Instead of just thinking and talking about it, I jumped in and started a Fibershed affiliate! Reading over all the material on the Northern California Fibershed website inspired me to take charge of spreading the concepts beyond my Shear Bliss booth, so I filled out the affiliate application and...
A Fibershed is a geographical landscape that defines and gives boundaries to a natural textile resource base. Regional fibersheds adopt the precept that we should be as concerned with the origin of fiber that makes textiles as we are with the origin our food. I will be helping promote those farmers in our area who grow natural fibers and the artisans who use those fibers for their products.
The Feather River Fibershed will include Plumas, Sierra, and Lassen counties. Now to find and connect all the fiber farmers and artisans...
As I prepare for the craft fair/farmers market season, I have been madly playing with wool. I have discovered the joy of the felting process, both needle-felting and wet-felting, and have experimented with new items for the Shear Bliss booth this season. My Jacob wool seems ideal for both processes; it felts easily and the natural colors inspire a variety of ideas. Amazingly light and sturdy, the "cobweb felt" scarves are so much fun; it's like a combination of painting and playing with clay: a color and textural thrill.
I am inexplicably drawn to spirals.
This scarf, just laid out, has grey wool from Tehya (one of our original ewes from Meridian Jacobs; she always produces gorgeous, soft wool) and silk threads from recycled Indian saris.
Rather than the typical roll-it-800 times-around-a-pool-noodle method, I invested in a fantastic felting tool from HeartFelt Silks. It's a wooden hand tool with a waffle-texture bottom. Wet-felting is hard, physical work, but the results are so satisfying.
And then there's needle-felting. Sometimes the whimsy comes out...
I heard somewhere that wool is good for keeping pins sharp, so why not fun, useful pincushions?
I will soon have these new items up on the website.