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  • 21 Mar 2023 11:57 AM | Susette Shiver (Administrator)

    The Spinning Study group of Local Cloth meets once per month to congregate, share spinning projects and a variety of fiber preparation and spinning techniques. 

    This past Sunday afternoon the topic was how to diz.  I learned to spin during the 2020 pandemic with a couple of lessons to get me started. Since I was out-of-commission for a year I have missed many wonderful spinning study group sessions.  This particular diz event is my first time back in person at the Local Cloth studio with the group.  It seems everyone was interested as there was quite a crowd.  Most did not have much experience with the use of a diz to make roving, but several who did shared their knowledge and equipment.  We explored with hands on the  results from using a diz to make roving from blended fibers generated with a blending board, hackle, or a drum carder.  Sally Thomas showed us how to make diz directly from combed fiber still attached to the comb (Fig 1-3) . 

    Time out!

    What is a diz?  This link takes you to a Spin Off article with lots of information on the diz and what is used for.  Even more information on the design of dizzes and the outcome of using one that impacts the type and thickness of the yarn that is spun is found at this link.

    Fig. 1. An example of a diz and a button that could be used as a diz.


    What is a hackle? A quick search found these interesting links, from Majacraft, a maker of spinning tools, and from Spin Off and one on blending colors using a hackle.  I have so much reading to do.  But, we just jumped in and everyone tried several approaches.

    Fig. 2. A hackle for blending fiber.

    What is a blending board?  Here is a YouTube movie from Ashford illustrating blending different colors or types of fibers using the blending board.  Of course Spin Off magazine has an excellent article on generating rolags for spinning yarn using a blending board. We used the diz to create roving instead of rolags.

    What is a drum carder? Here are some photos of various drum carders.  Drum carders can be manual crank or electric, you apply fiber at one end and a small drum aids loading of the fibers onto a larger drum. The action of the drum blends and aligns the fibers.

    Judi Jetson chose Corriedale locks and aligned them blunt cut end to tip end.  Then Sally Thomas demonstrated loading locks onto the comb and combed locks using two combs to transfer fiber back and forth. This eventually resulted in neatly combed fiber (see below).  

    Next, Sally used the diz to pull fiber from the comb. Sally has a wonderful small kit of dizzes in different colors with tiny to larger holes. 

    Fig. 3. Judi Jetson sorting locks blunt cut end to tip for loading comb; first lock placed on comb blunt end to back of comb, tip in left hand.


     Fig 4. Combing the fiber, and locking down the fiber-loaded comb to the table.


    Fig. 5. To start dizzing, a crochet hook is used to pull fiber through the hole; just starting to pull fibers through hole; a later stage when dizzing is nearly complete.


    Fig. 6. A fine roving that is easy to spin is the result.

    I blended off-white Shetland wool with small amounts of various colors i wool on a small drum carder.  Then I used a washer (found in a tool box) to diz roving off of the drum carder. The Shetland I had purchased locally from Hidaway Farms Shetlands & Icelandics, Hendersonville, NC. 

    Fig. 7. Shetland roving; blended fiber from drum carder  which was dizzed straight from the drum carder; spinning the fiber; yarn spun and plyed using the chain ply technique.


    Fig. 8.  The spinning study group in action.



    Photos by Susette Shiver and Kathleen Lewis

  • 21 Mar 2023 11:53 AM | Susette Shiver (Administrator)

    Vendor Spotlight:
    Betty Hilton-Nash, BHN Designs

    Since Betty was 8 years old and her mother taught her how to sew, she has been a textile person. In addition to being a tapestry weaver for the past 30 years, one of her textile explorations involves dyeing silk, rayon and bamboo scarves and rayon tunics.

    She has always been fascinated with color, its effect on the eye and the emotions. She starts with a white scarf and adds color randomly, and with intent, using Shibori resist techniques. She loves the spontaneity of the process. She works intuitively, reacting to the first color applied in deciding what color to apply next. She has recently added rayon tunics, which she dyes using a 3-color immersion process, employing block resist or banded resist Shibori techniques for a decorative element. She uses primarily fiber reactive dyes along with indigo.

    A scarf is the perfect size canvas on which to record a creative moment. It forces the artist to put their first and best effort on the fabric. The scarf allows the wearer to express their creativity in pairing with an outfit as well as experiencing the luxury of fine fabrics next to their skin. She has been pairing these scarves with the new tunic line to achieve a complete look for the buyer.

    Betty sells silk scarves, rayon tunics and skirts, bamboo socks and small tapestries in the shop.

    Image above: Betty Hilton-Nash

  • 08 Feb 2023 11:26 AM | Susette Shiver (Administrator)

    Jim "Bo" and Martha Branden, Weaverville, NC
    Members since 2021 and 2019, respectively

    Martha and Bo Branden are an easy-going couple with a playful spirit whom you may have already met at Local Cloth activities. Last month I had a chance to get on a zoom with Martha and Bo, members of Local Cloth since 2019. They joined after they relocated from Charlotte to a beautiful home in Weaverville. There they indulge in the glorious sunrises and dramatic sunsets over the French Broad River valley and the mountains to the north. “I want to know I’m in the mountains,” said Bo to describe their motivation for their uniquely placed home. 

    Their home, designed by Bo, is the center for the couple’s on-going stream of creativity and design. The upstairs holds Martha’s studio with a specially designed closet for storage of her stash. Can we really call it a closet? It is floor to ceiling with the ultimate in custom-designed shelves to organize all of Martha’s fiber needs – yes, it was designed by Bo.

    Martha is a self-taught fiber enthusiast, with the exception of weaving. She enjoyed a class at John C. Campbell learning to weave “a scarf in a weekend”. This was just after she retired from her job as a paramedic. Martha commented that if she found a few moments while on duty as a paramedic, working a few stitches helped manage the pressures of the job. She searched out Local Cloth when they moved to Weaverville, seeking that fiber community connection in her new world of western NC. Since she was a young girl, Martha has always had her hands involved in some craft. Her aunt taught her to knit, and while in high school, Martha and her cousin supported each other as they knit their first sweaters. 

    Downstairs, visitors are laughingly greeted into Bo’s workshop with his welcome “by authorized admission only”. It’s his space for making ‘man glitter’.  “I make sawdust to see what’s inside.” He defines Martha’s knitting as “…beating two sticks in the air until something falls off!”  He like the pure enjoyment of the challenge to do something different: candle holders, French rolling pins, cubed wooden boxes…, plus every style shuttle or other needle workers’ tools that Martha can suggest. For Bo the possibilities are unlimited.

    The couple collaborates on items such as the wooden bow ties that Jim creates; Martha sews the middle loop and neck band.  Bo has a lathe and makes most of the square and wood rounds including wooden beads that Martha uses in her jewelry designs that combines seed beads and other gemstones.  The couple helped with skirting fleeces last summer which were part of the production for the Blue Ridge Blanket project. You can find Bo volunteering in the retail store where his wooden shuttles and other tools are sold.

    It’s been a love affair ever since. Last question, who changes the light bulbs in the house?

    Answer: whoever finds it first!

    Interview by Colleen Troy. 

  • 31 Jan 2023 10:35 AM | Susette Shiver (Administrator)


    Caroline Williford, with the support of Judi Jetson, has been working hard to display and promote the blankets locally and in surrounding areas of WNC.  Voting for favorite blankets is an important part of these displays as it gives insight into which blankets should be part of larger production runs.  

    Marketing coupled with well-placed displays will establish wholesale and retail interest in blanket sales.  It will also instill a desire to buy in individuals who pass by.  A combination of the attraction of beautiful craftsmanship, the desire to acquire local, handmade products, and the motivation to support local fiber farmers, dyers, weavers and small mills will drive sales of Blue Ridge Blankets. These factors have already worked on me and others at Local Cloth.  All of us are anxious to buy blankets for home.  At some point, probably after other blankets are produced, the display blankets may be auctioned to raise money for further development of the Blue Ridge Blanket project.


    • Blankets with voting from Autumn 2022 at the Local Cloth studio, 408 Depot St., Asheville, NC. Now that the blankets have moved to other sites, the Blue Ridge Blanket display at the LC studio has been changed.  Please come on down and take a look; browse and shop while you are there.

    • The Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands on October 13-16, 2022, and Blue Ridge blankets & Craft Corner at the Southeastern Animal Fiber Festival (SAFF) Oct 21-23, 2022, with voting.

    • I-26 West NC Welcome Center Blanket Display is now open and will be on display for 6 months (Jan-Jun, 2023).  Directions from Asheville: North on I-26, exit at Wolf Laurel, come back south toward Weaverville and the Welcome Center is on the right. 

    • Opening Jan 26, 2023,two blankets will be on display at the Ramsey Center for Appalachian Studies at Mars Hill University as part of a larger show.  

    • February 17-19, 2023, the Blue Ridge Blankets will be on display at the Grovewood Gallery during the Arts + Crafts Conference. Following the conference, a few of the blankets will remain on display at the gallery.

    Yarn ready to be shipped from the Green Mountain Spinnery. 

    I-26 West NC Welcome Center Blanket Display

    Ramsey Center for Appalachian Studies at Mars Hill University


    In order to scale up production of the blankets and get the process out of the hands of volunteers and into the hands of small businesses as the process is developed, LC obtained estimates from dyers to dye the processed yarn. Melanie Wilder, of Warren Wilson College, has been selected as the lead dyer.  Once the first batch of yarn is dyed it will be shipped to Peggy Hart of Bedfellows Blankets who will be doing the weaving of the first full production run of blankets.  The second round of yarn will be dyed later in the spring, and the weaving completed by independent weavers in our Fibershed.


    A microgrant, recently obtained from Fibershed provides funds for a secondary project:  Blue Ridge Blankets: Mapping and Expanding Value Added Opportunities for Fiber Animal Farmers in WNC.  With this project, we will create an updated map and database of fiber farmers and fiber processors in our region, bring fiber farmers together to discuss their assets and identify challenges to developing a more robust entrepreneurial environment, and create systems, based on our findings, to support fiber farmers in expanding value-added operations on their farms, and as a result, reinvigorate our region’s fiber economy.  We will hold three meetings with Farmers in late February / early March, in three different regions of our fibershed.  Stay tuned for details.

  • 10 Jan 2023 9:44 AM | Susette Shiver (Administrator)

    Sharon Burns, Whittier, NC 
    Member since October 2021

    What is the lineage of your craft?

    My mother could barely sew on a button. When I was 12 or 13 years old I fell in love with textiles, took a sewing class in high school, a quilting workshop in college, and haven’t stopped since. I’ve been quilting with hand appliqué for 30 years. 

    When I worked, I’d wake up with all kinds of ideas for quilts, but never had time to commit. I’m recently retired and committed to 2-3 hours a day to my craft and find myself shifting into an art quilting phase.

    Where do you draw inspiration from?

    I love architecture and am considering a zip code/social justice series based on the idea that the zip code where you grow up can determine your life-long economic status. (I’m an economist by training)

    I have a book of Holy Cards by my bed and although I’m not aligned to a particular religion, the author highlights people who were thought to have lived saintly lives. I wonder how I might portray that in my art? For instance, I’m working on a whimsical piece, using very bright colors, of a friend who wears a halo of dominoes (she is the champ of dominoes in my circle).

    I believe in the saintliness of nature!

    What new techniques are you in search of? 

    I work mostly with commercial fabric, and probably won’t get into printing my own fabric for time considerations but this technique sounds fun. I’m currently learning about edge piecing and portrait work in art quilting. 

    What’s the last artists’ date you took yourself on? 

    Going on a hike in the mountains, or paddling in the kayak, I always come home with a picture of “that would be cool” to portray; such as holes in the base of trees (not for keebler elves) as inspiration for a frame for a quilt. I visited Petra in Jordan a few years back and have kept the image in my mind of various entrances to tombs as a possible framing style for a quilt. 

    What is a recent food pleasure?

    I made an apple crisp, “gotta” have apples with a crunch, oatmeal crunch topping and added caramel sauce for that extra touch of sweetness.

    What does “handmade with love” mean to you?

    It’s not just what I portray, or what I want to create, rather, I put thought into what the recipient would appreciate even more than what I like.

    Here is the full writeup by interviewer Colleen Troy.

  • 08 Dec 2022 4:44 PM | Susette Shiver (Administrator)

    New!  Vendor spotlights are coming in the mid-month LC Newsletter by email in which a condensed version of an interview appears.  

    Here is the full writeup by interviewer Colleen Troy.

    Betsy Skinner, South Asheville

    Local Cloth Retail Store Volunteer Coordinator

    Seller with Local Cloth




    What’s the lineage of your craft?

    I’ve always been interested in fiber in some manner. I learned to sew at a very young age. My family was poor and we couldn’t afford to buy clothes, so I learned to sew my own clothes (with my mothers’ tutelage). Sewing felt more like I “had to.”

    Twenty or so years ago I became interested in knitting; then I got into spinning. My sister spun wool and she also raised sheep and encouraged me to spin. 

    (Betsy laughs exuberantly) “I love wool; being surrounded by all the textures and color of wool.” 

    How did you find Local Cloth?

    When I retired I turned my attention to taking spinning and felting (wet, nuno, needle felting) and eco-printing classes. I love learning something new. I'm a craft dabbler and not an expert. I enjoy the process of learning how to do things just as much as the finished project. 

    Before I moved here 3 years ago from California, I took a beginning fiddle class at John C Campbell folk school and returned for a few other classes. I drove through Asheville and fell in love with the place; the vibrant arts and craft environment, along with the music and natural scenery. I’ve never lived east of the Mississippi; and swore I’d never live in the south.

    I had been caring for my Mom and when she passed away, I asked myself what do I want to do next? Impulsively I decided to move to Asheville and joined the vibrant Local Cloth fiber community here.  

    Where do you draw inspiration from?

    From all the artists at Local Cloth and their creative endeavors. I look around the store and say “I could do that” and “yeah I want to try that”.  I didn’t get many Christmas gifts made so I shopped for my gifts at the Local Cloth shop.

    Do you have a studio at home? 

    I have a great place in the country with plenty of room and space to work; a studio in a spare bedroom and a basement where I do felting and dyeing. I’m surrounded by wool — bins and more bins. Every time I go to SAFF, I can’t resist (more exuberant laughter!)

    Next project for you?

    I just finished a vest with eco-printing on wool and sewed a lining in it. Now I’ll work on the various items I see at Local Cloth.

    In the shop I offer knitted and then felted hats, wet felted hats with needle felted birds, wet felted baby booties, and wet felted dryer balls. I have sold my fiber items before at various craft markets. I enjoy having other people enjoy my items enough to buy them, but I am not really into being in production mode.

    What’s so special about crafting local that you want others to know about??

    I love using local yarns and roving as much as I can to support the farmers; getting to know those who raise the animals is special. I love the idea we are supporting the local community within the WNC fibershed. Back in California I took some workshops with Rebecca Burgess, the leader in the community organized fibershed movement. It’s so important for an artist to continue to make their art; make a living and become known while using locally sourced materials. 

    Do you have a “next destination” you wish to explore? 

    The North Carolina coast. I haven’t seen much of NC because of the pandemic. In spring of 2020, I committed to explore NC but then everything shut down. I especially want to visit all the waterfalls.

    Interview by Colleen Troy

  • 17 Oct 2022 11:26 AM | Susette Shiver (Administrator)

    Voting on Blue Ridge Blend and Shetland wool blankets will continue at future venues, most importantly next week end at SAFF (Southeastern Animal Fiber Festival).  If you haven't voted on your favorite 3 blankets, go to SAFF, check out the Local Cloth Booth and activities, and look at and touch the blankets!  Grab a ballot.  The more voting, the more LC can target future blanket production to capture the local blanket market!!  Sheep to product, locally.  

    So many volunteers and local resources have made this possible.  The project officially began with a  Natural and Cultural Resources grant from the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina (funding Oct1, 2021-Dec 30, 2022). Further details on the start and progress on the Blue Ridge Blanket Project can be found  at Blue Ridge Blankets and in previous blogposts:

    A Shetland on Julie Wilson's Jehovah Raah Farm in Fines Creek, NC whose fleece is in some of the samples, and the blanket is one of the samples woven at Warren Wilson College

    Thanks to the volunteers who have worked so hard this year in so many roles!!

    Who did I miss?  Send me corrections or if you would like to get in touch with any of these players! What did they do? They did many things, from skirting the fleeces, to dyeing the yarn post mill processing, designing the weave patterns and colors, weaving, carting things to and fro, organizing, planning, interfacing with farmers and mills, adjusting to delays in processing, phone calls and more phone calls and emails.  

    Name Affiliation

    Ann Hord Heatherly


    Anthony Cole


    Beth Sellars


    Bo/Martha Branden


    Caroline Williford


    Chad Alice Hagen


    Debbi and Craig


    Denise Acuri

    Dyer / Leadership

    Donna Edwards


    Donna Trunk

    Elizabeth Bell


    Erin Greene


    Gina Wicker


    Heather K Powers


    Joan Berner

    JoAnn Stanley

    Dyer / Leadership

    Josephine Brewer


    Joyce Tromba

    Dyer / Leadership

    Judi Jetson


    Julie Wilson


    Kristin Artz


    Mamie Fain


    Marcia Kummerle


    Marilyn Haas


    Mary Bell


    Mary Euler


    Melanie Wilder


    Natalie Gerardot


    Paula Entin

    Peggy Newell


    Rachel Haas


    Rose Brinkmann

    Ruth Ann Goss

    Farmer / Mill

    Sebette Hamill


    Sharon and Seth Dubuc


    Starr Cash


    Susan Proctor

    Farmer / Leadership

    Susette Shiver


    Terri Godleski


    Tina LaCroix

    Trey Warner


    Trish Golay


    A photo gallery of volunteers working and the products follows.

  • 24 Sep 2022 11:24 AM | Susette Shiver (Administrator)

    Many local fiber folks have been involved in the Blue Ridge Blanket Project, providing hands-on, organizational, and teaching contributions.  Now we invite everyone in the community to participate in the first round of blanket popularity contests.

    Come down to Local Cloth, touch, and see the new blankets.  Then, vote on your three favorite Blue Ridge Blankets!  You don't have to be a member of Local Cloth. The voting will determine which designs and colors we put into production in 2023.

    The first series of samples woven from the Blue Ridge Mountain Blend (wool, mohair, alpaca blend) has been dyed using natural dyes, the design weaves generated, and the samples woven  (see previous BRBP blogs). They are now on display at Local Cloth, 408 Depot St. Asheville, NC.  Come in the door and continue towards the back and you will see them on the right.

    You will also get a sneak peak at the second wave of sample blankets woven from Shetland wool, although these are not included in the first voting sessions for the best Blue Ridge Blend blankets.

    To decide which colors and design weaves should move forward into projection next year, the blankets from the first test blankets (Blue Ridge Blend fiber) are on display with area appropriate names (you'll see!).  

    Please come on down and vote!  This is the ballot that you will find:

    This is the table on which they sit:

    There is also a bag into which your finished ballot can be placed:

    Our next phase is to take the sample blankets "on the road," with more voting.  If you can suggest venues for display, contact Here are some events for display that have been lined up so far:

    • October 13-16 at the Southern Highlands Craft Guild Fall Fair (probably a selection - not all of them)
    • October 21-23 at the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair (SAFF)
    • December  2022 & January 2023 at the I-26 welcome center located north of Mars Hill
    • February 16 - 20, 2023 at the Grovewood Gallery - in conjunction with the National Arts & Crafts conference

    Below is a picture gallery of a some of the blankets:



    Black Mountain



    Mills River

    #localclothinc #BlueRidgeBlanketProject #fiberfarmer #spinning #weaving

  • 25 Jun 2022 1:55 PM | Susette Shiver (Administrator)

    Here is the latest on the Blue Ridge Blanket Project.

    New Stuff:

    1. Wool has been obtained from Black Thorn Farm & Kitchen in Sandy Mush. These farmers maintain a herd of about 124 sheep, mostly for meat. They are a mix of Tunis, Finn, Texel, and Southdown.  100 lbs. of fiber including wool, alpaca and mohair (for blending) will be delivered to The Green Mountain Spinnery after volunteers finish skirting and cleaning up the fiber.  I brought home a small amount of the wool from the farm to card and spin as a knitting sample.  I will add photos in the next blogpost!

    2. 50 lbs of Shetland was delivered to Two Roots Alpaca and Fiber Mill some time ago for processing into yarn.  The finish date has been pushed back now to mid or late July this year, 2022. 

    Above: Two Roots Alpaca and Fiber Farm / Photo by Caroline Williford

    Because of various unaccountable delays in processing the fiber, it looks like our one year of development will stretch into the second year.  Thus, our timeline for development and marketing the product in time for Christmas retail is unrealistic.  After fiber is processed into yarn (at uncertain time frames, the earliest being Feb 2023), the samples will also require 3 months for natural dyeing and 3 months for weaving to be finished.  Christmas 2023 is our new target!

    This new timeline generated a considerable amount of discussion at our leadership team meeting this month. In the meantime, we will continue to identify retail locations to market our finished products.  We are living and learning and still working hard.    

    Above: Josephine and Tina skirting wool just behind the Local Cloth studio.  In the background Judi and Beth recently painted a nice, sheep-filled hills with blue sky background to dress up the mostly concrete covered space.  Photo by Judi Jetson.


    To catch you up, here are thlinks to previous blogposts about the 1st phase of our project. 

    And, links to blogposts from the Spinning Interest  and Natural Dye Interest groups that are directly relevant to this project.  

    June 21st we had a Leadership Team meeting. For those who do not know, this consists of the elected board members plus a few others.  Each month we receive an update from Caroline Williford.  She also oversees the Blue Ridge Blanket Project website page

    It would be worthwhile to make a list of the various wools that have been collected and to say that Local Cloth is always on the alert from local farmers who could provide skirted, fine wool with staple about 3-3.5" long and containing some crimp.  

    1. Blue Ridge Mountains Blend #1, 

    • 30% Montadale, 25% Shetland, 25% Alpaca, 20% Mohair from local fiber farmers
    • Yarn was spun at Two Roots Alpaca and Fiber Mill and dyed by our Natural Dye Interest Group at Local Cloth
    • Will be woven by students at Warren Wilson College (Heather K.  Powers on-line weaving workshop and Melanie Wilder involved)

    Photos above (by Caroline Williford):

    Top, Melanie Wilder and Eileen Hallman at a Weaving Design workshop

    Bottom, Melanie and a participant examining "cakes" (wound yarn) and bobbins of the naturally dyed wool.

    See recent Newsletter for more detail.

    Above: Weaving/photo of Naturally Dyed Blue Ridge Blend #1 by Melanie Wilder

    Above: Weaving/photo of Naturally Dyed Blue Ridge Blend #1 by Miles, WWC student

    Above: Weaving/photo of Naturally Dyed Blue Ridge Blend #1 by Miles, WWC student.

    2. Shetland from local farmers

    • Yarn will be spun at Two Roots Alpaca and Fiber Mill (possibly by end of July 2022
    • Will be dyed by Natural Dye Interest Group
    • Will be woven by Haywood Community College students who attended a weaving design workshop at Local Cloth.

    3. Polled Dorset 

    • Waiting for samples of dorset/bamboo blend yarn from Echoview Fiber Mill.   NOTE: Sad news, Echoview Fiber Mill just announced it will be closing (6/29/22).
    • Perhaps sock yarn and Natural Dye Interest Group to dye it.

    4. Rescued Cotswold X Tunis

    • Volunteers are skirting fleece in Mills River.  
    • This pretty Cotswold X Tunis herd was stored in a barn for years, and we rescued it from the landfill.
    • Will explore best uses.

    5. Wool from Black Thorn Farm & Kitchen will be delivered to  The Green Mountain Spinnery after skirting is finished.

    6.  Gathering more mohair, alpaca and fine wool from farms across the region, including those in Barnardsville, Leicester, Tryon, Mills River, Vale, and Rutherfordton

  • 11 Jun 2022 3:02 PM | Susette Shiver (Administrator)

    Today's blog really is a gathering of information from various sources including:

    • Judi Jetson, President of Local Cloth; 
    • Local Cloth Instagram; 
    • Local Cloth Newsletter (Caroline Williford, Editor)
    • and various emails and impromptu discussions.  

    First and foremost, the Blue Ridge Blanket Project (BRBP) is not a one-off project!

    The goal is that it will become self-supporting after a couple of years so that the seed money we received from WNC Community Foundation is an investment in the production of blankets from local fiber. Forever.

    This first year is our research & development year (2021-2022).

    To catch you up, here is a link to a blogpost about the 1st phase of our project. 

    Updates from March to present:

    • Our first batch of samples (a blend of fine wool, mohair, and alpaca, Blue Ridge Mountain Blend) is now being woven into blankets at Warren Wilson College. The yarn was spun at Two Roots Alpaca and Fiber Mill and dyed by our Natural Dye Interest Group at Local Cloth. The weaving students attended an online design workshop taught by Heather K. Powers, who used to be a blanket designer for Churchill Weavers and is a grad of the MA in Craft program at Warren Wilson. Weaver Melanie Wilder has been intimately involved.
    • We're waiting for the wool for the 2nd batch of samples (Shetland) to arrive from the Two Roots Mill. It will be in 4 natural colors. Samples will be woven by Haywood Community College students, who also attended the design workshop.
    • We are also waiting for samples of a Dorset-bamboo blend of yarn from Echoview (3rd batch of samples). The wool was donated by Anthony Cole. The idea here is to see if we can use wool from meat sheep, and I've learned (from leaders of other fibersheds in MD & PA) that it makes good blankets & socks. We're going to find someone to spin sock yarn, and then will probably dye it. See blog from the Spinning Interest Group session when we were skirting and spinning Dorset and Blue Ridge Mountain Blend fibers.
    • We are buying fine wool, mohair and alpaca right now for a larger production run & will use out-of-state mills to weave these because local mills have a 1-year backup and we're hoping to have blankets to sell this coming winter. Fiber must be between 3-1/2 and 5 inches long and skirted. If you know anyone who would like to participate, please have them contact Judi Jetson or Caroline Williford.
    • Skirting fleece in Mills River April 27, 2022 for use in our Blue Ridge Blanket project. This pretty Cotswold X Tunis herd was stored in a barn for years, and we rescued it from the landfill.

    • We are in the final stages of gathering fiber for our next run of blankets.  Pictured here at Good Fibrations with Marcia Kummerle, one of her lovely goats, and Judi running mohair through a tumbler.  We are gathering mohair, alpaca and fine wool from farms across the region, including Barnardsville, Leicester, Tryon, Mills River, Vale and Rutherfordton.

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