As the pace of late November quickens we are bombarded by the scourge of American consumerism. Giant stores open earlier and earlier in the wee hours of the morning to offer us the opportunity to get our holiday shopping done at amazingly low prices. Electronics, plastic toys and games from other countries will line the shelves, supporting not necessarily the people who make the product but the huge corporations that market the Holiday Experience.
With our Holiday Heirloom Giveaway, we’re sharing the warmth of this season and extending it throughout the year. All you have to do is buy any Swans Island woolen product*, from organic merino throws to natural-dye yarns, between November 15 and December 15 for your chance to win one of our hand-loomed summer-weight blankets. Like all Swans Island woven goods, these artisan-crafted keepsakes are made right here in our Northport, Maine, studio. Thanks for entering and good luck!
Our biggest loom is warped specifically for weaving our Winter blankets, a laborious double weave pattern which results in a thick, lofty warm blanket. Once a year, it is warped with Indigo yarn to weave our coveted Winter solid Indigo blankets, which happens to be right now. This time however, when the Winter Indigo weft ran out, the loom still had enough warp for several more blankets. Our creative team of weavers began rifling through the knitting yarns and found two lots of blue merino that looked fabulous together, and voila! A new winter blanket is born.
Reintroduction to Swans Island
Welcome back Blog! After a glorious Maine Summer, we are happy and proud to reintroduce a regular blog piece. For those of you who may be new visitors to our site, we would like to introduce ourselves a little bit. Swans Island has been known for years as makers of fine hand woven wool blankets. We are currently 6 weavers, weaving on 4 AVL looms.
One of the things we love about midcoast Maine is the unique community of talented artisans, storytellers, farmers and chefs — people who share in the same love of process, craft and history that underlines our own work and mission at Swans Island. In our community, we share stories and ideas with each other. We collaborate. And when the seasons change, we get excited about new harvests and sit down to meals together. Sometimes we even share recipes. Our friends at Salt Water Farm, owner/chef Annemarie Ahearn and sous chef/garden manager Ladleah Dunn, shared two of their favorite springtime eats.
Earlier this month, we had the privilege of being featured on the up-and-coming, design-centric lifestyle blog The General Aesthete. David Tripp, who curates and writes the blog, covers a gamut of genres, from food and film to fashion and design, and he hones in specifically on work that is beautiful, intelligent and innovative. His gift guides are particularly fun (not to mention great sources of inspiration and ideas), and his roster of interviews, which for now includes Matt Costa (Costalots) and stylist Linda Rodin, are interesting and insightful.
One of the perks of being on the Swans Island team is that every year, you get to create and keep a blanket of your very own. Check out the blanket that our talented seamstress and monogram designer Becky designed for herself. It’s a beautiful oatmeal base accented with alternating stripes of raspberry, brown, and early thyme — inspiration enough to introduce in your own Swans Island custom blanket.
Congratulations to our Facebook ‘Win Custom Throw Blankets’ contest winners.
Our first place winner is Anne from Kenosha, Wisconsin, who wins a Swans Island throw that she will customize with her own color and stripe configurations. Our second place winner is Rosanne from Los Gatos, Calfornia. She wins a $75 Swans Island gift certificate, good toward any item from the Swans Island woven or yarn collection.
Thank you to all who entered.
Custom throws from Swans Island
Our Swans Island organic merino wool throws were recently included in the Boston Globe Magazine‘s special feature on Beautiful Bedrooms.
In the article “Natural Warmth in Bedrooms,” which highlighted organic wares that make your bedroom feel vibrant and warm during the winter, Swans Island was showcased alongside other eco-friendly companies like K Studio, Amy Butler, Coyuchi and Portland, Maine’s Furniturea.
We’d like to introduce a new monthly post on the Swans Island blog that we’re calling Featured Knits.
It will showcase finished garments from friends and customers knitting with Swans Island yarn and patterns.
This month’s featured knit is a knit cowl from Diane Patton in Beverly Hills, Michigan. She knit up Purl Soho‘s Bandana Cowl with Swans Island bulky weight Charcoal yarn.