Category Archives: Fibreshed

Shetland Wool Adventure with Lauren Sharpe

Ever since I started knitting, I have wanted to go to Shetland to see where the magic happens!  It seems to me that it is the place where sheep, wool, history, beautiful landscapes and amazing knitters all combine forces.

One day I will get to Shetland Wool Week, but since it is in the fall and harvest time here on the farm, it isn’t possible yet. But early this fall I did manage to embark on my first Shetland Wool Adventure.

I first learned about Shetland Wool Adventures on Instagram.  Misa Hay is the organizer of this grand adventure (she is also instrumental in the organization of Shetland Wool Week!).  The posts looked fantastic, so I suggested to my friend and mom that we three should go.

We have all been knitting for less than 5 years each and the classes seemed manageable, though the lace and hap classes had intimidating homework!

After two flights we arrived in Sumbrugh and were picked up and driven over some beautiful countryside to the main city Lerwick, where we would stay at the lovely Alder Lodge for our time in Shetland.

Laura Sharpe of Twin Oaks Fiber Farm on the left, with Donna Smith (centre) and Robin Reid Burke (right).

Deborah Lamb was our tour guide as we travelled around the island and she shared with us the great history of the islands.  The landscape and seascape in Shetland is truly awe-inspiring. Oh, and the food, its fantastic, all of it, and there is a lot of it!!! We were treated to many great classes from Donna Smith, Wilma Malcolmson and Elizabeth Johnston.  These are ladies whom I have followed on Instagram and always admired their work.

They are amazing, kind, gifted teachers who managed to take a rank amateur knitter to one who is confident enough to tackle a traditional hap and Shetland lace and who looks at colour work with a new perspective.

One of the things that inspired me in Shetland is how passionate the knitters and designers are about their own local Shetland wool.  The great Oliver Henry almost had us in tears as he spoke about his fight to keep Shetland wool and its traditions alive in the ever changing global market.

Both of the mills, Jamieson’s of Shetland and Jamieson & Smith (The Wool Brokers), have and continue to advocate for the crofter and farmer to be sure the producer gets a fair price for their wool.  Everyone is interconnected and understands the whole circle of production.

It is indeed a magical place.


~ Written by Laura Sharpe of Twin Oaks Fiber Farm


A Blanket for Prince Charles made within our Fibreshed


Wool Day in Eastern Ontario!

Come talk to the  shepherds that grow the fleece, the artists that use them, and what makes a good fleece.

Many different types of breeds will be represented including: Gotland and Finnsheep, Cotswold, Shetland, Icelandic, Tunis, North Country Cheviot, Jacob as well as some Alpaca and Angora fleece.

The Glengarry Pioneer Village is in Dunvegan ON ~ half way between Ottawa and Montreal just off the 417.  There is a map on the museum’s web site.
Wool Day 2017

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



Workshop Alert: Felted Flowers & Beads


Felted Beads Upper Canada Fibreshed





In this workshop you will learn how to design and make  unique felted flowers and beads using the wet felting technique.

Learning this technique allows you to create not only flowers but has unlimited possibilities.

Alpaca fibre will be used since I am an alpaca farmer and accents supplied may be wool or silk.

Workshop includes all materials, no experience required, but bring your own towel.

felted flower Upper Canada Fibreshed

Presenter: Gail Franklin-Hawes of Gn’R Alpaca Farm.  A weaving and textile graduate and fibre artist who loves raising her own alpacas.

Date: Sunday June 4, 2017

Time: 10 – 12pm and offered again 1 – 3pm

Fee: $25

At: Gn’R Alpaca Farm, 8561 Main St. Lisle, ON.   416-526-0503 to register