Thursday, July 20, 2006

Blue Heron

I had the BEST day today. I played hookey from work and went on a yarn field trip! My friend Holly and I went down to the eastern shore to Frivolous Fibers yarn shop.

We had signed up for a field trip to see where Blue Heron yarns are made. We went to the mother ship of all homegrown businesses. They had two huge garage/warehouse spaces in Easton MD. Both were FULL of hundreds/thousands of skeins of gorgeous fiber. There were at least 10 different types of fiber and more than 30 different colorways – that’s a lot of yarn!

We got to see them preparing the yarn to be dyed...

They receive the yarn from various mills undyed....

They prepare the yarn and mix their own combination of colors (in a blender)

They apply the color with a turkey baster!.

All the yarn was just laid out in long plastic tubs where they were being squirted with various colors - so easy - yet it producted such gorgeous results.

It was a sight to see the colors being applied. After the colors are applied - they rinse the excess in these...

After their bath all the finished skeins are hung up to dry - very cool... Here's Hollyanne - very excited to see the colors!

It was very inspiring and I can’t wait to try creating my own colorways. I think I'll start with CoolAid :)

After seeing how and where the yarn is dyed - we were given the opportunity to buy some of the discontinued colors! We were like kids in a candy store!

We were scooping up yarn left and right! It's all hand dyed - so every skein is one of a kind.
Here are some of my treasures....

Blue Heron yarns were first designed and dyed by hand by one woman - Barbara Lundy Stone. Her son decided to try selling her yarn on ebay and they were an immediate hit. They soon outgrew her home based operation - and they moved to the warehouse and eventually hired employees to do the dying. Not only were we able to see the yarn being dyed at the warehouse - but we were also able to meet her and tour her house. She is an amazing fiber artist and her home was covered wall to wall with hand made fiber art. She had canvases covered with hand dyed fabric and 3-D creature and shapes.

She had quilts and woven tapestries and everything you ever imagine that could be made with fiber. Her home was a virtual museum. It was gorgeous. Her cats was cute too!

Best of all - she showed us her home "laboratory" where she has her loom and her fabrics and fibers.

She had some yarn strung up outside on some clothes lines drying - it was a beautiful sight.

After visiting the home base and birth place of Blue heron, we headed back to St Michaels for lunch at a cute little cafe called Key Lime and then finally - back to the yarn shop for a chance to play with all the Blue Heron yarns we wanted! They laid out all kinds of different colors and fibers and we could pick whatever we wanted to knit our project.

We made a little purse with a front flap. Here's mine so far.

I still need to weave in the ends, sew it all up and add a bit of fringe and a handle of some sort.

It was a fabulous day - we met some great new people and got to experience a great new yarn. I would definitely recommend this field to anyone!


Large said...

Sorry i missed it!!! Glad you were feeling up to the trip!:O)

Lolly said...

Oh my gosh! what an awesome experience!! I definitely want to go to Easton and check this out!
I have some Blue Heron in my stash that I am so in love with, but have not figured out what to do with it. 1100 yds. of laceweight. Need to find the perfect pattern.

I hope we can meet soon so I can hear more about this great trip! :)

Thanks for sharing all of the fun photos!

Lolly said...

We were reading each others' blogs at the same time! :) I just emailed a friend with a link to this post telling her we need to do this ;)

Pam said...

Wow, that sounds like a great field trip. The pictures were wonderful to see. I will have to buy some Blue heron soon.

Polly said...

OK you are officially the coolest person in the world doing the coolest thing. I will have to look at the post over and over just to make me feel happy.

Marnie said...

Frivolous Fibers here saying thanks for the great blog post about our field trip. For anyone interested, we will definitely be doing one again in the fall. We are glad you had fun and the pictures you took were awesome. Come see us again. Marnie

Shelby said...

Ok, I really need to go there!!! Looks like you had an amazing time!

Holly Anne said...

I can't believe it's been a week since we've come back from this awesome trip! Looking at this blog entry let's me relive it over and over. Thanks so much for going with me!