A very exciting event is coming to nearby Deerfield, There  is a limited amount of space so if you are interested please sign up soon.

Flax and Linen: Following the Thread from Past to Present

August 20, 2016 – August 21, 2016 | 9:00 am – 5:00 pm


A symposium presented by The New England Flax and Linen Study Group, in collaboration with Historic Deerfield.

Flax is a textile fiber with a 30,000-year history of human use. Its versatility and utility earned the moniker Linum usitatissiumum, the “most useful” fiber. The ancient history of this amazing fiber will be brought into the present and followed into the future during this two-day symposium.

Unlike most symposiums with speakers presenting papers, this symposium will follow a different format – shorter sessions and demonstrations covering all aspects of flax from beginning to end – planting to harvesting, retting, processing, spinning, weaving and finishing cloth – with additional lectures on specific topics. Highlights will be our keynote speakers on Saturday evening and a curated tour of Historic Deerfield’s textile collections to end the program.

Optional lunches will be available on Saturday and Sunday, and an optional dinner will be available on Saturday evening at the Deerfield Inn. There will also be a free welcome reception on Friday evening, August 19, from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the Deerfield Inn for those arriving into Deerfield for the symposium.


Program Sessions*: Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Flax in the Field – botany basics, flax seed, growing & harvesting
Retting It Right – chemistry of retting, historic & current methods, flax ponds
Flax Processing – overview of processing with demonstrations, spinning, weaving, finishing, bleaching, and special tool exhibits
Flax Today – diversity of flax products, local cloth/fibershed panel discussion
KeynoteFor the Communal Good: Communal Flax Processing in Colonial Bethlehem with Johannes & Christian Zinzendorf
Spinning a Thread – flax spinning wheels, linen spinning basics, distaffs
Weaving Linen – what makes weaving linen unique, special techniques & finishing, bleaching, panel discussion with linen weavers focused on special projects
All Manner of Useful Cloth – short presentations on Rough Cloth, A Simple Box of Weaving Equipment, the Shakers and Linen, and Interpretation at Historic Deerfield
Flynt Center – identifying linen display, guided tour of selected linens in HD collections with curator Ned Lazaro

Presenters/Demonstrators include*:
Johannes & Christian Zinzendorf, Authors of The Big Book of Flax
Florence Feldman-Wood, The Spinning Wheel Sleuth
Justin Squizzero, Eaton Hill Textile Works & Marshfield School of Weaving
Becky Ashenden, Vävstuga
Cassie Dickson, John C. Campbell Folk School
Ron Walter, Textiles & textile tools collector, researcher
Sandra Rux, Independent historian
Jeff Silberman,Fashion Institute of Technology, NYC
Jonn Foulk, Clemson University, USDA Agricultural Research Service
Patricia Bishop & Mike Pickett, Taproot Fibre Lab, Nova Scotia, Canada
Sandy Fisher,Chico Cloth, CA
Destiny Kinal, Reinhabitory Institute, CA
Chris Hammel, Hill Institute
Craig Evans, Textile collector & heritage weaver
Peter Cook, Retired museum curator/educator, farmer, pre-industrial textile technology collector
Roben Campbell, Shaker historian
New England Flax & Linen Study Group: Lisa Bertoldi, Faith Deering, Gina Gerhard, Diane Howes, Michelle Parrish, Carolyn Wetzel

*Note: Sessions and presenters subject to change


Registration Information

Registration will open on February 1, 2016 • Earlybird registration from February 1-April 29: $135/person. After April 29: $145/person . • Space is limited, so be sure to register early!

Register online or download the flyer to register by mail.

– See more at:

The Linen Symposium is coming to our neighborhood.  I am including details, sign up early, space is limited.






On February 1st we will start our wonderful blogs on fiber and farmers, shearers, weavers and rug hookers and many more.   

 It’s FIBERuary!
Monday begins FIBERuary.
a) A month of blog posts about fiber farmers, sheep, alpaca, fiber crafts… Read one every day on the website.

MY FIBER VALENTINE – a valentine contest at Sheep & Shawl. Enter your valentine made of fiber(s) & technique(s) of your choice (knit, crochet, weave, felt, collage, …). Due at the shop Sunday Feb 14. Winner of a gift basket will be announced Feb 21. Valentines will be displayed for the month, and may be picked up at the shop in March.

FIBERuary eventsSheep & Shawl will host speakers every Sunday from 1:00 – 3:00 at the shop. Hear funny stories about small farming; listen and then ask questions of farmers of various fiber animals; learn about rare breed sheep and view handwoven samples of their wool available for sale; and learn about how flax is spun into linen, a linen study group, and an upcoming linen symposium, all in Pioneer Valley. More details will be posted online at on the Community page.
Feb 7   – Stories from the Farm – Carole Adams, small-scale sheep farmer, spinner, dyer, crafter, fleece judge, Colrain
Feb 14 – Panel of Fiber Farmers – Hilary Woodcock, Belchertown alpacas; Chris Pellerin, Montague Pygora goats; 3rd tba
Feb 21 – Rare Breed Sheep & Weaving – Margaret Russell, Wild Fibers author, weaver, Byfield
Feb 28 – Flax & Linen – Michelle Parrish, linen gardener, spinner, & plant-based dyer, Amherst

Join us for these wonderful events and for our blog postings.  We will share with you blogs from so many wonderful folks, exploring the ins and outs of shearing, skirting fleeces, rug hooking, growing linen, starting a small sheep farm, spinning, knitting  and so much more.Be sure to follow FIBERuary to get the latest blog.

Thank you, Carole-Whispering Pines Farm – Liz Sheep and Shawl Shop 



Hooked rug by Carole Adams  All yarn in this rug are from my beloved sheep Seamus’