From Farm to Yarn Project

Teamwork n sheep

Like life isn’t filled with enough projects!

Last month when we visited Carol & Harry, I was struck by something Harry said regarding their wool: No one wants it and it often  ends up in the compost pile. Wow! This probably happens with a lot of small farms with small sheep population.

The brain jumped right into the “what if” mode: what if I tried to process a fleece from start to finish? Could I do it? Would my sister be interested in participating? How could my sister NOT be interested in doing a joint project involving textiles?

On asking she immediately said YES! She is the most experienced with dying and spinning wool. I’m a total newbie.  Then I asked my woolly friends if they would be willing to allow us to have some of the fleeces. They answered YES! What amazing friends! ewe

So, now it’s the waiting game for when to shear. The final birth happened a week ago. They will wait a bit for the lamb to adjust to life. Apparently lambs do rely on finding mom by smell, as well as voice. When you take away the lush wool, mom doesn’t smell the same and it becomes rather confusing for the little guys. With weather warming, they need to get those coats off sooner than later.

Both Kim (my sister) and I are already delving into videos and finding friends who have gone through the full process. We will be taking it step by step.

Process is probably what draws me into most of my projects. From the early ideas, purchasing/acquiring of materials, and starting the raw forms. I love to photograph steps and share my experiences. So, you, dear readers, will be getting the full deal. I’m arranging to be at the farm for shearing to photograph/video the process, choosing the fleeces, skirting, cleaning and everything! Plus keeping the lithograph process flowing forward on clay and starting prints for the grand collaboration. It makes me happy to finally be moving forward with things I want to do!


Urgh, I also agreed to giving a talk on public art for the contemporary quilt guild at the beginning of May. I better get started on THAT project as well. Probably not one of my best moves in agreeing to do this, but I thought it would push me into the dreaded world of presentations and my work. Certainly out of my comfort zone. I better get prepping so I DO feel comfortable with a 40 min talk!





Published by paperstew

I'm an artist in Albany Oregon focusing on paper and natural objects for inspiration.

7 thoughts on “From Farm to Yarn Project

    1. Oh, I remember seeing that piece posted and loved it! I’m not certain what I’ll do with the end yarn. It would be nice to produce something for Carol and Harry to use (hat, mittens, scarf)for their generosity.
      I’m starting work right now on the talk….in between goofing off with the computer.

  1. Always something! Love your enthusiasm and am excited to hear/Watch to wool process and use! Amazing!!

  2. I have done this one too. Years ago I used to spin my own wool, then got into natural dying and then weaving and knitting. The most satisfying thing to turn raw fleece into a finished object. I really look forward to seeing what you and your sister do. Karen

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