Tuesday, March 9, 2010
1. What is your website? www.solitudewool.com 2. Your Ravelry username? GretchenSolitude 3. What do you make? Breed-specific wool yarns from sheep on small farms in the Chesapeake watershed. Due to space limitations, we will bring a sample of everything. If there is something you are interested in, send us an email ahead of time and we will bring it. 4. How did you get into making stuff? Gretchen’s answer: I’ve always made stuff! My sister taught me to sew doll clothes by hand when I was 5. I have a BFA and was a graphic designer for 20 years. When I wanted to be a farmer I realized that fiber was a way to combine farming with my love of “making stuff.” I learned to spin before we moved to Loudoun County and got goats then sheep. 5. What is your favorite thing about the local fiber community? My favorite thing is that fiber people are really nice. That is true for sheep people too. It’s just really great to work with good people and have such nice customers. The fun thing about the local fiber community is you never know what people do in their non-fiber life. This area is so interesting and diverse. 6. How does what you do/make influence the rest of your life, and vice versa? This is my whole life I think...between the animals, growing dye plants, making yarn, dyeing yarn, skeining yarn and selling yarn there is hardly time left for knitting and weaving. 7. Any funny stories, words of wisdom, something else to share about you or your business? Most of our amusements in life come from the animals. They are really funny and entertaining...but it’s hard to share that in a sentence. But about our business I would like to share that one of our missions is to help create a (viable) market for small farms that produce good wool. It is hard for a shepherd if they aren’t fiber people to sell their fleece for a decent price (the wool pool pays only pennies a pound), especially if they don’t have the skills or interest to create a value added product. Last year Solitude bought 1800 pounds of wool from 24 small farms representing 14 different breeds of sheep.