Saga Hill Designs

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

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Specializing in…


• BOOKS, PATTERNS, & KITS CREATED BY SAGA HILL – plus Loop & Purl Stash Blaster™ mini-looms (while supplies last)

Autographed copies of my book “Yarn Works: How to spin, dye, and knit your own yarn” are available here!

Go to the Saga Hill Facebook page Get the latest news from Saga Hill!


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 by email (see link below).

• “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

• Flax & Silk Spinning Presentation, Workshop, & Book Signing – Carole's Country Knits at Rocking Horse Farm

• North Star Farm Tour
• 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)
• Ingebretsen's Needlework Shop (Mpls, MN)
• Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival
• Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival
• Knit One (Pittsburgh, PA)
• New York Sheep and Wool Festival





May 11 – 12, 2019 – 2019 Shepherd's Harvest Festival
Washington 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. [$5 entrance fee]

September 6 – 8, 2019 – 2019 Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival Jefferson Fair Park, Jefferson, Wisconsin. This is the Midwest's premier sheep and wool festival. EXPANDED HOURS IN 2019! You will find Saga Hill in the Country Store East (booth 642) on Friday, 9 AM–6 PM; Saturday, 9 AM–6 PM; and Sunday, 9 AM–3:00 PM. [$8 daily fee/$15 weekend pass]

November 2, 2019 – 2019 Fall Fiber Festival Eisenhower Community Center, 1001 Hwy 7, Hopkins, MN 55305. All local artists and producers! Local brick and mortar yarn shops are generally unqualified to attend so this is a market where you'll find unique items! Support local micro businesses such as artists and small farms, get your winter project supplies, and finish some unique holiday shopping. Sat: 9 AM - 4 PM. [no entrance fee]

More markets are added as opportunities arise so check back often!


(Gale Woods is an educational, working farm and a public park in the Minnesota/Twin Cities Three Rivers Park District and is located at 7210 Cnty Rd 110, Mound, MN 55364. To register, call the farm at 763-694-2001 or the Three Rivers Park District Registration Desk at 763-559-6700.)

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. One session class. Saturday, March 23, 2019; 1 – 4 PM. See registration contacts above.

The WGM is a nationally-recognized organization for the arts of weaving, spinning, and dyeing. It is located in the headquarters of the Textile Center of Minnesota, 3000 University Avenue SE, Mpls, MN 55414. Click here to visit the WGM website and register for classes.

From Hankies to Bricks: A silk spinning workshop
We will discuss the origins of cultivated and wild silk and its processing into the many hand spinning preparations. Samples of all silk preparations will be shown and instruction presented on how they may be spun. Students will have ample time to try their hand at spinning cultivated and wild silks, as well as discover how to gain control of this, sometimes dauntingly, slippery fiber.
Sunday, April 28, 2019; 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Level: Advanced Beginner. A class to take after a beginning spinning class series or if you have enough spinning experience to successfully spin a single and ply with basic proficiency.
Register at the WGM website (see link above).


North House Folk School is situated on Minnesota's North Shore of Lake Superior at the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. It is a renown learning site, dedicated to teaching traditional northern crafts. North House Folk School, 500 W Hwy 61, Grand Marais, Minnesota 55604; 888-387-9762. Register for classes at:

Spinning Flax to Linen
Feel the presence of your ancestors as you experience spinning flax – one of the most ancient and elegant of all fibers. When spun, flax magically becomes the linen yarn we revere for exquisite weaving and knitting. I will discuss how flax and other bast fibers are grown and demonstrate the complex processing of the flax plant for hand spinning. You will try your hand at wheel spinning both line (long) and tow (short) fibers using a wet-spinning technique. I will also talk about my experience of growing, harvesting, and processing flax as well as share stories of my travels through Sweden to learn about their linen-making tradition. 
Tuition: $65 (early bird $55); Materials fee: $55
Saturday, May 18, 2019; 9 AM–1 PM. Register at North House Folk School (see web link above).

Knit a Traditional Swedish "Lovikka" Mitten
In this 4-hour workshop class you will learn how to knit a mitten in the Swedish Lovikka style. Lovikka is a town located near the Arctic Circle with a tradition of this style of knitting with embroidered embellishment around the cuff. This mitten is knit in the round on double-pointed needles using a single ply Swedish yarn and embroidered with yarn colors found in traditional Lovikka design (yarns provided by the instructor). The class will learn about the interesting history of the Lovikka knitting tradition and knit, embroider, and learn how to "full" (lightly felt) a mini version of the Lovikka mitten. (The mini mitten is a young child's size but the pattern provided will also include an adult-sized mitten that may be knit at home.)
Skill Level: Preferably some experience in knitting in the round with double-pointed needles.
Tuition: $50 (early bird $45); Materials fee (yarns only): $40
Sunday, May 19, 2019; 9 AM–1 PM. Register at North House Folk School (see web link above).

(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.)

Costume Cuffs/Wristwarmers in the Västergötland Tradition
Knit a pair of fine cuffs that I've designed with inspiration from a traditional pattern found within my family’s Swedish Västergötland province (located along the southwest coast of Sweden). In this one-session class, students will learn fine colorwork technique as it relates to a vintage pattern from the province, as well as how to incorporate beads into a picot edge. (The beadwork is optional.) The long-revered textile traditions of Västergötland will be discussed and examples of other work from this textile-rich region will be shown. These are elegant and warm cuffs! The pattern will include options for completing the cuffs at home as fingerless or fingered gloves, although the project may be finished as just cuffs.
Skill level: Preferably some experience in knitting in the round with double-pointed needles.
All supplies—except optional beads—may be purchased in the shop before the start of class. I will bring some beads for students to purchase but students may wish to find their own unique beads to match their chosen yarn prior to the class date. A list of supplies and suggested bead sources will be provided to students upon registration. We will be working exclusively with Rauma's Finnullgarn (sold in the shop). This is a one session, 4-hour class.
To be held in the fall of 2019. Registration will occur at Ingebretsen's (see web link above).

Viking Trails Cabled Cowl
In this one-session class, students will learn simple yet universal cable knitting techniques as they begin to knit a cowl that only appears quite intricate. Tips will be shared on how to read cable patterns and work them with ease. The connections between the Aran knitting traditions of cable work and the Viking influence will also be discussed.
Skill level: The student must know how to knit and purl.
A list of supplies will be provided to students upon registration and all supplies may be purchased in the shop before the start of class. We will be working exclusively with Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Wool yarn (sold in the shop). This is a one-session, 4-hour class.
To be held in the fall of 2019. Registration will occur at Ingebretsen's (see web link above).

Classes are added to this list as they are created & other venues may pop up. 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: Swedish Knitting Heritage classes, such as Lovikka Mitten Knitting; Tvåändstickning (Two-Ended/Twined Knitting); and Halland/Binge Knitting. Other knitting classes: Knit a Cozy Nordic Cabled Cowl: a beginning cable class; Vintage Lace Knitting; Beginning Knitting; Modular Knitting; Knitting Fair Isle Patterns; Beginning Mitten Knitting; among others. Spinning classes: Beginning Spinning with Spindle & Wheel, Spinning Short Fibers; Silk Spinning; Flax Spinning; Fiber Processing. If one of these sparks 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. You'll also have more interactive fun than is provided in an online course!

Private classes

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



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.

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:

Go to Textiles & Garments page

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

Go to Dyed Yarn page

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


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Saga Hill logo© 2019, 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