QueerJoe

QueerJoe's Knitting Blog
Locally Sourced Wool New Woolen Mill

Locally Sourced Wool

As a knitter and spinner, I’ve noticed a recent trend of looking for locally sourced wool.  I’ve always preferred the indie dyers at wool festivals.  But now I look for fiber from animals that are grown locally, processed locally and dyed locally.

Is Minnesota Close Enough To Be Considered Locally Sourced Wool?

Tommy, the owner of the Minnesota Woolen Mill first started me thinking about where wool was raised and processed. He started me on the idea of how to be more deliberate about purchasing yarn and spinning fiber.  Then Christopher (AKA Cabinboyknits) started talking about many of the same issues.  Also about natural dyeing from locally harvested sources as well.

For a while, it seemed that Merino fiber and yarn were the thing.  And most of that travelled from around the World to get to me. The uniformity and bland softness to the yarn started to make me long for more interesting fibers to work with.  It was similar to my distaste for fish that was farmed and all fed the same food.  It had no taste, or interest.

Don’t get me wrong, I still had brief affairs with other fibers that I’d pick up at local sheep and wool festivals.  Icelandic wool, Border Leicester, Cotswold, etc. But mostly, I was only looking for the yarn that caught my eye.  Vibrant colors and interesting mixes of dyes.

Who could have seen this local fiber trend coming?

Well, Clara Parkes clearly did.  The NY Times Best-Selling author’s latest book just came out at the beginning of this month.

Vanishing Fleece - Clara Parks Sustainable Wool

Vanishing Fleece: Adventures in American Wool by Clara Parkes is not only incredibly timely, but it’s a really good read. Much like her earlier book, The Yarn Whisperer, I am finding her writing compelling.  I am also really enjoying meeting the “characters” in this book.  I’m not sure if it’s just my renewed enthusiasm into sourcing yarn and fiber, or if this book would appeal to a much wider audience.

But I would highly recommend that you read this book.

I’ll be interested to know what you think.

Current Knitting

I worked diligently all weekend on the Cross Hatch Shawl, and the results are obvious.

Cross Hatch Shawl 10-21-19 01

I’ve finished all the knitting and the weaving in of ends.  While I still need to block it, the current size is approximately 60″ x 20″

 

 

2 comments on “Locally Sourced Wool

  1. Thank you for the book/author recommendation. I found 3 of her books on Audible – I love to listen as I knit. 😉

    The shawl is lovely! Is the pattern on Ravelry?

    Also, did I meet you at Twist?

    1. Thanks Lisa…as for Clara’s writing, you will find her words really well-crafted, and listening on Audible sounds even better in some ways.

      The shawl isn’t on Ravelry, but the scarf is…https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/cross-hatch-scarf – If you just triple the number of cast-on stitches and the amount of yarn, it works great. (two of the rows say to P22, which you’d also have to change it to P70…but it’s rather obvious).

      I’m not sure if we met at Twist, although I’ve met a number of people there…so it is definitely possible. Usually, I’m being introduced to a large group and I don’t hold out any hope of remembering names or faces.

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