Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Introducing Salt Water Purl!

I almost called this blog, "Salty Independence", because initially, this blog will be tracking my journey toward quitting my day job. I am a native Mainer, and that is one thing we are known for: salty independence.

My philosophy is that each person DOES make a difference, and a business has a lot more impact than an individual. I think a businesses focus should go beyond making money. For my entire working life I have stuck with jobs because they pay the bills. Well, enough! My goal is to sell fiber related products online, and to become as educated as possible about the processes my business has on the environment, so I can reduce that impact. My business name is a tribute to my home state, love of nature, and love of fiber: Salt Water Purl. I hope I did good!

The fiber yummies I have in store for everyone: I hope to carry yarns, roving, knitting needles, drop spindles, and more as time goes on!

Darling BF and I went to the Common Ground Fair on 9/22. I had an amazing time, and saw an incredible amount of fiber! Maine is an extremely serious fiber state. The website does no justice to the event. The Common Ground Fair is the annual event the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, one of the largest organic farming associations on the planet. On the way to the fair (very rural area, long drive) there were an incredible amount of Toyota Priuses. I can't afford one yet, but BF bit the bullet, and I love touring about in his. When you see another Prius, you usually nod or wave to each other. At one point we could see six in front of us waiting in line to get into the fair! It was like salmon returning to spawn!

One of my most informative stops was with the Damme of Enchanted Knoll Farm. Check out her Etsy shop to see her yarns and roving! She cards a bit of sparkle into the colours, which I thought would be really fun for a scarf or hat. This gal is amazing. She and her DH homestead in Maine (cold, snowy) with their kids, sheep and more. They built their barn and house themselves, and have solar power. We had an incredibly lively conversation about the environmental pros and cons of natural vs. acid dyes and so forth. Natural dyes require a lot more energy (they need to be heated for a long time) a lot more water (you have to rinse the dyed wool over and over to get the water to run clear), and the mordants are toxic. Furthermore the acid used in acid dyes is only vinegar. This is not what I wanted to hear. Sigh. I will keep you posted as I learn more. I need a serious enviro geek and some hard numbers to calculate the true environmental costs. Let me know if you have any resources!

There are a lot more amazing fiber resources in Maine, and I will salt them into my blog!