Lately my room seems to have become a collecting place for fleece…
I've been intrigued with textile crafts for a long while now, as most of you might know. I spin yarn, knit, crochet, embroider and do patchworks… Weaving and natural dyeing is on my wishlist to learn, as well as felting.
Last week a friend of mine thoughtfully sent me this video, that I also would like to share with you, since it has inspired me enormously… It has a complete new (or old kind of new) look on clothing ourselves and how we treat getting our hands at our essentials, like food and in this case; fabric and clothing. Holistic, as she calls it, and regional. Oh, and the best part of it: mostly handmade, handdyed, natural, filled with loads of love in the making.
This got me thinking… I want to do this too! How could I use this inspiration and turn it to something I could do within my own business, over here in the Netherlands, with my skills and time?
And then it occured to me I already have a start lying around me in my room.
There is a wonderful flock of happy sheep in Zwolle, where I live, that grazes the grass around the roads in one quarter of the city. A year ago I bought a fleece there, to practice on.. (My spinning skills are quite good, but never good enough to my liking.) So this fleece is regional and happy.
They told me the fleece they have every year doesn't really bring up enough money, the sheering is almost more expensive. It would all be used for stuffing pillows and things like that.
Then some weeks ago I lent someone my handcards in exchange for a fleece of one of her sheep. (I'd say a wonderful deal..) And there it is! It turned up nicely packaged in a box.. Another fleece from not too far away. Another one added to my little collection.
Then I also have another one in storage I got from a farmer nearby, he was just happy it would be actually used. It is from a blue texelaar.. This wool isn't suitable for dyeing, as it is dark, but it has a wonderful blue shine to it.. Wow.. I haven't gotten round to washing it yet though..
And then the last and best addition to my loft-collection (my room is in a small loft, and so now, filled with fiber…): a wonderfully soft alpaca fleece. This is the first sheering of this alpaca, I suppose it is about 1 year old now. I met him, what a gently, shy, cute little fellow. I cannot tell you how lusciously soft this fiber feels.. You could compare it to the way chocolate-caramel-icecream feels when it melts in your mouth.. Only I wouldn't eat this stuff.
The even more wonderful thing of this little alpaca's coat is that it was gifted to me by a keeper of these animals at the local petting zoo, here in Zwolle. So, again, this fleece is regional. And the ex-owner of it very cute.
I don't know what my ideas will turn out into with this concept, but I know I have the start of it right here. And it's smelling wonderfully of sheep and alpaca.
I would love to connect people that have animals and fiber that would love to see it being used in a more traditional, loving way and crafters - knitters, felters, weavers, dyers, spinners… But I'm not sure where to start yet.
Your ideas on this would be very much appreciated! Let me know what you think.
Or maybe you even would want to connect some dots in this.. Do you own sheep or alpaca's? Know of a mill here in the Netherlands that still processes fleece? Know fashion-students that could use this? Drop a comment below or send me a message..