One of the really, really big things that got us started putting on The Big Thaw and The Big Chill was the real need for men and ladies of America to recapture handmade, homespun, locally sourced goods. We’re constantly amazed at the mass production (and mass destruction) of wearables these days! Yet, for some reason, that sweater my mother made me 10 years ago has had a prominent place in my closet (and a good deal of winter air time on my body). I might kill a dude if I lost that sweater. OK, probably not, but I’d cry really hard. However – that sweater I bought from Target 6 months ago that’s already falling apart? Yeah whatever, I might use it as a kitchen rag in a pinch.
So! What’s my point? My point is at the heart of making apparel and accessories that we need up here in the cold Northeast is yarn! And even more importantly, yarn made from sheep that live in New England. Sarah Lake from Upton Yarns will be joining us and selling handspun, hand-dyed wools that were made from sheep at Buckwheat Blossom Farm and other small ‘backyard mini-mills’ (which means more local, more cared for, and more humane!) Put on some New England pride when you knit a cap made with these gorgeous skeins.
The folks from Upton Yarns had some lovely responses to an informal questionnaire we sent to all the vendors. So! I’d like to include these here in lieu of my gushing over how much better handspun wool is. Just imagine me gushing in addition to reading what we’ve got below.
The Big Chill: What’s the first sign of Winter, in your opinion?
Upton Yarns: The first lacy skim of ice across the top of puddles, implying that while winter isn’t quite here yet, it will be arriving very shortly. Alternately, and far less picturesque, the day when we finally have to stop fooling ourselves that our windows have somehow become double paned over the summer, and we really do need to put plastic over them.
TBC: What items from Upton Yarns will keep customers happy through this dark + endless season?
UY: Yarn! Winter is the season when one is meant to hunker down and knit with a few good friends and a cup of one’s favorite warm beverage.
TBC: What’s your favorite comfort food during those “Oh my Gosh, it’s 7 degrees out, I have to let the faucets drip all night and wear two pairs of socks in bed!!” days?
UY: Potato leek soup (my husband’s) with fresh baked sour dough bread (mine). Pots and pots of tea. Kale (odd, I know, but very tasty).
Kindred spirits! We’ll have to share our Portugese Kale + Chorizo soup recipe with Sarah when we meet! And truly, we can’t wait to circle up with our friends and heat up a room with our coffees, teas and busy fingers.
Come meet Sarah of Upton Yarns + buy lots of wool at The Big Chill arts, crafts and vintage sale on Saturday, December 3rd from 10am-4pm at the Mayo Street Arts Center at 10 Mayo St. in Portland, ME. Love!