KNOW YOUR FARMER, KNOW YOUR FIBER ;~)
Meadowcroft Farm, Washington, Maine is happy to Announce
*SEACOLORS: Dyepot CSA*
*Community Supported Agriculture*
Support Sustainable Agriculture while you knit with color and softness in a lightweight worsted yarn.
Starting in 2011, Seacolors will set aside a third of its inventory for sale by whole dyelots to yarn and fiber shops.
Guild artist and sustainable farmer, Nanne Kennedy started her superfine breed program at Meadowcroft in Midcoast Maine in 1989. She developed her Seacolors process in 1994, solar dyed in seawater.
Choose your palette and these will be the first to dye in the upcoming solar season.
Normally retailing for $120/lb, the Pre-season CSA price will be $80/lb, put up in 4 oz. skeins and 8 skein dyelots. Skeins are 270 yards each, so they go a long way, and generally take 5 to make a garment. Choose highly variegated, or somewhat less, though each lot is intentionally uneven as we see colors displayed in nature.
Order and prepay now till June.
The inventory and Maine Solar Dye season is limited, as this is a true CSA.
Shares are $1000 for 50, free shipping on 3 or more.
Ask me about visiting for a special event with extra inventory and stories of sheep.
Anyone offering Seacolors: Dyepot CSA will be featured in my website, steering my customers to your shop to choose their colors in person and support you as they have supported me and the sheep from afar.
Frankly, I need to focus on healthy soil, healthy animals, and all the details of dye production. This is the best way I can think to keep our precious resources all in the American Family, by customers who want to support our small farms, our small businesses, and our small beautiful.
What is SUPER FINE WOOL?
Sheep have been genetically modified for the purposes of Food, Clothing and Shelter since WAY before Jesus. In the world of sheep, there are food breeds, and fiber breeds.
Food Breeds include those for Meat- having a larger carcass, and bigger cuts, and Dairy- smaller bones and often a “fat tail,” in fact there are more sheep milked around the globe than any other dairy animal since most of the world does not have the refrigeration or the distribution we have here in America, and get their dairy calcium from cheeses, kefir, etc.
Fiber Breeds are for Carpet– having longer, stronger, shinier wool like Romney, Cotswold, Lincoln, and intended to walk on for a hundred years, orApparel– having very springy, soft and lightweight wool, intended to be worn next to the skin, Cashmere being the finest of the fiber classifications. Wool is measured in microns; anything fewer than 30 microns does not itch, fewer than 19 is Cashmere classification. Common myths include notions like “wool itches” and “wool allergy.” These have to do with both breeding, and the chemicals used to wash, carbonize, or color most wool.
My rams test between 18 and 23 microns, and therefore CANNOT itch. This is the nature and use of superfine, and as an aside, shears a fraction of the wool as a carpet or food breed, but costs the same per animal to produce which is why there is so little of it available, and why the myths continue.
Why is Seacolors yarn so special?
I call Seacolors a Yarnery. Like the crafting of wine in a winery, crafting of color depends as much on the weather and the breedstock as it does the artisanal blending of good taste.
My raw wool is never “carbonized,” (a sulfuric acid spray treatment, placed in an oven to burn out any carbonaceous material, which leaves an acid residue and gives a “picky” feeling and makes the wool feel like it’s had a “perm”). Mine is washed in soap, not detergent. In order to fix a dye (plant or mineral derived) in a protein fiber (wool is a keratin chain made of amino acids) it needs a catalyst of acid, salt and heat to help it “bite” the wool and create a chemical bond. Instead of using chemical salts or acids, or petroleum sourced heat, I developed a system using natural salts and acids, and solar derived heat, that adds neither a chemical itch, nor a boiled wool itch, trading time for temperature, and slowly “melting” the colors into each other and into the yarns, and featuring colorways that emulate the weather, as soft and easy as the wool itself.
What is BIOREGIONAL?
Currently, all sourcing, scouring and spinning is Bioregional, which for me means within a 5 hour radius of the farm. All participating farms have strict standards of grass based systems that minimizes petroleum use in harvesting, feeding, and fertilizing and increases soil biology. Each farm is under easement, securing future farmland. Breeding is critical to this raw material, random fiber samples average 26 microns per staple. Each fleece is handled by me; I grade, class and pack according to soundness and my clean weight yield standards to guarantee each spin lot.
Seacolors also offers sweaters and blankets, one of a kind or in limited runs. Seacolors sweaters are knit by cottage industry divas, at home around Maine, and one other in New England. Each piece is designed and color balanced by me, using my handspun, crochet finishes, and mostly handmade buttons. The blankets are also bioregional, woven, fulled and napped in New England, with colorways inspired by moments in nature and intended to connect you the consumer to a world where you want to be.
Nanne Kennedy and Dogs,
Meadowcroft Farm, Washington, Maine.
Nanne is a Guild Artist focusing on spinning and color work and a sustainable farmer committed to creating viable agricultural models that support both economics and ecologies.
You can see photos of the farm and read more of the story of Seacolors in the book Shear Spirit, by Joan Tapper and Gail Zucker, beautifully produced by Ravenmark, and published by Potter Craft.