Sustainable Cloth – Keeping Cozy!

While it’s hard to think about winter when we’re sweltering in summer heat, several of the Sustainable Cloth entries were cozy scarves, perfect for keeping folks warm on chilly days!


Border Leicester Cowl by Katie Keister  

I wanted to make a merino cowl from a pattern a friend had shared with me.  I looked in my large stash of wool and found two fleeces purchased at the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival that are from the fiber shed area.   I used merino wool from Quail Hollow Farm in Elkton MD (that was cleaned and carded at Alford Family Farm and Spinnery in Bealsville MD) and Border Leicester Fleece from Wooly Wonders Farm, Carlisle, PA.  I usually work with silk that I have painted or dyed with chemical dyes for nuno felting, but for this challenge I turned to a stash of silk scarves I collected from local thrift shops.  The scarves used in this piece came from Golden Rooster Thrift Shop in Upperville, VA.   The antique button from my mother’s button boxThough I purchase and use a lot of local wool, it was good to actually look to see where these fleeces came from to insure they were within the fibershed and to limit the embellishments to repurposed silk and buttons. It was a nice exercise to participate in.  I’ve been lifelong learner in the fiber arts  – everything from sewing, knitting and embroidering as a child, to spinning, weaving, dyeing, silk painting and felting as an adult. With natural fibers as a canvas, I continue to explore the interplay of color and texture through the fiber dynamics of silk and wool.  With a desire to be more mindful in the use of resources, and drawing inspiration from both nature and in previous decades of creatives, I incorporate four generations of fiber, textile, bead and button collections in my work.  As both a student and instructor, I am committed to affirming and pursuing the intersection of creativity, storytelling, neural integration and health/wellness.












Shawl and Cap by Kathy Withers

Fully embracing our fibershed, all the fiber for this shawl and cap came from the Merino Sheep and Angora Goats raised on the Withers Wool Farm in Woodbine, Maryland.   The primary artist for this work was Kathy Withers who sadly passed away during the challenge. The inspiration for the shawl and cap pattern came from imagining how the natural colors from the various animals would naturally blend  as they knitted together.  Kathy was involved in the fiber arts in our region for decades, raising fiber animals for over 20 years. She was assisted by her husband, Marc, and fellow fiber artist, Barbara Furlough. 











Cozy Cowl by Marian Bruno

When thinking about how to thank Lee Langstaff, who graciously  hosted the Sustainable Cloth Gathering at her Maryland farm, it seemed that giving her a clothing item that was locally sourced would be a nice remembrance of the event.  I chose a cowl for a few reasons – no sizing needed and it was easier to wear on a farm – no worries of it getting caught on a rough nail, or of a nibble by a friendly animal.  The cowl is made from locally sourced wool roving:   two layers of merino roving from Black Sheep Farm, with felted “stones” made with mohair roving from Flying Goat Farm and Jacob roving from Solitude Wool between the layers.  Since the stone shapes were fully felted, they added texture, with a lovely halo where the cut edges migrated through the merino.  I decided to hem the edges to give it a more even finish.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *