Monday, July 01, 2013

postcards from a roadtrip

 I had a weekend in June so exhilarating, so juicy, so everything good that I haven't been able to distill it into a blog post. Crazy, right? The  best stuff  is off-limits because I was on magazine assignment. (Yankee magazine, May 2014, be there) But I am busting to share what I can for now. A few postcards.
A Nash Island lamb, Down East Maine.  On sheep shearing day. I was shooting sheep shots. I was beyond happy. I have to sit on all the best images for now. Torture.
Starcroft Yarn- all spun from Nash Island fog washed sheep. This is in the mill, where I slept. Yes you read that right: I SLEPT IN THE MILL.  I woke up to the scent of lanolin and big sacks of fluff  on the side,  and skeins hanging above my head.
 This yarn & dyeing is all Jani Estell's work. I love her yarn. This color, in particular, is perfection.
The most excellent company anyone could want for a weekend of glamping &  sheep shearing.   This is the yarny/designer component of the hard-working roundup/ shearing crew, and I have to tell you these women WORKED. I helped round up sheep but then, while they were shearing & flipping sheep, vaccinating lambs, and pulling off poop covered wool &chasing lambs &carrying livestock & fleeces & skirting, I was taking pictures. Like, a couple thousand and smiling every minute. Even when I kneeled in poop.   L to R : moi, Ellen Mason, Jani Estell of Starcroft Wool, Mary Jane Mucklestone, Ysolda Teague. We are hugging skeins that Jani insisted we leave with (!) Jani uses (note: I feel like that is the wrong word, there should be a word that connotes the respect she has for the wool, and the way she honors the Nash Island herd tradition) all the Nash Island sheep fleeces and manages the flock with the family that herds them.
The fire circle and most charming outhouse ever, on the Starcroft property in the Down East woods.. We had hot dogs , beer and s'mores after shearing on the island all day. It  tasted like 5 star restaurant food.
My Starcroft yarn, it is so luscious and squooshy. Even though I knew I should choose 3 of the same color,  I couldn't resist. 175 yards of each, what shall I make??? The colors are very Down East Maine-y.

The only sheep I came home with, a score at one of the yard sales Ellen and I stopped at, on our way south together the day after shearing.  Unlike our fit-bitty friend Mary Jane, who impressively went mountain climbing with Ysolda in Acadia on their way home. Our yard sale-ing is impressive too. And so satisfying. Maine is a very good place to go yard sale shopping, especially early in the summer.  Wanna see? I broke our purchases into categories.
Textile department:  Ellen collects vintage hankies. She scored big.
My textile find:  a scarf just like one I lost a decade ago, It's all about the fringe.

Flawed but just right department: Ellen got that purse, she can repair a small tear. I got this lawn chair that matches some I already own, it has some irreversible rust that'll do it in someday, but should make it a season or two.
Boring but useful: Ellen got a $5. monitor, I spent $1. for the bin.
Favorite finds: my Peterboro picnic basket-it has a foam cooler built inside, and a wooden top that works perfectly for setting down your drinks and snacks. Already used 6 times. I am a very picnicky person.
 Ellen found this big wool coat on the left (it was a Pendleton I think..or maybe a Woolrich) that she is going to turn into a hip little  jacket. After leaving that yard, she was telling me how she loves wool plaid but her holy grail is a vintage buffalo plaid hunting jacket. Guess what we found at the next stop?
Perfect inside & out.


Anonymous said...

Looks like a tremendous amount of fun!

Ellen Bloom said...

Oooo...vintage hankies, scarves, wool, plaid! I'm so jealous! What excellent finds. That sheep-shot is adorbs!

Gale, you could use all three skeins of wool in one piece. Check out a few of those Stephen West shawl patterns on the Rav!

Janet Hager said...

Gale - you are living my dream! What a fantastic trip! Must be my Yorkshire genes that make me love wool and sheep so much. Combine that with Maine and yard sales - heaven!

Stacey (FreshStitches) said...

That sheep is *ridiculous*!!! Love him :)

April said...

Looks like such an great weekend. If that adorable little sheep photo is one of the not awesome photos I can't wait to see the amazing ones.

Kirsten said...

Where do I apply to be your photo assistant? I work for gummy bears.

Looks like a really wonderful trip.

Also, Yankee magazine reminds me of my childhood. My parents subscribed for years and saved every issue.

Lee said...

A trip to die for! What fun. Looking forward to the article.

Lori ann said...

oh my gosh!! wowwow! what a fantastic time! i LOVE the little sheep, can't wait to see your awesome photos. love your little yard sale sheep and shawl!

so much to love here gale, i have to go look at all the photos again. but most importantly wish you the happiest of birthdays today!! i hope you had a wonderful one filled with love and cake!

xxxxxxx lori

Carol said...

Wonderful photos and what a great yard sale haul! I was in Maine in May and your pictures make me want to go back!

Anonymous said...

Dang, I sure want to go yard saling with you!

And the colors in your yarn were begging to go together. How could you settle on one?

gayle said...

You captured that lamb perfectly! That classic mix of curiosity and caution that makes lambs so adorable.
And, yeah, I want to go yard saling with you - all I ever seem to see is dusty dented pots and pans and bent cooking spoons...

Ellen Mason said...

Living the dream, for real. Also, I'm reading this post on my $5 monitor. :o)

Sheeps and Peeps Farm said...

What a beautiful weekend! Can't wait to see the magazine!

Mary Lou said...

Oh I am so envious! I really wanted to do this with you when you talked about it last summer. Sigh. Can't wait to hear more.

Kristin Nicholas said...

Fun fun fun. XO