We farms go to events to sell our products and we are often part of a crowd that includes businesses (mills without livestock, wholesalers etc), and makers who purchase the raw materials for their products. I have always felt that the reality (and the voice) of the farms can't be heard within the variety of the crowd. So I wanted to give these women the opportunity to proudly show off their prize fleeces and their handspun yarn that was created from the fleece of a favourite ewe or alpaca. To lay out the roving that was blended based on her judgement of which of her animals would spin well together. To display the milled yarn that reflects the consideration and imagination she gave to the fineness of various fleeces long before shearing even happened.
When fibre farmers are amongst their flocks / herds, we don't just see the animal. We see the future fibre that will be sheared at some point by a shearer who understands the value in that fleece. We consider the nutrition that goes into supporting the growth of exceptional fibre. We dream of the results that careful breeding can bring in expressing lovely fineness and structure of fibre. When a fibre farmer is in amongst her herd / flock, she can't help but touch the fleeces to judge the softness, the consistency, length. We look at our animals and dream of yarn.
So Landmade was an opportunity to share that belief and commitment and enthusiasm. The roving that our spinners and felters buy and the yarn that our knitters, crocheters and weavers take home represents the responsibility and hard work that goes into being a fibre farmer. It all reflects long hours in the barn during lambing, days of hay moving and poo shovelling. It reflects harsh realities and gentle, quiet moments. It is a relentless struggle and a constant joy. So when you buy the fibre and hear the story of this ewe or that alpaca, you can touch the relationship to the land and the living creature that produced this amazing product, first hand.