episode sixteen: alberta yarn project

welcome to the sixteenth episode of from field to skin! we’re concluding the second forage collection with alberta yarn project as we focus this year on alberta’s fibreshed. 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. i had the privilege of visiting alberta in march and july of this year and interviewed alberta yarn project, custom woolen mills, megan samms of live textiles, and tin forest farm all on location. our fourth episode was filmed on location in march 2019 on treaty six territory.

anna and kalea met and started the alberta yarn project five years ago, with alliston joining them shortly thereafter. beginning their business a little before “fibreshed” as a general term and concept had made their way north of the border, the trio was focused on supporting and championing the various sheep breeds that call alberta home. they have slowly grown to a point where they are regulars at custom woolen mills, heading out to farms at shearing time to help sort and skirt fleeces before purchasing them directly and then driving the bags and bales down to the mill for processing. i’ve benefitted firsthand from kalea’s expertise at grading the quality of a fleece and identifying the likely breeds of mystery fleeces. we got on especially well thanks to their co-op business model and anti-capitalist stance, which we go into in more length during our chat. thanks to fern for facilitating our first meet-up!

you can purchase forage: volume 2 on ravelry here.

following this year’s forage collection, interviews will be going on hiatus until the new year and after i have secured funding (stayed tuned next month for news about how you can be a part of that!). if you would like to support future episodes, including ensuring the continuation of in-person interviews, please visit our support page!

mentioned in this episode: a&b fiberworks; calgary fibre arts fair; calgary fibre shindig; custom woolen mills; exotic fibres; fibershed; long way homestead; olds’ fibre week; pembina fibreshed; sheep creek weavers; trappers’ association; twisted sisters fibre mill

ash albergforage collection