postcards from maine: swans island yarn
A one-of-a-kind class: meeting in an historic schoolhouse (props! setting!), with enough time to learn, shoot, and to edit, look at work and critique too. Thanks to Elissa at Creative Warehouse for sponsoring this!
Back in September, one misty morning at Fiber College, I played tourist with Mary Lou Egan. We set out on a short drive south to Northport.
Skeining yarn before dying.Pre-soaked skeins waiting to go into dye baths.
It was very very warm in the dyerooms. Yarn drying. Mary Lou had taken an all day workshop the day before, with head dyer, Jackie Degraff aka DyeMama. I was utterly impressed, as were the dyers working, that Mary Lou called out the name of the nature dye source on these skeins.We visited the weaving rooms too. The looms are so wide, they have an airpump assisted shuttle that makes a satisying whooooooosh.Weavers' worktable.The Swans Island woven signature.One of the things I love best about visiting dyers is how their colors and sensibilities reflect the local palette.In this case, the local palette couldn't be more beautiful. Camden harbor, just down the road.
A few last thoughts, if you're still with me:
• Swans Island yarn may be available at your LYS. It is at mine :-)
• An oft repeated but wondrously true aspect of naturally dyed yarn is it all goes together. You can't make a bad color combo.
• Yarn like this, from small producers, costs more than commercially produced imported skeins. Choosing it is to vote with your pocketbook (as we like to say around here). To knit with it is a joy, no question. When you buy it, you're supporting small business and enabling real jobs in a challenged economy. These are people who put great care into what they create. You can read more about who's behind Swans Island here.
(sorry that was kind of preachy but I just had to say it, stepping off the soapbox now)