"Baby You Look Beautiful in Wool" by Paddy Mills is the background music for this post. I just learned about the song, on my way to talk about the imminent arrival in New York City of Nanney Kennedy, Maine shepherd, yarn producer, designer.
The last time I saw Nan was at Rhinebeck, the New York Sheep and Wool Festival. She was surrounded as always by her beautiful yarn--what you'll see when you click on the song link. My photo here is my own small collection of her Seacolor yarns from the past three years. For some reason I keep looking at them, changing ideas. This fall I think it will become a vest--designed in Nanney's kind of style--dark purple will be one side of a front, green the other and the blue green at the left, the back. Maybe pink for trim and pockets.
For beautiful pictures of her yarn and her farm, Meadowcroft, her farm there is a brand new book, SHEAR SPIRIT. It marks a departure in yarn books with its focus on farms and the people who live the rural life--raise sheep-- from Maine to Oregon. The photos are by Gale Zucker, text, Joan Tapper. Yes, it does have patterns.
It is not quite the same as being with Nanney who comes to my local and favorite yarn store, Knitty City next Monday, May 5, direct from showing her wares at America's biggest yarn event, Maryland Sheep and Wool. There, wandering around while Ron was taking a spinning class, is where I first encountered Nanney. She was unlike many of the vendors. Her yarns were arranged more artfullyand her signature "sea and sun-washed yarns" drew me in. And there was her extra-large personality and sense of humor. She thought the Condom Amulets would benefit from photos of women wearing them in unexpected settings. The result: Nanney modeling Lisa Daehlin's Knit Wire Bracelet surrounded by her beautiful fibers.
She is also the person connected to Ron's hat-knitting. In 2006, Nan introduced us to Medomak Camp in Washington, Maine where Ron fell under the design spell of Bill Huntington who teaches there again this year. While at the Knit Retreat, we visited Nan's farm and sheep--did some natural dyeing with her.
If you're in the City next week, please join Nan and her yarn at Knitty City, 208 West 79th Street, from 5 to 7 p.m. Gale Zucker's coming too to tell about how she selected those 20 fiber farms in the book. Ron and I will be there, Lisa Daehlin, and Kay Gardiner of Mason-Dixon Knitting--among others. More to come...