Category Archives: Fibreshed Producers

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

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Producer Profile: T&K Fibres and More!

T&K Fibres and more upper canada fibreshed

We are Will and Jane, the proud owners of T&K Fibres and More! We are a husband and wife team who not only spin our own fibre from our many sheep and alpacas, but also specialize in small, custom orders from customers across Canada. No order is too small or too big for us to handle!

 We are different from other mills across the country by offering small, batch services, and working with each individual customer to ensure your needs are met. We also blend fibres into batts or rovings.

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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

 

 


Gn’R Alpaca Farm and Fibre Boutique

GnR Logo

Gail is a mother to 7 male alpacas: Carter, Pirelli, Durango, Voodoo, Paxton, Ekelon and Hanley, a farm owner, and fibre artist.

Gail was an Arts and Crafts Instructor with Aurora Parks and Recreation for several years through the 70’s, graduated with a 3 year Material Arts – Weaving and Textiles Diploma from Georgian Collage in 1980.

Gail has always been involved in crafts of some form or other. As a children’s craft instructor, Girl Guide leader, craft presenter at her children’s school she has always had a special interest in the fibre arts. Now she has a farm, Gn’R Alpaca Farm, where she raises alpacas so she can have her own fleece to play and design with. She mostly hand processes the fleece from sheering, picking, washing, carding, felting and or spinning…more


Dover Farm

Dover Farm Upper Canada Fibreshed

 

www.doverfarm.ca

I started farming nearly thirty years ago and my husband has been farming for 55 years.  We have both always been involved in the sheep business.  When we met we both were raising sheep for the meat market.  I married him because even back then shearers were hard to find, and NZ shearers even rarer.

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