Fiber Trek ™

A TV show Connecting Community, Craft, Fiber and Farms

Archive for the month “February, 2014”

Gathering Light

I can be a sap, so this little story may not be surprising to some, those who know me. Those who know me know that roadkill can make me cry. Pretty much the drop of a hat, especially if it concerns ANIMAL RESCUE, will make my eyes well with tears, my nose turn red, and instigate an overwhelming moment where I know I am being silly but really can’t help myself.  But this story concerns none of those triggers…no roadkill, no dog in need of rescue, no family with a child with special needs overcoming great challenges, no I thought I was in the safe zone because this story, concerns a knitting podcast.


I know, I know!  But here’s the thing…and it’s going to sound sappy…but touché right?  I love knitting. I love yarn. I love talking about yarn, researching yarn and generally collecting yarn, same goes for fiber for spinning. You get the picture, I love the fiber arts, we’re flying the geek flag high here folks! Needless to say, I was an unsuspecting victim in this incident.  I just wanted to get my ski done and listen to a podcast while doing it.  And did I happen to tell you it’s cold, like 5 degrees cold on this day with pretty gnarly windchills? This is not a day to be crying outside.  You see where this is going.


I dialed up the Yarniacs Podcast episode 55, an interview with Jeanne Carver of Imperial Stock Ranch.  Now if you have read my post, Soulful Stash, you’ll remember that I have strong attachments to yarn and place. In fact, it is the major impotence for Fiber Trek.  In this interview with Jeanne she expounds upon cultivating both her sheep and their products as well as the landscape of the ranch. She draws beautiful connections between the fiber and the land and in a way  describes the sheep as a conduit through which we can harvest sunlight.  Now, that is serious stuff.  So serious that even as the wind blew the skin off my face, I started to cry.


As this interview unfolded, as I skied along the ridge overlooking the lake and the mountain, my landscape, I attempted to wipe away frozen tears with my mittens. I thought about those mittens, my home-reared, homespun, handknit mittens and just nodded my head in amazement and continued to cry like a right nana.

I didn’t see anyone out there that day which is just as well.  There is something about frozen “verklempt” that is frantically scary. Suffice it to say, I was not crying about yarn, of course, in this story but you already knew that. You knew I was inspired.  I was inspired by Jeanne’s commitment to landscape, her place knowledge, her allegiance to something greater like sunlight and salmon (you have to listen to get this reference). Her description throughout this interview of the process on the ranch progressed my craft beyond it’s existing boundaries and further strengthened my commitment to place-based yarns.  I absolutely love the idea of harvesting sunlight. I like it so much that from now on instead of stashing yarn & fiber, I will be gathering sunlight instead. This is concept no one can argue with and really can there be too much sunlight?  Should you be living in Maine right now, you’d think not.  So get gathering, bring it on home, every last ray and beam.  Stockpile it away for a rainy day, because they will come and you know what?  You’ll be able to dash upstairs, into closets, bins and baskets and pull forth- sun.

Windschief knit with Imperial Yarn

Windschief knit with Imperial Yarn

I am sure this conversation will be continued but for now, I am knitting with a little Maine sun in the form of lovely Romney from Log Cabin Lamb & Wool. It will soon be transformed in to Such A Winter’s Day by Heidi Kirrmaier.  I plan to be very warm and happy in a sweater of sunlight.




I know there needs to be Fiber in the Fiber Trek blog, but with this initial introduction to the world, I felt like a recap might be helpful for those interested just joining us. As Fraulein Maria says…”let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start” (I know you can hear Julie Andrews singing right now!).


The story really starts with white water rafting, northern Maine and a marriage.   I married Rob, a Baxter State Park Ranger, and moved to T3 Indian Purchase in 2010.  A year later I found myself working for an outfitter coordinating guest experiences in environmental education and outdoor skills. Part of my project development was an internship program, enter Tyler.  The first day that Tyler and I met we drove up the Penobscot River in the pouring rain. He was interested in interning in the rafting world and utilizing his media skill.  I figured I better show the river where most of our summer activities take place.  In our exploration of particular rapids etc…we both got soaking wet…sopping, soaking, wet. And if you know me at all…there is nothing better to talk about then the properties of wool when you are sopping, soaking wet and freezing.  I commented on Tyler entire cotton ensemble including socks and launched in to my “why wool is always better” speech.  It is not hard to make the leap on how Tyler and I came to talking about textiles and the possibility of pooling our talent to film a TV show dedicated to exemplifying the textile world and landscape of said world.  That was the first day we met.  Three years later, we are still committed even though the universe has thrown us a few beautiful curve balls. Our conversation last week consisted of some pretty technical planning but at the end of it, the basic gist was “we’re going for it”.  Tentativeness, fear, judgment, failure…ahhhh, they can take the sideline right now. We decided to play ball with hope, potential and belief.  And since Fraulein Maria is one of my hero’s I will leave with you her take on uncertainty: You can replace  (I with We and Me with US)

Oh, I must stop these doubts, all these worries If I don’t I just know I’ll turn back I must dream of the things I am seeking I am seeking the courage I lack

The courage to serve them with reliance Face my mistakes without defiance Show them I’m worthy And while I show them I’ll show me

So, let them bring on all their problems I’ll do better than my best I have confidence they’ll put me to the test But I’ll make them see I have confidence in me

It tells me all I trust I lead my heart to All I trust becomes my own I have confidence in confidence alone (Oh help!) I have confidence in confidence alone Besides which you see I have confidence in me!

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