Aug 1, 2013

excuses, excuses, excuses....

Oh, yes.  I have many excuses as to why this mountain of wool has yet to be spun into gold.
For the most part, I think they are pretty good excuses.

#1.  It's been gawdawful hot and humid.  Absolutely unacceptable weather for downeast Maine.
I sweat.  Wool sticks.  Nuff said.

#2.  My 81-year-old Dad has moved back home to Maine. 
Enjoying some long overdue quality time.

#3.  Winter's coming.  We are still house-less.
Busy building and 'holding up the other end of that 2 X 4'.

#4.  Daughter #1 is getting married in September. 
I'm responsible for the 'bride sweater' (of course, sport weight hand spun island lamb)
& cake topper (of course, it involves fabric, paper, glue, & scissors).


Zoey Lou.  ala Daughter #2!
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Jun 2, 2013

Cunnin Critters

These are needle felted critters made by my friend Bianca.

using our Nash Island Felting Wool.

Aint they just cunnin. (that's downeast for cute)

Don't you want to make some?

Nash Island Felting Wool is for sale on our website!



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Apr 15, 2013

Island Call

Waking at 5 a.m. to the sound of lobster boats chugging out of the harbor
 means calm seas and fair winds are in store for the morning.
  I'm early to rise on mornings like these in anticipation of getting the call.

There's only one person who calls me at 7 o'clock in the morning,
so I know when I answer the phone I'm going to hear some of my favorite words.
 "Hey, ya wanna go for a boat ride?"

As often as the weather allows, we go out to the islands to check on 'the girls'.
 On cold, gray drizzly days like today, it's usually a quick trip out then back home for a hot lunch.

A brisk walk once round the island confirms that all is well. 
The girls look round and content (despite our interrupting their morning graze).
  A bit of a waddle in their walk reminds me that lambs will be arriving in just a few weeks!
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Mar 31, 2013

hi HO hi HO

hi Ho, hi HO, it's back to work we go (whistle) (whistle) (whistle)

washing wool

opening clouds of fluff

drafting roving for yarn

spinning yarn

dyeing felting wool

drying dyed roving

HOT water + Electricity = Finally back to work!
Now to get caught up on that mountain of wool.
First up ~ FOG yarn ~ stay tuned!
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Jan 16, 2013

Ram Out

Rams ready for a boat ride.

One of the things I love most about living in Downeast Maine and working with island sheep is how day-to-day activities are dictated by seasonal cycles and the weather.  The New island Year begins with taking the rams out to the island in December.   A calm seas, no wind, not too frigid day in December can be a rarity. 

This year on a slightly drizzly rainy but mostly calm day Tank (the big boy up front), Rodney (the tall dark & handsome one), and Tank's boys Tunk, Trigg, & Tide headed out to spend the winter on the island entertaining the ladies.

While the boys are out to the island, I'll occupy the long winter months with processing last year's clip and eagerly awaiting my favorite island season of all ~ lambing.

All ashore going ashore!

Jan 3, 2013

* 2012 *

Starcroft Fiber Mill's new home - under construction in 2012
a moving and somewhat unsettling year
Here's what I learned in 2012:

*     if you put your old house up for sale in a poor market, 
      it really could sell before you have a new house to live in

*     with a generous amount of tears and perseverance you can sort, pack, and move
      35 years accumulation of life in 6 weeks

*     house-less is not the same as home-less 
      thanks to the generosity and kindness of friends 

*     you can move into and live in 5 different places in 9 months time
      while simultaneously building a mill, a barn, and a house
*     you can move 3 complete households (yours, a daughter, a son) and 1 business
      in the dog days of June, July, and August

*     when everything you own is stored in boxes
      it's amazing how little 'stuff' you really need to live

*     that amidst the chaos, life continues on with celebrations of 
      a birth, an engagement, a pregnancy announcement, a graduation, and a funeral

*     that a 9 month un-anticipated hiatus from your work 
      can leave you renewed and eager to get back to it

It was a year of the un-anticipated, of patience and flexibility, of letting go 
and new beginnings.