burdockandbeefarm is taking a short break
Note from shop owner
Janet on Mar 3, 20145 out of 5 stars
Leah can always be counted on to provide A+ fiber. This is lovely. The beautiful med-dark brown color can be worn by any skin tone.
jamine on Dec 24, 20135 out of 5 stars
funkyfresh! soft, warm, & perfect for when the cold has me down! obviously created with skill and great care... also, it was here 2 days after I bought it!
melissa on Dec 6, 20135 out of 5 stars
this is just the nicest yarn, and at such a good price. I'm so pleased to have found affordable American alpaca!
melissa on Dec 6, 20135 out of 5 stars
lovely heavy duty yarn, perfect for daily use man socks (or socks for winter running, which is what I'm making). Thank you!
A belief in American fiber producers and desire to support a more local economy
I started my fiber business the way most people start ... a love of all things fiber, a love of color, a love of the tactical experience of spinning and knitting. A desire to create something lovely, something useful, something unique.
Somewhere along the way, I started to feel that it was important to find out who and where the fiber I love working with so much came from. Who are the people who grow it, sell it, sacrifice so much of their lives & incomes raising the animals who so generously give it to us?
I met them at fiber festivals, at work, at knitting and spinning guilds. They became my friends, my neighbors, the people I work for. They became the backbone of my business and why I do what I do.
I don't sell many fancy imported fibers ... not much superwash merino, not much silk or cashmere. I don't sell really anything that's produced commercially on a large scale. That's not my dye stock, not my inventory, not what I seek out when I seek out raw materials to work with.
I seek out small producers, people I know through my fiber network. I buy fleeces from other fiber-mad people either here in Michigan or in other parts of the country. I buy their raw fleeces, one or two or three at a time usually, and I have that wool either processed a few miles from where I myself live, or I hand wash it at home & dye it in the lock.
I buy most of my yarn from a local mill that buys local or at least domestic American wool and other fibers ... I do my best to keep my money within the fiber community here, at home. I buy some of my basic dye stock for spinning fiber from that same mill and I know that the wool or alpaca or mohair or what have you in it was purchased by them from a small Michigan or American producer. I know where it is made, how it is made. I know the people that process the fiber and they know the people that produce the raw fiber.
My batches are unique ... I don't have a "base" that I always buy & use. Each batch, each colorway, each run ... is as unique as the individual animals and growers that produce the fiber.
I realize that my resistance to buying imported fibers in large quantities isn't going to make me rich anytime soon, if ever. But I'm not in this business to get rich. I'm in this for the love of the craft, for the love of the fiber animal, for the love & deep appreciation of the hard-working people that steward the flocks.
I understand the desire for people to always work with something soft, something shiny, whatever new thing happens to roll down the fiber pike at any given time.
But I hope there are also people who can appreciate good sturdy homegrown wool & who will find pleasure in its unique qualities. I'm one of those people. I love to work with Jacob, with Border Leicester, with Shetland and with locks from Cotswold & Lincoln. It's a joy to discover and work with the old, rare and now-declining breeds.
Some of my stuff is soft enough to wrap around your neck, some might not be (but I always tell you if it is or isn't). Everything has a purpose, and a use. All it takes is a little exploration and ingenuity; some creativity and working outside the box. There is a world of rare & precious fiber to explore grown on farms and ranches right here, all across America.
I hope you'll take a few of your fiber dollars and explore that world with me & in doing so, join me in supporting our hard working American fiber growers. If we support them, we can help them continue to steward these small flocks of rare & perhaps threatened breeds.
Owner, Maker, Designer, Curator, Knitting, Spinning, Packing, Shipping ~ The Whole She-bang!
Making soap in the cold processed method here on our farm, sourcing hyper-locally from the ground beneath our feet, and also from our fellow farmers here in mid Michigan.
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