Monday, April 14, 2008

Fiber Field Trip

Last Saturday, April 12, I joined a lovely group of knitters and spinners that I met on Ravelry.com for our first "Fiber Field Trip". We all met at Maranacook Yarns in Readfield. Shop owner Gari has a wonderful selection of yarns, books, patterns, and best of all... SPINNING SUPPLIES! Since I recently got my spinning wheel out of storage and back together again, I was very delighted to see (and buy) some of her fibers. Also, once a month she has a meeting of spinners at her shop, to sit and spin and sometimes offers wine tastings! I really would love to go. Gari had a lovely selection of beverages and pastries arranged for our visit, she is a very gracious hostess. Here is a picture of Gari's shop taken from her website. I forgot to get my camera out I was so excited to meet the knitters.

After we were all done shopping, we followed each other to Sully's Tavern in Winthrop for lunch. Again, I was too excited to remember my camera, but luckily Karen (AuntieMame) shared the pics she took of us all around the table. Here we are going around the table, clockwise by RavelryID: Sparklepony, Jeaninmaine, JLynne, Greenchop in the pretty hat, who organized this group;

Greenchop and soxnut,


This time from right to left: Mizray, brokensnowpea and her boyfriend,

Here we have Storm (left) and her firefighter/spinner husband, and Gari the shop owner.

Left to right, Mizray checking out my Dracula's Bride shawl, and her guest Mary, then me, getting ready to show off my new handspun...
Unfortunately their is not a pic of AuntieMame as she was behind the camera... and a big thank you for getting these pics of us all! We enjoyed the Tavern very much, the meals were wonderful, the french fries handcut and the sandwiches delicious. The waitress was patient and attentive, and we were able to have a whole room to ourselves.

Next we all drove to Monmouth to the Friend's Folly Farm. Pogo, owner of Friend's Folly, raises angora goats. They are called Angora goats, but the fiber they produce is mohair. Angora fiber comes from Angora rabbits. It is very confusing I realize, but the reason they were both called Angora to begin with is that they were originally bred in the Angora region of Turkey. Today it is called Ankara. Anyway, I digress... Pogo also has her own spinnery in an outbuilding behind her home. This time I was smart enough to get my camera out. Here is a picture of the carding machine, loaded with fiber from both dark and white haired goats. This fiber has already been cleaned and "picked" for debris. The carder combs and straightens the hairs so that they are neatly arranged for spinning. You can see what the fiber looks like going in....

And here is what it looks like coming out! A neat little roving, ready to spin!

Here is Pogo, on the right, as she explains the process to us.

This is the spinning machine, which turns the carded roving into yarn. She got this wonderful old piece of equipment from a spinnery that went out of business some time ago. It can spin yarn with up to 8 plies (strands), perhaps you can see that it was making a 2-ply at the time of our visit.
Then we went out to see the goats! Here is a group of mothers and babies inside their shed. I apologize profusely but I didn't catch the name of the lady who showed us the goats and allowed us to pet them.

Here are some of the goats outside playing. You can see that most of our snow is gone at last (yippee!) and it wasn't that muddy, either. Luckily the rain that was predicted held off...


This is one hungry mama goat, and she did not want to share the hay. She would head-butt any trespassers to her food supply right out of the way.

And now, the obligatory gratuitous baby goat pics.... here is a brown baby...

Here is a mama goat with her white baby...

And here is a baby half brown and half white! We were told that the color they are born with does not necessarily predict the color they will have in their adulthood.

I had a wonderful day and came home with a bag of undyed corriedale cross wool, a bag of merino/silk dyed midnight blue, and of course a bag of "Friendz Blendz" mohair/wool dyed ocean blue with just a touch of bling. I started spinning the minute I got home!! I'll keep you posted on my progress.


3 comments:

Jennifer said...

Excellent post, Darlene! It was a pleasure to meet you on the trip! I can't wait until next trip and more show-and-tells!

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blueheron91 said...

Sounds and looks like you had a fabulous day, Darlene! Thanks so much for sharing.
Susan in ON