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Laura’s Loom, UK, comes to visit!

We all have our own life to pursue, our own kind of dream to be weaving, and we all have the power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing. – Louisa May Alcott

I’ve seen a few trees with branches of leaves turning to Fall colors and the goldenrod is tall and full of Autumn gold.   Oops – rewind ~~~~~~~~~~~   I still have a few blogs from my summer to share!

 

Laura Rosenzweig of Laura’s Loom, UK, came to visit me and Sheep & Shawl early in July. 

Laura's on the left

Laura’s on the left

  We are old friends from the days we worked together in Boston in environmental planning and mapping. We’ve both changed our careers – using our hobbies in fiber arts – weaving and knitting – to create our own businesses. Laura has a well-established headstart in her expert handweaving, using silks, fine wools, and chenille. She has also been sourcing local and regional wool fleeces that she sees through all the processes from cleaning (scouring), carding, and spinning, to mill-woven finished throws and scarves. She has these woven at a small textile mill to her designs and specifications under the name Howgill Range (the region where she lives and sources the fleeces). She sells at UK fiber fairs, online, and through her studio, and takes commission work for her specially designed handwoven throws and silk scarves.

I’m not quite a year old in the retail business carrying locally and regionally sourced natural fibers in rovings, yarns, and fiber arts (handwoven, handdyed, and hand felted textiles, as well as handspun and handdyed yarns) available directly at my shop along with books, tools, classes, and events. Now that Laura is also selling skeins of her locally processed Hebridean, Shetland, and Blue Faced Leicester yarns – in lovely natural color blends (no dyes) named St. Kilda, Morar, Tarbet, and Nevis, plus a marled one and a “classic cream.”

5 of 7 natural colors

5 of 7 natural colors

I’m planning on selling a very limited quantity of these 2-ply yarns in the shop primarily for knitters, although weavers can also use them. To see and read more about Laura’s love of landscape and fiber arts, please read her website at www.laurasloom.co.uk.

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There is … be…

There is … beauty in the migration of the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for the spring. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter. – Rachel Carson

Happy Earth Day to all.  How do you connect to the Earth every day?  I find even the simplest actions help – looking up at the stars before I go to bed, listening to the chaos of bird chorus when I wake, trying to identify one bird at a time by song (harder for me than by sight), loving that we saw our first Red-breasted Grosbeak on a Sunday morning bird walk.  My newest shawl is a Color Affection shawl (pattern on Ravelry) in muted teal, moss-olive green, and bright blue – colors of the sea, earth, and sky.

In Search of Tiny Yellow Flowers

I had not heard that Gabriel Garcia Marquez had recently passed. Here is a loving tribute by another blogger. His book One Hundred Years of Solitude was one of the most influential (to me) that I have ever read.

Mermaid of the Plains

On Thursday, April 16, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature (1982) took leave of this earth. I learned of his passing late in the evening while perusing the day’s news and was immediately saddened by his passing. The first thing I envisioned was Mexico City blanketed in tiny yellow flowers, as in the passage from One Hundred Years of Solitude etched upon my heart the moment I read and reread the last paragraph of what, if numbered, would be chapter seven:

” Then they went into José Arcadia Buendia’s room, shook him as hard as they could, shouted in his ear, put a mirror in front of his nostrils, but they could not awaken him. A short time later, when the carpenter was taking measurements for the coffin, through the window they saw a light rain of tiny yellow flowers falling. They fell on the town all through the night in…

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Spring? … snow … Spring?

On Monday, we went for a lovely Spring bird walk, Spring in all her early glory, temps in the low 70s! skunk cabbage

Skunk cabbage in abundance with its voluptuous blooms,

our first ruby-crowned kinglet of the season singing to beat the band, ruby crowned kinglet

a Phoebe singing Phoebe-Phoebe?-Phoebe- Fee-bi-ly! eastern_phoebe_kellyazar

Red-wing blackbirds “congaree”ing red winged blackbird

Several very blue bluebirds, my favorite – I want to weave something lovely in that blue and orange bluebird

Our first blue Scilla, white Scilla, one lonely daffodil, and our first crocus on last week’s walk.  crocus scilla

 

It’s been so nice that we’ve finally been leaving the cars out of the garage overnight, getting the winter’s salt washed away by the rains yesterday.  And then, woke up this morning to 2 inches of snow! and 27 degrees, requiring sweeping and scraping windshields before breakfast.  But all is forgiven – snow has melted and it’s back to 40 degrees and climbing, with 50s forecast for the next 5 days!

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There are two w…

There are two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.
– Albert Einstein

When my partner John initiated The 500 Hats Project earlier this year it seemed like it might be a miracle if we even received 100 hats from strangers in the Valley who knit or crocheted.  To have now received over 1000 hats is truly a miracle of generosity and we extend our gratefulness to those anonymous creators.  The project update is on the front page of today’s Greenfield Recorder – you can read it here .     Hats will be collected until the end of October at the many yarn shops, libraries, and book stores in the Valley – see that list on the 500 Hats Project website at www.500hats.org.  The list of social service organizations who will be receiving the hats on November 6 at the Seuss Sculpture Garden in Springfield and distribute them is also posted on that website.  Kudos to John, to all of the hat creators, and to the places willing to collect them. It should be a warmer winter for many in the Valley this year.

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A Flock of Sheep!

A Flock of Sheep!

Some people get flocks of flamingos placed in their yards, I got a flock of (ceramic) sheep!  Aren’t they cute?

Tomorrow is the Fall Equinox. Cheers!

But the air’s so appetizin’; and the landscape through the haze
Of a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn days
Is a pictur’ that no painter has the colorin’ to mock—
When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.   – James Whitcomb Riley

This is my favorite season – the pumpkins are piling up at the farmstands and in neighbor’s yards; the trees have a nice deep blush on them today; our winterberries have a bumper crop on them this year and should make the birds happy through the winter.  What are you doing to celebrate Fall?  I hope knitting or weaving are two of your activities – come by the shop for inspiration, and look at our Fall Class Schedule on the Community Page – we’re adding new classes weekly.

If you’re in the neighborhood, this weekend is the Fall Arts and Crafts Festival at Old Deerfield – just 2.5 miles north of Sheep & Shawl on Rtes 5/10.  Also, Saturday only, is the Annual Honey Festival at Warm Colors Apiary in South Deerfield.  Two wonderful events close by.  I hope I’ll see you!

Coming Soon

New to blog posting, new to website construction, new to opening a yarn shop!  ALL FUN, but the posts will be delayed until I have a little more time for them.

Thanks for your patience!

Liz