Weaving the Community Cloth

Pokeberry and Indigo were dipped in merino wool that was graciously donated by “Reba” a sheep from the Potter Valley in this sweater tunic designed and knit by Sachi Henrietta.  The piece was worn atop Foxfibre buffalo brown cotton leggings.

Fibershed Fashion came alive for the community during our first ever benefit celebration.  One hundred and eighty individuals from throughout Northern California came together during a sold-out celebration to raise money for our first solar powered community based mill.

All food and fiber were carefully sourced from within our region.  Sally Fox harvested lamb for the stew, the goat was brought in from Rossotti Ranch, the corn tortillas made just north of us.  The bread from Brickmaiden Bakery– was adorned with Carmody cheese from Bellweather farm, Foggy Morning rounds from Nicasio Valley Cheese, and Cowgirl Creamery’s St. Pat.  The nettles, douglas fir tips, and wild mustard were harvested by my dear friend Mia Andler.  My brother Michael made a rose, and gogi berry flavored kombucha, Wild West Foods made an original dandelion, nettle and cleaver ale, Molly Myerson baked the strawberry rhubarb pies. Eamonn made the chocolate and vanilla cheesecakes, local vintners Lou Preston, Porter Creek, and J-vineyards provided amazing Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Chardonnay.  The local apothecary made a blend of medicinal “dye tea”.  The entirety of the meal was composed and brought to incredible life by John Murray– a talented San Francisco based chef, who poured love into every detail.

The rose, gogi, and original kombucha was a complete hit.  Everyone who imbibed in this drink, had words of praise for its maker– who was also the bartender.

The fiber menu was as exciting as the food!  Pria wears a handspun and handknit merino short from Merry Meadows Farm– an “old-style” bathing suit bottom.  (the idea came from my great-grandmother’s era.. she flaunted a wool bathing suit back in the 20’s, it was all the rage prior to synthetics)

Kacy Dapp wears a pair of earrings made by Dyan Ashby, constructed of Sally Fox’s cotton dyed in oak galls, and felted wool beads.  Her sweater was made by the Black Mountain Weaver’s collective of Point Reyes Station, the wool is from the farm of Mimi Luebbermann and Martha Cant of Starbuck Station.

The models for our event were all amazing community members, a group of women whose beauty shined from the both the in- and outside.  June wears a jacket designed by Amber Elandt, made of Sally Fox’s french terry cotton, dyed in a light iron and oak gall combo.  Her lovely scarf was hand knit by Gale Ulvang in Renaissance Ridge alpaca yarns– I dyed them in horsetail, fennel, and toyon.

Lily (top of stairs) wears a handwoven Viyella dress (cotton and wool blend), designed and created by Susan Hayes, of Susan Hayes Handwovens, the cardigan was hand knit by Heidi Iverson using three of Sally Fox’s yarns together– one strand dyed in Mt. Barnaby indigo.  Jalena (far right), wears a Kacy Dapp hand knit piece made from Robin Lynde’s natural colored Jacob’s sheep wool.

Sally Fox welcomed the Fibershed community together… asking every weaver, knitter, farmer, and seamstress to stand and be recognized for their skills, and for their commitment to creating this movement.  “We are the Fibershed,”  she said to a full house of inspired individuals.

Dyan Ashby elegantly walked the straw bale runway– wearing a Viyella shirt made of black wool and cotton, and a Foxfibre woven skirt– all pieces she made specifically for the show.

Sierra Reading wears her amazing Sue Reuser Cormo wool vest that she hand knit, felted, and dyed in onion skins and iron.  A beautiful piece, whose color and texture are reminiscent of a wild moss covered tree.

Eden Trenor was just the right fit for the Mt. Barnaby indigo dyed capri pants made of Foxfibre flannel, sewn by Kerry Keefe.  Zara Franks knit the shawl from Kenny Kirkland’s flock of mixed breed sheep.  The shirt was made of a buffalo brown light weight Foxfibre knit.

Stacie Shepp illuminated the playful aspects of the evening, as she danced down the runway wearing a piece that was hand knit and designed by Marlie de Swart of Black Mountain Weavers.  “I’m so proud of this piece,” de Swart said with a smile, “All the wool is from Windrush Farm.”  The sweater received many “wows” from the textile loving crowd.

Darcey Swanson wore the Renaissance Ridge hand felted and hand constructed alpaca jacket made by Katherine Jolda and Mali Mrozinski.  The pants are foxfibre flannel, sewn by Kerry Keefe.  (The jacket  has magnetic closures… so clever)

Elizabeth Shelhart makes her runway return wearing a perfectly fitting color-grown cotton flannel jumpsuit adorned with a stunning green cotton shawl, (when the cotton is boiled the shade darkens into this rich and deep shade of green.)

Dr. Sara Gottfried walked the catwalk like a pro, she wore Heidi Iverson’s two-layered hand knit foxfibre and Mt. Barnaby indigo piece with the vigor it so rightfully deserved.

Dyan Ashby is shown here wearing her own hand-constructed and designed naturally dyed foxfiber jewelry.  An exquisite compliment to the Fibershed offerings.

The night was brought to a new level of beauty with the music of Tim Weed– a wondrous local musician whose sound enhanced the feeling and experience of handmade.

We paid homage to the animals who make our clothes possible… some of them were kind enough to share the evening with us.  These are Guanacos from Royal Fibers farm.

Here is the map of our Fibershed.  Each farmer and artisan is documented for their contribution– thank you to each and everyone who has made the journey possible, and continues to evolve the Fibershed into a functioning supply chain for which we can all participate in.

We’ve begun the journey to re-weaving the community cloth… may the mill’s construction be swift, and come with ease and grace.. and may we all have the ability to wear local and regenerative clothes once again.

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14 thoughts on “Weaving the Community Cloth

  1. Oh, I greatly enjoyed this recap of your event! It has been a source of inspiration to see that so many people are coming together, much the same way that our food system began localizing itself a decade ago, this time around textiles and localizing our clothing.

    1. Yes! Let’s just keep connecting these movements.. it’s all from the same land base, and the consciousness of what we put on and in is of equal importance.

  2. I love reading about your community!
    How I wish there was something like Fibershed near me!!!
    Do you know of anything in Europe?
    You are an inspiration.
    Thank you.

  3. I could spend all day on your website. You are such an inspiration for me and I hope to attract your lifestyle to where I live in Ontario Canada!
    Thank you for everything and I eagerly await your next posts 🙂

    1. I also live in Ontario and couldn’t agree more! I knit,spin, dye and raise Angora bunnies in the Niagara area. Feel free to contact me.

  4. This is so cool! Not to mention the entire Fibershed project and concept. I wish I could have been there.

  5. I was only searching around on the internet for a supplier of a certain type of terry cloth when I found you.

    This my first connection with your movement, I’m fascinated at the implications. And I’m excited and all of a sudden, full of questions. (for now just 2)

    1) I was curious who the Weaving the Community Cloth benefit was for, not mentioned in the write-up other than to call it your first solar powered community based mill. Or will it be community owned, operated, shared?

    2) Do you make that map of the Fibershed community available? I may like to make a driving visit to at least some of those members that have a public-facing business.

    Thanks for running the blog. I can feel the growing sense of community even from here online, in southern California–I remember why I miss living in the north.

  6. So sad I missed it… I’m determined to be the first in line for the next one!

    Also – looking forward to more of your workshops :^)

  7. While searching in desperation for a supplier of colorgrown cotton fabric, I stumbled upon your blog. I am so inspired!!!! Thank you!

  8. I’ve just stumbled into the Fibershed doorway and am deeply inspired and thankful.
    Much, much gratitude – what a mindfully AWARE project. Beautiful results! 🙂

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