As it’s already Week 2 of the Fibershed Knit-Along, I’m afraid that I am a little behind on the weekly steps, so I’ll be covering the subjects of the first two weeks in this post.
The Fibershed KAL Weeks 1 and 2 goals/discussion topics are:
- Week 1 – Share the story of how you found your local fiber. Who grew it, where was it raised? Is it locally dyed or undyed?
- Week 2 – Share your progress. Is knitting with local fiber something you are used to, does it differ in experience?
The yarn that I ordered for the Fibershed Knit-Along finally arrived! It is a cone of worsted weight organic, sustainable, and naturally colored (undyed) brown cotton from Viriditas Farm in Guinda, California, which is about 100 miles from where I live.
Sally Fox is a name that I have been hearing in passing for the past year or so from various fiber friends and teachers. After hearing her name again at this year’s Wool Symposium, I decided to take a closer look at her farm and products. Her website and Fibershed’s website are full of beautiful photos of her cotton plants, fabrics, and yarns.
In addition to being a shepherdess to 140 white, brown, and/or black Merino sheep at her farm, Sally is also a classical cotton breeder. She has been working hard for the past thirty years to breed heirloom varieties of cotton in an organic, sustainable way.
I was amazed to discover that not all cotton is white! In fact, there are cotton plants that produce reds, pinks, yellows, greens, and browns, and have been used by cultures around the world for thousands of years. However, white cotton, like sheep’s wool, has become popular over the centuries for its ease in dyeing, and so most cotton plants have been bred to only produce white, long stapled wool.
As soon as I saw photos of Sally’s fields of cotton plants with brown, red, and green cotton bolls, I fell in love. I just had to create something from her cotton!
I am thrilled thrilled thrilled to be working with Sally Fox’s naturally brown cotton yarn. I don’t often knit or work with cotton yarn in general, and so I am feeling a little out of my comfort zone while knitting my Radiata wrap/shawl. I guess what I mean is, I am quickly realizing that my stitches look a little more – erm – wobbly and uneven while knitting with cotton yarn. I guess it’s true what they say: Wool is a bit more forgiving.
That being said, I love this yarn so much. It’s super soft with a strong, balanced twist, and my stitches glide effortlessly on my ChiaoGoo steel needles. I can’t wait to see how it drapes once I’ve knit a good amount of the shawl’s fabric. I have strong hopes that my stitches will even out a bit with blocking, and, eh, if not, this shawl is totally going to be for me anyway. It’s like what artisans often write on labels, right? The imperfections make a garment piece unique. So it’s all good in my book.
While I was at A Verb for Keeping Warm last weekend, I also purchased a yard of chambray fabric woven from Sally Fox’s brown and white cotton, which will be sewn into another Endless Summer top, I think.
***Side Super-Exciting-Celebratory-Note: Danny and I both achieved our 50,000 word goal for NaNoWriMo this year! We had our doubts at times, but we did it! We rewarded ourselves on Saturday with dinner at Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack and a screening of Charlie Chaplin shorts at the Castro Theatre. Guess, we can cross “write a novel” off of our life bucket lists!