In the springtime, our head dyer Jackie was searching through Ravelry forums and stumbled upon one called “Fiber Field Frips.” The coordinator had been looking for suggestions of locations they could visit as a group. Jackie — whose Ravelry name is dyemama, in case you’re interested in checking out her page — suggested to the group that they come to Northport to visit our newly built, full-scale dyehouse. After a few months of planning, we were able to host a group of women from all parts of the state. We gave them them the deluxe tour of all operations at Swans Island, including a demonstration of the labor-intensive dye process. One of the women was struck by how hands-on the process was. “You really are hand dyeing these yarns,” she said. Yes, we certainly are.
A couple of weekends ago, one of our favorite yarn shops, Halcyon Yarn in Bath, celebrated its 40th anniversary with a Ruby Anniversary Homecoming Party. We weren’t able to make it down to the party, but Halcyon’s Susan Upham was nice enough to send us some photos of the celebration. We hear a great time was had by all — the weather was summer-perfect, the food was scrumptious, and many new and long-time customers came down to celebrate. Several months ago, Halcyon asked us to create 40 skeins of a special ruby red color to commemorate the shop’s Ruby Anniversary. That color, which we hear was a hit among Halcyon’s customers, became what’s now known as our new Winterberry yarn. Here are a few photos of the homecoming party, courtesy of Halcyon Yarn. We wish our friends at Halcyon a Happy Anniversary and many years of continued success.
Summertime is when Maine shines the brightest. Everything comes alive from a long winter and a typically indecisive spring. It’s the perfect time for tourists to visit and for locals to rediscover all the things that are quintessentially Maine. As you plan your summer itinerary, consider including a day in midcoast Maine and a visit to Swans Island. We’ll give you a tour of the showroom and the weaving studio. You’ll learn about all that goes into making our collection special and uniquely Maine: the history of Swans Island, the vision that drives the company, and the thoughtfulness and care that go into every single piece.
Over the weekend, the Swans Island team held a special ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the new 2,160-square foot dye house, the construction of which was made possible in part to a Community Development Block Grant. Family and friends of Swans Island gathered for the event, which was marked by a special appearance from Senator Susan Collins, who was gracious enough to stop in and give a brief speech before the ribbon-cutting. The senator got a tour of Swans Island, learned about the history and vision of the company, and got to see the tiny farm-house porch in we used to do all our hand-dyeing. She even tried her hand at weaving after getting a demonstration from weaver Lauren Taylor. “Maine has a mystique that no other state has,” Senator Collins told the Swans Island team. “I’m so thrilled to see the special work everyone here is committed to. It fits so perfectly into the realm of that Maine mystique.” We think so too.
Left to right: Senator Collins takes a shot on the loom; weaver Lauren Taylor demonstrates a warp set-up; Swans Island partners Susan Williams, Michele Orne and Bill Laurita introduce the Senator to the Swans Island team.
We’re in the July issue of Martha Stewart Living! In her column, “From My Home to Yours,” Martha Stewart, a long-time fan of the Swans Island collection, writes about a recent horse-back tour through scenic Acadia National Park (just a couple hours north of our showroom). She brings along a group of friends, a picnic of homemade foods and her Swans Island wool throw and summer blanket.
We’ve been busy working away, designing, producing and printing our new lookbook for this year. I just received the finished piece and we’re quite excited about it. The book is created partly as a catalog to showcase our latest collection, but also to share the history and craft that is behind each piece. We had this printed at Culture Lite printing, using Finch paper. Culture Lite is a small, family owned printer located in the China Town district of San Francisco (where our design team lives).
The finished book A book is included with a purchase from our woven collection.