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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!


shearing 2012

We sheared all the ewes on the 10th.  Well, actually Emily sheared them and did a fabulous job as always.  She makes it look so easy and is never grumpy even when there are challenging moments.  It may have been over a week ago but memories of the big reveal are fresh, and Jim and I are still talking about how many people came by.  It was really fun to be surprised!  The weather was pretty good so nobody froze and afterwards, quite a few of us celebrated with a potluck, lots of chatter and laughs.

soaking up the sunshine

We had a wonderful crew of helpers who did such a good job on the fleeces that I’ll hardly have to do anything when I get back to them.  Thanks so much to everyone…for coming…for helping…for the food and good cheer. We couldn’t do it without you all.  And it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun either.

happy skirters

The photo above unfortunately doesn’t include the sheep wrangling/sweeping/shearing portion of the crew who really get down and dirty and don’t even get the chance to get their hands into those warm fleeces…except while trying to move the sheep onto the shearing floor.

The fleeces are stunning this year!!  I do believe the abundant grass and excellent hay we were able to get has contributed…we are what we eat, right!  The girls are also in excellent condition as they go into lambing and that makes the shepherd very happy.  It’s nice to get a look at what’s under all that fiber.  From what I can see right now, 8 of the 10 are definitely pregnant.  The other 2…we’ll see…still early.

really really like this one...

really really liking this one too...

Shearing done -- what a good day!

We were so glad the weather cooperated and we were able to get the girls back to their paddock on Tuesday. The sooner the better as far as I’m concerned. Depositing poop outdoors is preferable to indoors where the shepherd gets to clean it up.

They know the way home.

And what of the boys?  They’ll be sheared this Saturday — 3/24.  Looking forward to seeing what they’ve grown this year!

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.

Shearing Day…Spring is on the way!

This morning it’s snowing  just enough to brighten up the grey piles that pepper the landscape, but the other morning when I opened the door, I smelled Spring…a welcome change from the all familiar wood smoke of Winter! And last week, our cat was stalking a Robin that was flitting around in one of the apple trees.  A Robin…?  I know,  it seems a little early to me.  But I guess Spring really is coming… thank goodness!  We’re ready for it…even the inevitable boot-sucking muck!    

shearing grey

a little taste...

Another sign — SHEARING…the big reveal…our Spring Harvest!  It’s all happening on Saturday, March 5th.  Emily, our wonderful shearer, will get started at about 9:30AM and will finish up when the sheep are naked…probably about 4PM.  Come by for a fleece preview.  We’ll give you a job if you’d like one or you can bring a chair and just hang out.  Stay all day or for just a little while. We’ll be happy to see you !!  Can’t wait to see those fleeces!  It might be a little too early to see signs of lambs but maybe we’ll get lucky.

snow sheep

Waiting for Emily...growing yummy fleece!

I’m going to make some chili &/or soup & bread for all who’d like to stay afterwards. And we’ll have drinks on hand.  Please let us if you’re coming so we’ll plan enough food for all to enjoy and  please bring a little something to share (hints: chocolate is a big hit and I don’t bake). It’ll be fun to relax and chat after a day of fleece and sheep handling!

More Shearing Day

And now a little creative piece from Jim.  Enjoy!