Fiber Expo
Spring - April 4 - 5, 2020
Fall - October 10 - 11, 2020
Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds
5055 Ann Arbor Saline Road -- Ann Arbor, Michigan 48103
Saturday 9:00am—5:00pm
Sunday 10:00 am — 4:00 pm
$4 admission - one day
$6 admission - two days
February 8, 2020
Time: 1:00PM to 4:00 PM
Carter Historic Farm, 18331 Carter Rd, Bowling Green, OH 43402
Next Market Day: Saturday, March 28, 2020 at BG fairgrounds

The Spinner’s Flock is a group of dedicated hand spinners and fiber enthusiasts (knitters, crocheters, felters, weavers, etc.) from Southeastern Michigan, northern Ohio, and Indiana.

Our members are committed to improving and teaching the craft of hand spinning, as well as spreading the good news everywhere of the superior quality of Michigan Wool for all kinds of clothing and crafts. Many of our members raise their own fiber, including wool, alpaca, mohair and angora.

Slab-style beanie hat, completed in January 2017. Stonehedge yarn. #4. Merino. Single skein. Approx 250 yards. Color: Denim (blue-grey). Approx size: 12 to 13 inches tall and 19 inches wide. Ends seamed together via slip stitch to form a hoop. Then top drawstringed together. Crocheted using HDC back loop only. At one end, however, I crocheted five stitches with either SC or slip stitch to reduce the bulk at one end during the drawstring process. Need more yarn to make the hat a little bigger, since I wanted it to fold up along the bottom to protect ears. This one works, and it's my main beanie hat that I wear outside. I wear it folded up along the bottom. But it's a little smallish. I need to make it 14 inches tall and 21 inches wide, but that requires using part of a second skein.

baby blanket. Appalachian Baby Design organic cotton. very soft. natural color. completed in january 2019. used "lemon peel stitch", alternating sc and dc stitches then ch 1 at end of row, followed by sc in next dc, dc in next sc, repeat. I used this stitch to make facial cloths too. this blanket also has a shell border.

YouTube - Fruity Knitting Podcast - Episode 6 - Wool producer and spinner Sabine Worch - unfortunately, Sabine does not sell her yarn and fleece. Sabine raises seven sheep. She shears the sheep, and then she washes, dyes, and combs the fleece. And she spins the fleece into yarn. Does it all, except sells her products online. She sells at fiber shows in Germany. - "Sabine Worch - fleeces (colored and natural) for spinning from own production dairy sheep, Suffolk, Rh�n sheep - own sheep" - Sabine was the only vendor listed on that page who did not have a web presence somewhere.

Sabine's email address is listed on her sign in the above photo of her booth. It looks like

Combing Wool the Right Way tutorial with Susan McFarland
Indigo Hound 2-pitch Viking Combs, - ordered the $79.95 two-pitch combs on feb 20, 2019. $88 with standard shipping.
valkyrie mini combs - for longwool? in beth smith's book, she recommends/uses viking 2-pitch combs.

How to change yarn colors in fair isle crochet

[x] Snowfall Slouchy Hat Crochet Pattern Tutorial - drawstring the top of the hat with a "running stitch" weaving in and out in every other stitch.

How to Crochet Chunky Fair Isle Beanie| How to Crochet the Waistcoat Stitch or Knit Stitch


Learned via Fruity Knitting:

Book: They Lived by the Sea: Folklore and Ganseys of the Pentland Firth - Selling Shetland with the Uradale farmer.

March 10, 2019 - I finally began using the Bartlett Yarns yarn that I bought in the summer of 2015 while visiting Maine. The mill is located in Maine. I'm attempting to make a simple shoulder bag that will be comprised of single crochet stitches and wet felting. I'm using an I-hook. I could have probably used an H-hook and still be okay.

I lost the labels to the yarn. One ball is green and the other is grey. The wool feels tough. It's not a soft wool. It feels hardy. I thought that the labels said Aran weight, slightly larger than size 4 weight. But I cannot find info like that on their website. The closest is this:

I remember each good-sized skein of yarn costing only around 8 to 10 dollars. Inexpensive.


Aran (8 wpi) ?
Wraps per inch

210 yards(192 meters)
Unit weight
113 grams (3.99 ounces)
18.0 sts = 4 inches
Needle size
US 7 - 9 or 4.5 - 5.5mm

100% Wool
plied, woolen spun

Sitting along the banks of Higgins Stream in Harmony, ME is a vintage mill building that holds the last remaining working spinning mule in the United States. Started in 1821, Bartlettyarns was founded by Ozias Bartlett and continues with the Rice family. The yarn is still mule spun.

At Bartlettyarns, our “full measure” skeins consist of a full 4 ounces per skein, four skeins per pound. Bartlettyarns are spun on the woolen system for a traditional homespun appearance, softer twist and more bloom than worsted yarns.

Two ply is offered in the following colorway ranges: Fisherman, Rangeley, Shetland, Glen Tweeds, Solids.

Fisherman: Our specialty since the 1800s. Spun with natural lanolin oils to make sweaters, mittens and hats softer and weather resistant.

I don't know if my purchases contain the oil. The yarn doesn't smell like it contains lanolin.

Knitting tips: working with unspun Plötulopi

Léttlopi, litteraly “light Lopi”, is half the weight of the Álafoss lopi. It is made of two strands of unspun lopi slightly twisted together. This makes it less breakable than the single Plötulopi strand. It is probably the most versatile yarn in temperate climates to knit Icelandic sweaters and accessories that you can wear both outdoors and indoors. It is for example the yarn used to knit popular sweaters

Romney Ridge Farm, located in Maine. We were buy their farm in July 2015, but we didn't have an appointment, therefore we didn't go up to the house. We shopped at a pottery store, however, on the other side of the road.

I donated to this Kickstarter back in 2016.

Last email update that I received from RRF was in January 2019. Their website no longer works, and their Facebook page appears to be non-existent too. Uh oh. Ah, their Facebook page still exists.

Vermont maker of merino wool socks for outdoor adventurers.

on sat, jun 29, 2019, i bought a small crocheted item at handmade toledo. it's not locally made. i was intrigued by the bamboo yarn that was used.

Our crocheted rattles and dolls are made using luxuriously soft yarn derived from the pulp of the organically grown (Ecocert certified) and sustainably (FSC certified) harvested bamboo trees. Bamboo is the world’s fastest growing plant - growing 40+ inches in only 24 hours, making it one of the most environmentally sustainable & renewable resources.

In China, our crocheted goods are hand crafted by a band of mostly mothers and farmers in rural China who are provided free training, flexible working hours in a friendly working environment that also doubles as a support network.

This adorable Turtle with pink heart rattle is lovingly hand-crocheted using using using luxuriously soft yarn derived from the pulp of the organically grown and sustainably harvested bamboo trees.

All our toys are designed in San Francisco, USA but lovingly hand-crocheted by a team of artisan women in China, mostly mothers and farmers working to provide their families with extra income for basic needs.

We provide free training, flexible working hours and fair wage.

Toys are tested for highest standards of safety (ASTM and CPSIA)

Materials: 100% Bamboo viscose yarn, Polyfill

Care instruction: Washable in gentle cycle and tumble dry low.

The company sells other products, such as crocheted dolls.

Meet Felix the Fox. He is a sweet, super soft and cuddly mini doll made entirely by hand with soft yarn derived from the pulp of the organically grown and sustainably harvested bamboo trees. Toys are tested for highest standards of safety (ASTM and CPSIA).

Size: 7.5" tall.

Suitable for kids 6 months and up. Material: 100% Bamboo viscose yarn and stuffed with environmentally friendly corn fibers.

Corn fibers for stuffing.

Bamboo viscose yarn

Bamboo fabric is a natural textile made from the pulp of bamboo grass. The Bamboo used to produce fabrics (not the same as Panda food) is easily replenished and requires no pesticides to grow. ... Bamboo rayon is made by dissolving pulp bamboo into its cellulose component and then spun into viscose fibers.

Like cotton, bamboo fiber is naturally breathable and wicks moisture away from the skin. Unlike cotton, bamboo fabric allows moisture to evaporate into the air quickly. So when you sweat, you won't stay wet. Bonus – bamboo fabric is super light and silky soft too!

Wikipedia states that “Viscose rayon is a fiber made from regenerated wood cellulose.” So when it pertains to bamboo plants, it comes from the cellulose of the plant. ... Viscose has been used widely for many years, in many applications.


What is the difference between viscose and rayon?

Rayon is highly absorbent and easy to dye while viscose looks like silk and feels like cotton. 3.Both rayon and viscose are manufactured in the same process but they differ in materials used. While rayon can be made with cellulose from a variety of plants, viscose is made from wood pulp or cotton linter.

Is bamboo viscose safe for babies?

Yes! Not only is it safe but it may be the best choice for your baby, especially if they have sensitive skin or allergies. Bamboo fabric is made in a safe and eco-friendly process.

Is bamboo viscose toxic?

In fact, there wasn't much that was green about bamboo fabric at all; it is simply viscose rayon, a fiber usually made from wood pulp using extremely toxic carbon disulphide to break it down into cellulose fibers. ... Like conventional viscose, it can be made from any form of cellulose including bamboo.

Is rayon from bamboo safe?

They are made from bamboo that has been processed into rayon using toxic chemicals. ... Although a bamboo plant can resist the growth of bacteria, there is no evidence that rayon made from processed bamboo is also antibacterial.

Is bamboo viscose environmentally friendly?

The answer may be not so eco-friendly. I picked up a copy of Sustainable Fashion and Textiles by Kate Fletcher and found that most bamboo fabric is a bamboo rayon, which is a man made fibre made from cellulose using the viscose process. ... The process of producing bamboo rayon is much like any other viscose rayon fabric.

Is viscose good for the environment?

As a plant-based fibre, viscose is not inherently toxic or polluting. However, because of the growing fast fashion industry, much of the viscose on the market today is manufactured cheaply using energy, water and chemically-intensive processes that have devastating impacts on workers, local communities and the environment. This is why viscose (including bamboo viscose) was given ‘D’ and ‘E’ scores for sustainability in the Made-By Environmental Benchmark for Fibres.

Back to this article:

By 2007 TreeHugger Warren was raising questions about it, writing:

The growing of bamboo is environmentally friendly but the manufacturing of bamboo into fabric raises environmental and health concerns because of the strong chemical solvents used to cook the bamboo plant into a viscose solution that is then reconstructed into cellulose fiber for weaving into yarn for fabric.

In 2009 the Federal Trade Commission came down hard on the bamboo clothing industry and noted:

Rayon is a man-made fiber created from the cellulose found in plants and trees and processed with a harsh chemical that releases hazardous air pollutants. Any plant or tree could be used as the cellulose source—including bamboo—but the fiber that is created is rayon.

However not all rayon is created equal; Lyocell, or Tencel, is made in a closed-loop process using less toxic chemicals. Like conventional viscose, it can be made from any form of cellulose including bamboo.

If you see bamboo clothing, it might be spun directly from the fiber and described as bamboo linen; otherwise, unless you see the Lyocell or Tencel label, give it a pass.


Jul 22, 2019

"How to assess the quality of garments (2014) ("

I like these two newsboy hats. Harris Tweed. Unsure why the price diffs or what the diffs are.

35 dollars

50 dollars

my head circ approx 23.5 inches that means XL or a snug L.

Large: GRANDE.
Size 7 1/4 - 7 3/8
22 5/8 " - 23 "
58 cm - 59 cm

Size 7 1/2 - 7 5/8
23 1/2 " - 23 7/8 "
60 cm - 61 cm

130 dollars

Aug 14, 2019

It's raining plastic: microscopic fibers fall from the sky in Rocky Mountains (

I'm doubtful that 10k plastic particles are landing inside your house simply because external air turnover isn't that fast (only a few per day).

In your house they are likely much higher as they're coming from your shoes, your synthetic fiber clothes, your carpet, that 25 year old plastic dog your gran gave you.

The carpet fiber dust at my job is insane, I wipe down my plane model every day, and 24 hours later you can see little red/blue/green/tan carpet fibers already accumulating from the foot traffic in the office, if I let it go a week it (and skin/hair etc) will cake on my finger if I run it down.

We have wood floors in our home. No carpet. I think that Deb removed the carpeting from the house before we got married in 2001. Yeah because I remember helping with sanding the wood floors, and I'm certain that occurred before we got married.

But in December 2018, we added a large rug to the dining room for some reason. I don't know why Deb bought it. When we run a nice vacuum cleaner over it, it seems that most of the debris is not typical house dust nor whatever comes from our dog, which has hair and not fur. Our dog does not shed. It seems that most of the debris vacuumed by the cleaner is from the rug even now, several months later. Maybe we will get rid of it.

From the Guardian story:

Animals and humans consume microplastics via water and food, and we likely breathe in micro- and nanoplastic particles in the air, though scientists have yet to understand the health effects. Microplastics can also attract and attach to heavy metals like mercury and other hazardous chemicals, as well as toxic bacteria. “Plastic particles from furniture and carpets could contain flame retardants that are toxic to humans,” Krause said.

Because we are all are exposed to hundreds of synthetic chemicals as soon as we’re born, it’s difficult to say how much longer we’d live if we weren’t exposed, said Mason. “We may never understand all the linkages between plastics and health.”

“But we know enough to say that breathing plastic probably isn’t good, and we should start thinking about dramatically reducing our dependence on plastic,” she said.

From the NatGeo story:

The volume of microplastics in the environment is likely going to increase with the rising amounts of plastics being produced, including synthetic textiles, the scientists warn.

Still Aug 14, 2019

Plastic particles falling out of sky with snow in Arctic (


The majority appeared to be composed of natural materials like plant cellulose and animal fur. But there were also particles of plastic, along with fragments of rubber tyres, varnish, paint and possibly synthetic fibres.

HN comment:

[Global warming and plastics] are linked because plastic is produced from petroleum. Green house gases are emitted to extract and make plastic. The growth of plastics is highly linked with our increased use of fossil fuels.

Synthetic fibers are made from synthesized polymers of small molecules. The compounds that are used to make these fibers come from raw materials such as petroleum based chemicals or petrochemicals.

Synthetic fibers account for about half of all fiber usage, with applications in every field of fiber and textile technology. Although many classes of fiber based on synthetic polymers have been evaluated as potentially valuable commercial products, four of them - nylon, polyester, acrylic and polyolefin - dominate the market. These four account for approximately 98 percent by volume of synthetic fiber production, with polyester alone accounting for around 60 per cent.

  1. Resists wrinkles. Wool springs back quickly after stretching.
  2. Resists soiling. Fiber forms a complex matting.
  3. Retains its shape. Resilient fibers return to original size after washing.
  4. Resists flames. Fibers do not support combustion.
  5. Wool is durable. Multi-part fibers resist wear and tear.
  6. Repels moisture. Fiber sheds water.
  7. Fabric is comfortable in all seasons. It keeps a layer of air next to the skin.

Wool is durable and long lasting. Wool fiber is unsurpassed in flexible strength.
shape for a lifetime of use.

Wool is absorbent and healthy. Wool fibers naturally draw moisture away from
the body and can absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture without becoming
clammy from perspiration, keeping you dry when sleeping.

Wool provides comfortable warmth. Wool fibers are fluffy with tiny air pockets.
Their loftiness and cushiony insulation keep body heat in and cold out.

Wool is flame-resistant. Wools’ natural moisture content makes it non-
combustible. A wool blanket will not melt or ignite into flames; an excellent
safety precaution when sleeping or lounging around the campfire.

Wool is dirt and odor resistant. Wool's microscopic scales hold dirt near the
surface of the fabric, making it easy to remove at the same time preventing
odors from being absorbed by the fibers.

Wool benefits:

I photographed this display at the 2014 Minnesota state fair.

Descriptions listed on the poster:

Wool: The Miracle Fiber

Wool gives superior performance to man-made fibres, and as wool is a naturally occurring fibre it brings so many other amazing benefits...

  1. Wool resists wrinkles - wool is like a spring, it has a natural crimp that allows it to return to its natural shape even after being stretched by up to 30%. Its complex coiled structure gives it great resilience against becoming flat and hard, so you can count on wool to keep its shape.

  2. Wool has balanced thermal insulation properties - meaning it is warm in winter and cool in the summer.

  3. Wool is hypoallergenic - it is resistant to bacteria, mould and mildew that can trigger allergic reactions in many people.

  4. It absorbs harmful pollutants - not only does wool absorb many harmful pollutants from the air, it does not re-emit them. It's estimated that wool used in interiors can help purify the air for 30 years.

  5. Dust mites don't like wool - dust mites need moisture to survive. Wool has microscopic pores that respond effectively to changes in humidity making it unfavourable for the growth and breeding of the house dust mite. Dust mite allergens are one of the triggers for asthma attacks.

  6. Wool is naturally anti-static - wool generates very little static electricity because of the qualities of its natural fibres. Static attracts lint, dirt, and dust, so its anti-static properties keep it much cleaner for longer.

  7. Easily cleaned - wool fabrics clean easily because the outside surface of the wool fibre consists of a series of overlapping scales (similar to the feathers on a bird), which means that dirt sits on the surface of the fibre, making it easy to remove.

  8. Wool is naturally flame resistant - wool is difficult to ignite, has low flame spread and heat release properties; it does not melt and has superior self-extinguishing qualities.

  9. Wool is a naturally renewable fibre - what could be more natural than wool? Each year sheep produce a fleece, which makes wool a natural and renewable resource. As yet, no one has been able to reproduce the properties of wool synthetically.

  10. Eco-friendly and Sustainable - when it's 'out with the old' wool will naturally biodegrade. It is a totally natural product, entirely renewable and sustainable. And it is 100% biodegradable - a very important feature in a world that is increasingly concerned about the environment.

yarn sizes and names:

waistcoat stitch also known as the knit stitch - good for a shoulder bag when starting with a rectangle and then crocheting around.

[x] better looking in the round
How to crochet the waistcoat stitch

[x] How to Make Crochet Look Like Knitting (the Waistcoat Stitch)

[x] How To Crochet the Waistcoat Stitch (Knit Look), Flat + In the Round

half double crochet slip stitch back loop only:

linen stitch

It is one of the simplest stitch patterns to master and yields a pretty, woven, dense fabric. The reason it is so simple is that you don’t even have to know how to work into the loops of the single crochet stitches, because you will be working into the ch-1 spaces between single crochet stitches instead.

The linen stitch is basically a repetition of ch,sc, working into the ch-1 space formed by the ch-1’s in the previous row. You are effectively single crocheting BETWEEN single crochets, giving you a staggered woven look.

Stitches are worked into the ch-1 spaces, NOT the loops of the actual stitches.

One linen stitch = sc + ch into a ch-1 space. The initial Ch 2 at the beginning of each row counts as a ch-1 space (so one linen stitch).

Start with an even number of chains. In this case I have used 12 ch st’s (Photo 1).

Row 1
Sc in the fourth chain from the hook (Photo 2). Ch 1, skip the next ch and sc in the next ch (Photo 3). Repeat the instructions between asterisks until you get to the end of your chain. Ch 2 (Photo 4) and turn. You will have half as many linen stitches (so ch, sc clusters) as the number of foundation chain stitches. Remember that the ch-2 turn counts as one linen stitch.

Subsequent Rows
Sc in the first ch-1 space. To do this, insert your hook under the ch st between the first 2 sc’s (indicated with an arrow in Photo 5 and illustrated in Photo 6), and make a sc (Photo 7). Ch, sc in the next ch-1 space. Repeat instructions between asterisks until you get to the end. Remember that the turning ch-2 (indicated with an arrow in Photo 8) counts as a stitch and should be worked int0. Ch 2 (Photo 9) and turn.

linen stitch how-to videos:

saw Tatsiana on a fruity knitting episode.

knitting designer: - worsted spun mill. makes yarns for Marie Wallin.

knitting designers



\2. - another good one that is simple to make but looks cool.

bottom up warm-looking single crochet hat.

mmm. i like it, but it might require too much memory work. it's a four-row repeat.

another good one.

this is a cardigan [X]

Interesting company that formed in 1989. One of the products is hand-crocheted shoulder and cross-body bags.

Hand-crocheted using our signature tightweave technique ...

... is PETA-approved and vegan certified. A zipper closure keeps your essentials in place ...

Usually crocheted using bamboo it seems.

Even a crocheted backpack, which is a good idea.


Moss Stitch - also known as the linen stitch and the woven stitch.

There’s been a lot of buzz about the recently released book by fashion journalist Dana Thomas: Fashionopolis, The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes. She discloses that the “fast fashion” trend — the mass production of inexpensive, up-to-the-minute clothing — may be great on the pocketbook and the reflection in the mirror, but it’s not so hot for the environment. The clothing isn’t just produced most typically by underpaid workers in unsafe conditions, the production of the clothing requires vast consumption of water and the items often are composed of synthetic fabric fibers derived from fossil fuels such that when they end up in a landfill — and these inexpensive, trendy clothes often do — they will not decay.


C2C moss stitch

In the late winter or early spring of 2019, I took this class at Handmade Toledo that is offered again in December 2019.

Learn how to spin your own yard with a drop spindle with local fiber artist Andrew Kimmey. The first portion of the class will cover basic spinning terminology, tools, and history. Followed by learning how to use a spindle to spin yarn using wool prepared with fiber processing tools. The instructor will guide students through the entire spinning process. The final portion of the class will cover how to spin wool without any processing tools.

Students will leave this class with a drop spindle, handmade by Andrew himself, a quantity of handspun yarn, and the knowledge to make more. The instructor will also provide more information about sourcing fibers for spinning and references for furthering spinning knowledge.

I need to take a private class with Andrew Kimmey to learn the drop spindle well.

assembling a granny square jacket

stranded crocheted beanie hat


How to Join Granny Squares in Crochet - 5 Different Ways of Connecting by Naztazia - GRANITE, LINEN STITCH

Lemon Peel Stitch Written Tutorial

In the next row, your double crochets will be placed in the single crochets from the previous row, and the single crochets will be placed in the double crochets from the previous row.


"Half Double Crochet – In Between the Posts"

November 2019 photo that shows some of my 2019 projects.

Free pattern by Marie Wallin - crochet tote bag

Marie Wallin's Yell cardigan sweater.

shoulder shaping:

One frustrating aspect of classic Fair Isle–type sweaters and vests is that the shoulders are square, that is, they are not
shaped and therefore form a straight line. Although such designs look fantastic on muscular, athletic men and hang well on a
dowel, these shoulders tend to flare out like wings or stand away from the body when worn
by those with more slope to the shoulder. Even worse, they contribute to the problem of the
back of the sweater hiking up. They also add more material to the “drop” of the drop
shoulder, adding bulk under the arm.

some patterns to buy:

jumper - maybe first one to try - linen stitch

jumper - hdc between the stitches

cardigan - i think double crochet stitches

cardigan - lemon peel stitch

she uses some mosaic crochet in a couple of her garments.

free pattern - c2c - triangles

free pattern pinconning michigan

North Woods Knit & Purl in West Branch, MI
103 Plaza Dr, West Branch, MI 48661

tawas city, mi
2246 Pesek Rd
East Jordan, MI 49727

Stonehedge Fiber Mill
January 20 at 10:55 AM ·
What happens when you have a 165 year old shed with almost zero insulation?? You lose a lot of heat! So, we have closed the Fiber Shed for the winter. With that said, we still have all the yarn you would normally find in the Fiber Shed, in the main mill building. Should you want to take a trip out, I suggest calling ahead to see what the driveway conditions are. We have also changed our Saturday hours to appointment only. Otherwise we are open until 3 p.m. weekdays.


From Feb 7, 2020 email by

Tiny bits of broken-down plastic smaller than a fraction of a grain of rice are turning up everywhere in oceans, from the water to the guts of fish and the poop of sea otters and giant killer whales. Yet little is known about the effects of these “microplastics” — on sea creatures or humans.

This week, a group of five-dozen microplastics researchers from major universities, government agencies, tribes, aquariums, environmental groups and even water sanitation districts across the U.S. West is gathering in Bremerton, Wash., to tackle the issue. The goal is to create a mathematical risk assessment for microplastic pollution in the region similar to predictions used to game out responses to major natural disasters such as earthquakes.

[Microplastics] enter the environment in many ways. Some slough off of car tires and wash into streams — and eventually the ocean — during rainstorms. Others detach from [synthetic] fleeces and spandex clothing in washing machines and are mixed in with the soiled water that drains from the machine. Some come from abandoned fishing gear, and still more are the result of the eventual breakdown of the millions of straws, cups, water bottles, plastic bags and other single-use plastics thrown out each day.

I added the work "synthetic" to the above paragraph. The word "fleece" can be used with wool and other animal hair. The problematic plastic fleece is synthetic.

Research into their potential impact on everything from tiny single-celled organisms to larger mammals like sea otters is just getting underway.

If vegans cared about animal welfare, then they should recommend wool clothing over synthetic clothing.

“This is an alarm bell that’s going to ring loud and strong,” said Stacey Harper, an associate professor at Oregon State University who helped organize the conference. “We’re first going to prioritize who it is that we’re concerned about protecting: what organisms, what endangered species, what regions. And that will help us hone in ... and determine the data we need to do a risk assessment.”

A study published last year by Portland State University found an average of 11 micro-plastic pieces per oyster and nine per razor clam in the samples taken from the Oregon coast. Nearly all were from microfibers from [synthetic] fleece or other synthetic clothing or from abandoned fishing gear, said Elise Granek, study co-author.

Some of the concern stems from an unusual twist unique to plastic pollution. Because plastic is made from fossil fuels and contains hydrocarbons, it attracts and absorbs other pollutants in the water, such as PCBs and pesticides, said Andrew Mason, the Pacific Northwest regional coordinator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s marine debris program.

Promoting synthetic clothing over wool is environmentally-unfriendly too.

Mr. Larson, the conservationist at the Seattle Aquarium, said a year of studies at her institution found 200 to 300 microfibers in each 100-liter sample of seawater the aquarium sucks in from the Puget Sound for its exhibits. Larson, who is chairing a session at Wednesday’s consortium, said those results are alarming.

“It’s being able to take that information and turn it into policy and say, ‘Hey, 50 years ago we put everything in paper bags and wax and glass bottles. Why can’t we do that again?’” she said.

50 years ago was 1970. Relative to population size, did we wear and use more wool in 1970, compared to today? Did more sheep farmers exist in the U.S. in 1970? What about those same relative numbers for 1950 and 1920?