Apr 7, 2017

Fibertrek Wool Scouts Retreat

We all need to take some time for ourselves.  Now more than ever.  Time to disconnect, seek solitude, immerse in nature, recharge our energies, reground.

Just imagine... climbing into a float plane and leaving chaos behind as you lift off above the tree tops and head into the Great North Woods of Maine.

Just imagine... flying over the peak of majestic Katahdin Mountain as your pilot names every peak, lake, and river that flow past beneath you and tells of their history and lore.

Just imagine... gliding to a landing on the surface of Munsungan Lake and stepping out onto the awaiting dock of the only habitation on the lake and 3.5 million acres of wilderness forest surrounding you.

Just imagine... being warmly greeted by the wonderful hosts of Bradford Camps and made welcome to this quintessential vintage Maine sporting camp.

Just imagine... plunking your gear down in your cabin and meeting our cabin mates before grabbing your knitting and heading out to the porch to catch the last rays of sunset and settle yourself in to camp mode.

Just imagine... the stars and the silence.  Such silence that you can hear the ripples of a fish breaking water as you drift off to sleep.

Just imagine... slipping your toes into the cool lake at dawn before plunging in for a quick swim with the trout before breakfast.

Just imagine... delicious home cooked food fresh from the garden eked out of the wilderness.

Just imagine... days filled with fellowship, learning new skills ~ how to start a fire with flint and steel to set your dye pot to boil, how to read a compass to find your way, primitive storage for your knitting sundries, knitting a pair of traditional Maine mittens.

Just imagine... paddling the lake at sunset, lakeside fire chats in the evenings, and long walks in the woods ~ leaning-in to your hand craft among the trees and filling your soul with fresh air and the scent of pine and balsam.

Just imagine... THEN DO!

Join Wool Guides Sarah Hunt, Mary Jane Mucklestone, Sarah Lake, and myself for the incredible Fibertrek Wool Scout Retreat, August 13-17, 2017 at Bradford Camps in the Great North Woods of Maine on beautiful Munsungan Lake.

For information click HERE, or contact fibertrek@gmail.com

Hope to see you there!

Nov 8, 2016

Fall Round-up

Fall round-up on the islands, the event that for me marks the end of the growing season, and the final chore to get done before hunkering down for winter.  This year a gray, but thankfully warm and calm day makes the task a bit easier.  

Round-up in the fall is quite different from spring round-up.  It is deliciously quiet.  The lambs are bigger, the ewes calmer, so there is less of the frantic baaing, just the occasional 'those people are here again' baa.  And the sea gulls are gone taking with them their constant cacophony of complaining. 

The lambs are almost as big as the ewes now, making for a very full coral.  Our task is to sort out the 'long tails' (the buck lambs) and check all the ewes to make sure they are healthy.  The buck lambs will be taken off the island for market and we will take a head count of the remaining ewes to ensure the proper balance of island pasture to sheep grazing.

Day two of fall round-up is warm, calm, and sunny.  The kind of island day that begs for lingering. Today's task is to retrieve the rams from their summer island and bring them to the mainland until they are needed for breeding. 

It's no small feat to wrestle two large rams into a boat while trying to stay clear of the rocks.  Thankfully the seas were calm.

Mainland bound with a boat load of sheep.  Amazingly these wild sheep are very clam and quite content to go for a boat ride.

The lobsterman are busy this time of year bringing in their traps so sometimes there is a bit of waiting and working around traps to unloaded sheep at the wharf.  

And just in case you were thinking this was an idyllic and glamorous chore, someone does have to swab the deck at the end of the day.

This is always a bitter sweet moment for me.  End of the season and a long winter ahead before lambing comes round again.  But I have a mill full of wool to keep me occupied while I dream of spring.

Mar 14, 2016

Nash Island by MJM

                                       Nash Island 
                         pattern by Mary Jane Mucklestone 
                                  Nash Island LIGHT yarn 

Last June my friend Mary Jane Mucklestone arrived on Nash Island to help with shearing, knitting in hand, as usual.  Nash Island Yarn, of course.  Wisely knowing a compact portable project makes for light dunnage (an essential for boat travel) Mary Jane was designing (on the needles, in the moment, on the island) a sweater knit flat in pieces. 

         Mary Jane designing with her muses, photo by Gale Zucker.

Nash Island is an old school Maine sweater, the kind we wear year round in all seasons. For hauling wood in winter to summer evenings on the lobster boat.  Nash Island is knit old school too, entirely flat, with the color work 'lice' happening only on the right side to make it easy.  With  modified drop shoulders and a lace up placket it's a comfortable everyday sweater.  With spring just around the corner, a Nash Island sweater will be the perfect portable project for my island lambing season knitting.  And maybe I'll get it done in time to wear to shearing!

Nash Island by Mary Jane Mucklestone is available on Ravelry.  Nash Island LIGHT yarn is available at Starcroft and at Clementine in Rockland. (We are currently spinning up more LIGHT yarn from the 2015 clip, more colors will be available soon!)