For more than a decade the imperative to “go local” has redefined the way many households shop and eat, buying what’s in season and supporting local farms in the process. As the locavore ethos increasingly reshapes the way we shop, growing numbers of knitters are beginning to view the yarn on their needles in a similar light. Is it possible to trace fiber from yarn to barn, and if so, just how far away is the barn in question?

If you’re longing to get your hands on the sheep (or goat, or bunny, or alpaca) that supplied your skein, take heart. Fiber foraging close to home takes sleuthing, but you may be surprised by the variety of homegrown yarns available within a 50-mile radius (give or take) from your door. This series (the first of three) will show you just how easy it is to sample the local knitting flavor.