Monday, January 26, 2015

SPA Spotlight: Friends' Folly Farm

We have raised Angora Goats for 26 years. It all started with two Angora wethers we purchased from Mary Isham at the Common Ground Fair to stock the barn on our new property with critters that were pets but also “paid back”. Little did we know that those two little goats would change the direction of our lives!

First we learned to clip them, wash their fiber, card and spin it all by hand. Then we were tired of white so we learned how to dye from Diane Trussell. One thing led to another – we added sheep to the herd, learned how to felt, bought a cottage industry carder, bought some natural colored Angoras as the breed was being developed in the 90’s. Marcia started weaving again (she learned how in college).

The next thing we knew we were doing fiber shows and selling our products – from raw fleeces to finished goods. Our focus has always been about the "Magic of Mohair": Mohair means "choice" in Arabic and has been used in the English language since the 1500's to specifically denote the fiber from Angora goats. The Magic is the length, strength, and sheen of mohair. The average staple length is 5 inches - which is clipped every 6 months - easy to spin with a long draw. A single strand of mohair is as strong as steel of the same size - that means it's great in a blend for socks (forget the need for nylon!) The sheen of mohair when dyed creates wonderful colors.

Friendz Blendz (50% mohair/50% wool) roving and yarns are our signature products. It’s a great blend for strength, sheen, and vibrant colors. We dabble in other bends for yarn and roving and make our own dyed batts and curls for spinners and felters.

You can find us on-line at, in Monmouth,Maine at our Yarn in a Yurt shop, or at Fiber Frolic in June of each year.

Last Updated: 01.26.15

SPA Spotlight: Leslie Wind

I have been a crocheter, jeweler and dabbled in knitting since the late 1960's. But all of  that came together when I started making closures for fiber artists about six years ago. Since then I have concentrated on items that are beautiful, well made, fill a fiber arts need, and may even double as a wearable piece of jewelry.  

I enjoy making things right at the table for people to see the process. These, mostly bronze, made in the moment items may be show pins. I also make coco/tea twirlers, hair pins or book marks. Working with bronze is such a free process as cost is not such a factor. So instead of thinking of Woodstock I feel like I am at "woolstock".

Leslie Wind

Items Shown Below:
  • Flame-eyed yarn Sewing Needle in entwined bronze /sterling or copper/sterling
  • Sheep Cable Needle Necklace in bronze and sterling
  • Spiral Tab Pin in Sterling

Last Updated: 01.26.15

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

SPA Spotlight: Jan Raczkowski

Jan’s Handcrafted Yarns

Jan has been knitting, weaving and spinning for over 30 years, and is now devoting his full-time attention to handcrafted yarns that he hand-spins & hand-dyes; he also hand-dyes mill-spun yarns. In addition he also creates hand-knitted and hand-woven one of a kind shawls, scarves, sweaters and coats using artisan fibers and his handcrafted yarns. 

At this time Jan works in his home-based studio in Bloomfield, CT.

Festival & Show Schedule

February 27th & 28th and March 1st, 2015
NETA Knit & Spin Spa, Freeport ME

April 25th, 2015
Connecticut Sheep Wool & Fiber Festival, Vernon CT

May 9th & 10th, 2015
New Hampshire Sheep & Wool Festival, Deerfield NH

May 16th, 2015
Rhode Island Wool & Fiber Festival, Coggeshall Farm Museum, Bristol RI

May 23rd & 24th, 2015
Massachusetts Sheep & Woolcraft Fair, Cummington MA

June 6th & 7th, 2015
Maine Fiber Frolic, Windsor ME

September 19th &20th, 2015
Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival, Hemlock NY

September 26th & 27th, 2015
Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival, Greenwich NY

October 3rd & 4th, 2015
Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival, Tunbridge VT

October 17th & 18th, 2015
New York State Sheep & Wool Festival, Rhinebeck NY

November 7th & 8th, 2015
Fiber Festival of New England, West Springfield MA

Last Updated: 01.13.15

Sunday, January 11, 2015

SPA Spotlight : Port Fiber

In the next few weeks, as we look forward to SPA, we'll post more spotlights about each of the fantastic vendors who will spoil you rotten in Freeport!

SPA Spotlight: Port Fiber

PortFiber is a fiberarts shop in the East Bayside neighborhood of Portland, Maine.  The shop features hand-dyed top in a variety of fiber bases including yak/silk, domestic Rambouillet processed at the Maine Top Mill in Waldoboro, Maine, along with baby camel/silk, organic Polwarth/silk, and many other blends.  Shop owner, Casey Ryder really enjoys naming the colorways based on of her life experiences [ex:"Hula Hoop Picnic"] or pop culture references [ex: "Fraggle Rock"].  PortFiber also stocks a variety of commercially dyed wools, silk, and hemp fibers for felting and spinning.

Casey makes an effort to carry local and domestic wools and products like Howard Brush blending boards and hand cards made right here in Maine.  She's looking to expand upon her stock of weaving yarns, which now include Jaggerspun wool and wool/silk yarns, Habu Textiles stainless steel/wool, silk, and linen yarns, and Venne Colcoton Organic Cotton yarn.

In addition to carrying lovely, fibery-good products, PortFiber aims to build community around weaving, spinning, felting, and dyeing.  Local instructors, as well as those from outside of Maine teach classes throughout the year.  PortFiber also hosts a weekly spin-in every Thursday afternoon from noon-5pm.

Casey is looking forward to SPA 2015.  She's excited to see fiber friends she only sees a few times a year and to hear and see what they've been up to!  You can see what Casey's been dyeing at and check in on upcoming classes at

Last Updated: 01.11.15  

Saturday, January 10, 2015

SPA 2015 Marketplace Vendors

Here are the vendors who will offer fluff, tools, fiber, fun, and just plain way cool stuff at the SPA 2015 Marketplace. If you want to be a vendor for SPA 2016, we will start the application process in the spring. Make sure you are a member of the NETA Yahoo email group to receive the latest news and information.

Ball and Skein
Dirty Water Dyeworks
Dreamweavers Alpacas
Enchanted Knoll Farm
Friends’ Folly Farm Click here for our Vendor Spotlight on Friends' Folly Farm.
Full Moon Farm
Good Karma Farm
Highland Handmades Click here for our Vendor Spotlight on Highland Handmades.
Leslie Wind Click here for our Vendor Spotlight on Leslie Wind.
Mad Color Fiber Arts
The Merlin Tree
Mountain Fiber Folk
Port Fiber Click here for our Vendor Spotlight on Port Fiber.
Jan Raczkowski Studio Click here for our Vendor Spotlight on Jan Raczkowski.
Janet Conner Hooked Rugs
Seven Sisters
Shipyard Point Glassworks
Snowfield Alpaca
Springtide Cashmere
Spunky Eclectic
Stephen Willette Click here for our Vendor Spotlight on Stephen Willette.
White Berry Farm and Rabbitry
The Woolen Rabbit

Last Updated: 01.26.15