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First In-Person Show for Us in 2 years

On Saturday our first in-person fiber festival goes live! Yes, it’s in-person. The show is Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival. It’s at the Clark County fairgrounds. You can find out more information here.

I’m super excited so see people and to be in the presence of unbridled creativity!

I’m nervous because we haven’t set up the booth in 2 years…will we remember? Will it actually be better?

I’m a little scared too. Will people wear masks and be safe? How can we provide a safe place for our customers?

So many emotions!

I know you must be feeling these things too. I also hope you are feeling excite to touch all the yarn and see all the colors.

We are in the Arts and Crafts Building. We are right by the front door. To keep us and you safe, we will be wearing our masks. We will be bringing a fan so there is more air circulation and less opportunity for the virus to transmit. The festival is from 10-5 on Saturday and 10-4 on Sunday.

Please do come out for a beautiful fall day! It’s supposed to be just gorgeous weather that day. I’m want this weekend to be a real celebration! Be sure to stop by and show us anything you’ve made with our yarn or fiber. We love seeing all your fantastic creativity on display!!

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Weekend Foraging

It’s just days away until Summer is over. And it’s time to be gathering some of the best dye plants in our area. This past weekend, Bill and I headed out to find Goldenrod. It is an amazing dye plant. It grows wild all along the roadways here in Maryland. And we were lucky to find some that had been spared from mowing and herbicides that are used along roads to keep the weeds at bay. They were in full delightful bloom.

Goldenrod

My plan is to separate the blooms from the leaves and woody stem. The stems will go into the compost pile. The leaves will be dried and frozen for later dye sessions throughout the winter. The flowers will be made into a dye pot this week.

Here’s what I will be doing…. I will cover the blooms with water (at a neutral pH). In fact I may put my rain barrel back in service, since we should be getting some rain this week. I will slowly raise the temperature of the flower water mixture, careful not to boil it. I will keep the water just below the simmer. Then I will set it aside and let it cool. Once cool I will remove the flowers.

When it’s time to dye, I will presoak my scoured and mordanted wool and then add it to the dye pot. A good rule of thumb is to have equal weights of fresh flowers and dry wool. This will give you a nice shade. I will begin to raise the heat of my dye pot and again keep it under the simmer for 1 hour. I will check it to see if I want to leave the wool in overnight, or just stop there.

Then I can make a determination if there is leftover dye (exhaust) that I can use to dye more yarn in a soft, more muted color. I’m super excited to get started!!

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Love, Love, Love Your Yarn!

I have been on a quest, a quest for us to really, really love and honor the yarn we have for several years now. If you have been following my podcast or blogs or newsletter, you know this already.

But, it bears repeating, because I am still feeling the shame. And we are starting to have the opportunity for in-person shows. I want you to delight in the festivals. I want you to feel the pull of creating something new. That’s the best feeling right? It is for me.

So in order to do that you must banish the word….stash. I’ve spoken to many of you in person about ejecting this word and concept from your vocabulary. When I hear people talking about their stash it is not out of pride. I don’t hear “You should see my stash! It is lovely.” More often I hear, “I can’t buy anything until I use my stash.” It is said in a kind of Eeyore voice. It is said with shame. Let’s banish that word! Let’s trash the shame!

I propose that we all use the word, “collection” instead. You are the curator. It is your collection. Each skein and ball that is in your collection was lovingly acquired. Some with a specific project in mind and others just thrilled you with color or texture or softness. I know that when we change our language, we change our outlook or attitude about the yarn that we have collected. We will be able to see those threads in a different light. We may even go through them and realize, “Hey! I’ve grown out of using this yarn, or this color!” Those parts of your collection can be donated or gifted. You have the power to make the choices, after all it is YOUR collection. And you are the curator. That’s the job of a curator, right?

So, let’s make the commitment to value our collections, to explore them anew and discover what you love about them and which ones need to find a new home. Let’s find some new ways of using what we have and making room to buy new skeins to augment your collection. If you would like to explore your collection in an organized way, you can listen to Season 2 of my podcast. Click here to find the Season 2 Episodes or subscribe on Apple iTunes, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. I walk you through all the steps that I believe will help you organize your collection. I take you through these steps so that you don’t get overwhelmed.

And now is the right time to start this. Our first in-person show in the Mid-Atlantic is Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival and that is a mere 2 weeks away. So change your vocabulary and change your mindset. Really REVEL in your collection. And see what you need to make your collection more complete.

What do you think? 

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Yarns Perfect for Fall

What are you planning to knit for the fall? Socks? A shawl? A sweater? Something smaller like a hat or mittens?

cormoworsted yarn
Livily Cormo Yarn. Find it here

These farm yarns are perfect for all of those garments. We have colors that are great for all your needs, whether that’s a young one who loves pink or camouflage or if you are trying to match your wardrobe. We have farm yarns that are fingering weight (Trasna Light), worsted (Livily) (Polypay and Fibershed Polypay) and DK (Trasna). We just got a sport weight back from the mill, so that is coming up before the fall shows!! We also have mohair yarns that are mostly natural color right now. So head on over to the shop here and choose the Farm Yarn tab to see it all!

These yarns will be available at the following fall shows: Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival and Rhinebeck Fiber Festival.

Trasna Light fingering weight Cormo farm yarn Find it here

Want to know when more colors will be added to our online shop? Click here to get our email blasts that will alert you to shop updates.

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farm to needle yarn

I’ve been thinking a lot about farm yarn. One of my big 4 goals this year was to widen out my line of FGF yarns. I want to have an offering at every standard weight of yarn. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Watch this video that I recorded this week for my #farmchickslive #ThursdayThreads.

[vplayer id=13666]

Here are some of the farm yarns that are already in our line.

Trasna Dkish yarn Find it here.
LiViLy Worsted wt yarn. Find it here.
Synergy Merino Dkish wt yarn. Find it here.
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yarn made by the flock

Well they made the fleeces, right? They ate grass and a little grain. They hung out in the barn. They did their part to add more carbon and nitrogen into the soil here at the farm. And once a year they are shorn, no it doesn’t hurt them. And then I take it to be cleaned, combed and spun into yarn.

wool and mohair yarns made from our own fleeces

Sometimes I leave them in their natural colors and sometimes I dye them up in luscious colors.

2 ply mohair yarn dyed up
Fun color experiments that will become a stripe-y garment