From Sheep to Sweater

This story about Mati Ventrillon is incredibly inspiring.  Her operation on Fair Isle produces a true sheep-to-sweater product:  she raises her own flock of sheep, shears them, sends the fleece to Shetland to be dyed and spun, then designs custom fair-isle patterns and knits the sweaters.  And check out her awesome traditional "woollie horse" wooden stretchers:

  Image by Mati Ventrillon

Image by Mati Ventrillon

It reminds me a bit of Wooly Jenny's Fibre Adventures:

I’m so excited about my goal for 2107: To go from raw fleece of an animal to an FO all by myself. I want to experience scouring and washing, picking, carding/combing, dyeing, spinning and knitting or weaving it on my own.

Of course you don't have to do this; you are free to walk into any store and pick up any yarn you want and start knitting.  But I think taking a raw fleece through all the processing required even before you can beginning knitting is such a great experience and would give me such an appreciation for fibre producers and processors.  It's kind of like growing your own food -- it's not necessary, but it makes you really appreciate the effort that goes into food production and it also makes you really recognize the quality of food.