This is the first year at the Manitoba Fibre Festival for Wild Iris, founded by Rachel Grondin. Wild Iris is a business that sells custom crochet for adults, children and babies, as well as eco friendly felted dryer balls. Wild Iris strives to use only natural materials from small businesses to support and help promote other local artisans and keep the carbon footprint to a minimum.
When asked why she started Wild Iris Rachel said
” I’ve always admired people who could create with fibre, whether it be sewing, knitting, spinning or crocheting. I thought it was a very smart way to be self sustainable.
I started crocheting 4 years ago after reading it was helpful with easing anxiety. I suffered from a postpartum mood disorder after my second daughter was born, and I found that crocheting was greatly beneficial to me to help ease my racing mind and ultimately encouraged me to sit and focus on something positive. Crocheting gave me something to be proud of that was just for me, enabled me to be creative ,band continues to aid in my treatment of mental illness.
I quickly fell in love with the unique yarn from Winnipeg’s beloved Wolseley Wool and the endless learning crochet has to offer. My love of crochet runs deep. It is my passion. My medicine. My safe escape.”
Wild Iris is inspired by the simple things life has to offer, Rachel prefers not to complicate the beauty of crochet. She attributes much of her inspiration to her ‘beautifully spirited daughters’ and the changing seasons. Seeing a wall of hand dyed yarn lights up Rachel’s imagination.
“A lot of people outside of the fibre community see crochet as doilies and granny squares. Although lovely, I like to show people that crochet can be so much more. A hook and some soft lofty alpaca yarn can create a practical sweater or funky toque. Cotton yarn will make a breezy summer top and merino wool can make a fabulous chunky scarf. “
Rachel’s favourite piece was a crocheted blanket she made for her daughter who picked a lovely Noro wool in variegated colourway of reds,browns, yellows and purple! Stop by Wild Iris during the festival to see this beautiful crocheted work!