episode five: circle r livestock
welcome to the fifth episode of from field to skin! we're continuing the inaugural forage collection with my visit to circle r livestock. i'm hoping to dig a little deeper into different fibresheds by profiling multiple players within them and use their fibres for an accompanying design collection, and we're starting off with upper canada fibreshed. i had the privilege of visiting their region in ontario back in may to teach a 100 mile natural dyeing workshop at elora centre for the arts, and conduct in-person interviews with three members of their fibreshed - laura of twin oaks farm, romy of circle r livestock, and kerri of westlake knits.
visiting circle r livestock was especially exciting because it was my first trip to a larger-scale farming operation. romy and her husband ryan had 600 dorset sheep at the time we came through (they've been working on an expansion that will bring them closer to 1000 sheep!), with the primary focus on the farm being the raising of lamb for the meat market. they also have some layer hens and raise some sheep for breeding stock, but with the focus on meat, they're pretty much always in some cycle of lambing the ewes. it's impressive to see, and conveniently for us fibre nerds, they recognize the value of fleeces as a secondary income source and raise their sheep with yarn and batts in mind! i spent the morning with romy, becky, our photographer, jess, and poppy the sheepdog while we toured the farm, and then ate some delicious lamb roast for lunch before heading off with more yarn and two twin-sized quilt batts. my conversation with romy was filled with a lot of laughing, a sneezing lamb, and poppy cameos, so i hope you enjoy it! you can give romy's yarn and lamb a try by grabbing some from her online store - the yarn is a perfect base for natural dyes and has great stitch definition, which you can see in the burdock shawl below.
mentioned in this episode: upper canada fibreshed
from field to skin patterns using circle r livestock yarn: