officially obsessed

i was taught to knit by a farm apprentice in the autumn of 2006. still years away from our own yarn, let alone our own plant dyed fiber, i nevertheless became engrossed in that first mile long scarf of the nastiest acrylic.

etsy

in the decade since sheep first started grazing our pastures and my hands fumbled awkwardly with those needles, our sheep and wool projects have taken a solid place in our overall farm plan and my knitting has improved greatly.

 

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this past winter though it happened, really happened, i crossed over into the land of complete obsession. i took the plunge, after countless hats, mittens, wrist warmers, and cowls, i cast on a garment:  a vest made of our own plant dyed indigo yarn knit by me for me.

vest

something shifted when i first put on this top. i’m afraid i won’t be satiated until i’m clothed from head to toe in hand mades. spring is going to stop me i know, but in these final days before i don’t sit on the couch ever, i will finish this cardigan made from our Jacob’s wool.

cardi

 

i’ve spent the better part of the past two decades preaching about the importance of a strong local food system. i can feel the swelling excitement within about local fiber. join me, adorn yourself with hand made, locally sourced beauty. it ranks right up there with the first spring salad.

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taking the show on the road

if you read this blog with any regularity you might know by now that i am thoroughly engaged in my emerging local fiber scene. we have had a growing flock of jacob’s sheep here on our farm since 2005.  we have been raising and dyeing with farm plants since not long thereafter. if you looked over the past decade, you might just say we have been building to what is about to happen this very week. oh gosh. deep breath. we are setting up as vendors at a regional fiber event. Yep, I am actively packing, weighing, winding, sorting our inventory of farm wool products and heading to Asheville, North Carolina to SAFF, the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair. at this very moment thinking about it makes me a bit nauseous honestly. i know that once me, my two youngest kiddos, and my farm’s apprentice load all of our tables and signage and wool and displays into our vehicle and head south east, we will be nothing short of thrilled.

so for the days ahead i will be elbow deep in this

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and this

prepare

not a bad place to be. friends, anyone within reasonable driving distance of Asheville, come on out. cheer me on, check it out. there will be hundreds of vendors, livestock and fleece shows and more excitement than i can even imagine.

 

love blue? join us 8/22

my love affair with japanese indigo began long ago, dear friends showed us the magic of dyeing with a farm raised blue and i was hooked.

as with any good courtship, ours developed over many years. there was a lot of dyeing, even more experimentation, and all kinds of fun.  there is no doubt in my mind a peak moment was when i dipped the first yarn our farm’s flock of sheep produced into a farm raised indigo vat  and watched the magic before my eyes. it was my birthday and it was the best gift ever.

vat

now, years later, i am ready to share the magic. in fact, i am not only planing to share the magic, i am extending an invitation to share the community that has developed around me, our farm’s fiber and  our farm’s blue.

on august 22nd  we will gather here at hill and hollow farm for our fist natural dye workshop. it is a significant day just 4 short weeks away. a day when we will formally begin a totally new series of educational opportunities here.

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we are offering a full day of fiber fun.  it will be an introduction to natural dyeing offering participants the opportunity to harvest and dye with our farm raised japanese indigo.

vate

it is most importantly a day of community.  sharing the role of educator with me will be a skilled weaver and natural dyer herself: erin.  we met over a shared love for the highest quality of natural dyeing and fiber work. amazingly, she will travel from indiana to share the weekend with us.

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as if this wasn’t exciting enough, we have welcomed back fiber enthusiast and 2013 hill and hollow apprentice for another year of learning and sharing on the farm. deanna is a skilled knitter, spinner and dyer herself and will offer guests the opportunity to work with a raw fleece. taking it through each phase: washing, picking, carding and spinning into yarn.

yarn

 

i have been secretly calling this fiber boot camp and i am so excited to create this space here on the farm. i am giddy to gather with such wonderful fiber enthusiasts and i thought i might just spread the word. y’all should join us.

anyone interested can email me for the specifics hhcsa@scrtc.com or call, i love a good chat 270-432-0567.