Wednesday, 25 May 2011
A short lesson in how to follow your bliss.
This is the last of my catch ups from the USA which is just as well. Exciting things are happening at home too and I'll need to blog about them very soon. In the meantime, let me take you to Starcroft Fiber in Maine.
Jani and her daughter Leah are two of the most effervescent fibre enthusiasts I've ever met, with just my kind of business ethics - simplify, stay small and enjoy what you do. The fleeces that they use for spinning, dyeing and felting come from sheep who live all year round on Nash Island, off the coast of Maine. The resulting yarns are beautiful, I was lucky enough to be given some, dyed a soft smoky grey. Handspinners can also buy the fleeces for spinning at home.
Mary Jane and Ellen and we were shown round the mill, with its wonderful wool washing system, the felt making machine and all the equipment needed for creating yarns. Although the fleece is processed by machine Jani checks the yarns by hand to make sure they feel right, just like a handspinner would. What impressed me most was how happy Jani and Leah were with their work. The business is just big enough to be challenging and fulfilling all at the same time. A truly inspirational workplace, next time I want to come back for the shearing!