Author Archives: Becky Porlier

Pine Hollow Farm

Allison Brown became a farmer to raise animals mainly for fibre instead of meat. Her first Angora goats arrived at the farm in 1987 in the height of the export market boom. A friend lent her a spinning wheel for the winter, and she taught herself how to spin using her own mohair (it’s not recommended.)

The next year, an exceptional flock of imported purebred registered Rambouillet sheep were purchased. However, there were (and still are not) fibre mills locally that could handle the really fine wool. Undeterred, Allison began a breeding program crossing three purebred sheep – the result is the Norbouillet. (The third sheep breed is a farm secret!) Allison has breeding records dating back to 1988.

Allison’s highly sought after yarns and roving are processed at Wellington Fibres and are available by appointment at her form in Norwood Ontario, mail order, or if you’re lucky enough to be in the area, at a few local shows: Spin in October, in Cambellford and The Gathering in Port Hope in April. You can follow her on Facebook at Norbouillet Wool.

View from Tower field east

 

 


Producer News: Where to find Linc Farm @ Southbrook Products this Fall

merri-and-lambs

Linc Farm @ Southbrook  are offering many opportunities to find their beautiful, natural, local wool products this fall.

October 13 – Juliet will be presenting at the Georgetown Heritage Hand Weavers and Spinners Guild 

October 15 – Woodstock Fleece Festival (Look for freshly sheared lambs wool!)

Every Saturday after October 15th at the  St. Catherines Farmers Market

You can also find them online at http://www.lincfarm.com/wool

Products Available 

  • yarn
  • roving
  • sheepskins
  • plus lamb, lavender, honey and other seasonal produce

Producer News: UCFS Co-Founder’s local wool felted art accepted into juried shows this fall.

Producer Member and UCFS Co-Founder Jennifer Osborn  was accepted into two prestigious juried art shows recently with her felted work using UCFS wools. She is also being represented by the Main Market Collective, a new local arts initiative in Georgetown Ontario. Main Market Collective will be featuring Jennifer’s felted work, all of which is made from UCFS fibres, as well as upcycled and organic materials. Jennifer’s work focuses on using wools that are more suited to home decor and accessories. This enables her to use all the types of wool hers, and other’s flocks produce.

jo1

Jennifer’s piece “No going back #2 – Accepting the outcome” made from Shetland/Blue Faced Leicester wool from her own flock was accepted into Migration Canadian Contemporary Felt Exhibition at the Shatford Centre/Okanagan School of the Arts, for Canadian Felting Week. Located at 760 Main Street, Penticton, BC, from September 21 – October 16, 2016

jo3
“Chrysalis” was accepted into the 20th Anniversary Headwaters Arts Festival at the Alton Mill in Caledon that runs from September 16th to October 10th, 2016, at Alton Mill Arts Centre, 1402 Queen Street, Suite 100, Alton Village, Caledon, ON.

josborn_chrysalis_03


Upper Canada Fibreshed’ers at TWIST

Written by: Sarah Jean Harrison

Fibre festival season is quickly approaching. As the summer winds down and we all start thinking about cooler temperatures and cosy fibres our minds collectively turn to the fun and excitement of fibre festivals. These festivals are a wonderful way to discover local fibre producers, connect with farmers, discover makers and artisans and generally strengthen our fibreshed community.

Last weekend a few of our members made the trip to St Andre Avellin, Quebec to experience Twist, Canada’s only bi-lingual fibre festival.

Below are some highlights from the weekend!

WellingtonFibresBooth

Wellington Fibres Booth

Visitors to Chassagne Farm

Visitors to Chassagne Farm

Donna Hancock of Wellington Fibres (left) and Barb Ross (right)

Donna Hancock of Wellington Fibres (left) and Barb Ross (right)

Peggy Sue working with roving.

Peggy Sue working with roving.

All Photos Credited to Sarah Jean Harrison of Peace Flag House


The Gift of Perspective: Peggy Sue Collection Wins TFI New Label Award

GUEST POST: Sarah Jean Harrison 

How often to you ponder the intricacies of the fashion world? Do this season’s heel heights wake you up at night? Can changing silhouettes send your mind reeling?

I didn’t think so.

For many of us the world of fashion has about as much relevance on our daily lives as say, the planet Mars. We know it exists somewhere between us and the Sun, but the details of its composition are a mystery that we are content to ignore.

Allow me to suggest that while you can safely go on ignoring Mars, it’s time to pay attention to fashion, particularly Canadian fashion.

PSRunway2

Peggy Sue Collection Inc. at the TFI New Label’s award night. Credit: Peggy Sue Collection Inc.

In May of this year Peggy Sue Smeltniks-Deavon, creator of the Peggy Sue Collection, won the Toronto Fashion Incubator’s (TFI) New Labels Award. Why, you may be asking, does this pertain to you? Because Peggy Sue, who is a member of the Upper Canada Fibreshed, won with a runway collection made exclusively from local materials.

Yes, you read that correctly. A runway collection, worn by very tall and lanky models, composed entirely of local alpaca, wool, mohair and cashmere with a little natural-drop antler thrown in.

PSSkirting1

Designer Peggy Sue skirting fleece at Allison Brown’s farm. 

While this is undoubtedly a phenomenal accomplishment for Peggy Sue, and we must all celebrate her achievement, I want to draw your attention to the bigger story behind this success. Peggy Sue hasn’t just won a prestigious award. She has given us, the Upper Canada Fibreshed, an incredible gift: the gift of a renewed perspective.

PSwGraceClare

The designer and Upper Canada Fibreshed member Grace Claire with her flock. 

Until now we have, perhaps unconsciously, accepted that fashion happens somewhere else, somewhere that is not Canada, somewhere that is far away from sheep manure and shearing day. Peggy Sue has confronted this perspective, our perspective, by revealing and celebrating the relationship between farms and fashion.

She has disrupted our assumption that fashion happens elsewhere by presenting Ontario’s fibre landscape in the form of sumptuous coats, sweaters and dresses. Watching her pieces come down the runway is unnerving; we can, perhaps for the first time, see our home reflected in haute couture. And, here’s the biggest revelation of all, it’s beautiful.

PS@DoverFarm

Not surprisingly, Peggy Sue isn’t from the Upper Canada Fibreshed. In fact, she’s not even from Canada. She hails from the most opposite of climate realities: Los Angeles, California. Perhaps this is why when she moved to Milton, Ontario with her Canadian husband she saw what all of us natives had ceased to notice: an abundance of textile resources just waiting to be utilized.

PSAndAlisonBrownSkirting

Designer Peggy Sue and Allison Brown skirting fleece.

Winning the TFI New Label Award is truly a major accomplishment for Peggy Sue but I think the most important aspect of this award has to do more with us than with her. Peggy Sue is giving us the opportunity to take ourselves seriously as textile producers and to truly see the abundance of resources being cultivated in our very own fibreshed

There is beauty, abundance, and dare we say fashion, growing right here at home.

PSRunway1

Peggy Sue Collection Inc. at the TFI New Label awards night. Photo Credit: Peggy Sue Collection Inc.

All Photos Credited to Sarah Jean Harrison unless stated otherwise.