Category Archives: Fibreshed News

On Farm Holiday Shopping with Ziraldo Alpacas

Christmas tree and alpaca illustrations Ziraldo Alpacas christmas shopping days

Pop over to Ziraldo Alpacas for an unique on-the-farm holiday shopping experience!

Saturday, December 9th – 10 am – 5pm

Sunday, December 10th – 11 am – 5pm

Ziraldo Alpacas 21370 Fairview Rod. Thames Centre, N0M 2P0

Enjoy some hot apple cider and cookies while you shop!

Luxurious locally grown alpaca products, including alpaca yarn, socks, insoles, mittens, gloves and hats.

Amazing wool dryer balls made of 100% Canadian wool.


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



LandMade Upper Canada Fibreshed

The Upper Canada Fibreshed is bringing farm-fresh yarn, roving and fleece to the urban maker.

12-4 pm, February 5th, 2017

Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St W, Toronto, ON

@uppercanadfibreshed #landmade #uppercanadafibreshed

LandMade brings local fibre farmers to the Gladstone Hotel, giving urban knitters, spinners, crocheters, weavers, felters, makers and artists the chance to discover fleeces, rovings and yarns direct from the farm.  

Eight farms that raise sheep, alpacas and mohair will be available to talk all things fibre, and to provide locally and sustainably raised materials to the natural fibre enthusiast.  

Be sure to bring a long your needles, hooks, spindles and wheels. Making and conversation is highly encouraged over coffee, tea or wine in the Melody Bar or Cafe.

Meet the Farmers

LandMade is the perfect opportunity to meet your local UCFS farmers, learn more about ethically and sustainably-raised sheep, alpaca and mohair and purchase fleece, roving and yarn fresh from the farm.

Participating Producers:

All Sorts Acres

Circle R Farm

Freelton Fibre Mill

Lickety Spit Farm

Rampart Wool & Mill

The Common Good

The Alpaca Stop/Stone Spindle

Twin Oaks Farm

With Special Guest the Peggy Sue Collection

Fibershed Knitalong Upper Canada Fibreshed

Start Making

LandMade is the perfect opportunity to join in with Fibershed’s Knitalong.

Fibershed’s Knitalong encourages local makers to engage with their local producers through a simple knitting project. Radiata, the Knitalong pattern created by Emily Cunetto, is available for purchase on Ravelry or via Emily’s website.

Are you a new fibre enthusiast? You are very welcome to join our knitting circle at LandMade for some intro-level knitting instruction to get you started on your very own Radiata.

Fibershed Knitalong Upper Canada Fibreshed

Share Your Project

Tell the world about your project and the gorgeous local materials you used to make it! Be sure to document your project’s progress via social media using #landmade, #FibershedKAL  and #uppercanadafibreshed.

Post your pictures and send us your thoughts on making with local materials. After 4 weeks we’ll compile everyone’s images and thoughts into a final blog reflecting on the process of creating your very own LandMade project.

Please help us spread the word about the beautiful local fibres available in our fibreshed. Remember to tag us (@uppercanadafibreshed) and your local fibre producer in your posts!

 upper canada fibreshed fibershed wool symposium

About Fibershed’s Knitalong

A “knitalong” is a way of knitting in community despite distance, a way that we can support strategic geographies around the world in coming together around a knitting pattern and theme.

Working with yarns from your local ‘fibershed,’ including small-batch yarns direct from local farms or unique handspun fiber combinations, often means that you are making adaptations to patterns written for a specific type of yarn. Here, we present a pattern that is designed specifically to highlight the unique qualities of locally-sourced yarn.

These are yarns that tell a story — of the land they come from, the breeds or varieties of plants and animals that produce the fiber, the dyestuff gathered or grown in your region, and the management and care that has gone into each step in getting the yarn into your hands.

Knitting your own local garment is also an act of prosumption — a way of engaging dialogue between producer and consumer. By nourishing the relationship between who grows and who makes our clothing, we can move beyond the barriers of strictly producing and consuming materials.

We hope you will be inspired by the 2016 Knitalong to choose a new yarn or fiber from your area, and to connect in a deeper way with the people, plants, animals, and land-base that are producing these fibers in your region.

(From Fibershed)

Fleece Alert!

Linc Farm Upper Canada Fibreshed


Fresh Fleece Available

Linc Farm has recently completed a shearing and have a lovely selection of fresh Finnsheep x Rambouillet (or Newfoundland) fleece for sale in the online store.


5 Take-Home Lessons from the Wool & Fine Fiber Symposium

This year the Upper Canada Fibreshed was invited to participate as speakers in the Wool and Fine Fibre Symposium, hosted by the original Fibershed in Merin County, California. UCFS co-founder Jennifer Osborne presented on the history, membership and projects of UCFS and member Peggy Sue Deaven-Smiltnieks spoke on her use of UCFS fibre in her locally-based fashion.

 peggy sue and jennifer upper canada fibreshed wool symposium 2016 fibershed

The Wool & Fine Fiber Symposium

For everyone who’s been following us online this fall you know that our fibreshed co-founders, Becky Porlier and Jennifer Osborn, were invited to speak at this year’s Wool and Fine Fiber Symposium along with our fibreshed member Peggy Sue Deaven-Smiltnieks, founder and creative director of Peggy Sue Collection. (Due to the arrival of her second child, the beautiful Severine, Becky was not able to make the trip).

The Wool and Fine Fiber Symposium is hosted annually by the original Fibershed in Merin County, California. The Symposium features panel discussions from farmers, makers and fibershed community members, as well as a marketplace with demonstrations.

jennifer osborn upper canada fibreshed fibershed wool symposium

Both Jennifer and Peggy Sue delivered dynamite presentations that were very well received by the audience. Jennifer highlighted the history, fibre varieties and membership of UCFS and outlined our current and future projects. Peggy Sue shared her story of creating her award-winning high-fashion line using only local fibres and local labour.

Now that we’ve had time to sleep off the jet-lag allow us to share some of what we learned.

5 Take-Home Lessons from the Symposium


  1. Farmer-to-Farmer Conversations Are Very Valuable

  2. From breeding practices to predator control listening to the panels discuss farming practices amongst themselves and with the audience was insightful, even for the non-farmers. It was also clearly helpful for all the farmers in the room. These opportunities to share information, strategies and best-practices are invaluable. The more these can be facilitated, whether formal or informal, the better for everyone looking to understand a fibreshed from the soil upwards.

    mohair-goat upper canada fibreshed fibershed wool symposium


  3. New Economic Spaces Are Developing

  4. We heard a lot of discussion around new economic spaces like using sheep flocks for custom grazing (in California this is for fire control purposes) and the need for skilled and knowledgeable shepherds. While grazing for fire control isn’t likely to be widely used in Ontario, the potential for flocks to be used as alternative lawn mowers is very real within our municipalities. Rather than viewing sheep as a single-use animal, farmers are increasingly looking for multiple uses and income-streams from their flocks.

    upper canada fibreshed fibershed wool symposium


  5. Don’t Throw Out The Coarse Wool

  6. While our understanding of what “coarse wool” is certainly differs between Merin County and Upper Canada, it was refreshing to see heavier wools being understood as useful. Many of us are familiar with wool blankets and throws (ahem…Upper Canada Mercantile) but what about wool duvets and comforters? Wool mattresses? Wool pillows? Wool’s capacity to absorb moisture while remaining warm and its fire resistant quality make it ideal for bedding. Moral of the story: get creative with your coarse wool.



  7. Climate Beneficial Farming Is Here

  8. Fibershed is partnering with researchers at UC Davis to track the carbon-sequestration of land management systems that focus on building soil carbon through manure application and careful pasture management. The research, gathered through the Citizen Science Protocol and Climate Beneficial Wool, is tracking how carbon is being draw-down from the atmosphere and moving through the ecosystem. The clothing and textiles made from the fibres of animals involved in this research are addressing climate change one sweater at a time.

    upper canada fibreshed fibershed wool symposium


  9. Become A Prosumer

Producer + Consumer = Prosumer. This simple formula was shared with us around the Community Supported Cloth project, a new initiative which is asking folks to fund the development of locally grown and USA produced wool fabric by pre-purchasing yardage. Rather than blindly consuming or producing in isolation, the prosumer is involved in and connected to both the production and consumption processes. On the simple end, this may look like knowing your fibre farmer and towards the more complex end of the spectrum it can mean supporting a project like the Community Supported Cloth.


Be sure to check out our Instagram page for photos and commentary from the day itself!