The Melbourne Fibreshed group is in an exciting phase. Thanks to the work of Rachel there is an active group of members in the Facebook group, and this year several members participated in the both #1year1outfit and the Fibershed knitalong as an easy starting point. Much kudos to all the quick knitting of shawls, despite it being the middle of summer here:
Elizabeth from Eliza-Beth’s Textiles and Crafts
Elizabeth used her all of her spinning, weaving, knitting and design skills to complete her pieces. She faced a major challenge in using a local fleece that needed a lot work before she could even begin spinning. She added some Corriedale wool and local dyes before weaving into the jacket. I am in love with her bespoke closures too!
Her vest is made from Alpaca from Fibre Naturally, hand spun and hand knit herself.
Interestingly, the skirt yarn was found at the Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show and was a vintage yarn made in the now closed Yarra Falls mill in Abbotsford. She used the same yarn in her gorgeous graduated shawl.
Elizabeth has more projects (yes, more!) and the full details here.
Pips from The Girl in a Tea Cup
Pip has been working towards a #1year1outfit project since it started, and it is so lovely to see her finally able to access a local product and an accessible knit design to do just that! She purchased her natural yarn from the Great Ocean Road Mill. The sheep farm is in the Otways (less than 200km away) and she says “the wool is washed with rainwater, no chemical treatments used and bits of the field they graze in can be found in the wool due to minimal processing.”
Bria completed two projects that were hyperlocal – from her own farm! She spun Finn wool from her own sheep and used Oxalis and cherry natural dyes. She hand wove the tabard and hand knit the shawl. I am so impressed that she manage all of that in a year!
Michelle from Country Victoria
Michelle found the project a great chance to investigate processing, weaving, and natural dyes. All of her projects were also hyper-local and she hand spun all the fibre.
She made a hand knit jumper from rams wool, a hand woven wool scarf from Weaner (yearling) and a hand knit lace wrap from Chatsworth weather wool. The first project used commercial dyes, but as she learnt more through the year incorporated pomegranate dye into the final projects.
It is so heart warming to see the project as a catalyst for learning new and exciting things. Michelle has even started hand processing yarn to sell at the local market.
Robyn also participated in the knitalong and impressively spun and knit the wool from 2 corriedales and one alpaca in an incredibly short time.
I am excited to have joined Fibreshed Melbourne and we have been doing a lot of work behind the scenes so watch this space as we look to build projects that support the local textile community.
I would like to say that I continue to be humbled by the amount of thought and effort that all of the participants put into this project. There are many more makers out there who have researched local textiles and have found the barriers too great. All of these stories of success and failure provide valuable insight on the current fibre systems and how we might work towards a regenerative model that supports everyone in the chain and gives back to the land.
I am deeply thankful to everyone who has join me on this journey so far. I look forward to reading more stories from around the globe so don’t forget to sign up.