Saga Hill Designs

fine fibers & yarns – silk & silk blends
studio of artist/author W.J. Johnson

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My book “Yarn Works: How to spin, dye, and knit your own yarn” is available NOW!

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Saga Hill is an artist-owned business specializing in silk and other fine fibers and yarns in undyed form or hand-painted in the Saga Hill studio.

Saga Hill is also the source of Minnesota Series Dyes™ and the studio of artist/author W. J. Johnson.




If you have a venue in which you would like me to speak about my book, design process, fiber, spinning, dyeing, and/or knitting (particularly Swedish knitting tradition), please contact me.

• Flax & Silk Spinning Workshop and Book Signing at Carole's Country Knits at Rocking Horse Farm– Tuesday, June 7, 2016; 6:30–8:30 PM. Space is limited. Cost $20, preregistration is required. Call 320-252-2996 or visit for more information and to register.

• “Fiber Is To Dye For!” – Llama Magic Festival
• Guest Speaker “Behind the Scene – the Production of Yarn Works” – Minnesota Knitters' Guild
• Flax Processing Demo – Ingebretsen's Needlework Shop
• Flax Processing Demo – Gale Woods Farm
• “Silk: Dyeing and Spinning an Ancient Luxury the Modern Way!” – Mother Earth News Fair

• YarnOver (Annual Minnesota Knitters' Guild Conference)
• Shepherd's Harvest (Annual MN Sheep & Wool Festival)
• MidWest Weavers' Conference
• Mother Earth News Fair
• Spelmanstämma/Hemslöjden (Swedish Handwork – Needle, Hook, & Shuttle)
• The Bookcase (Wayzata, MN)
• Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival
• Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival
• Knit One (Pittsburgh, PA)
• New York Sheep and Wool Festival



April 23, 2016 – Yarnover sponsored by the MN Knitters' Guild. NEW LOCATION! Hopkins Junior High West, 3830 Baker Road, Minnetonka, MN 55305. Vendor hours: 9 AM – 5 PM.

May 14 & 15, 2016 – Shepherd's HarvestWashington County Fairgrounds, (find Saga Hill in Building B), Lake Elmo, MN. The largest annual fiber event of the year in Minnesota. Sat: 9 AM - 5 PM; Sun: 10 AM - 4 PM.

June 25, 2016 – Midsommar DagGammelgården Museum, Scandia, MN. This is an outdoor market with Nordic-themed and hand-dyed products and gifts but I can also bring any items from my Saga Hill shop so send your special requests to
Saturday, 10 AM–4 PM.

August 20, 2016 – Spelmannstamma (Immigrant Fiddle Festival)Gammelgården Museum, Scandia, MN. This will be another market with Nordic-themed and hand-dyed products and gifts but let me know if you want me to bring any items from my Saga Hill shop. Send your requests to
Saturday, 10 AM–4 PM.

November 5, 2016 – Fall Fiber FestivalEisenhower Community Center, 1001 Hwy 7, Hopkins, MN 55305. All local artists and producers! This is a wonderful time to support local micro businesses such as artists and small farms, get your winter project supplies, and finish some of your unique holiday shopping. Sat: 9 AM - 4 PM.

Other markets will be added as the year proceeds.


Gale Woods Farm…
(Gale Woods is an educational, working farm and a public park in the Minnesota/Twin Cities Three Rivers Park District. Click here to visit the Gale Woods website and register for one of the following classes. Classes include most materials but a shop discount is also offered to students during the day of the class.)

Cozy Cabled Cowl – Cable stitches add dimension and elegance to your knitted projects. Learn how to read and knit cable patterns while beginning to knit a winter-worthy neck cowl. Students must know how to knit and purl. Pattern and yarn are included. Saturday, January 23, 2016; 1–4 PM.

Sheepy Farm Mitts – knit from wool roving – Knit in the Icelandic style by working directly from wool roving—no spinning involved! One adult-sized mitten will be created in this workshop class. The pattern and enough roving for a pair of mittens are included in the cost. Saturday, February 27, 2016; 1–4 PM.

Beginning Spinning with a Drop Spindle – Learn the extremely portable method of spinning fiber with a drop spindle. Great class for beginners! Spindles that you may keep and class fiber are included. March 19, 2016; 1–4 PM.

NATURAL DYE AND SOCK WORKSHOP – “Dip Your Toes Into the Victorian Era”
Join the authors of "Yarn Works" and "Sock Architecture" for a day-long dive into history. Wendy J. Johnson (author of "Yarn Works: How to spin, dye, and knit your own yarn") will start in the morning with the methods and materials available in dye baths of the 1850s. Choose a provided 19th Century dyestuff to hand-dye a skein for a pair of adult-sized socks and learn past (and modern) natural dyeing techniques. Lara Neel (author of "Sock Architecture: Heels, toes, and techniques for knitting awesome socks" will pick up the ball in the afternoon with the history of sock knitting in the Victorian era and will walk you through methods for knitting socks that have been partially lost to history. As you knit a mini sock, Lara will show you techniques that are fast, fun, and fantastic—and can be used in any sock pattern you choose.  Saturday, April 2, 2016 – 9 AM–4 PM. Register by March 15, 2016 at the Three Rivers Park District/Gale Woods website or call Gale Woods at 763-694-2001.

Fiber Processing 101 (for spinners, felters, knitters, and fiber enthusiasts) – Skirt a fleece and learn how to wash and prepare it by teasing, carding, and combing for a multitude of fiber interests. Fiber is included. April 9, 2016; 1–4 PM.

Quick Modular Knitting Workshop – Modular knitting is an addictive knitting technique that begins with a single square and builds into an object or garment with few or no seams. A basic square will be taught, from which the student will develop their own project ideas to create fabric for potential gift items such as hot pads, dish towels, bags, and blankets. Students will work with the hand dyed Gale Woods Farm Rainbow yarns.
Skill Prerequisite: The student must know how to cast on, bind off, knit and purl. The project may be finished in class or at home.
One session class, 3 hours. October 22, 2016; Time TBA.

Creative Spinning for All Ages – an introduction to spinning fiber for both youth and adults
Feel the pull of the past while learning more about today's revived art of fiber spinning. Participants will learn the basics of fiber spinning while creating yarn with a drop spindle that can be used for gift ribbons and small gift items. Bring friends and/or family members, or just come on your own and have fun creating unique, imaginative yarn from Gale Woods Farm fiber!  One session class, 3 hours. October 29, 2016; Time TBA.

WINTER/SPRING 2017, at Gale Woods Farm…
Spinning Fiber Magic – a beginning spinning workshop

Experience the ancient magic of spinning fiber into yarn on a drop spindle and then try the more "modern" technique of spinning on a spinning wheel. Great opportunity to experience fiber spinning before diving into more in-depth classes! I will provide the fundamentals of fiber spinning while you learn how to spin with fiber from the Gale Woods Farm sheep. One session class, 3 hours. Winter 2017 – date and time TBA.

Try Twined Knitting (aka "Tvåändstickning") 
In this traditional knitting technique from Sweden, you work from both ends of a ball of yarn to create a sturdy knit fabric. I will teach you how to knit the unique twined stitch patterns and work with one or two colors of Gale Woods Farm yarn while knitting a small (approx. 4 x 4 inch) notions bag.
Skill Prerequisite: the student must have experience in knitting and purling in the round. The project may be finished in class or at home. One session class, 3 hours. Winter 2017 – date and time TBA.

Fiber Processing 101 (for spinners, felters, knitters, and fiber enthusiasts) – Skirt a fleece and learn how to wash and prepare it by teasing, carding, and combing for a multitude of fiber interests. Fiber is included. Spring 2017 – date and time TBA.

Ingebretsen's NeedleWork Shop…
(Ingebretsen's is a Nordic wares shop located at 1601 East Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55407. Click here to visit the Ingebretsen's website and register for upcoming classes.)

LovikkaProjectPhotoKnit a Traditional Swedish Lovikka Mitten or (new addition to class!) Fingerless Mitts – Learn how to knit mittens or fingerless mitts and apply embroidery while following the design traditions of Lovikka, Sweden. This popular 3–4 hour workshop will be held in the Spring of 2016, date and time TBA.

Carole's Country Knits at Rocking Horse Farm…
(25636 County Road 74, St. Cloud, Minnesota, 56301)

Image of Spinning WheelFlax & Silk Spinning Workshop
A hands on workshop for spinners to learn about silk and bast fibers and try spinning them (this is NOT a beginning class). One hour will be dedicated to each fiber. An opportunity to purchase unusual fibers from the Saga Hill pop up shop and a book signing of “YarnWorks” will be offered after the class.
Date & Time: Tuesday, June 7, 2016 – 6:30–8:30 PM.
Cost: $20, preregistration is required. Space is very limited!
Call 320-252-2996 or visit for more information and to register.

Classes are added to this list as they are created. If you're interested in any class shown above but can't attend on the scheduled date, please let me know. If you don't see a class that interests you, some of my previously taught classes include: Tvåändstickning (Swedish Twined Knitting); Vintage Lace Knitting; and Beginning Mitten Knitting, among others. If one of these suits your interest (or a class on another subject), please let me know. Advance interest helps establish future classes. I love teaching both the techniques and historical aspects of each knitting subject. When you take one of my classes, you will have a good time playing with yarn and fiber—and in the process, you will learn something more indepth about the subject than you may experience in the typical class.

Private classes. I also teach spinning and knitting privately to individuals or small groups. Please contact me by email for more info.


The “á la carte” Louët S10 Concept Spinning Wheel—the only wheel you will ever need!

Plus, NEW for 2016… the original S10 is back in production!
(The original S10 is a great wheel for beginning spinners who want a sturdy, basic wheel at a lower cost.)

Nearly all of our fiber, yarn, book/kit, and dye offerings are available through this online shop.

Current exceptions are…
At this time, the following items are ONLY offered at pop-up locations & by appointment at the Saga Hill Studio. See Saga Hill Market Dates (to the left) for market locations.

• Louët PRODUCTS (spinning wheels & other fiber arts tools from Louët)

I’ve used my exclusive Minnesota Series™ Dyes to hand-paint many of these items. Each piece is unique and a labor of love. Because they are hard to keep in stock, I currently only offer them at market events.
But to get a taste of these creations, here's an example of one of my hand-dyed and hand-painted scarves and wraps:

Photo of Green Silk Scarf
Go to Textiles & Garments page

And the hand-dyed yarns (colors vary according to available stock):

Photo of Green Silk Scarf
Go to Dyed Yarn page

Saga Hill is open for walk-in customers by appointment only. Call or contact us.

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Also find us on…
Ravelry logoRavelry: SagaHill

Twitter logoTwitter: WJJohnson@SagaHill

Instagram logo Instagram: @SagaHill

Wordpress logo Blog:

Solution Graphics

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Saga Hill logo© 2016, Saga Hill Designs,
a DBA of Points Of View Productions, Inc.
Go to Undyed Fiber page Go to Undyed Yarn page Go to Dyed Fiber page Go to MN Series Dyes page Go to Publications & Kits page Go to Dyed Yarn page