Happy Knitting Season Everyone!
It’s been a little bit since I’ve written because I’ve been overwhelmed with local fibre, sustainable textile, ethical fashion and handmade joy. Let me fill you in on all that I’ve been up to…
The Panama Project
This summer a tweeter gave me the heads up that the Zoo had just had their llamas sheared. I rushed over to the Zoo, dragging a friend with me, thinking “Fibre! What will they do with the fibre?!” I met Sonya the Zookeeper, Panama the Llama and friends, came home with 2 llama fleeces and one great idea.
Using the expertise of Guild members, we will clean, card, spin, weave and knit Panama into wearable art - handmade hats, mitts, scarves, headbands, fingerless gloves and handspun skeins for everyone who wants to do the knitting part themselves. The Zoo gets some seriously local products to sell as a fundraiser and in return for their labour, Guild members get to keep half the fibre for their own projects.
Highlight of the Project: Watching Guild members collaborate and incorporate the skills of spinners, weavers and knitters into a single project. Creativity abounds!
It’s hard to believe that this event started off in a drafty barn with 20 odd vendors and big sense of possibly. On Saturday, October 17th I made my way to Woodstock, Ontario to find a huge crowd with loads of vendors: fleece, fibre, tools, yarn and of course wheels! I hung out with my favourite spinning wheel fixer-uper, Reed Needles The Wheelwright, giving drop spindle tutorials and generally working on introducing many visitors to their new favourite obsession - handspinning.
Highlight of the Day: Meeting the Shepherdess of Southbrook Vinyards, Canada’s First Biodynamic and Organic Winery, who looks after the Sheep in the Vinyard project. Wine + Sheep + Fibre = A Little Slice of Heaven.
The World Ethical Apparel Roundtable is a gathering of industry insiders, thinkers, writers, designers and makers exploring how to develop a strong ethical and eco-concious fashion industry. Hosted by Fashion Takes Action, a Toronto-based non-profit that works to educate on ethical fashion issues and connect those working in the field, WEAR2015 was aptly located at Evergreen Brickworks. The 2-day conference was a fascinating blend of panel discussions (Sustainable Textiles!), key-note speakers (Andrew Morgan, Director of The True Cost) and connection-building (Hi Cynthia of Inspiroue!). I’m already looking forward to WEAR2016.
Highlight of the Day: Meeting Kate Black, author of the blog and book Magnifeco, and swooning just a little as she signed my book and seemed genuinely interested in my local projects. Sigh…
These are just a few of the fabulous things moving through my world right now.
New and exciting local fibre projects and ecofashion adventures are on the horizon.
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