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Annual Meeting, 2015

Michael Hampton, Annual Mtg, 2015Michael Hampton, the owner and operator of Hampton Fiber Mill & Spinnery in Richmond VT was the afternoon speaker at our Annual Meeting.  He came bearing gifts and complimenting the potluck lunch – both good introductions to a very lively and informative session.  Michael started his presentation walking us through the path to his dream of creating and working a fiber mill – from his introduction to knitting as a child to his decision to leave an engineering “day job” in TX.

In between there were all the steps that we other fiber enthusiasts understand so well – wanting to have more and better, less expensive, more creative, etc fiber to work with.  Using areas of the spinner’s circle as his footprint, he gave us a virtual tour of the shop, describing the steps and machinery.  The planning and design, and the sourcing of the equipment, was an 18 month project.  His equipment is higher capacity than a mini-mill and he has processed a wide variety of fibers from far and wide – U.S. and beyond.  It was a great give-and-take session as he discussed some technical details about fiber processing (organic certification, why his mill is classified  as semi-worsted, recommended soaps for cleaning wool, what is superwash) and some fun facts about wool production around the country and the world. And, of course, he was among friends who could totally understand his enthusiasm for rescuing wool from dumpsters and then turning that wool into beautiful skeins and sweaters to be admired!

The gifts he brought?  Bags of fiber ready to spin – a variety that went to the cook who brought the terrific bean dish, to some who had terrific questions or good (not necessarily correct) answers, and to others for surprise reasons that deserved a door prize.  Many thanks to Michael for an interesting and educational afternoon. If you want to learn more about his mill, the website is  www.hamptonfibermill.com.

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Fashion Show 2015

Fashion ShowFEBRUARY 7, 2015 – A beautiful day, clear sailing on the roads, and a terrific turnout for this year’s Fashion Show.  Emily started the circle with scarves woven from fiber she had dyed at our day with Ellen Mason last fall.  In the foreground of this photo is a shawl that Trish made from yarn dyed in stages on the wound ball.  There is a feather and fan hat knit of fiber spun by Robin in gradients, and two scarves at the back that Kathy dyed as fabric at Ellen’s Dye Day. Great examples of the fun we had with color that day.

The hat and headbands in the photo below were knit by Beth, using traditional Aran designs and wool/dog hair blended yarn that she spun.
Because Beth makes yarn from beloved pets for people, the items all have a story.

Our craft comes with a lot of interesting stories.  This year Ellen shared a scrapbook about her brother’s farm, flock, and herding dogs.  Tamara had a “Wild Fibers” tale about connecting through a co-worker with spindlers in South America.  And Ann told us about all the President’s wives who live on a friend’s farm, where she got some beautiful wool for a sweater from Dolly!  Ann separated the colors in the fleece for spinning and used the yarns to knit in the design – enough for a sweater and a cape..
Another project much admired was this coat. It is understandable why it was several seasons in the making. Check out the “coat of many colors” Fran is working on for Jessica on her return, and another sweater in a main color of blue using handspun multicolors in the patterning.

Robin used her dyed fiber for this hat.,which includes a variety of wools and angora, and for this surprise jacket done in black and variegated.

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