Archive for the ‘wool’ Category

The wool, fiber, and textile world includes a variety of passionate, interesting, entertaining folks. Knitters, crocheters, spinners, weavers, dyers, designers, farmers, and ranchers are all advocates, but Clara Parkes is a true evangelist in the best sense and definition of the word.

I “met” Clara (and, yes, I am going to use her first name) through her website Knitters Review fairly early on in my knitting endeavors. She reviewed books and yarn and tools in great detail without ever being boring. Her tests and observations were practical and insightful. I was an avid reader. At this point the site is an archive of those reviews and posts as well as links to her books and online classes, but the fiber events calendar is current.

Her Instagram account is quite active. And delightfully opinionated. Some poor soul was recently brave or foolish enough to suggest that Clara “stick to yarn” and stay out of politics. That person inspired a series of educational posts from Clara. (I tried embedding straight from Instagram, and the embedded content was ENORMOUS, and WordPress help was unhelpful\inconclusive, so I opting for screen shots. I know that blocks are supposed to make life simpler, but I miss the old days of fumbling my way through HTML.)

Another passion is outing products masquerading as wool or fleece when they contain little to no actual wool or other animal fiber. Her review of the L.L. Bean holiday catalog last year was epic.

Clara’s current project, celebrating its first anniversary, is The Wool Channel. The free option gets you a newsletter, but the subscription opens up a whole world. There is a community with lively discussions. There is a monthly Flock Talk with Clara in which she answers questions and shares information. There are interviews with fiber farmers and processors and scientists and video tours of facilities collected into a series called Voices in Wool.

The platform and its founder definitely do not just stick to yarn (or even sheep for that matter, although they are the focus). There is a larger discussion of textiles and manufacturing, how fiber is farmed and harvested, the people doing that farming and harvesting, and what words like “sustainable” really mean in the context of clothing and home goods.

You don’t have to be a fiber artist to benefit from and appreciate what The Wool Channel has to offer. If you want to move away from fast fashion made of synthetic materials and disposable home goods, if you want to learn about the many personal and environmental benefits of wool, or if you want to learn about the many (and I mean MANY) possible uses for wool, The Wool Channel is the place to be.

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