Profile of Ontario Shepherd Barbara McLean

24 April 2024

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After spending time with Barbara McLean’s new book, Shepherd’s Sight: The Farming Life, I was eager to learn more about how she came to farming and her crafting practice. We spoke via Zoom on an early spring day—raining for both of us, but likely to snow for Barbara. She sat in her home studio, a large loom behind her, bookshelves and woven blankets in view, wearing a cabled cardigan knitted from a blend of her own sheep’s wool. Our conversation ranged widely—she described Lambsquarters (her farm), we shared thoughts on sheep genetics and the challenges of academic teaching, and we focused on our shared love of wool and living in concert with a place.

Photos courtesy of Barbara McLean.

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Copyright © Sarah Thornton except as indicated.
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About Sarah Thornton

Sarah Thornton is a connector - she loves bringing people and ideas together, especially over local fibres and foods. When not teaching college Biology labs, she knits, spins, designs, teaches, and occasionally weaves in her new studio space on Vancouver Island. She's also a cyclist, skier, hiker, and gardener! Find her patterns and classes at and @sarsbarknits on Instagram.

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