One of my ongoing projects is to bring together information that would be handy for those who spin fiber, as well as knit and weave. As a newish spinner, I considered that a list of local fiber farmers would be handy for us all in Local Cloth. Although many farmers attend the yearly Fiber Farmer Day to sell their fiber, I wanted to know where to obtain fiber (fleece, dyed or un-dyed bats and combed top) and to know my choices of fibers that local farmers produce during the year. And, I wanted accurate information so that I could buy not just fiber to spin, but fiber about which I knew the details and that was produced locally. I want to know the sheep breed that produced it and whether it is pure or a blended fiber.
My awareness of fiber farmers in the area began with meeting a fiber farmer in our Virtual-Handwork Circle that I host and blog about on this site at Local Cloth. FYI, spinning is a prized handwork activity in our group as well as knitting, doll making, and needle felting.
I found that Local Cloth is currently hosting a Spinners Study Group to evaluate fibers from local farms. This group meets monthly, virtually at present. Judi Jetson, the leader, mails samples to those that register prior to the date so that we can prepare and then spin and discuss each of four samples during the meeting. Of course I immediately joined the group. For me, being around these spinners is wonderful source of information. We explore together the characteristics of different fibers. The spinners are generous with their time and willingness to share information. Elizabeth Strub, (middle row, left image) is a fiber farmer who attends this group so we get feedback from her expertise. Judi Jetson, the leader of the group and a long time spinner is top left in the image. Boo-Hoo Covid Blues, I wish we could meet in person.
Thus, I am collecting fiber resources for spinners beginning with a list of fiber farmers. This list was gleaned from the membership list at Local Cloth, those who included farming as an activity. I have eliminated a few that do not farm fiber animals (fruit farmers etc).
Upcoming fiber resource lists I hope to generate include
- sellers of fiber outside of farmer sources, such as dyed and undyed batts, roving and combed top in the area
- informal hand spinner contact information to promote networking possibilities and social spinning events
- events and educational opportunities for hand spinners
All of these activities, part of the mission of Local Cloth, are to promote a local farm-to-product pipeline economy and to support hobbyists in our area and further afield.
A fiber-promoting organization based in Asheville, NC whose Fibershed encompasses an area within 100 mile radius of Asheville.
RECENT EVENTS AT LOCAL FOR FIBER FARMERS
Fiber Feel Day Vendor list, A spinner’s paradise.
Fiber Farmers Day (Formerly Fiber Feel Day) 2020 list of participants (and see my personal blog entry on this event)
Members of Local Cloth with fiber farms include: (updated Jan 28, 2021)
A Fistful Of Felt
Angel Ridge Farm
Cherry Mountain Farm
Dry Creek Naturals
Jehovah Raah Farm,LLC
June Bug FarmHobbyKnob Farm
Last Penny Farm Alpacas
Love Handle Farm
Martha Owen Woolens
Mountain Meadow Farm
Out in Jupiter Farm
Princess Ridge Farm
SourWood Fiber Farm
Two Roots Alpacas and Two Roots Fiber Mill
Venezia Dream Farm
Windy Wool Windings
Wooly Ridge Farm
1/6/21, Susette Shiver
If I have missed anything relevant, contact me please! I will update this blog with any new information so that it can become a resource.