From Farm: Where it starts.
Farm to needle!!! I feel like I talk about this all of the time, but I’m realizing that I may be throwing terms around without actually saying what I mean. When I talk about farm-to-needle yarns, I literally mean just that. Why Knot Fiber’s farm-to-needle yarns start with me at the farm and end with a special blend of yarn made just for me. Let me tell you a bit more, starting at the farm.
I love working with farmers and shepherds of fiber animals and visiting their farms to meet the various breeds of sheep or alpaca that grow the fiber for my special blends. I spend time tromping around muddy fields to meet the flock or watch a herding demonstration, pawing through bags of fleece in the back of my SUV because it’s 11F outside, snuggling a 2-day old lamb because it happened to come before shearing, and skirting fleece as they are shorn off of the animals.
Let’s dig into the nitty gritty of it: Farmers/producers/shepards raise flocks of sheep/alpaca/yak/buffalo, caring for them, worrying for them, doctoring them when needed, planning out breeding to keep genes strong, making sure they are available during lambing season, making sure ewes make it through and can mother their young, taking care of those that cannot, and the young that need mothering. In addition to all of that, they must make sure that they have a shearer lined up for the spring so that they can take off the year’s worth of fiber for further use, and sometimes also food with meat, cheese, and milk. It’s a big job, and they do it well and tirelessly.
Phew! So that’s a tiny bit of what our farmer friends do to help us have such beautiful fibers to work with, be it spinning or knitting or weaving or nalbinding. I love that I’ve been allowed a window into these parts of the textile journey, and I can’t wait to share more in the months to come.
Check out the first “To Needle” installment from The Bean Knits here!