Maine Fiber Frolic 2017 Poster
MOFGA Common Ground Fair Poster

fun weekend

Last weekend was a busy one and lots of fun! On Saturday, there was a baby shower for Rachel, our son Aaron’s partner, who is due in the beginning of March. We’re very excited about the arrival of our first grandbaby — a little girl! We don’t have many girls in our family! Rachel’s almost SIL, Holly, put the whole thing together and Rachel’s Mom and I helped with decorations and food.

Rachel and Aaron arrive...surprise!!

Rachel and Aaron arrive…surprise!!

I think she was actually surprised! She received a wonderful collection of gifts — all kinds of things from the totally practical to the fanciful. I knitted a little cap-sleeve sweater and my friend Nina knitted her a sleep sack. Despite the snowy forecast, a lot of people came and stayed for all the fun. So nice for Rachel!

little sweater

little sweater










sleep sack

sleep sack










On Sunday — again a snowy day! — our spinning group, the Salt Bay Treadlers, got together for our holiday party. It was supposed to happen before Christmas but it was postponed because of one of those big snow storms we had. We had a wonderful luncheon and afternoon of spinning & knitting at our friend, Chris A’s house. She has the most beautiful and cozy craft room!

Chris' needlefelted snowman wears a scarf made from the yarns and wears mittens made from the unspun fiber. His heart is, too.

Chris’ needlefelted snowman wears a scarf made from the yarns and wears mittens made from the unspun fiber. His heart is, too.

One very fun part of our party was the big reveal of what everyone had made from the yarn and fiber we’d dyed at our island fiber retreat last summer. We all took home a couple of small skeins — 1 dyed with cochineal and 1 dyed with osage orange w/an overdye in cochineal. And there was some cochineal dyed,  unspun Coopworth lambswool & adult fiber, too. What a wonderful bunch of items we cooked up…interesting that they’re all so different, too! I can’t wait to see what Kelley made. She wasn’t able to make it on Sunday. 🙁



Me and my wine cozy. Wine because we enjoyed a couple of glasses on our retreat and I used the magic loop method that Chris taught us while we were there. I spun the fiber for the salmon color at the top. The dark brown is from our sheep.

Me and my wine cozy. Wine because we enjoyed a couple of glasses on our retreat and I used the magic loop method that Chris taught us while we were there. I spun the fiber for the salmon color at the top. The dark brown is from our sheep.











The cutest hedgehog pin cushion in the world! Made by Nina. We all want one of these too!!

The cutest hedgehog pin cushion in the world! Made by Nina. We all want one of these too!!











Christine explains how she made this gorgeous headband...because we all want one!

Christine explains how she made this gorgeous headband…because we all want one!












Because I couldn’t possibly finish up this post without mentioning the weather… We’re back in the deep freeze again. Last week, the sheep were picking at the grass in the paddock and we’d put the garden carts back into service. Now we’re covered in snow and 14 degrees F feels balmy. It seems as though this will be the norm for at least a week. No doubt, this won’t be the last mention of the weather…it’s all people talk about these days!


Vinalhaven Memories

A week ago, I was just settling back into the real world after 4 glorious days away with 4 of my fiber buddies. We took a little fibery vacation to Vinalhaven, a beautiful island off the Maine coast and just over an hour’s ride on the ferry.

We were goofing around before we even got off the ferry! The weather was breezy and far cooler than it was on the mainland where all of our spouses were having to deal with 90+ degree temps and nasty humidity. Over the 4 days, we did a lot of knitting and spinning…mostly on the fabulous porch…and laughed and laughed! Laughing is relaxing!

We ate when we felt like it…and sometimes in our pj’s!

And then we did some more spinning…

Kelley’s kitchen sink fiber

Nina’s silk & camel

Christine’s black Border Leicester in the grease

My own hand dyed Coopworth lambswool

I somehow missed Chris’ spinning project, but got a few shots of the dyeing we did with the cochineal she brought along. Wow! is all I can say…it was fun and the results were amazin! I brought the yarn and Nina brought the unspun fiber.

Little bugs make big color!

Some of the yarn I had previously dyed with Osage orange shavings and it became a vibrant orange!

We all took some of the yarn and fiber home. Show and tell to follow… Can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with !

Finally (sadly), we packed ourselves up and headed back to the ferry terminal after one last moment on the porch to soak in the gorgeous view.

Great memories!


Taking a Fresh Look at the Nøstepinde

drawing: finished ball of yarm with flat top and bottom

The past week has been nøstepinde intensive. I’ve been doing a lot of work on the website and had noted that the graphics on the “Nøsting …or…Zen and the Art of Ballwinding with a Nøstepinde” page were looking very old-fashioned. They dated back to the days of yore when computer download speeds were abysmally slow and the web designers primary goal was to make image files as absolutely small as possible.

I decided that NOW was the time to “kill two birds.” I am re-jiggering the nøstepinde instructions and will finally set them up as a PDF file which people will be able to download, print out, archive in Evernote or whatever.

In the recent months I’ve been doing a lot of research in YouTube on various hobbies I’ve been adopting. So, I was not surprised to find a number of good videos covering the use of the nøstepinde. In the past, when folks asked me how they could learn to use a nøsty I would send them to our “Nøsting” webpage. These days, I have to admit, my first recommendation would be that they check out YouTube. It’s much easier to first learn to do something while listening and watching than by reading. I found Ann Kingstone’s “Nostepinne” especially helpful and complete.

drawing: wrapping parallel diagonals

wrapping parallel diagonals

But, it was “Using a Kromski Nostepinne” by Tim Horchler of The Woolery/New Voyager Video that really piqued my curiousity!

drawing: wrapping figure 8 "crosses"

wrapping figure 8 “crosses”

Tim promotes a completely different winding pattern than I had ever run across. Rather than placing all his wraps as parallel diagonals, he crosses his diagonals, making a series of “figure 8’s.” Noting that Tim’s video has been viewed more than 13,000 times I am guessing that a bunch of nøstepinders out there are “figure-eighting”.

I’ve set up a “questionnaire” (see below) that, if you’re game, you will fill out and submit. If there are enough submissions I’ll collate the results and post a report here and on the Nosty Luv group that I’ve just discovered on Ravelry.

drawing: Wrapping diagonally.

Nøstepindes and You -- Questionnaire

Please share some information about your Nøstepinding habits.
    Please check all that apply.
    Please check all that apply.

If you still have remaining form-filling energy you might want to jump over to the “Tools” page and get put on the “Woodshop News” mailing list. You’ll receive emailed announcements as fresh inventory is listed in the shop.

Maine Fiberarts Tour Weekend at Hatchtown Farm

!! Fiber !! Fiber !! Fiber !! Fiber !!


Check out the Hatchtown page at the Maine Fiberarts website.

Fri., Sat. & Sun.
August 5, 6 & 7
10 am — 5 pm

Hatchtown Farm is either No. 67 or No. 15
Now, if you have the large, glossy Tour Map that Maine Fiberarts printed up a couple of years ago, or are viewing the Printed Tour Map on the MFA website, we are No. 67 on the Pemaquid peninsula. But, if you have the smaller flyer printed this summer, you’ll find us as No. 15. So! ..if you are really going to come on down it might be the easiest for you to jump over to the Contact page right here on our website for all the information you might need. The webpage lists all the specifics and particulars …phone number and such. You can even have the Google Map folks work up a set a of customized directions with maps just for you.

We're Moving...

BIG NEWS…Our booth at Rhinebeck (NY State Sheep & Wool Festival) will be in a new location…Building B.  After many years in our lovely spot on the loft of the horticultural building (aka Bldg 22), the local fire marshalls decided it was too crowded to be safe and the festival organizers gave all of us on that side of the loft our marching orders.

Hatchtown Farm 2009 Booth at Rhinebeck

Hatchtown Farm 2009 Booth at Rhinebeck

  I don’t think any of us are really thrilled about the move but hey! what can we do…  A majority of us from the loft will still be together in Building B and that’ll fun because we’ve been neighbors for such a long time.  And there are a bunch of other vendors who’d been asking for larger booth spaces who will be moving in there, too.  So be sure to come see us!  Building B is the place to “B”!!!

Click on the map for a larger view.