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Woolful Podcast

Episode 20: Stephen West – Rhythm, Improvisation, Supermodel and Amsterdam

May 5, 2015

I’m very excited to share the twentieth episode of the Woolful podcast. Today we get to meet an incredibly talented artist and creative who brings a whole lot of personality and ingenuity to the fiber world, Stephen West.

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Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Have Company, a special shop, gallery and space in Grand Rapids, MI, with a focus on handmade and apothecary goods, textiles and helping encourage artists and building community. They host artists from all over the country who teach workshops in the shop as a part of their artist residency program. You can visit Have Company in person when in Grand Rapids or find more information and shop online at have-company.com.

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Fiber folk: It’s not hard to notice today’s guest, whether it’s by his inventive designs and exciting use of color or his enthusiastic personality and Southern charm. Stephen brings to the world of fiber, a fresh voice and inventive style, that makes me excited about knitting in a whole new way. When we were talking before the interview, Stephen coined himself a fashion farmer, and I couldn’t agree more. You can find Stephen at westknits.com and on Instagram @westknits.

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And stay tuned this week to Stephen’s Instagram, Facebook and Ravelry group for his newest Knitalong, which he’s releasing as a collection of 10 scarves throughout the knitalong. The KAL starts next Friday, May 15th. Based on this photo alone, I think I might have to join.

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Man on the street: For this week’s “Man on the Street” I asked a question, shared by Mary in our Raverly group. “How has knitting or another fiber art changed your perspective of your wardrobe?” We had a great reply from Alex @withtwohandsknits.

Giveaway: The winner of last week’s giveaway, is Gabrielle! You’ve won a weavers fiber pack from Serene Fiber Arts! Congratulations!

The giveaway this week is sponsored by Westknits and Have Company, and we’re giving away a Westknits e-book pattern collection of your choice and a Wiksten tank sewing pattern. To enter this giveaway, leave a comment below.

Today we’re launching the Summer quarter Woolful Natural Dye Club. Each person who joins will receive two skeins of naturally dyed Cormo and Organic fingering weight yarn. To grab a spot (or two) in this quarter’s club, visit woolfulmercantile.com.

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We’ll be at the ranch for another week or so and we’ve had some exciting additions to the farm. This past week we welcomed three Maremma puppies, Fritz, Ernst and Bertie who will serve as guardians of our sheep and other animals. I’ll be posting more photos on Instagram so you can watch them grow (and because they’re so cute). We also welcomed seven guinea fowl who’ve become quite comfortable in their new home and are busy patrolling and eating bugs. Tomorrow we pick up four Icelandic Ewes who will be the first members of our flock. I can’t wait to share photos of the new ladies.

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Music by Jónsi.

 

Transcription coming soon!

Woolful Podcast

Episode 16: Michael Hampton and Tamara White – Vermont fiber farming and milling, Shetland sheep and overcoming fear

March 24, 2015

I’m very excited to share the sixteenth episode of the Woolful podcast. Today we get to meet two very enthusiastic fiber folks from Vermont, both of whom have had quite the journey to where they are today…Michael Hampton of Hampton Fiber Mill and Tamara White of Wing and a Prayer Farm.

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Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Taproot Magazine, a quarterly print magazine full of delightful stories and photos written by and for people living fuller and digging deeper. Each issue is created around a subtle theme, featuring amazing recipes, crafts, and tales, all with the intention of inspiring people who are interested in deepening their connections to their families, communities, and themselves as they strive to live locally and closer to the ground. You can visit Taproot Magazine online at Taprootmag.com and on Instagram @taprootmag.

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Fiber folk 1: Michael is a passionate knitter, spinner, and fiber mill entrepreneur. He’s been on an exciting journey from engineer to now building and operating a fiber mill in Richmond, Vermont where he mills a very exhaustive list of wools and fibers, including our second guest Tamara’s beautiful yarn. His enthusiasm and excitement for fiber and helping bring something back to this community and industry is a really wonderful thing. You can find him at Hamptonfibermill.com and on Instagram @hamptonfibermill.

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For this week’s “Man on the Street” I asked a handful of fiber enthusiasts to answer a question, shared by Samantha in our Raverly group. “Is there a project that inspired you to improve your skills?” We had some amazing replies from Nikki @woolenviolet and Leanne @leannecoppola.

Fiber folk 2: Our next guest, Tamara is a gem among farmers, fiber folks and friends. We were lucky enough to have her and her daughters SJ and Char, stay for a visit last week at our home. Our time together was filled with laughter, good food, Vermont maple syrup and plenty of farm stories and it was great to be able to talk and record our chat in person as we all sat on the living room floor. She is a true testament of strength, compassion and her love of fiber farming and her animals is infectious. You can find her at wingandaprayerfarm.com and on Instagram @wingandaprayerfarm.

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The winner of last week’s giveaway, is Jessica from Mittens and Mason Jars! You’ve won 5 skeins of the Westcountry Tweed yarn from Blacker Yarns. Congratulations!

This week’s giveaway is sponsored by Taproot Magazine, and we’re giving away a two year subscription to this wonderful publication that brings so much to this community. To enter this giveaway, leave a comment below.

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We’ve got an exciting shop update this week. Tamara, our second guest has worked very hard to create some beautiful yarns, all carefully and skillfully milled by our first guest Michael. Her latest yarns include a bulky white Shetland and Mohair blend, and two aran weight yarns, a warm brownish grey Shetland and Mohair, and a dark rich grey Merino, Shetland and Mohair. You can now find all three yarns exclusively in the Woolful Mercantile and woolfulmercantile.com

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Music by Jónsi

Transcription to follow shortly…

Woolspiration

Woolspiration: Wool and Manmade Fibers, 1950’s

September 30, 2014
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I have so much fun finding these videos for the Woolspiration posts. Who would have thought there were so many gems hidden in the archives, just waiting to be found by wool lovers decades later?

This video, “Wool and Manmade Fibers” comes from Britain, created as an informative video in the 50’s about wool, it’s history and uses. In the second half it talks about the rise of manmade fibers like rayon, describing the process of it having been discovered in a laboratory and the use of chemicals such as sulphuric acid. It’s very interesting to watch something that in it’s time was so innovative and exciting, and recognize now the detriment  such chemical heavy processing has on our environment and bodies today.

Another reminder why wool is such an incredible gift. Enjoy!