The March 2023 newsletter is available. It has another member focus: Becky Hammond. Enjoy!
Members of the Fairbanks Weavers and Spinners Guild include everyone from brand new weavers and beginning spinners to seasoned fiber professionals. Today’s member focus is on one of our professional artists, Becky Hammond of White Fireweed Farm and Freest Fancy Creations.
Becky is a lifelong Alaskan who grew up in Juneau and has been interested in art and animals all her life. She didn’t really get interested in fibers until she learned to spin. Once she got her first fiber animal it was a natural passion to combine her love of art and critters into loving raising her own fiber animals and creating from their fiber. A natural marriage of love of art and critters!
In 1984, she moved to Fairbanks and learned to spin and knit from Laura Lee DeLuca. While she loved all the fibers, it was clear that mohair was an early favorite. A wheel was bought, followed by the all-too-familiar 20-year gap of work getting in the way. It wasn’t until 2000 that an angora goat at the fair set Becky off on the path she continues to this day. Becky bought a goat and got re-acquainted with the spinning wheel. With support from Susan Miller at A Weaver’s Yarn, Becky began spinning her own mohair. At the same time, she relearned to knit from YouTube videos. Now, knitting her own patterns from her own animals is a favorite activity, affording her the opportunity to watch the evolution of the design from the fiber to the finished product. Headbands, purses, scarves, and custom teddy bears are just part of Becky’s product line.
White Fireweed Farm, Becky’s home in Two Rivers, is named for a patch of white fireweed that was on her property. Becky raises satin and giant angora rabbits, angora goats, and merino sheep on her farm and specializes in producing fiber and finished products all from her own animals. She does her custom dyeing in house while also showing animals statewide and selling fiber and products in bazaars, fiber festivals, and stores across Alaska.
The COVID years made Becky realize that another venue was needed to expand her presence in a time when people couldn’t get together. That led to her involvement in WAFA (Wool and Fiber Arts). WAFA is a fully online fiber festival with monthly vendor sales. Becky is currently focusing on online sales of her fiber, roving, and yarns across the country. She’s built a loyal following at WAFA with many repeat customers for her vibrant fibers.
Becky’s signature spinning is mohair lock spinning. Keeping the integrity of the mohair in lock form produces a beautiful art yarn with amazing sheen, highlighting the beautiful hand-dyed colors.
Becky’s work can be seen at statewide fiber festivals and livestock shows across the country. She has been a great supporter of the Fairbanks Weavers and Spinners Guild and an inspiration to a new generation of rabbit owners and fiber artists.
Becky’s advice to fiber artists is to just let it go and enjoy the process. No matter what you create, you can make something beautiful.
Come visit with Becky (and maybe a bunny or two) at an Open Studio or visit her online!
Thanks for sharing, Becky!