Join us in a community-wide practice of creating locally grown knitwear: the 2019 Fibershed Knitalong begins with this year’s Fibershed Gala: The Practice of Belonging. Whether knitting for yourself or someone in your life, the movement of yarn through your hands connects you to the landscape and community of our regional fiber and dye system, and each piece becomes a unique and tactile celebration of our textile culture.
Share your reflections and creations with us on social media using #FibershedKAL2019
For the 2019 Fibershed Knitalong, we invite you to choose from three featured patterns to pair with a yarn that is 100% local fiber and local natural dye:
- Bolinas Ridge Cowl by Marlie de Swart: an exploration of stitch textures combines two different yarns or colors for a classic, cozy accesory
- Coast Side Cardigan by Alisha Reyes: a stylish, oversized sweater that layers well through the seasons and is a beginner-friendly pattern to grow your local wardrobe
- Ocean Beach Mitts by Alice Tang: elegant fingerless gloves with winding cables to showcase bioregional fiber and color
Each piece grows from a 2×2 knit and purl rib stitch pattern into a unique expression of place and participation in your fibershed. Find beautiful local yarns from members of the Northern California Fibershed Cooperative online at www.FibershedMarketplace.com, and check back soon for a list of local retailers, pop-ups, and event opportunities.
A “knitalong” is a way of knitting in community despite distance, a way that we can support strategic geographies around the world in coming together around a knitting pattern and theme. Working with yarns from your local ‘fibershed,’ including small-batch yarns direct from local farms or unique handspun fiber combinations, often means that you are making adaptations to patterns written for a specific type of yarn. Here, we present a pattern that is designed specifically to highlight the unique qualities of locally-sourced yarn.
These are yarns that tell a story — of the land they come from, the breeds or varieties of plants and animals that produce the fiber, the dyestuff gathered or grown in your region, and the management and care that has gone into each step in getting the yarn into your hands.
Knitting your own local garment is also an act of prosumption — a way of engaging dialogue between producer and consumer. By nourishing the relationship between who grows and who makes our clothing, we can move beyond the barriers of strictly producing and consuming materials.
We hope you will be inspired by the Fibershed Knitalong to choose a new yarn or fiber from your area, and to connect in a deeper way with the people, plants, animals, and land-base that are producing these fibers in your region.
(Photo by Paige Green, below left, and Kalie Cassel-Feiss, below right)