Weekend escapes about Maine in October are our favorite times of the year. The leaves turn delicious hues of red, gold, and orange, giving every town a vibrant glow. Pumpkins abound. And the colder days and nights call for light layers and hats. Swans Island cowls and scarves are perfect for fall days–crafted with the finest organic merino wool and using processes that uphold their natural loft, they’re the quintessence of style and warm sophistication.
We love the way they keep us warm on short walks into town or on long drives to our favorite leaf-peeping spots right here in Maine. Here is a short list of where we like to play, explore, and soak in the natural beauty of Maine. Where do you like to spend your days in October?
Top 5 Spots to visit this Fall for weekend escapes in Maine:
Wedding season is a time of excitement here in Maine! With an endless array of breathtaking vistas and waterfront locations, many flock here for their special day. Recently, our friend Jessie tied the knot, and as a special thank you to her bridesmaids, she gifted them with Swans Island grey-and-white wraps, each trimmed in silk and bearing the Swans Island weaver’s mark.
The beautiful bride wore an elegant white wrap.
We think it’s the perfect keepsake for any bridal party: they are luxuriously soft, add a touch of elegance, and their sleek and simple design make them versatile enough to be worn at a relaxed rehearsal dinner, a pre-wedding bridal celebration, as well as the grand ceremony itself.
Might we suggest our Swans Island Wrap when you’re thinking of a unique and stunning gift for your maid of honor and bridesmaids? They can be customized for a personal touch and come packaged in a linen clutch.
* Photography by Sharyn Peavey
Summer is, hands-down, the best time to experience in Maine. In celebration of our favorite season, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite items this summer. What are some of the things on your summer must-have list?
1. Boardworks Raven Stand-Up Paddleboard (L.L. Bean)
2. Swans Island summer weight Coastal Throw
3. Sunpocket Sunglasses (available at Day Trip Society)
4. Pinstripe beach towel (More & Co.)
5. The Rangeley Camp Collection Market Bag
6. ANK Ceramics Beer Cups (available at Sugar Tools and More & Co.)
7. Native Shoes
8. Soludos Beach Paddles
9. A Sunny Afternoon Picnic Basket
10. The Maine Dog Collar (available at The Maine Dog store in Camden)
Swans Island isn’t just a blanket. It is a story. It is history and tradition interwoven with craft, vision and painstaking labor. We take pride in every aspect of our production, and we think it’s what sets us apart from other blanket companies.
Some of our fleece comes from a 250-acre sheep farm in Winterport, not too far from our Northport studio, and is spun into yarn at Green Mountain Spinnery in Vermont, where it is then scoured in organic soap, its lanolin preserved for loft and moisture-wicking warmth. When it arrives at our dye house, we give it the best treatment possible, imparting dyes that are comprised of plants, minerals and insect shells, and that have been tested and modulated until its color is just right. Once dyed, our yarn is transformed into blankets, throws, and accessories by our team of talented weavers, who use air-assisted shuttle looms that require the utmost precision, patience, and delicacy.
Our minimalist design gives each of our products a timeless feel. Our respect for traditional processes and hand-crafted perfection make each Swans Island product a work of art, as well as a treasure for the home. Tour our website, or check out our blog, for more information on our history, process, and products. Or visit our studio to feel the luxurious warmth of Swans Island blankets.
Wrap yourself in timeless warmth.
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.
Here’s what a few of us at Swans Island have been enjoying for our summer reading. What’s on your list?
Bright’s Passage, by Josh Ritter | A Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage and the Quest for the Color of Desire, by Amy Butler Greenfield | Made For You and Me; Going West, Going Broke, Finding Home, by Caitlin Shetterly
The Knitters Book of Wool: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding, Using, and Loving the Most Fabulous Fiber. by Clara Parkes | Wild Color: The Complete Guide to Making and Using Natural Dyes, by Jenny Dean
Faith, Hope, Love, Knitting: Celebrating the Gift of Knitting with 20 Beautiful Patterns by Lorna Miser | The Art of Knitting: Inspirational Stitches, Surfaces, and Textures, by Francoise Tellier-Loumagne
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.