About Maine Island wool:
Cheviot, Border Leicester, and Coop-worth make up this very old flock that have lived together alone on a small island in the Penobscot Bay off the coast of Maine. They feed on seaweed and are only visited a few times a year by their care taker, Lee Straw of Straw Farm in Newcastle, Maine and a helper or two to be sheared and mend fences.
In their fleeces, I believe live tales of wild winds, starry nights, and a rich history or foraging the land and snuggling together. A flock and fiber very close to my heart. And one of the most rich, full of life, luster, and fluff I’ve ever worked with.
I partner with Andy Tardi of Aroostook Fiberworks, a fiber processing mill in Ashland, Maine to create this dreamy 2 ply worsted weight yarn.
The process from beginning to end is one of my favorite things as it’s simple and keeps the beautiful wool strong but soft.
I then get to work using minimal cold mordanting methods, long steeps in dye baths, and always overlapping colors from spent baths in order to both save water, and use up as much pigment from the precious materials I gather.
After each skein has dried throughly for at least 3 days, I then give them each a gentle soak with a ph neutral soap to lift any extra pigments sitting on top of the yarn. Several rinses can take place to help lessen the amount of croaking (color bleeding onto your hands and/or needles as you work). However, it can be normal still for a minimal amount of croaking to occur especially with darker indigos and madders.
Dye Stuff: cochineal
Yardage: approx~ 200
Weight: approx~ 2oz
Recommended Knitting Needle Size: 5-7
Care: if needed, hand wash your finished piece in a basin by soaking with warm water and a mild dish soap.
Yarn suitable for any next to skin garment or outer garments. Some of my favorites I use this yarn for are socks, mittens and sweaters.