Saco River Dyehouse and Yarns, Biddeford, Maine
I took a road trip last Saturday with Sarah, a member of the Charlestown knitters, a group of us that meets each Monday at our library. We had both seen Clara Parkes' Upcoming Events in Knitter's Review but neither of us wanted to go solo. I wavered between doing something new and staying home. It was with reluctance that I agreed to go; I so enjoy my solitary weekend routine of knitting away on projects and enjoying the quiet of my house while my girls are off doing their own thing. But I knew I needed to get out and socialize, so I packed my knitting and we headed North.
|The Saco River, image from http://www.city-data.com/picfilesc/picc15243.php|
|Saco River Yarns is easy to find and there's plenty of parking.|
100 Main Street Building 13-W, Biddeford, Maine 04005 207-602-6327
Enter the large front room filled with natural light and marvel at the floor to ceiling shelves stuffed with the various lines of Quince and Company Yarn and Swan's Island Yarns. I also spotted a display of wool wash, rosewood needles, alpaca sox and roving. The shop is so inviting with open space and sink-into-comfort sofas and easy chairs. Like their Facebook page here. Follow the Rolling on the River blog here.
Hannah Fettig and Clara Parkes were there for the grand opening event. There were a number of knitted samples on display from Hannah's Knitbot line and a display of her books, Coastal Knits, Knitbot Essentials and Mabel's Closet. Hannah had been in the shop earlier, meeting with shoppers and signing books, but we just missed her. Maybe next time? Clara was also there signing books, but I'll save for a bit later...
|Knitwear samples from Hannah Fettig, Autumn Frock, Wispy Cardi and Simplest Baby Blanket|
|Touching one sack of the scoured fiber from the Great White Bale.|
|Quince yarns, if they don't have what you need, the warehouse is just down the hall and around the corner....|
I have this thing for Quince and Co Yarn. I won't brag and say it fills the majority of my stash, but I wish that were true. I am a firm believer in their ethic of using yarns sourced here in the States as much as is possible. I love that they are based in Portland, and have started small and give great customer service. Please go to their site and just look through their patterns, their yarns and the colors, oh the colors.
Knitting with this yarn is dreamy; no other words will state it as succinctly. When Claudia, one of the Dyehouse owners asked why did Sarah and I drive so far and what would make us come back, the answers were.... We came for the new yarn shop opening, for a chance to meet Clara and Hannah, and most of all, to see and feel and shop for the Quince Yarns in person. I know many of my Ravelry friends are just getting bitten by the Quince and Co. bug.
Amy Beth, of the Fat Squirrel Speaks podcast, has been gushing lately over the projects she is working on with this fiber. Another person who I feel is introducing Quince to many knitters is Paula Emons-Fuessle, of the Knitting Pipeline podcast. Paula is the designer of a number of popular patterns knit up in Quince Yarns. Piper's Journey and Ellison Bay are just two shawl patterns that I have knit, I loved making them.
I am lucky to live near Knit Wit, a yarn shop in Portland, and not so very far from Purl Diva in Brunswick. Both of these shops carry Quince, you can choose the yarn and color without using the internet and a colorcard... so much more fun, right? But now the Saco River Yarn is open, it is closer and tiptoes away from the warehouse. If you need more skeins for your project, you are next door to the "vault" of more Quince yarn.
I had been quietly chanting the mantra "Do not buy anymore yarn today" on the ride up, but I knew I would need to get at least one skein as a memento.... Quince, of course, maybe some more Puffin? To make another Norby Hat? I could be in control, I could do just one, maybe two skeins, right? Ummmm, no....
|Osprey, so luscious in shades of green.|
|The wall of seconds, perhaps off in color or not evenly dyed... for a mere $3.00 a pound! Wow!|
|My pile of seconds weighed in at 5.8 pounds, $18.00.|
|Sarah stacked hers, 8 pounds worth of seconds.|
Saco River Dyehouse
Saco River Dyehouse is a business that was recently relocated from Pepperell, MA. I want to give you a chance to catch your breath... this was a long post (too long??) and so I ask you to come back tomorrow for the story and tons of pictures of the dyehouse and the amazing story of rescuing machinery and skills from the past century and bringing them to Maine to create jobs and continue the tradition of fiber processing next to the Saco River.
Leave me a comment if you have questions or, more importantly... if I went on and on and on, far too long.