Monday, January 26, 2015

SPA Spotlight: Friends' Folly Farm

We have raised Angora Goats for 26 years. It all started with two Angora wethers we purchased from Mary Isham at the Common Ground Fair to stock the barn on our new property with critters that were pets but also “paid back”. Little did we know that those two little goats would change the direction of our lives!

First we learned to clip them, wash their fiber, card and spin it all by hand. Then we were tired of white so we learned how to dye from Diane Trussell. One thing led to another – we added sheep to the herd, learned how to felt, bought a cottage industry carder, bought some natural colored Angoras as the breed was being developed in the 90’s. Marcia started weaving again (she learned how in college).

The next thing we knew we were doing fiber shows and selling our products – from raw fleeces to finished goods. Our focus has always been about the "Magic of Mohair": Mohair means "choice" in Arabic and has been used in the English language since the 1500's to specifically denote the fiber from Angora goats. The Magic is the length, strength, and sheen of mohair. The average staple length is 5 inches - which is clipped every 6 months - easy to spin with a long draw. A single strand of mohair is as strong as steel of the same size - that means it's great in a blend for socks (forget the need for nylon!) The sheen of mohair when dyed creates wonderful colors.

Friendz Blendz (50% mohair/50% wool) roving and yarns are our signature products. It’s a great blend for strength, sheen, and vibrant colors. We dabble in other bends for yarn and roving and make our own dyed batts and curls for spinners and felters.

You can find us on-line at, in Monmouth,Maine at our Yarn in a Yurt shop, or at Fiber Frolic in June of each year.

Last Updated: 01.26.15

SPA Spotlight: Leslie Wind

I have been a crocheter, jeweler and dabbled in knitting since the late 1960's. But all of  that came together when I started making closures for fiber artists about six years ago. Since then I have concentrated on items that are beautiful, well made, fill a fiber arts need, and may even double as a wearable piece of jewelry.  

I enjoy making things right at the table for people to see the process. These, mostly bronze, made in the moment items may be show pins. I also make coco/tea twirlers, hair pins or book marks. Working with bronze is such a free process as cost is not such a factor. So instead of thinking of Woodstock I feel like I am at "woolstock".

Leslie Wind

Items Shown Below:
  • Flame-eyed yarn Sewing Needle in entwined bronze /sterling or copper/sterling
  • Sheep Cable Needle Necklace in bronze and sterling
  • Spiral Tab Pin in Sterling

Last Updated: 01.26.15

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

SPA Spotlight: Jan Raczkowski

Jan’s Handcrafted Yarns

Jan has been knitting, weaving and spinning for over 30 years, and is now devoting his full-time attention to handcrafted yarns that he hand-spins & hand-dyes; he also hand-dyes mill-spun yarns. In addition he also creates hand-knitted and hand-woven one of a kind shawls, scarves, sweaters and coats using artisan fibers and his handcrafted yarns. 

At this time Jan works in his home-based studio in Bloomfield, CT.

Festival & Show Schedule

February 27th & 28th and March 1st, 2015
NETA Knit & Spin Spa, Freeport ME

April 25th, 2015
Connecticut Sheep Wool & Fiber Festival, Vernon CT

May 9th & 10th, 2015
New Hampshire Sheep & Wool Festival, Deerfield NH

May 16th, 2015
Rhode Island Wool & Fiber Festival, Coggeshall Farm Museum, Bristol RI

May 23rd & 24th, 2015
Massachusetts Sheep & Woolcraft Fair, Cummington MA

June 6th & 7th, 2015
Maine Fiber Frolic, Windsor ME

September 19th &20th, 2015
Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival, Hemlock NY

September 26th & 27th, 2015
Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival, Greenwich NY

October 3rd & 4th, 2015
Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival, Tunbridge VT

October 17th & 18th, 2015
New York State Sheep & Wool Festival, Rhinebeck NY

November 7th & 8th, 2015
Fiber Festival of New England, West Springfield MA

Last Updated: 01.13.15

Sunday, January 11, 2015

SPA Spotlight : Port Fiber

In the next few weeks, as we look forward to SPA, we'll post more spotlights about each of the fantastic vendors who will spoil you rotten in Freeport!

SPA Spotlight: Port Fiber

PortFiber is a fiberarts shop in the East Bayside neighborhood of Portland, Maine.  The shop features hand-dyed top in a variety of fiber bases including yak/silk, domestic Rambouillet processed at the Maine Top Mill in Waldoboro, Maine, along with baby camel/silk, organic Polwarth/silk, and many other blends.  Shop owner, Casey Ryder really enjoys naming the colorways based on of her life experiences [ex:"Hula Hoop Picnic"] or pop culture references [ex: "Fraggle Rock"].  PortFiber also stocks a variety of commercially dyed wools, silk, and hemp fibers for felting and spinning.

Casey makes an effort to carry local and domestic wools and products like Howard Brush blending boards and hand cards made right here in Maine.  She's looking to expand upon her stock of weaving yarns, which now include Jaggerspun wool and wool/silk yarns, Habu Textiles stainless steel/wool, silk, and linen yarns, and Venne Colcoton Organic Cotton yarn.

In addition to carrying lovely, fibery-good products, PortFiber aims to build community around weaving, spinning, felting, and dyeing.  Local instructors, as well as those from outside of Maine teach classes throughout the year.  PortFiber also hosts a weekly spin-in every Thursday afternoon from noon-5pm.

Casey is looking forward to SPA 2015.  She's excited to see fiber friends she only sees a few times a year and to hear and see what they've been up to!  You can see what Casey's been dyeing at and check in on upcoming classes at

Last Updated: 01.11.15  

Saturday, January 10, 2015

SPA 2015 Marketplace Vendors

Here are the vendors who will offer fluff, tools, fiber, fun, and just plain way cool stuff at the SPA 2015 Marketplace. If you want to be a vendor for SPA 2016, we will start the application process in the spring. Make sure you are a member of the NETA Yahoo email group to receive the latest news and information.

Ball and Skein
Dirty Water Dyeworks
Dreamweavers Alpacas
Enchanted Knoll Farm
Friends’ Folly Farm Click here for our Vendor Spotlight on Friends' Folly Farm.
Full Moon Farm
Good Karma Farm
Highland Handmades Click here for our Vendor Spotlight on Highland Handmades.
Leslie Wind Click here for our Vendor Spotlight on Leslie Wind.
Mad Color Fiber Arts
The Merlin Tree
Mountain Fiber Folk
Port Fiber Click here for our Vendor Spotlight on Port Fiber.
Jan Raczkowski Studio Click here for our Vendor Spotlight on Jan Raczkowski.
Janet Conner Hooked Rugs
Seven Sisters
Shipyard Point Glassworks
Snowfield Alpaca
Springtide Cashmere
Spunky Eclectic
Stephen Willette Click here for our Vendor Spotlight on Stephen Willette.
White Berry Farm and Rabbitry
The Woolen Rabbit

Last Updated: 01.26.15

Monday, August 18, 2014

SPA Spotlight: Stephen Willette

With this post, we continue a series of spotlight blog entries on the talented and dedicated artists who will bring their products, services, and spirit to SPA 2015 in Freeport, ME. The information in each spotlight comes right from the vendor - make sure to visit them in the Hilton SPA Marketplace!

SPA Spotlight: Stephen Willette

My name is Stephen Willette, Maker of Fine Fiber Art Tools such as; yarn bowls, tapestry loom, shuttles, lucets, sewing needles, crochet hooks, shawl pins and much more. I am truly blessed to get up each day and do the work I am called to do. As a New England based artisan, I have incorporated much of this culture and attitude into my products. Becoming a state-juried member of the League of NH Craftsmen was accomplishment which I am very proud of. 

In my shop, I have a dovetail saw that was handcrafted in Maine. It is one of the finest tools that I own. I reference that tool because of the quality and craftsmanship that went into its creation. I can feel, as well as see, the value of how it was made. I am inspired to work at a level that is worthy of such a fine tool. It is this feeling that I hope to inspire in the people who use my tools for their craft. 

You can visit my newly updated web site with an online store at (there are a few videos to watch), find me on Ravelry, on Instagram (StephenWillette) and Like me on Facebook.

Last Updated: 08.18.14

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

SPA Spotlight: Highland Handmades

With this post, we begin a series of spotlight blog entries on the talented and dedicated artists who will bring their products, services, and spirit to SPA 2015 in Freeport, ME. The information in each spotlight comes right from the vendor - make sure to visit them in the Hilton SPA Marketplace!

SPA Spotlight: Highland Handmades

Highland Handmades has been enabling your addictions since 2009.  We specialize in fun and gorgeous colorways inspired by everything from our home in the mountains to the best of geek culture.  We offer yarns in a variety of weights from cobweb to ultra-bulky and carry SIX kinds of sock yarn to suit every desire.  

Our fibers include long wools, fine wools, superwash and feltable fibers ... and we have some gorgeous locally-grown roving as well.   HH also carries handmade drop spindles made from locally and ethically harvested hardwoods out of the North Maine Woods.  Our spindles are as durable as they are beautiful and come with a lifetime repair guarantee.

We are a certified Maine-Made business.  You can visit our shop at, watch our podcast at, follow us on Instagram (FiberistaFiles) and Like us on FaceBook as well.

Happy Spinning and Knitting!

Heather Kinne
Owner, Highland Handmades

Last Updated: 07.09.14

Monday, May 26, 2014

SPA 2015 - The Details!


Freeport, ME
February 26 through March 1, 2015

We are pleased to announce that the dates above have been set for SPA Knit and Spin 2015. The reservation staff at the hotels below are able to assist you if you would like to reserve a room:

PLEASE NOTE RESERVATIONS POLICY FOR ALL INNS: To reduce confusion and possible lost reservations, all reservations are to be made in the name of and reserved using the credit card of the person who will be checking in for that room and paying for it. Please honor this policy. The Hilton and Hampton Inns have added a new policy that no more than two rooms can be reserved under one name / credit card. Too many people reserve blocks of rooms, only to give up some or all of them at the last minute, which leaves vacant rooms other NETA members would have loved to take at the event rate. Please be considerate of your fellow NETA members and only book the room you will use.

Other Lodging and Information
For extensive information on other lodging and amenities in Freeport, be sure to visit You will find details on lodging, events, dining, shopping, family activities, special packages, coupons and more, including a map, calendar, and a printable guide.

Last Updated: 05.26.14

Sunday, February 16, 2014

SPA Knit and Spin 2014 General Announcements and Details

This is the 11th annual gathering of fiber art friends from across New England and beyond.  Please come when you can, leave when you must, and thoroughly enjoy this unstructured day or weekend.

Feel free to forward this URL to anyone asking about SPA Knit and Spin 2014!

Where: Freeport, ME 
(Hilton Garden Inn, Harraseeket Inn and Hampton Inn are the primary lodging, but check with other venues and B&Bs in Freeport and the surrounding towns too - all are ready to welcome you. Day trippers are welcome too.)

When: Friday, February 28 through Sunday, March 2, 2014
(Some folks are arriving earlier and staying later!)

WHAT: What is SPA? Spa Knit and Spin is a retreat (not a convention, not a conference, not a workshop). You make the weekend whatever you want it to be. Join hundreds of other fiber nuts at any of several hotels in Freeport to knit, spin, crochet, weave, felt, embroider, and more. Or sleep late, shop, and check out Freeport restaurants. Or take day trips to surrounding towns and visit their LYSs. It's all up to you. There are no schedules, no fees, no registrations, no workshops, no agendas. Make new friends, ask what they are working on, and share your own expertise.

There are no fees. 
There is no registration.
There are no agendas, no workshops.

WHERE to knit, spin, crochet, weave, teach or hang out with friends, old and new:
At the HARRASEEKET INN:  Casco Bay Ballroom, Merrymeeting and Sasanosa Rooms all weekend, plus all hours in lobbies, corners, nooks and other cozy spaces throughout the Inn. 
At the HILTON GARDEN INN:  Old Town Hall, which is adjacent to the hotel, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. all weekend, plus all hours in the lobby, corners, nooks and other cozy spaces throughout the Inn. 
At the HAMPTON INN:  In the lobby all weekend.
*****All meeting rooms in all three hotels are furnished with chairs and tables for teaching/learning sessions, and other meet-ups.*****
BE A GOOD CITIZEN TO THE INNS AND YOUR FELLOW SPA GOERS.  DO NOT LEAVE YOUR WHEELS OR OTHER PERSONAL ITEMS IN THE HOTEL COMMON SPACES.  The hotel staff need to clean these areas at night.  DO NOT “SAVE” YOUR SEAT WHEN YOU ARE AWAY IN YOUR ROOM OR SHOPPING WITH THE VENDORS.  Lobby spaces are limited, and everyone would like an opportunity to enjoy these common areas.

SHOPPING: Visit 20 local and regional craftspeople at their booths at the Market Place in the Hilton Garden Inn, Freeport. The Market Place hours are

Friday: 5:00 - 8:00
Saturday: 9:00 - 4:00
Sunday: 9:00 - 11:00

These are this years' vendors:

Ball and Skein 
Yarn and Fiber 
Mountain Fiber Folk 
Jan Raczkowski Studio 
Foxfire Fiber and Designs 
Stephen Willette 
Spunky Eclectic 
Mad Color Fiber Arts 
Enchanted Knoll Farm 
Tsarina of Tsocks/Art for your Feet 
Portland Fiber 
Friends’ Folly Farm 
String Theory Yarn 
The Merlin Tree 
Pinestar Studio 
The Woolen Rabbit 
Leslie Wind 
Good Karma Farm 
Acker’s Acres Angoras 
Long Plains Alpacas/Lana Plantae Yarns

SPA TREATMENTS: This is the SPA part of SPA Knit and Spin! These therapy specialists will offer their services in the room next to the Market Place. Contact them directly for rates, availability, and to schedule an appointment.

Ann Hutchins, therapeutic massage - email: 
Aloisia Pollock, reflexology - 

FASHION SHOW: The show is at 5:00 on Saturday, March 1, at the Casco Bay ballroom in the Harraseeket Inn. This is a ticketed event, with a seating limit of 300 seats. Pick up your ticket at the Greeters' Table at the Hilton during Marketplace hours, or check with a SPA Planner (we're the ones wearing all the bling!!!!) - we may have a few in our pockets. This year the show is using an Open Mike format - you'll present your own creation. 

Tickets will be available at the greeters’ table at 5 p.m. on Friday, at 9 a.m. on Saturday, and at noon on Saturday.   The tickets will be given out in blocks of 100 on Friday, 100 Saturday morning and 100 Saturday noon.  ******IF YOU ARE NOT TRULY PLANNING TO ATTEND, PLEASE DO NOT TAKE A TICKET!***** 

KNITTING FOR GIVING: As we have in the past several years, we will collect chemo hats and ship them for you to Halos of Hope, an amazing organization that services hospitals and treatment centers all over the country. We’ll actually ship to the New England branch for local distribution. If you want to find out what / how to produce HoH hats, check out the details here. This doesn't replace or supersede the Ships Project, just gives everyone more options for stash reduction and some feel-good projects.

The SHIPs Project: Make sure to stop by the Greeters' Table to check out the SHIPs Project afghan, and buy raffle tickets - you could take it home! Raffle proceeds assist with the cost of shipping items to the American troops stationed overseas. For more information, please go to the website,

We also collect hats knit for the troops. The website offers patterns and yarn requirements. There are fiber and color restrictions. 

Ticket prices for the afghan are:

  • 1  for $1
  • 6 for $5
  • 15 for $10
  • A wingspan or 28 for $20
If you would like to help with ticket sales the Saturday of SPA, please send an email to Jenn at 

TRANSPORTATION: The Hilton will provide a free shuttle to bring us between the Hilton, the Hampton, and the Harraseeket on Saturday. There is no set schedule - the shuttle will continually travel between the stops. 
FIBER FAIRIES: Anyone is welcome to bring fibery goodness (yarn, fluff, tools, patterns, books, hand creams, etc.) to give to anyone as a random act of Fiber Fairy kindness. Give something, get something, it’s all good! Have fun with it, meet new people, give a gift to someone who is doing something you’re interested in, make a new friend!
FREE TABLES: There will be a table at the Harraseeket and at the Hilton this year. Drop off your no longer needed items, help yourself to anything there. PLEASE, no clothing. 

BUY, TRADE, SELL – If you have used equipment you would like to buy, trade, or sell, you can let Spa-goers know by posting a notice on the designated easel at the Greeters’ Table area at the Hilton. Be sure to include contact information and specifics.

Where to find out more, ask questions:

If you are on, start here.
If you are part of the NETA Yahoo mail group, start here.
If you are on Facebook, start here.

Last Updated: 02.22.2014 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

SPA 2014 Vendors

Here are vendors for SPA 2014. If you want to be a vendor for SPA 2015, we will start the application process in the spring. Make sure you are a member of the NETA Yahoo email group to receive the latest news and information.

Mountain Fiber Folk
Jan Raczkowski Studio
Foxfire Fiber and Designs
Stephen Willette
Spunky Eclectic
Mad Color Fiber Arts
Enchanted Knoll Farm
Tsarina of Tsocks/Art for your Feet
Portland Fiber
Friends’ Folly Farm
String Theory Yarn
The Merlin Tree
Pinestar Studio
The Woolen Rabbit
Leslie Wind
Good Karma Farm
Acker’s Acres Angoras
Long Plains Alpacas/Lana Plantae Yarns

Ball and Skein 
Yarn and Fiber

Spa Therapy Vendors

Ann Hutchins, therapeutic massage - email:
Aloisia Pollock, reflexology -

Last Updated: 01.21.14