You would think it would be easy to visit sheep/fiber farms in Maine and find many skeins of yarn available to purchase, but it is a little more difficult than one would think - as I am finding out! It seems that the break in this road leading to a skein of yarn comes down to at least one of these reasons:
1. A human being isn't at the farm - they are working a day job somewhere;
2. The sheep's fleece is sold as fleece only;
3. The fleece is at the mill being processed into yarn.
However, my spinner friend, Mary and I found plenty of yarn at Nezinscot Farm in Turner, Maine this week!
Nezinscot Farm began as the first organic dairy in the state of Maine. Through the desire to diversify and the passion for good food, Nezinscot's owners, Gregg & Gloria Varney expanded it to encompass gourmet and organic foods, a cafe and bakery, a fromagerie and charcuterie, and a yarn and fiber studio.
Of course our focus was on fiber. The Nezinscot Farm Yarn & Fiber Studio occupies the whole top floor of the farm store and cafe. It is warm an roomy. They have a large selection of their own yarns, as well as needles and hooks, and all the notions associated with knitting and crocheting. They also have a nice inventory of spinning supplies - including spinning wheels - and a few small weaving looms as well as fiber dyes. Because their farm has Cormo sheep, Angora goats, rabbits and alpacas, they offer yarn and spinning fiber in many combinations of fiber content and breeds - dyed and undyed.
You will also find employees at the farm who are very accommodating. Sarah, who works in the yarn and fiber studio, was incredible nice and helpful. She helped us navigate through all the fiber options available to us!
And after the arduous task of looking at and feeling all the fiber (haha!) we had to eat at the farm's cafe. Needless to say, the food was delicious. We bought a treat to take with us as we went searching for a lake our pond to swim and knit. The ride to and from Nezinscot Farm was beautiful; the rolling hills of the country as well as the old grange halls in the small towns were neat.
Maine is so beautiful. A friend who works for the state of Maine tells me that Maine has 6,000 great ponds and lakes. When I am looking for a place to swim in an unfamiliar area, I cross-reference my DeLorme Maine Atlas and Gazetteer with my DeLorme Maine Fishing Depth Maps to see what kind of fish are in the water. If the pond/lake has trout and/or salmon, it meets my criteria to make it swimmable. You can also check out the water quality of any waterbody you are contemplating swimming by going to lakesofmaine.org. There are so many public accessible lakes in Maine that I would suggest not to settle for any that are not "above average" in its water quality testing.
Find a buddy and go to Nezinscot Farm. If you can do it this summer and enjoy a lake too, you will love it - although a ride there during Fall foliage season would also be fabulous!