Tag Archives: Maine Fiber Frolic

Fiber Frolicking adventures

Beezus and our little man, having a moment at the rock (gratuitous goat photo)
Beezus and our little man, having a moment at the rock (gratuitous goat photo)

This past weekend was the annual Maine Fiber Frolic, and I did not have a vendor space this year.  I will be very honest:  I was thrilled not to have the frantic packing of the car on Thursday night, the frantic drive from work on Friday afternoon to set up, and then the two days of standing.  I love greeting people and chatting with them, but it’s still the work year for me and it’s an exhausting part of the year on top of the usual stuff.  (Last week I had all kinds of meetings, and our daily schedule began its topsy-turvy dive toward the end.  The high schoolers having their finals, the seniors having their marching practice, the middle schoolers getting ready for Community Studies field trips and a day of community service.)  It’s wonderful and crazy, and at the same time we are trying to get our libraries put in order and inventoried before the last day on the 19th.  But, enough of that, the weekend is what was so special!!!

Bergman beauty
Bergman beauty

Our friend Pam, of Hatchtown Farm, and I had a date to go to the Fiber Frolic just for the day on Sunday.  We were not in any hurry.  I had some extra fence-moving to do in the morning, and we really didn’t get on the road until 9-ish.  The Windsor fairgrounds are a perfect size, not too large, and when we got there we mosied across to the barns where the fleece sale and show is, and next door to this is the ‘used equipment’ area.  You probably can see where this is headed!  I never have a chance to get into the used equipment area when I am vending and have a booth to watch, so this was a voyeur’s treat (so I thought!).  We walked in and were greeted by a group of lovely volunteers we know, and they were all pointing us to the back of the barn area.  There stood a Bergman 8-harness countermarch loom, handmade in 1936!  Loom bench and a huge assortment of reeds were also with it.  It’s a compact, folding loom, unlike any I have ever seen.  I have read about Bergmans, but they were made out on the west coast and they are not thick on the ground out here in New England.

Well, my eyes just about popped out of my head!  I have been looking for a 4-harness counterbalance loom as that would have been all I could afford to buy new.  8 harnesses would have tipped me over the edge, and a countermarch is one step more wonderful (and more expensive) than the counterbalance!  I think my ears were ringing, I couldn’t really take it all in.  A wonderful weaver in the Maine community who is about to move to the west coast was waxing eloquent about it and showed me all kinds of things on the loom (which I am not sure that I will remember!), and I just fell in love with it.  To top off the amazing goodness of all this is the fact that the people who had it for sale didn’t want to have to take it home on Sunday afternoon, so they had lowered the price to something so amazingly affordable that I couldn’t pass it up.  Mama mia!

But that is only when the adventure began!  I didn’t go to the Fiber Frolic thinking that I was going to buy a loom, and after handing over my check, Pam and I took in the Frolic sites, visited all of our vendor friends, had lunch, and headed back to the used equipment barn and decided to get started on packing up the loom and getting my Subaru Forester loaded.  Other friends, Mudd and Esther Sharrigan (vendors – Nordic Weevs), helped by scraping up a bunch of baling twine to tie up the folding ends of the loom so we could move it without something swinging loose and breaking.  (And Mudd came over and stayed with us, helped with the tie-up, and generally oversaw the action).  Then the fair staff brought their little 4-wheeler and trailer in and we got this extremely solid and heavy loom out of the barn, and I backed my car up.  Hmm.  And that is where it all hit the fan!  Not really much of a shock: I was thinking positively, but not very analytically about the size of the new baby!

If it weren’t for another friend, Tracy, I am really not sure what I would have done.  She didn’t think it would fit into her Toyota Sienna van if it didn’t go into my Subaru, but it fit perfectly, so Pam and I drove it back home, John helped us unload it into the driveway, and then we went back to the fairgrounds, now quite empty, dropped the van off for Tracy, and then headed home with all the loom accoutrements in my car.  Phew!  That was a close one.  But I am over the moon about the loom, and even though it needs some serious dusting and wood treatment, it is a gem.  I don’t usually have such good luck with things like this.  What a great adventure and a wonderful day!

The absolute bestest part about all of this is that my summer break is only two weeks away, so I will have all the time I need to get this beauty cleaned up and humming.

(Shh.  I am not going to think about what it’s going to take to get it out of the living room and up into the loft).

Fiber Frolic 2013

It couldn’t have been more hot and humid if it had tried! Not too many people were very interested in cuddling wool, but our goat milk soaps were a big hit. The heat and humidity was so bad it made me feel sick. Luckily there was a breeze coming through our building, so if I stood in the aisle, I could feel it.

The booth came together quite nicely, and I got one photo of it at some point during a lull in the traffic.

In spite of the heat, it was still a great time. Got to see a lot of friendly faces, bumped into some old friends I have not seen in quite awhile, and met many new people as well. It’s always good!


To the Fiber Frolic we go

Loaded Subaru
Loaded Subaru

Went directly from school this afternoon in the unaccustomed heat and humidity to get set up.  Ugh.  I had the car packed with the structure of the booth last night, so I was able to just go directly over.

In spite of the warm temperatures, I hope a lot of folks can get out for the festival, it’s always a good time.

Maine Fiber Frolic, Windsor Fair Grounds, Windsor, Maine.



Sunday of a busy weekend

4 lonely dyed skeins
4 lonely dyed skeins

I am taking a Red Zinger tea break right now.  Running from one thing to the next trying to get ready for a visit from my older son and his girlfriend for Memorial Day weekend.  In reality, most of what I am doing is trying to continue getting ready for the Maine Fiber Frolic which is two short weeks from now!  Yow!  To that end, I did a little bit of yarn and lock dyeing today, but not as much as I had meant to.

Temporary pen
Temporary pen


Nutkin enjoying the green
Nutkin enjoying the green

I really needed to set up a temporary pen right outside of one of the paddocks so that I could get the three ewes and two goats in there to eat up the green stuff.  It’s just enough to begin getting their rumens ready for more.  So back I must go soon to invite them to return to their paddock.  We are supposed to be getting some fairly serious rain tonight and tomorrow, and I don’t like to have them eating drenched grass early on before they are totally out on pasture.  So they have had a few hours of fun.  And I think it’s about time for me to get back to work!

(While I am rushing from one thing to the other, I decided that I would love to listen to one of my favorite audiobooks again.  The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is an excellent read, but it’s an even better audio.  The book is a series of letters back and forth between all the characters, and the audio is done by a group of actors, so there is a male voice reading the letters from men, and female voices for the women.  It’s fantastic!  If you have a chance to give it a listen, it’s wonderful.  Post WWII Europe, Channel Islands, remembrances of the islanders’ experience during the German occupation, and a little bit of a love story all rolled into one.  Very satisfying!)

Goats complain

Yesterday as we were out getting afternoon chores finished up I went over to watch the goatie girls interacting around the feeder. They weren’t panning for the camera like they usually do.  There is almost never a dull moment with them around.

They confided in me and were a little miffed that they have been getting such short shrift in the blog these days.  I admit, lambing has kind of forced goat business to the back burner, but now that the lambs are all here we are getting ready to think about kidding.  Bonbel and Pippi both look like they are probably pregnant, although it’s difficult to tell until the last month.  But I guess that’s almost where we are!

If the girls were bred by AI (and that’s a really big if), they would be due smack in the middle of Fiber Frolic weekend, June 2nd and 3rd.  That would be interesting!  John would have his hands full while I am manning the booth in Windsor.  On the other hand, as I truly believe, they were bred during their next cycle by our friend’s buck, so they really should be coming due about June 23rd and 24th.

This is just about the latest we have ever had kids.  I have been drying Pippi off to give her some time before the big event and I hope that she does before she starts bagging up for the new little ones. And then we have to decide if we are going to leave the babies with their moms, or bottle feed and start off the milking season with a big bang :*)  Always a challenge and a new adventure!

School year ends

Baby gift sweater

It’s the end of another schoolyear.  It’s been a crazy week, beginning with the Fiber Frolic last weekend, which was wonderful.  Great weather, great visiting with lots of great folks.  Exhausting!  And all the special activities this week at school have kept me whirling.  I have finally finished a baby gift for a colleague who is having his first baby (well, his wife is!).  I am really pleased.  The sweater itself is knit from a superwash Malabrigo worsted, and I got the pattern from Ravelry (In3s, a Baby Cardigan by Kelly Herdrich).  It’s a very sweet capped-sleeve vest/sweater, and I would love to make one for myself :*)  The really lovely part of it is that I found the buttons at the Fiber Frolic.  A vendor in the same building does beautiful Raku beads and buttons, and I think these were made for this sweater!  I love it!