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the power of community

Posted on May 2, 2011 by in community | 6 comments

Last night I had the pleasure of attending a wonderful event organized by Rebecca Burgess, founder of the Fibershed Project. “Reweaving the Community Cloth” was a lovely celebration of our local community of fiber producers and artisans, and a fundraiser for the creation of a mill for the production of fine local fibers and cloth. Rebecca has done a brilliant job of connecting the farmers and the artists in the area, and has raised our awareness regarding the possibilities for localizing the creation of our clothing. As she mentioned last night, people have become more aware of where our food comes from, but we are still quite disconnected from the source of our clothing. The clothing industry today is one of the largest sources of pollution on the planet, but that will change as we shift to organic and regionally grown fibers and dyes.

“Reweaving the Community Cloth” at Toby’s Feedbarn in Point Reyes Station, a celebration and fundraiser for locally milled fibers

A selection of refreshing locally made kombucha and wines started the evening off, followed by a most delectable dinner of local organic and wild foods. Throughout the evening a slideshow of Paige Green’s incredible photos of farmers, animals and artists who are involved in the Fibershed Project was projected on a screen for all to enjoy, and lively music was provided by Tim Weed and friends. In another part of the barn, a beautiful collection of hand made items that were donated by a variety of local artisans for a silent auction were on display. Local fiber producers were also showing a selection of beautiful yarns and fleeces.

For the auction, I knit a lacy scarf with very fine alpaca yarn from Renaissance Ridge Alpacas. The pattern is by Bonnie Sennott, who graciously gave me permission to use it for this purpose. More of her patterns can be found on Ravelry, where she is known as bluepeninsula.

My contribution to the Fibershed auction was this lacy alpaca scarf.

After dinner, Rebecca spoke about her inspiration to begin the Fibershed Project just over a year ago, and how that led to so many creative connections within the fiber community. Cotton and sheep farmer Sally Fox spoke about the vision for a local fiber mill, which is on its way to becoming a reality thanks to so much community interest and support. And lastly, we were treated to a fashion show of clothing that was “grown and sewn close to home.” Much of the fiber used in the clothing was from Sally Fox’s color grown cotton, and it was stunning! You can read Rebecca’s post about the event and see some great photos of the clothing here.

the Fibershed fashion show, locally grown and hand crafted clothing with style

I am grateful to be part of such a vibrant community of caring people, working together for a bright (and artistic) sustainable future.


  1. I am so glad you shared this! I was a wee bit disappointed to be just far enough away to make attending very impractical, and can tell I missed something special. But, it is just the beginning! I love the beautiful scarf pattern you made and it must be as soft as heaven.

  2. Hi Dustin –
    So glad you took photos and posted about the Fibershed event. Thought I would be attending, then things fell through… Next time for sure.

    Love your beautiful scarf – you have so many great skills!

  3. Hi Birdsong and Janis, Sorry you couldn’t make it to the event. It was very inspiring. And thanks for the compliments on my scarf!
    ~ Dustin

  4. I am just exploring natural dyes to usr on my alpaca fiber. I would like to know if alum is the best choice for a mordant

    • Hi Polly, I have used alum as a mordant on an alpaca/wool blend with good success, so I assume it would work well on pure alpaca fiber too. It’s the mordant I use for all my natural dye experiments, except for japanese indigo, which doesn’t need a mordant. Good luck!

  5. I used vinegar with tansy and did not get brillant results
    I have orange cosmos in a pot now. I am going to try alum.