Maryland Sheep and Wool has come and gone. It was a gorgeous spring day to be out browsing all things sheep – sheep dog trials, 4-H judging, cheese tasting and of course, yarn.
I had my eyes open for yarns with a green slant and I found a few. I still have a bit of homework to do since most vendors were so busy there was only time for the quickest of chats. I found some real gems, but before I get to the yarn, I have to mention that my entire haul for the day also included a beautiful cherry wood boat shuttle and 3 varieties of the yummiest sheep cheese from Everona Dairy.
And now for the main event. Green Mountain Spinnery was on my must-visit list and I wasn’t disappointed. Often, yarns processed in an environmentally sensitive manner are undyed because many traditional dye processes can be a real chemical nightmare. I’m a big lover of neutrals and naturals, but there are only so many cream, grey, brown and black things a girl can knit. On occasion a little color is in order so I zoned right in on a yarn called Local Color. It’s a 100% organic fine wool, dyed with Earthhues natural dye extracts and mordanted with nothing more sinister than alum. The palette is subtle, but there’s an unexpected boldness that you don’t often see with natural dyes. I limited my selection to 4 colors, though I suspect once I start swatching I’ll be on the phone to Green Mountain Spinnery for more.
It was a bit hasty of me to grumble about naturally-colored yarns, but then I hadn’t yet come across the gorgeous merinos from two women who are in the process of merging their businesses. Merino has got to be my favorite fiber and these yarns have my mind racing for all the things I could knit in silver, grey, black and cream. They’re soon to be called Four Friends Fiber (with the two extra “friends” being their husbands), but for now you can find them as Greenwood Hill Farm and Traver Midnight Merino. The yarns from Greenwood Hill Farm are raised on natural unmedicated feeds and in organic pastures and the wool is processed by none other than Green Mountain Spinnery using their certified organic scouring process. Oh, happy day.
And last but by no means least, I purchased two different yarns from Still River Mill which had a wide range of yarns from dog hair to cashmere. I decided on an American raised cashmere called Good Earth and American Prairie which is a blend of bison down, Sally Fox’s naturally-colored cotton and merino wool.
One of my last stops before heading home for the day was Solitude Wool. They’re local and though I kept intending to visit them at one of the DC farmer’s markets, it always seemed a little too far afield for a Saturday morning when there’s a perfectly lovely market here. Solitude specializes in breed-specific yarns using their wool and wool sourced from other local farms. After a long day and my decision-making powers were starting to fail me. Then the Tunis caught my eye. I had recently read about this heritage breed and fell in love with their pretty red faces. How could I resist? I’ll take two, please. And a couple of skeins of the Corriedale Bulky for good measure, thank you.