|These amazing colors were among the skeins offered at Avalon Springs Farm.|
For the past three years on the first weekend in June, a number of indie dye fiber artists have opened their homes and studios to yarn and fiber arts enthusiasts. Knitters, weavers, and other fiber crafts enthusiasts travel around the rolling hills of central Maryland to visit indie dyers in their studios and farms. Plans are already underway for next year’s studio tour.
|This beauty produces mohair for Avalon Springs Farm.|
This year there was 5 stops and 12 artists participating. We went to farms with fun names like Flying Goat, Avalon Springs, and Dancing Leaf. These are the kinds of places I’d always imagined I’d live, instead of the suburban cookie cutter neighborhood I’ve been happy in these past two decades.
In addition to seeing some incredibly and beautifully dyed skeins, there were cute farm animals scampering in the fields and pastures.
|This cute fellow (honestly, not quite sure, actually) posed for me at Flying Goat Farm.|
My sister is a knitter. She does nothing if not intensely and definitely follows the motto of “she who dies with the most yarn wins.” She has no plans of dying, although she’s in the market for fiber dyeing classes.
|These beautiful skeins were produced by 29 Bridges.|
She lured me onto the tour with the promise of cute farm animals (and no kidding, there were! and the artists were happy to introduce us to them!) and the promise she would knit me a lovely shawl for my birthday with the eight mini-skeins I picked out at each stop.
The studio tour showcases the art of indie dyers who create these beautiful skeins. It was fun chatting with the fiber artists and learning their stories — how they got started in the fiber arts and indie dyeing. Many of them work other jobs — ones that help pay the bills, I imagine. Creating their lovely skeins and yarn is a passion and an art.
Flying Goat Farm’s origins was in the dot.com down turn, which brought Lisa and Bill from the West Coast to the East. Lisa suggested they purchase a farmette so they could have some goats and sheep. Now they have plenty of both, along with some guinea fowl that I found fascinating!
By the end of the afternoon, I was tempted to relearn knitting — a skill I’d learned during college and have since forgotten.
|One of the skeins at Flying Goat Farm.|
For me, it was a fun way to enjoy the countryside, spend time with my sister — this is a great way to spend an afternoon with like-minded friends. We made our final stop Wandering Wools, conveniently located at Doc Waters Cidery, where we enjoyed a flight of cider as well as a light pastrami and cracker lunch.
Getting there: Each year the stops on the tour vary. Check the website below for the current tour stops.