I started this shop because I felt Canadians needed more access to affordable heritage breed fibres, to Canadian fibres, and to educational content. At all stages of my spinning career I’ve most enjoyed spinning naturally coloured heritage breeds, enjoying the exploration of the feel and function of different fibres. I wanted to bring an affordable method of trying out (and falling in love with) these fibres to fellow Canadian fibre artists.
My Spinning Story:
I learned to spin a decade ago, after a childhood spent longing to learn the craft. My grandmother had taught me to knit as a child, and I loved to pore over library books about handcrafts, simple living, homesteading, and pioneering. About ten years ago I happened upon a guild demonstration at a local country fair and enthusiastically asked how I could get involved. I patiently waited for the yearly learn to spin course to roll around, where I had my first introduction to the craft.
I then bought a Golding Spindle, and about 6 months later I saved up for a vintage refurbished Ashford Traditional the same age as me. I loved to spin, but living in the isolated Canadian north, I hit a plateau until the arrival of spinning on social media. Here I could watch YouTube videos and Craftsy classes to learn new techniques, and chat back and forth on Facebook and Ravelry forums.
As someone with a persistent entrepreneurial spirit, it wasn’t long until I opened my Etsy shop in 2012, and later began selling my yarn in my LYS. As well, being a high school teacher it was natural for me to start teaching others to spin. But then once again I stalled. Something just wasn’t clicking.
Then I had a revelation that changed my vision and my business model. After working with Canadian fleeces and the amazing people who raise the sheep that produce them, I wanted to promote Canadian wool to spinners to fiscally help the shepherds and to create demand for the product in order to preserve heritage sheep breeds.
Now, along with sourcing and selling these fibres (and yarns made from them), I’m writing for various publications (PLY Magazine, Mother Earth News Magazine) to help spread the word on the need to appreciate and protect sheep diversity, and to promote the spread of handspinning to create an even wider market for Canadian fleeces. I am embarking on a mission to create a local fibre shed, culminating in a “One Year One Outfit” project created entirely from local materials.
I’m still teaching spinning, using a short, intense module type of format which allows people to immerse themselves in a technique to lead to quicker mastery. I’m also working on teaching my daughter to spin; for the last 5 years I’ve dreamed of the day we could sit beside each other with our projects in our laps. I try to model a slow living lifestyle with my children, and handcrafts are a huge part of that. I’ll also be part of a small collective of teachers in my high school teaching and encouraging handcrafts to help students detox from tech and re-learn focusing skills.