weave a multi-colored, striped, cotton dishtowel using a slub yarn for the weft.  You’ll learn how to hemstitch both ends of the towel. Hemstitching is a skill that will be useful to you in other types of projects.