ABOUT 222 Handspun

People often ask me how and why I got into spinning and dyeing yarn. Here's a bit about my fiber story. Want to learn more about my background and process? Check out my interview in SpinArtiste.

Handspinning Yarn

Hand spinning is an ancient art form and a painstaking process that starts with selecting the finest fiber and materials. I’m lucky enough to live in a region with plenty of sheep and alpaca farms where I purchase a lot of my fiber. I love visiting the farms and meet the farmers I buy from and having the opportunity to hand pick the fiber. In some cases I’ve been able to buy the fleece right after being sheared. As a huge animal lover, I also like to know the fiber animal's name and their story, as well as the peace of mind that they are raised humanely. So many of the the farmers I buy from treat their sheep like pets and it is a testament to the quality of the wool they produce. Happy sheep make the finest fleece!

 
  No, that's not my sheep in the picture! That's "Cookie" the Karakul sheep from Red Gate Farm, on one of my visits. Photo by Sue Bundy

No, that's not my sheep in the picture! That's "Cookie" the Karakul sheep from Red Gate Farm, on one of my visits. Photo by Sue Bundy

 
 

Bio

Elysa is a Rhode Island native who has lived in Northern Virginia for over 22 years. She fell in love with the fiber arts as a child when learning to weave and use natural dyes. She has been handspinning yarn for several years and teaches workshops locally.

Elysa has a B.A. from Clark University in Worcester, MA with majors in Studio Art/Photography and Art History. She also studied Archaeology and Aboriginal Art at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia. She has a life-long fascination with folk and heritage arts - in particular the interplay of fiber in culture and storytelling, which appears in a lot of her work.

Besides her small yarn biz, 222 Handspun, she's a User Experience Designer for an online education company and an avid photographer. A self-confessed color addict, she loves snugly things, especially kittens and wool blankets. Her dream is to have a fiber studio and small farm of her own. But for now, she enjoys visiting local farms and fiber festivals. 

 

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