Sponsor: My Sister Knits is a locally owned and loved yarn shop located in For Collins, CO, minutes away from Historic Old Town and located in a carriage house. What started out as a small venture for founder Julie Luckasen, grew into a passionate community of creative minds. My Sister Knits provides a welcoming atmosphere for knitters of all types and skill levels, a place for people to gather and cultivate their passion for knitting, share and support one another. Join them each Tuesday night from 5-8pm for their Open Knitting Night. And make sure to visit mysisterknits.com to view their list of upcoming classes including a special workshop taught by Elizabeth Doherty. And if you find yourself in or around Fort Collins, make sure to visit this shop in person to find wonderful yarns and more. Follow on Instagram @mysisterknits
Fiber folk: Several years ago while living in San Francisco, I was introduced to an amazing organization called Fibershed, founded by an even more amazing woman named Rebecca Burgess. It was Rebecca, her fellow producers and Fibershed that prompted me to look deeper at the materials we use and where they come from. This in turn was much of the interest that inspired Woolful and eventually our move from the city to our farm in North Idaho. The work that Rebecca has done and the movement she’s inspired will forever impact the direction the fiber industry is moving in…recognizing the environmental, economic and social benefits of the materials we use and wear. You can find Rebecca at fibershed.com and on Instagram @fibershed.
Photos by Paige Green, Andrew Plotsky, Dustin Kahn
Sponsor: Texture, fit, technique, style. Just a handful of elements that inspire today’s knitter to pick up needles and cast on. When it comes to men who knit or those who wish to knit for them, though, sources of inspiration are often difficult to come by. The solution is Rib Magazine. Devon and Jennie, the founders of Rib Magazine hope to establish an ever-evolving, inspirational library of men’s knitwear patterns and highlight the renaissance of men returning to the craft and art of knitting. As you flip through the pages, you will not only find engaging designs, but stories of men who participate in and contribute to our fiber community, whether they be knitters, designers, weavers, spinners, or dyers. Through their stories, Rib aims to motivate and attract more men to knitting.
Now introducing the second issue of Rib Magazine: No. 2 | NAVIGATE. In the pages of this issue, you will find designs and articles that explore the craft of knitting along with selected garments and accessories with interesting constructions and techniques—challenges for you to navigate and adventures to embrace. Whether you are embarking on a project to learn a new skill or fine tune your craft, we hope that you enjoy the journey of creating a timeless piece for your wardrobe or a loved one’s. Look for issue No. 3 launching this October. Subscriptions and individual issues are available on at ribmag.com and follow along on Instagram @ribmagazine
Giveaway: The winner of our last episode’s giveaways are Claire and Noelle. Claire you’ve won Melanie Berg’s Whiteout Shawl kit from Shibui and Noelle you’ve won Melanie’s Secretkeeper shawl kit from The Yarn Collective. Congratulations!
This week’s giveaway is sponsored by the Fibershed and Twirl Yarn and they’re giving away a copy of Rebecca’s natural dye book Harvesting Color and 3 skeins of Twirl yarn.
Music by Jónsi.
This podcast is so soothing. Love hearing about Rebecca’s journey.
One of the best parts of starting to get involved with crafting with fiber was encountering the Melbourne fibershed. It’s amazing to find out what’s in your neighbourhood and to see it evolving. It was really interesting to hear the thoughts behind the origin of fibershed, and to hear how it has been progressing. I joined fibershare this month, hoping that I might get to trade something from our fibershed, with someone elses. Fingers crossed!
Great interview! I’ve been a fan/following Fibershed efforts for some time now! Love that they’re bringing awareness to every day choices regarding clothing, supporting local, community, etc. I also have a copy of Rebecca’s dye book!!
This episode pulled at my heart strings. I live in SW NH (near Harrisville Designs). We have numerous mill buildings that are no longer in use. Some communities have been able to repurpose them, but many stand abandoned. It’s wonderful to hear that someone is getting this information out to people. Congratulations on the success you have had thus far.
Fascinating discussion! I had never really thought about fibershed in terms of trying to incorporate most of my clothing items from my own fibershed. This conversation has spurred me to think more along those lines. Thanks! Always look forward to your podcasts!
Great inspiration, the colors from nature are so soothing. Another thoughtful podcast , thanks!!!
You are both an inspiration. Thank you for having such great content and for challenging us to keep living in questions and working to be better!
Rebecca is such an inspiration. I loved learning about her story, and her words of wisdom are so encouraging as I attempt to clothe myself more consciously. I love the term “fibershed”–it’s such a useful way to think of where your textiles come from.
Oh! This may be my most favorite episode!! Thank you both for the independent work that you do. It’s inspirational.
This interview was fascinating and makes me want to sell my house on the East Coast and come live in the fiber shed. Where can I buy the natural wool and other products from the watershed to help support the work? I have just recently learned to knit and would love to use this natural wool.
Another inspiring episode! I wish I had a transcript … so many quotable moment with Rebecca Burgess. She is so articulate! Twirl yarn has long been on my wish-list and now that I’m spinning up loads of my white Finnsheep yarn, could really use some natural dye guidance. Would very much love to win!
What an endeavour! Great listen, thanks!
Glad you’re back! Can’t wait to listen.
THANK YOU!!!…for such a fantastic interview! (best yet = wow!) Rebecca was sooo well spoken, informative, and thought provoking! Thanks to you both! XOX
What a fantastic episode. Thanks. I am excited, I am going through Fort Collins this week & will be visiting My Sister Knits, for the first time!
I am so impressed with Fibershed. What a great interview!
Thanks for the awesome podcast! It makes my week!
Love Fibershed, another great episode!
Thank you for introducing me to Fibershed!
Good to hear the podcast again! What an endeavor to commit to your fiber shed. One piece at a time, I suppose!
WOW! So inspiring and though provoking! This was my first Woolful podcast episode and I was mesmerized by the story Rebecca had to tell. As an avid knitter and crocheter obsessed with all the beautiful hand dyed yarns I am able to purchase on line and all the wonderfully talented designers who so inspire me, Rebecca has taken the story so much further. I can’t wait to research the watershed / fibreshed theory and bring it into my life. Thank you, this was an awakening!
Since first learning about fibershed a couple years ago, it has been a constant inspiration in my making and completely changed the way I think about clothing myself and my family. One of the hardest parts of moving to the East Coast two years ago was leaving the CA fibershed that I had started to connect with, but I’m learning that we have lots and lots of amazing fiber here in New England as well. While it can be a challenge to learn about our local fiber resources, many knitting shops now carry local yarn (especially in Maine!) and local sewing resources for many parts of the world have been compiled by the One Year, One Outfit challenge by This Is Moonlight. Thank you so much Ashley for interviewing Rebecca and helping share these ideas with the knitting world!
I just started listening to the podcast about a week ago and I have been binge-listening older episodes, I love it so much! Listened to this week’s and it’s one of my favorites so far. I love the idea of a fibershed and I find this so inspirational. I want to incorporate these ideas into my own life. Thank you for sharing these ideas.
Another fantastic episode! I love the thought of a fibershed. I’m hoping to find some more reading materials on this subject! Thank you again, and keep up the wonderful work!
So, so good this one.
This just added to my dream of one day owning a small little fiber farm and mill. A lovely podcast as always!
I have enjoyed listening to this podcast so much! Lots of thoughts and ideas to sleep on.
Very thought provoking podcast. Thank you!
Interesting idea to have a fibershed. I learned about something new. Thank you!
Fantastic interview and extremely inspiring, thank you!
Wow! Wonderful podcast! And thanks for another great giveaway!
Thank you so much for creating this podcast! You and your guests have inspired me to give knitting another try and to push past my self-imposed limitations on what I thought I could make. I appreciate all the hard work you put into this podcast because it has certainly made a difference in my life.
This episode hits on so many of my interests! I can’t wait to listen!
Loved the podcast! Thank you!
I was deep into your convo. Buzzing with ideas now to practice more mindful sustainable living. Thanks so much 🙂
This was the most inspiring episode yet. I’ve been thinking about completely excluding superwash, minimizing my textile imprint, simplifying life and purchasing as local as possible. I’m officially inspired after listening to Rebecca! Thank you!!
Very interesting blog today. Wonderful to hear more people thinking about the high cost of cheap fashion. Every little bit we do makes a difference. Thank you
Such a wonderful episode, thank you! I live, produce, and procure in this fibershed and it was so neat to hear about all the different things going on in this area that align with my ideals. Thank you both for your time!
Loved this podcast. Good job!
Rebecca is pretty cool!
Wonderful episode! I just discovered your podcast and I am so challenged but excited by your presentation of people in the fiber industry who pay attention to the impact they are making. It’s really made me think about the fact that I don’t know where most of my yarns come from, even though I try to be organic etc in other aspects of my life, and that reality is a little uncomfortable! Thank you for bringing attention to this!
Very interesting discussion!
Great episode. Lots to consider…
Thanks for another great episode. It often strikes me how difficult it is to source local fibre and cloth. Feel even more inspired to work on making local connections now.
Thanks for this very interesting and important episode. I very much appreciated the discussion of some of the many issues related to our mainstream economy’s being based on competitive consumption. The commentary about carrying on in a different way despite the naysayers, head-patters, and general discouragers is encouraging.
Thanks for sharing this conversation – I really enjoyed it!
I’ll echo the other comments – this was a really inspiring story and interview. Over the past couple of years I’ve been trying to adjust my wardrobe to fit more with my beliefs and this episode was a kick in the butt to take it more seriously.
Fabulous episode! So full of rich ideas and thoughtful solutions. Thank you Ashley and Rebecca!!
Great episode! Love this podcast and always looking forward to the next topic! I am excited to read up on and discover more about bringing the idea of the watershed into my life. I learned the basics of knitting when I was young but didn’t pick up the needles for a long while until a few years ago and I haven’t been able to stop! There has been a natural progression of having the desire to move from synthetic to natural fibers, the beginning curiosity of spinning and dying my own yarns, and to possibly one day having my own farm. So, this was such and informative episode! As this podcast is as a whole! It is difficult for me to find information about the fiber world where I am at in the states so very grateful to have this podcast at my finger-tips. Thank you Ashley for putting together such a fantastic podcast! Thank you Rebecca for such great information and inspiration!
You have done it again.!!!! Wow , Rebecca really makes you think about how you live. Please can we have a part 2. I really wanted more. Thank you.
How incredible to hear such wisdom and clarity from this young pioneer. Thought provoking and inspiring…and life changing! Thank you so much Ashley for this timely conversation.
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This was an amazing episode. I want to change my fiber-buying habits to support the ecosystem and my local fibershed. I learned so much that I will be listening again to make sure I got everything! Rebecca is an inspiration.
The idea of a fibershed is so fascinating to me. As an east-coast urbanite, I try my best to shop locally, support local artisans and do as much making of my own as possible. We actually live near a neighborhood that has their own local barter economy that is particularly inspiring though not hugely successful yet.
This was a very thought provoking interview. It has inspired me to be a more mindful materialist.
What an incredible interview! I so admire Rebecca’s determination and confidence to make her vision a reality. We should all have her respectful demeanor when we, too, face challenge and opposition to what we know is right and good.
Seriously, I want to have these conversations with the people in my community.
This was a great interview, I loved listening!
Thank you, this interview was the exact thing I need to hear right now. So inspiring!
Thank you! So interesting! I always love to knit and listen to your podcast, it’s really inspiring.
Interesting episode as usual!
Thanks for a great podcast as always!
Thank you for all this beautiful pics and another lovely podcast. So inspiring. I always go back on your blog and read with pleasure all your past posts. It’s a delight.
I will listen to your great podcast maybe tomorrow. That’s because I need a good tea and a nice project to work on to fully appreciate it and to enjoy the pleasure. Thanks for the lovely giveaway as always.
At 10pm, after a day at home of toddler chasing and doing some natural dyeing (with the use of Rebecca Burgess’s book Harvesting Color!), I sat down to knit and see what new podcasts were waiting for me. I was thrilled to see you interviewing Rebecca. I have read about their fiber shed but it was so great to hear the story directly from her. She is soft spoken and eloquent but fierce. I love this discussion and the whole movement towards greater responsibility and thought about where our clothes come from; it has certainly inspired me to make personal changes, do more research, buy less and think completely different about fast fashion. Thank you Ashley!
Thank you for another great giveaway! Thank you too for your this podcast, Ashley. I really was inspired by listening to Rebecca of Fibershed. I will carry on pondering on all the awesome and inspiring ideas and thoughts shared during this podcast, as I continue to try to live this lifeand be the best version of me. Big love ❤️
This episode was particularly inspiring! I enjoyed the discussion about how to connect more with your local fibreshed… the concept of a fibreshed is really fascinating. When I was a teenager I bought a lot of my clothes from thrift stores and modified them on my sewing machine, and although my sewing machine is at my dad’s house in BC and I live in Quebec I still buy some of my things from thrift stores and mend my clothes by hand so that I can keep wearing them as long as possible. I also loved the mention of clothing swaps! Clothing swaps are HUGE in Montreal! There are at least 2 yearly ones that I know of that are organized on a large scale, but my circle of friends often host a smaller one a few times a year. I’ve gotten amazing clothing that way and also given away a ton of beautiful things that I couldn’t bear to send off to the thrift store- now people I love are wearing garments that I still love but stopped wearing! It really warms my heart.
Also! last year I knit a sweater for a dear friend of mine living is Saskatchewan. Among his many talents and interests he teaches music. One of his students is from a family that owned a fibre mill and fibre animals. In lieu of payment for one year of lessons, he received a whole bunch of fibre and had it spun into yarn, which he mailed to me, which I knit into a sweater. It was a big undertaking and not something that most people would have access to, but it was so cool to be part of a project like that! The fibre was amazing to work with (buffalo/top-coat merino/silk!!!) and he paid me for my efforts, which helped me pay my rent at a really difficult time for me financially. I wish there was a financially viable way for more people to clothe themselves in garments made by people they love from local sustainable fibres… but, in the meantime I’m just going to keep knitting and try to make nice gifts for my friends and family when I can so they can buy less factory produced garments made from acrylic materials. 🙂
Thanks for your podcast. It really feeds my soul 🙂
Alyssa, i think we should connect and talk about fibershed Montreal and Quebec. We’re just put of reach for the toronto based upper canada fibershed. I’m going to start working through 5 fleece from a friends flock: cleaning, pickinggn carding, spining, natural dye, & creation…. When the summer agricultural season is over 😉
She’s my hero! Thank you for interviewing her!
I was new to the idea of a fibershed. I don’t think we have that going for us in Central Texas, but it did remind me that I don’t need so many clothes, since I can sew, buying organic fabric is an option, and frequenting Goodwill for things I don’t like to sew, like jeans or a raincoat.
Yes, another wonderful idea to learn about. Thanks for the knowledge and inspiration.
I am such a big fan of your podcast and was so excited to see that you had interviewed Rebecca, who is a major source of inspiration for me. As a student of textile design myself, I feel thankful for and empowered by people like her who prove that their passionate and genuine efforts can really, truly make a lasting impact. Thank you so much for sharing!
Thank you! I’ve been hoping that you would get Rachel from the fibershed in on the podcast. It was so nice to hear her speak about her fibers journey and development of the fibershed. It’s a great source of inspiration for me and my crew of artisans, sheperdess and community arts. Talking about Natural dyes too, double the fun. Thanks again!
Inspiring and exciting, as usual! Thanks 🙂
very interesting episode!
Great interview. Lovely goal to stay within our own watershed and fibershed.
Love the concept of sourcing your clothing from 150 mile radius. This interview was such a great exercise for me in thinking about my regional textile economy and how I can contribute as a producer, consumer and community organizer. I love the work that Fibershed and Fibershed Affiliates are doing globally! Thanks for interviewing Rebecca and shedding some light on this important work!
Nice interview. It gave me a lot to think about.
I started to hand dyed yarn using plants and flowers from the italian mountains, is a very hard work but so satisfactory when you see the result and the gorgeous colors, I think I will be addicted to this podcasts very soon, thank you so much to bring such a wornderful stories and experiences from lovely people!
I love how passionate Rebecca is about her vision of a fibershed and sustainable fiber communities. It’s refreshing and inspiring to listen to her talk. I was also pleasantly surprised to hear that the episode was sponsored by my home knit shop, My Sister Knits! Those sisters have been instrumental in my fiber journey since before I even moved to Colorado. Thanks for the great episode.
Thank you very much for this inspiring episode! It makes me want to sort through my closet…
I just happened to find the live feed of the Fibershed Symposium last year, and was fascinated. ( I watched the whole thing from my kitchen in Utah) I have loved following the community supported cloth project. It was great to hear Rebecca talk about how this all began for her.
wow, she’s amazing! to live within your means in your own radius is a serious achievement these days!
Loved listening to this interview! Also loved the digging into the ‘what to do problem’ it not only gives people insight beyond the typical and problematic solution but encourages people think about the community around them and see what solutions work in that space.
I LOVED this podcast on the Fibershed. I have really been thinking a lot about the sources of fiber and food, and the farmers who harvest them. I can’t really see myself farming, but I know I can help make a difference by being more mindful and intentional about purchasing my knitting fibers (and food) locally and sustainably. I loved listening to this informative and practical conversation!!
Excellent episode! Makes me want to get my hands dirty 🙂
So happy to have gotten to listen to this one before commenting. It was excellent! Really made me think about the local fibers in my area, how to use them, increased environmental awareness and community involvement. Such good material to dive into and a great interview.
Thank you for an inspiring story. I am wondering if you have any tips on how to live a little in this direction when living in a city ( my case Oslo, Norway)
Very inspirational and well told. I have made a pact with myself this year only to knit and sew my own clothes or source from charity shops. With yarn, I am trying to support the small British crofter and small livestock holding and mills and get an appreciation for the traceability of what I knit with. It is so much more rewarding and the yarn is heavenly yo work with!
Fibershed is a wonderful concept.Super-inspiring episode. Thanks!
Wonderful episode and so inspirational!
Loved the episode, such an inspring way of thinking and living. Think I will listen to this one again….Would love to participate in the give away. Thank you for making this all possible.
Timely, intelligent, thought provoking. I have been hearing and reading about sustainability not just in food but in the clothing industry. The rural markets in Africa are flooded with used clothing. I heard that much of the clothing given to Goodwill ends up in landfills. I try to buy from thrift shops but appreciate hearing that while good, there can be better ways. I don’t need closetfuls of clothing. I look forward to every podcast. Thanks for all you do.
Might have been one of my faves, Ashley! Thank you so much for sharing Rebecca’s story on your podcast. Her book was my first natural dye book! I still turn to it often.
Oh my goodness I enjoyed this episode so much. Rebecca’s words were lovely and were a nice reinforcement about why I care about small farm yarns so much. I’m involved in the small organic veggie farm community here in Massachusetts so it was great to hear her make that connection.
This episode has inspired me to create garments made from yarns, handspun or fleece local to my fibershed. Thank you for the resources found at the fibershed website, I love learning about fiber sources that are local to me!
Thank you for this interview! I found it super inspiring, and immediately went to share it with one of my coworkers. We can’t wait to share thi s knowledge, and the fun of dying with plants, with our students!
Thank you for this interview! I found it super inspiring, and immediately went to share it with one of my coworkers. We can’t wait to share thi s knowledge, and the fun of dying with plants, with our students!