Curves of Fibers ~ Half Scale Pre Pilot at Cornell University

Over the past few weeks I’ve participated in the Half Scale Pre-Pilot project that aims to stimulate design creativity through experimentation on a half-scale dress form. Working on a half-scale, rather than a full scale dress form reduces fabric usage in the mock-up stage, and speeds up production time with shorter seams. The Halfscale Forum for Creative Patternmaking is led by…

Exploring New York Fiber Farms @ Washington County Fiber Tour 2015

Visiting the sheep, alpaca, and goat fiber farms during the Washington County Fiber Tour in New York was the highlight of my year so far! Each farm had a unique narrative with fiber animals ranging from Merino sheep to Huacaya alpacas and Cashmere goats. This reflects the wide breadth of fibers available in New York. During the Fiber…

Engagement with Fiber Animals- Connecting to New York City

Animal fibers are “living” extensions of the animals they come from, especially as the animals live long lives on farms. Community members are increasingly being exposed to fiber animals such as sheep, alpacas, and angora goats as farmers bring them to local festivals and provide updates on social media. Farmer’s physical and virtual visibility induces a climate for community and fiber animal…

Vitality of Domestic Fibers

This week was National Agriculture Week, a celebration of our food and fiber systems. With fiber systems always in mind, I took time to learn more about USDA fiber farm statistics. I previously only saw information about wool and mohair, and was excited to find information about alpaca farms. This led me to revisit the Alpaca Owner’s Association where they go into…

“Fibershed” as Social Entrepreneurship

“Social entrepreneurship” involves social change, continuous innovation, adaptation, and learning. The Northern California non-profit “Fibershed” embodies the definition of “social entrepreneurship.” Initially, the founder of Fibershed, Rebecca Burgess, collaborated with local fiber producers and artisans to make an “150-mile wardrobe.” The success of the “150-mile wardrobe” project steered the development of the non-profit Fibershed that promotes a local clothing and…

“Make it with Wool” & Repurposing Wool Remnants

Wool is attracting attention at local, regional, and national levels. In Fall 2014, the Fibershed Wool Symposium emphasized the value of wool from diverse breeds of sheep to highlight the rich landscape of fiber resources at the regional level in Northern California. In January 2015, the American Sheep Industry hosted their annual convention, and the “Make it With Wool” national…

Wool, Angora Fibers, & Natural Dyeing

This is a collection of natural dye samples created in Professor Denise Green’s FSAD 3240: Color and Surface Design of Textiles during January and February 2015. Natural dyes include indigo, henna, cutch, cochineal, madder, and their blends. The fiber samples present rich colorants and the varying absorption qualities of wool and angora. I hand-spun the dyed fibers…

Fibers, Place & Memories

This textile came into being based on the variety of fibers available throughout different spaces, which I visited physically or virtually. I obtained the angora wool virtually. Some was a gift from a women in Syracuse who found me on Ravelry.com, and the rest was sourced from a fiber CSA based in Virginia. I sourced the wool by physically going to…

Crafting with New York Mohair and Wool

I recently finished this mohair-wool hybrid scarf. The materials themselves carry a lot of meaning especially since they represent time and place. I obtained the creme mohair on my first visit to the Laughing Goat Fiber Farm in early 2013. It was the first fiber farm I visited in New York, and the first time to…

Fiber Arts & Fibersheds – A Call to Dismantle the “Bystander” Effect

Fiber arts can provide powerful social commentaries. I visited the Craft & Folk Art Museum‘s New Directions Exhibit in Los Angeles, and was astounded by the work of June Lee in the group exhibit that was juried by the Textile Society of America. June Lee’s “Bystander” sculptures address the social “bystander effect” issue. Lee explains that the term “Bystander Effect” was developed…

How the Northern California Fibershed Fosters a Local Culture of Clothing & Textiles

The Fibershed Symposium of 2014 provided great insight into the knowledge of sheep farmers and the diversity of wool in California. The work of fiber artisans was displayed beautifully during the symposium, which further highlighted the wide breadth of fiber types and textile techniques, which included spinning, knitting, weaving, and felting. The range of panel presentations,…

Little York Fiber Festival in NY!

It was great to visit the Little York Fiber Festival at the Cortland Repertory Theatre today. There were a variety of artisan, fiber farm, and mill entrepreneur vendors with a diversity of fibers from sheep, alpacas, llamas, and angora rabbits. Special thanks to Linda Schwab for introducing me to Margaret Flowers, fiber artisan and fiber farmer at Trinity Farm with…

Soil to Skin Rebecca Burgess’ 150 Mile Wardrobe

The Fibershed project in Northern California has been extremely motivational for me, especially since it has inspired my Master’s thesis. I have explored fiber farm and mill resources in New York, and received consumer feedback about NY “fibershed” knitwear. (An official “fibershed” has not been established in NY, but it definitely has the resources.) It is amazing to see…

Fiber Artisanry with Local Fibers

I’m excited to show one of the first knit and crochet accessories I made from 100% hand spun yarns. I previously wrote about the NY fleece origins here and about my process of learning to spin here. I’m glad I had the opportunity to learn how to make my own yarns at Knitting Etc. because I can expand my creativity…

Fiber Farm Community Supported Ag

I recently became a virtual farmer in support of Sweet Tree Hill Farm in Virginia. The farm has Shetland sheep, angora rabbits, and cashmere goats. I was excited to learn where the the funds I provided would go. They helped pay for 1 month’s worth of hay for the fiber animals. I’m glad I can contribute in…