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Staying Warm with Local Wool

November 17th, 2009

For the last couple years we’ve been trying to live more locally, not just in what we eat but in all areas of our life. I try to search out a local source for just about everything I need. Since Mr Chiots is taking up hunting this year, he’s going to need a nice warm scarf. I decided a wool one would be ideal and set out to find a source for local wool. I finally found Trinity Woolen Mill through Local Harvest. Luckily they were going to be at a nature arts festival nearby so we went to see what they had.
I bought some lovely brown yarn that was from “Pansy” a Blue Faced Leicester. I love that the yarn came with a photo of the sheep it came from, how wonderful is that? Their yarn is all natural, they practice sustainable husbandry of their flock and they use bio-degradable, non-phosphate, dye-free, fragrance-free potions in the processing of the wool.
I haven’t knitted since I was in jr high, so it took me a few minutes to get back into the swing of it. It’s like riding a bicycle though, so in no time I was back in the groove. Mr Chiots even tried his hand at knitting after a quick lesson.
Knitting is something I’ll definitely be doing a lot more of in the future. It’s such a wonderful evening activity, perfect for those cold winter evenings. I just found an alpaca farm that makes hand spun yarn not too far away and I’ll be searching for more sources of local fiber. I can’t wait to make myself an alpaca scarf or a pair of fingerless mittens.

What kind of hobbies do you take up in the winter to make up for the loss of gardening?

22 Comments to “Staying Warm with Local Wool”
  1. Mangochild on November 17, 2009 at 8:23 am

    There are several local fiber places here too, but I have never tried their wool… not sure why, it is logical, right? And they are right there at farmers’ markets… and the products look beautiful…
    The catch is that I am a *horrid* knitter, no matter how many times people try to teach me. Crocheting, yes, I’m fine at that and actually enjoy it. Knitting, um… Well, I guess I can crochet some of the wool, right?
    .-= Mangochild´s last blog ..CSA share report: November 14, 2009 =-.

    Reply to Mangochild's comment

    • Susy on November 17, 2009 at 10:38 am

      Yes, I’ve seen some lovely crocheted items at Etsy. I need to relearn crochet as well.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. kristin @ going country on November 17, 2009 at 9:10 am

    Believe it or not, my MiL is just starting to learn to spin. When she’s proficient enough, I’ll ask her to teach me. She knits and I don’t, so I figure it’s only fair that my husband raises and shears the sheep, I spin the wool, and my MiL knits it. Then everyone contributes.

    Spinning is hard, though, I can tell already. So you should really appreciate those hand-spun yarns.
    .-= kristin @ going country´s last blog ..The View from Above =-.

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

    • Susy on November 17, 2009 at 10:39 am

      I was wondering if you guys spun your wool, can’t wait to see photos. You can have MiL knit some lovely baby clothes.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. Beegirl on November 17, 2009 at 9:44 am

    Love your yarn! Looks like a fun place. I can’t seem to put down the knitting. Almost done with the second pair of gauntlets. I’d like to get 2 more pair done for gifts..
    .-= Beegirl´s last blog ..Bench Monday: Circa 1973 Edition =-.

    Reply to Beegirl's comment

  4. Leiah on November 17, 2009 at 11:16 am

    First thing I do when the leaves start to turn is pull out my basket of yarn and start planning knitting and crocheting projects for winter.

    I really want to learn to spin and process my own yarn as well as dye it, I’m planning to plant dye plants soon and intend to have angora goats for the mohair. The idea of being able to produce blankets and sweaters and scarfs from yarn that we’ve produced to me is the ultimate in sustainability. I cant wait!
    .-= Leiah´s last blog ..Be the change you want to see in the world =-.

    Reply to Leiah's comment

    • Susy on November 17, 2009 at 11:18 am

      That sounds wonderful! Plant dyes are so interesting. I once dyed some fabric with onion skins and I think elderberries would make a beautiful color as well.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  5. Jaspenelle on November 17, 2009 at 11:29 am

    That looks like luxurious wool yarn, how lovely!

    When the weather cools I knit though I’ve just recently begun to learning anything beyond the scarf. I’d love to pick up spinning again, with a drop spindle. I sew more during the cold months (currently making a bathrobe for my son and fabric balls for Yule gifts) and definitely bake more (whole wheat rolls, shortbread and homemade baked pasta on the slate for today.)
    .-= Jaspenelle´s last blog ..Blessingway =-.

    Reply to Jaspenelle's comment

  6. Maureen on November 17, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    I did a little knitting in college and decided last winter to try it again. My daughter and hubby loved the scarves I made for them, and I’m enjoying the warmth of fingerless gloves and doing dishes with hand-made dish cloths…maybe this winter I’ll try making a hat :)

    ps. your yarn is gorgeous!!!
    .-= Maureen´s last blog ..Applesauce =-.

    Reply to Maureen's comment

  7. warren on November 17, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    I took up loom knitting last winter, but it didn’t really suit me. I think I may try quilting this year…if it can be done on the cheap
    .-= warren´s last blog ..I got the fever =-.

    Reply to warren's comment

  8. tina on November 17, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Knitting in winter with local wool is an awesome thing to do in the winter. It reminds me of ‘back to basics’ and staying close to home. A wonderful thing. Your photos are so warm and comforting.

    Reply to tina's comment

  9. MAYBELLINE on November 17, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    .-= MAYBELLINE´s last blog ..Volunteers =-.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

  10. Jennifer on November 17, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Lovely yarn! I started knitting a year ago and try to purchase organic products when possible. This year my goal is to pull that local hub in tighter by purchasing materials from my neighbors. I think learning any kind of textile skill makes one appreciate their clothing and where it came from that much more.

    BTW, I originally found you over at myfolia and have followed your website since this summer. You’re a great source for gardening, ideas and how to live by giving back to our planet.

    Reply to Jennifer's comment

  11. Diane@Peaceful Acres on November 17, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    Even in the summer evenings I always knit….probably socks so as not to get too hot from the yarn. It’s rhythmic and relaxing….and I’m a bit ADD and have to do something other than eat with my hands!

    I love love love BFL wool! If I ever get sheep it will be BFL! By the way, I hope you don’t mind if I give my shop a plug with some hand knits….
    .-= Diane@Peaceful Acres´s last blog ..Pepitas =-.

    Reply to Diane@Peaceful Acres's comment

    • Susy on November 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm

      Sure, I love Etsy and buying handmade. I try to buy local, then if I can’t find local I try to buy small business/handmade.

      I’ll head on over and check out your shop!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  12. the inadvertent farmer on November 17, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    I just took up knitting again after 30 years. All my boys are getting scarves of wool, Sweet Girl is getting fuzzy pink one! I also bake a lot more in the winter as well as sew.

    Lovely scarf…I need to find some local wool. Although someone left a comment on my blog to let me know that camel hair makes lovely wool. Now to get the big guy to stand still long enough for me to ‘harvest’ a little!
    .-= the inadvertent farmer´s last blog ..Flowers Friends and Feeding your Soul =-.

    Reply to the inadvertent farmer's comment

    • Susy on November 17, 2009 at 5:39 pm

      Mr Chiots has a really nice camel hair coat, it’s woven from camel wool. It is rather nice and very warm. Can’t wait to see how that goes.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  13. Traci on November 17, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    I know that this is off topic..but I have a garden seed question for you . I was wondering how you know if the seeds you are buying are Monsanto. I dont want to buy from them,,,but how do I know? I just got a seed catalog in the mail today…already??
    Thanks for all you info. We just bought some garlic from gourmet garlic per your recomendation.


    Reply to Traci's comment

    • Susy on November 18, 2009 at 7:12 pm

      It is tough trying to stay away from Monsanto seeds. It is very hard to know where to buy from. I’ve heard rumors that they own Johnny’s and a few other places. I try to buy from small heirloom seed companies. I like Seed Savers (which you have to pay a membership for) and I also like to buy from places like Southern Exposure and Renee’s Garden.

      I was just thinking about doing a post about this and getting people to tell me their favorite place to buy non-GMO seeds.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  14. Mary on November 18, 2009 at 12:15 am

    I’ve been spinning and knitting for many years now, and not just during the Winter. I’m very lucky that there are flocks of sheep all over this area, and many of the shepherds raise their sheep organically or very close to it, so I can get local wool easily and process it without chemicals into whatever yarn I have a need for at the moment. Spinning is a very soothing pastime, with knitting a close second in my book.
    .-= Mary´s last blog ..BaggyWrinkle =-.

    Reply to Mary's comment

    • Susy on November 18, 2009 at 12:35 am

      We have an old spinning wheel heirloom in our family. I always thought it was very cool. Perhaps some day I’ll figure out how to use it.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • Mary on November 19, 2009 at 12:33 am

        You’re so lucky to have such an heirloom! They’re pretty easy to figure out and once you make your own yarn, there’s no going back to store bought ;-)
        .-= Mary´s last blog ..BaggyWrinkle =-.

        to Mary's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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