Sponsor: I wanted to thank one of this week’s sponsors, NorthCoast Knittery in Eureka California. This charming shop opened it’s doors in 2008, with the hope to create a unique gathering place for fiber folk and help expand the local fiber community. It’s a wonderful spot to meet friends and work on projects as you enjoy a cup of tea. They offer a variety of classes and workshops, helping enhance your skill levels and each Thursday at 6pm they host a Sip & Knit social evening. Make sure to visit NorthCoast Knittery in person when in Eureka and online at northcoastknittery.com for a full selection of Swans Island yarns, classes and so much more wooly goodness.And between now and September, NorthCoast Knittery is doing a drive for Hats for the Homeless, where they give away yarn and hat patterns to locals that would like to participate in knitting hats which will then be donated to a local homeless organization and the Eureka rescue mission. To be involved visit northcoastknittery.com and email via the contact page.
Fiber folk: From midwife to wool maven, Jackie Ottino-Graf is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to natural dyeing, fiber and all things Swans Island Company. Her fiber journey began in the backwoods of Maine and led her to become an integral part of the Swans Island team whether it be curating yarns, developing new product lines, spreading the Swans Island love or naturally dyeing. Talking with her impressed upon me even more the importance of knowing the materials you’re working with, domestic production and handcrafting. You can find Jackie at swansislandcompany.com and on Instagram @swansislandcompany and @swansislandyarn.
Update: As many of you know, I took the last couple weeks off from the podcast, and for very good reason. My husband David and I recently made the decision to make our move to our ranch permanent. We’ve begun the trek from California to Idaho and will continue to do so over the next few weeks. This past week David’s cousin and his wife traveled from LA to the ranch with their 6 children to help us transport the yurt we bought from Canada. Yes, we bought a yurt! We’ve begun the process of building a platform and look forward to having a “yurt-raising” later this Summer. We couldn’t be more excited and more thankful for the blessing of our family coming to work with us. I will forever be moved by the gracious attitude and love those 6 kids shared with us.
We’ve also been anxiously anticipating the arrival of lambs any day now. Three of the ewes were pregnant when they arrived at the ranch in May. The farm we got them from had a ram who passed away in February, but not before a last accidental hurrah with the ewes haha. So we’re late to the lambing game this year, but nonetheless ready. 🙂 Make sure to follow along on Instagram @woolful for updates on all our adventures.
Giveaway: The winner of last week’s giveaway, is Niree! You’ve won the beautiful bulky handspun yarn from Camellia Fiber Company and a pair of needles from Craft South. Congratulations!
The giveaway this week is sponsored NorthCoast Knittery and we’re giving away a skein of 1 skein of Swans Island Natural Colors Worsted weight yarn in Garnet along with a copy of the Olivia Cowl pattern, packaged beautifully in a linen project bag. To enter, click into this blog post and leave a comment.
Sponsor: I wanted to make sure and thank our other sponsor today, Knitterly…a special yarn shop created by Shelli Westcott, based in Petaluma California. I am always amazed at the well curated selection of yarns, fibers and classes Shelli works so hard to provide all us fiber enthusiasts. Knitterly recently released a gorgeous collection of weaving kits featuring a selection of colors and textures chosen by Shelli and her daughter Ashleigh. Make sure to visit knitterly.net for a great list of upcoming classes at the Petaluma shop and a vast selection of yarns including Swans Island and their own Radius collection.
Knitalong: Earlier this month we kicked off the Home and Away Woolful Knitalong, where folks can join by knitting any pattern from Hannah Fettig’s new book Home and Away. There have been so many great work in progresses shared in our Ravelry group and on Instagram via the hashtag #woolfulKAL. There’s still plenty of time to join, so visit woolful.com for more info and special posts from Hannah and other folks!
Events: This September 20th -24th, enjoy 4 evenings & 3 full days of fiber fun with lessons and supervised hands-on practice of needlefelting, handspinning yarn and hooking a wool rug sampler at Wing & A Prayer Farm in Shaftsbury, VT using wool that was grown on the farm & sourced locally. Novice fiber-enthusiasts will build fundamentals, while experienced students can focus on improving and picking up new techniques. There’ll be traditional rug hooking design and needle felting in addition to basic principles of spinning, learning about the tools, equipment, carding, combing, yarn design, color & dyeing.
There’ll be plenty of time for spinning, and, as a bonus, you will be welcome to enjoy walks about the farm and local country roads, self-touring to include Wing & A Prayer Farm’s fiber flocks. Many of the flock are very keen to snuggle with visitors, so you’ll want to make sure to bring along some boots for the outdoors and pack your flannel for crisp Vermont fall days, pack your camera for beautiful foliage. All meals & snacks are home cooked and farm stay accommodations are included in the registration. Fresh air, starry nights, & making new friends are on the house. A limited number of signups are available and more information is on the Wing & A Prayer Farm website at wingandaprayerfarm.com.
Music by Jónsi.
Goood move to your ranch, we can wait a little weeks for your wonderful podcast. Enjoy summer and happiness!
Thanks for always adding a little fiber magic to my day!
I so enjoyed learning all about Swans Island, their history and yarns and dyeing process. I’ve used their yarns for two designs – the fingering merino for my Shallows Cowl and Mitts, and the DK ecowash for my Rowhouse Hat – and loved them both. Beautiful, beautiful yarns – the worsted is on my list of yarns to try!
congratulations on your move! I would love some swans island yarn!
So happy to hear you are making the final move to Idaho! I’m really curious about this Yurt business. Love keeping up with these, and happy to have them back on my Tuesday schedule.
I am convinced someday I will get lucky and win something.
What an adventure! Thank you for including us in your journey.
Yay you’re back! Missed my Tuesday morning ritual. Glad to hear the move is going smoothly.
I loved listening to this episode and learning about swans island yarns. I’m also super excited to hear more about your move!
Maine is the place to be!!
So so so excited to listen to this episode!! I was actually just about to suggest Jackie or someone from Swans Island as a guest, but you beat me to it. 🙂
I’ve had the opportunity to sample knit a little for Swans Island this year, and of course their yarn is just absolutely amazing. <3 Really looking forward to hearing more of their story, along with Jackie's!
Best wishes with moving!!
Congratulations on your move! Sounds wonderful to me. I can’t wait to see photos of the babies. Lambs are so adorable. Best wishes and safe travels.
I’ve loved Swans Island for a long time, and have drooled over the blankets forever. So happy to hear more about the company, and I’m so excited about the new yarn and anxious to try some fair isle in the new patterns and yarn. Thanks
Your podcast continues to be worth the wait. Congratulations on your move and I’ll be watching for stories of your move and how you are settling into your new world. Thanks for the opportunity to try out some Swans Island yarn.
I discovered Swans Island Yarn when I visited Maine earlier this summer. I recently finished a sweater with the worsted merino. It was fabulous! Thank you for a great podcast; I learned more about a new favorite yarn.
Loved the podcast today especially the part about the blankets and how someone has to go over each blanket with a tweezers and pick out the “rustic pieces” !
Great news about the move, the yurt, and the lambs! Best of luck on this next step of your exciting adventure! I will follow along at Instagram. 🙂
I love hearing anything abut natural,dyes, my new obsession., and thanks for the chance to win such lovely yarn, and red is my all time favorite colour. 🙂
Thanks for getting us semi-regular podcasts while you’ve been so busy! The ranch looks lovely.
Congratulations on your move. Will you be living in the yurt?
Great episode! It is interesting to hear about all the ways yarn can be used.. baseballs, fabrics and collaborations with Free People and J. Crew!
I absolutely adore the vermilion colored yarn photo and I can’t wait to see the baby lambs! I just discovered your podcast and am feverishly trying to catch up…you’ve been busy since Episode 8 🙂
Lovely post and podcast
Once again, another fabulous podcast!! It’s really interesting to hear what it takes to have a large scale naturally dyed yarn company…. the size of the pots, the use of extracts versus fresh materials….. all very neat to learn about. Thank you.
Today’s podcast was so fantastic! It really got me thinking about the materials I’m using, where they come from, how they are processed, and the story behind them! I love hearing how other fiber folk came to this craft I love so much. While I haven’t had the pleasure of sampling Swan Island yarns, it is on my list!
Congratulations on your new home! what a great move! On the yarn side – I always looking at the materials and where they are coming from, I’ve only recently started knitting again, but I’m buying from local australian dyers or mills. Love local produce
This episode came at just the right time. I am in the middle of my very first batch of naturally dyed fiber and listening to Jackie talk about everything that goes into the process on a larger scale is fascinating. Thank you!
I so enjoy listening to your podcast. Your voice is so soothing and reassuring that it makes me feel that all is well and good in the (fiber) world. Best wishes as your life unfolds as you move east. I would love to get my hands on some Swans Island!
Love Swan’s Island! So looking forward to listening to this weeks episode!
Thank you for your podcast and beautiful inspiring pics!
Congratulations on the move and yurt! This was a great episode. I love all of Swans Island’s yarns and patterns.
Love love love your podcast!! I look forward to each new episode! I enjoyed going back and listening all the way through. You’ve had some amazing and talented people on. Thank you so much for your contribution! I’ve learned some much! Congrats on your move and continued success in your new journey! 🙂
I just found this podcast on itunes and it’s just wonderful! I live in very rural Tennessee and we are considering getting either alpacas or sheep for fiber. I love listening to the experiences of your guests. It’s nice to hear some of the realities of fiber farming that I had not considered. Thanks for the great show!
Yay! Another wonderful podcast!
The garnet is a lovely color I do not buy often enough.
Welcome back, Ashley! This episode has me ready to pack up and go to Maine! Swan’s Island sounds like a great company to work for. I am currently knitting a sweater out of their Pure Blends Worsted. It is so snuggly soft. I look forward to trying more of their yarn.
I can’t tell you how inspiring your podcast is, especially for someone who is thinking of opening her own shop/designing!
The garnet is such a lovely yarn!
One of the coolest episodes yet. (:
So many beautiful photographs!
Thank you once more.
As always, an interesting podcast about local fibre efforts. Good luck with the big move. And a yurt!
We have this http://www.fibreworksgallery.com
just an hour up the coast. Yvonne has three big yurts- studio, workshop and gallery and a couple of smaller ones for washroom and office. We love going up there at least once a month for a spin in, and always take visitors too.
Welcome back, I have been eagerly awaiting your return. Another delightful episode, thank you. Good luck with your yurt construction, I love them myself.
Look forward to each episode of your podcast. Was eagerly awaiting your return. Following you on Instagram, we were all able to keep up with your activities.A lifelong knitter, it is an honor to be part of a fiber community in the New York City area. Which also means, one has to keep a day job with very long hours…and less time for knitting. Thank you for letting me daydream (and listen) while supporting my family as a corporate employee. Swans Island was on my summer travel itinerary. Alas, life happens and trip was canceled. What serendipity to listen to your post on the very place I was going to visit. Thank you.
I absolutely loved this episode. This company sounds so amazing. I must say, your podcast is absolutely inspiring and nourishing. Thank you so much for taking the time to put this together. I’m from a very small town in the south, so i don’t have much access to the larger fiber community. Listening to Woolful has not only allowed me to grow in my knowledge of the fiber arts ,but also allowed me to feel connected to a community that I adore.
Welcome to Idaho! I have lived here almost all my life and am always in awe of the hospitality of Idahoans. Wonderful to hear about Swan’s Island yarn and their rich history.
Thanks for this very interesting episode, Ashley. I really appreciate learning so much about Swans Island products and workings. And best wishes as you complete your move!
Glad to see an episode up. I was missing it!
Wonderful podcast once again. Good luck with the move and Yurt raising!
Juliaknit on Ravelry
So nice to learn about Swan Islamd Yarn and blankets. I would love to knit something with the All American yarn.
the pictures on your blog are so beautiful! i’m excited for last week’s winner. congrats!
I enjoyed this glimpse into Swans Island Company. Great podcast!
Congratulations on your move! What an exciting and fulfilling change. The Swan’s Island story was fascinating and I wish I had Jackie’s job. Thanks for another giveaway!
Love your podcast missed you!
Just finished listening to the podcast, really enjoyed it! Good luck with the move and now to get me one of those beautiful Swans Island blankets…
I just finished listening on my way to work. I really enjoy your podcast. Thanks for the chance to win yarn!
Hi,your podcasts are beautiful because in few seconds you catch the soul of people shown. It is a good chance to discover yarns,techniques and patterns.Thanks!
Yes! I’ve been missing this podcast! Sounds like you’ve been having a wild time lately.
I love the drive north to Humboldt county. Next time I’ll check out this shop.
Good luck with your move!
thank you for another wonderful view into another fiber folks life!
I’m so glad you’re back! Exciting news about your farm.
What i would give to take a dye class from Jackie! Maine is a bit far from Montana though.
I was excited to see you’re back! Thanks again for another great podcast.
I love Swans Island yarn and it was wonderful to hear the story behind the company! Lovely podcast as usual!
Thanks for that wonderful interview. I didn’t know the backstory to Swans Island yarn, and it is fascinating. Thanks for sharing.
Good luck on your move! I missed the podcast, but I totally understand. 🙂
Podcasts like this make me even more glad that I live in the wonderful state of Maine. 🙂
Missed trying Swans Island at MDSW this year but loved hearing about them here. Congrats on the move and the yurt!
I have loved knitting with yarns from Swans Island and it was just lovely to hear more of their story. I am anxious to get my hands on some of their new eco wash yarn!
Wishing you the best in your new home!
I really enjoy how you interview people. I love to hear the stories! I can”t wait to hear your take on Yurt living! I’ve always pondered the possibility.
She is my new personal hero! Loved that episode
another lovely episode! I would love to play around with natural dying 🙂
Glad you’re back! I used the hiatus to catch up on your earlier episodes (I just found you a month or 2 ago), but I was starting to get awfully close to being caught up 😉
I loved listening to Jackie’s fibre journey on a recent road trip and desperately wanted to pull over and look up the Swans Island blankets when she started talking about them. Another lovely episode Ashley.
Fascinating to hear about the natural dyeing processes & such beautiful yarn! I’m loving the Woolful KAL, I’m making decent progress with Hancock & am hoping I might manage more than one sweater before the KAL deadline.
I love your podcasts! As a fairly new knitter, I am enjoying learning about all the fabulous artisans, fiber folks, and hand-dyed and hand-spun yarns in the marketplace.
Also, I have to confess…I listen to your podcasts often while running and they make me want to stop running so I can go home and knit instead! 🙂
I loved this podcast! I loved hearing about how these blankets are processed…sounds amazing! Learning more about where all this wool comes from makes me have a much deeper appreciation of how this yarn is made. Thanks for sharing!
So glad you are back and excited for your new journey! Such a beautiful story behind Swan Island. Can’t wait to get my hands on some of their yarn.
I just loved your podcast and learning about Swans Island and their dying process. I would like to try the organic yarn for children’s knitting. I would also like to visit the yarn shop, Knitterly, in Petaluma, California. Thank you.
Best of luck with your move! I know how stressful that can be, and I applaud you for continuing to put out content in the mist of it. You’re amazing! ❤️
this was my first time listening to your podcast and I really enjoyed hearing about Swans Island and all that they do. Following this up with a visit to your beautiful blog was an extra treat!
Congrats on the exciting move! Thanks for introducing me to Swans Island and Knitterly! I loved learning more about dyeing and everything sheepy!
So glad to hear about commercial natural dyeing!! As a spinner, I love using foraged material to dye my yarns – the latest being leaves from a beloved lilac plant that hubby insisted had to go… So I have my yarn to remind me of it – no lilac colour – but a beautiful old gold hue.
Having lived for 7 years in Maine- I’m very excited to listen to this podcast. Thank you for the giveaway and podcast. Good luck with your move!
I really enjoyed this podcast. I was lucky enough to stop in Petaluma and Eureka last month on a little impromptu road trip with my daughter. I’m still a new knitter, but have a hunch that the thrill of new yarn, great yarn, never diminishes. I am learning so much through this blog. Thank you!
As always…so inspiring. Thanks for the giveaway!!
you always have the most amazing people that you interview. Thank you.
Loved hearing the back story of Swans Island. Best of luck with the move and can’t wait to hear about the yurt raising!
Loved this episode so much!
A yurt??? How exciting!!!
Congrats on your official move! And also for your successful well drilling.
It was so fun to learn about how this yarn is created! Thank you for sharing.
I’ve just discovered your podcast via your Instagram feed, I’ve got a bit of catching up to do. I’m really looking forward to listening to them all. Love your websites, your images are beautiful.
beautiful pattern! started thinking of xmas presents and that would make a gorgeous one!
I really enjoyed hearing about the history and people who work at Swans Island. I love their yarn and didn’t know they started with blankets. Thanks for sharing the story
So exciting about your move to your ranch! And what a lovely giveaway! That yarn is GORGEOUS! Thank you!
I’m so excited for you regarding your family’s move to the farm! Best of luck on building your yurt. Is the white dog pictured above one of the puppies you got this spring? (S)he’s huge!!! Loved this podcast about Swans Island company and would love to try their yarn.
So fun to hear this weeks – my knit friends call the Knit/purl emails Yarn Porn!
I would love to win!
Ooooh, I love the colors of Tynd!
Again, so many beautiful images to colour your words!
Your podcast has become something I look forward to each week!
Just stumbled across your blog and absolutely LOVE it! Thanks for all the info and great pics.
[…] Swan’s Island! I’ve seen their yarns before in my LYS and heard their story on the Woolful podcast. They have gorgeous hand woven items along with beautiful yarns. There weren’t a ton of […]
My Great Aunt Minna and Great Uncle Virgil bought the old schoolhouse on Swans Island in the sixties, and turned into rustic living quarters. As a young girl I loved the trips to Maine, and was allowed to wander the island. Years later I lived in the schoolhouse while pregnant with my first child. I remember Carolyn who started the Swans Island Blanket Company! Sadly the schoolhouse was hit by lightning a few years after it had been left to the town. The town had turned it into the Library, and had stored all the islands archives there. The structure burned to the ground very quickly. So sad. But now they have a gorgeous new library on the island, thanks to the generosity of many.
Anyway, I want to let folks know that if you are traveling or live in Maine, visit the retail shop on Route One! You can often find what they call “seconds” of their beautiful yarn for a really good price! The seconds as I understand it are usually the yarns where the dye wasn’t QUITE right. They are still beautiful and economical.
Thanks for the podcasts, really enjoying them as I’m knitting mittens!
[…] Jackie Ottino-Graf […]