EVENTS

For more information about special events and workshops at Sheep & Shawl, or to register, please call 413-397-3680.

Welcome to FIBERary 2018!

Sheep & Shawl focuses on FIBER all month long for the month of FIBERary.  We host a series of speakers about fiber on Sunday afternoons.  Call 413-397-3680 for more information and to reserve your seat.  Seating is limited.

Our friend Carole Adams of Whispering Pines Farm in Colrain set up the FIBERuary website in 2016 to feature a different article each day written by local fiber farmers, a shearer, and many crafts people. It’s all about fiber!

FIBERary SPEAKERS ON SUNDAYS
1:00 – 3:00   Free   Refreshments provided
Please call to reserve your seat:  413-397-3680

Feb 4  –  Susan Wright, Weaving with Knitting Yarn
Feb 11 – Kristen Whittle, Running a Sheep Farm
Feb 18 – Peggy Hart, Wool in America, 1780 -1840
Feb 25 – Steve Purdy, Alpaca Fiber Production in the Andes

Feb 4  –  Susan Wright, Weaving with Knitting Yarn

Weaving with knitting yarns provides tremendous variety and inspiration, but can be a little different from weaving with traditional yarns made for weaving. Come learn some of the differences, challenges and opportunities weaving with knitting yarn can bring to your weaving and view samples made with knitting yarns.   Susan Wright has been weaving for 18 years and completed the Hill Institute Master Weaver Program in2010. She enjoys weaving, quilting, knitting and almost any other fiber craft.

Feb 11 – Kristen Whittle, Running a Sheep Farm

Kristen started Little Brook Farm in Sunderland in 1983. She raises sheep, goats, pigs, chickens and turkeys and likes to share her farm with children during summer and vacation week camps. Kristen was the livestock manager for the University of Massachusetts for 13 years before returning to school to get a degree in nursing. She now works as an elementary school nurse along with running her farm.  Kristen raises sheep for both meat and wool selling most of the wool as blankets sold off of the farm.

Feb 18 – Peggy Hart, Wool in America, 1780 -1840

Peggy recently published Wool: Unraveling an American Story of Artisans and Innovation, and will have books to sell and sign.  The period 1780 – 1840 in the US represents the intermediate stage between hand production of textiles and mechanization. Large scale importation of merino sheep during this time greatly improved the quality and quantity of wool available. Wool carding machines began the process of mechanizing textile production; subsequently the development of cotton spinning made possible the putting out system of production and also new fabrics based on using machine spun cotton for warp. Soon after, cotton looms were modified to weave fabrics with wool weft such as satinet. In 1837, George Crompton invented the loom on which 100% wool fabric could be woven. While Americans were quick to embrace the new inexpensive cotton fabric, wool continued to be a staple in wardrobes for everyone from citizens to slaves.

Peggy Hart majored in African history in college. She ran a hand spinning and weaving cottage industry as a 2-year Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya. She studied weaving at the Penland School of Crafts and the Rhode Island School of Design, receiving a M.A.E. from RISD in 1981. Since then she has been a production weaver and teacher; designing, producing, and marketing hundreds of blankets annually including custom blankets for fiber farmers using their own yarn.

Feb 25 – Steve Purdy, Alpaca Fiber Production in the Andes

As a veterinarian, Dr. Purdy’s Nunoa Project focus is on promoting successful alpaca management in rural areas in the Peruvian highlands.  Herd improvement is key to establishing self-sustaining programs to support herding families.  With improved fiber quality, farming communities can create added-value products from their fleeces rather than sell it to middlemen for very low prices.   One such new Nunoa program is the formation of a group of spinners to carry on the region’s textile tradition and sell knitted products to local and US markets.

Dr. Stephen Purdy DVM is an internationally-known camelid veterinarian located in Belchertown.  He is President of the Nunoa Project, a US-Peru charity dedicated to preserving the rural traditions of the southern Peruvian highlands, and heads the North American Camelid Studies Program.

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