Eat Agar Handspun
Tell us about your business.I began spinning with the idea that it would get me that much closer to the natural fiber yarns that I craved. Eat Agar was born after a Joeseph Campbell-fueled post-car accident revelation. I decided I needed drum carder more than a new car and to do what I loved now, because who knew if there would be a later? I start with raw natural fibers like wool, alpaca and silk, minimally processing them, dyeing them and blending them together into a melange of colors and textures. The base of my yarns includes rescue wool from the Homestead Wool and Gift Farm in Monroe, WI. Because its a mixed flock I'm often able to purchase heritage breed fleeces and other interesting fibers like curly horsefiber and llama. Any silk that I use is either tussah or reclaimed. My dye process is low impact, with personally developed color formulas and includes locally foraged plant dyestuffs like sage, coreopsis and nettle. The result is a fine gauge, eco-ethical art yarn like nothing anybody else makes.
What makes your business stand out?Creating Eat Agar was and is a continual expression of my self and my values. Its not just pretty yarn. Every element of my process came out of my desire to live sustainably, beautifully and productively in the world. From growing & foraging for some of the dyestuffs and developing my own color formulas to starting with raw fleece and minimally processing it, then mixing each batch and handspinning myself; each resulting skein receives the care and attention of a work of art. But the best part is that it's a work of art that goes on to another life in the hands of a knitter, weaver or other fiber crafter. It lives on as a work of love.
What's the best business advice you've received?A shop manager once encouraged me to see our business relationship as an opportunity to make new things and take advantage of fresh eyes. I try to remember that whenever I hesitate to take the time to play with ideas and develop additional products.
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WINNERS ANNOUNCEDOct. 17, 2014
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