I have looked and looked for local stuff. I know that there are sheep farmers but can't find anyone selling any wool although I've heard rumors of a outlet in Bodega and a shop in Sonoma. There is a neat little yarn shop in Point Reyes that sometimes has a little roving for spinning. Dharma Trading company in San Rafael (actual store not warehouse) that sells dyes, material for nuno felting and white domestic wool for dying. I like the silk grab bags because you get a pound of pieces that were the ends of bolts from the warehouse. You get lots of cool silk material with lots that is usable for nuno felting or other projects.
I have considered contacting the Redwood Empire Spinners Guild (the name may be slightly off) because I have heard many have sheep. It might be the best resource for finding local wool but I have yet to try.
I've also heard that they have Fiber Trails like they have Farm Trails but can't find any current info on it. Farm trails did list a festival but it's later in the year and I can't remember when.
I've also heard that there is someone at the farmer's market in Santa Rosa that sells wool but I've never seen them. Of course I rarely go so that doesn't say much.
There are no groups that meet other than knitting unfortunately. So far you are the first person I've met in Sonoma County who understands needle felting.
As for buying wool, there are several places I know of. Karen, of "Royal Hare" is the one who sells wool at the Santa Rosa Farmer's market, and she's there on Saturdays if it's not raining. She's got great colors. Occasionally, there are people at the Sebastopol Farmer's market (Spring-Fall only). Earthchild toy store in Sebastopol has roving and needles, the Bodega Artisan Co-op has quite a selection of roving, Knitterly in Petaluma, and the new yarn shop in Sebastopol and the new yarn shop in Railroad square in Santa Rosa all have roving... If you pick up a Farm Trails map, there's a section on fiber trails, and a listing of people who sell wool. Sometimes the Fiber Trails folks do a small get-together in summer; I'm not sure if they're still doing it, though. I went once when it was at Westside Farms, and it was delightful. Mostly people sitting around spinning. It was really small, though.
I have never bought wool online; I just feel like I need to see it and feel it to buy it, and we do have enough resources here to keep me busy.
I do wish we had more events, though. I'm looking forward to the event in Booneville later this fall. Seems like knitting is the big thing around here; not so much felting.
Me too. I would especially like to go to a few classes with other artists. I am not saying the online classes aren't exceptional it's just that I'd like to needle felt with other artists once in a while.
Thank you also for finishing all the research I started for local sources . Now I will make it a point of checking out all those sources.