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Embrace the differences.....
The beginning of a new year (or perhaps it is the end of the "old year"  that inspires this ?) always gets me contemplating how I got where I am as well as thinking about where I'm heading next!
A meeting with story teller Recille Hamrell late this fall (check out Events for a fun social gathering/story telling with her here this February) influenced my reflections this year and got me thinking about how we have probably all come to our passion for fiber arts from a different place - for me it was freshmen year at UVM when I had 18 credits all in sciences and math  and needed something to balance left and right brain activity so my sisters taught me to knit! 
And we likely each derive something slightly different from our knitting, etc., that keeps us going - for me, in addition to enjoying the process and end products, I have always really loved that this interest is something to share and enjoy with my sisters...and now nieces.
 And it is the "differences" in color, softness, texture, technique, stitch, possibilities, and the materials we work with each project that make it exciting and keep us engaged and feeling challenged!
So this winter I'd like to offer you a chance to explore a "difference" that isn't so widely available or as "top of mind" as color, softness, brand, texture or price might be when choosing yarn or fiber to start a new project.  Please join me for the Sheep Breeds Workshop Sat Feb 16th and explore 8 different breeds of sheep!
Every felter, knitter & spinner is familiar with merino and alpaca. But have you had a chance to knit Cormo or Rambouillet? Felted with Shetland or Icelandic? Have you knit with Gotland or Coopworth? Spun Border Leceister or Jacob? And even if you did.....did you understand the unique characteristics of each to choose the  project that the yarn or fiber was most suitable for? 
Each of these breeds is quite different in fiber characteristics and therefore suited to different sorts of projects and techniques. In this full day class we'll journey thru the history of each breed, examine the fleece characteristics, look at felted, spun or knitted examples of them all and then every participant will either knit, spin or felt each of the 8 breeds.
How great does that sound? A fiber adventure spanning the world from England to windblown islands in the North Atlantic Ocean & Baltic Sea.... to the arid plains of Spain... and then dipping down under to Tasmania - all thru breeds that are raised and available right here in VT!  You're sure to learn a lot and be inspired by the variety of differences in each of the breeds. 
So as lovely as extra fine merino is to felt and alpaca/alpaca blends are to knit ..... why not come explore something different this February and feed your passion in a new way! This is a unique opportunity that won't be offered anytime soon again, so don't miss out.
You can find more details about the workshop here.
Hope you can join us, Jen
Fun Design Tools
Here are two fun tools you can use for design purposes.
Whether you are knitting,felting, or weaving with stripes or  want some ideas of color combos to drum card together for spinnig an interesting yarn,  these tools can be fun and help you out!
And they  can give you a path to using up all those bits n' pieces of yarn and fiber in your stash too!
Random Stripe Generator
Color Game Blendoku
And from previous newsletters, you know there is always the
Fibonacci numbers you can use!
New Classes Added
Nuno Felt Scarf-April 27th
Intro to Felt-Feb (see some pics from last Saturday's class here)

Eco Print Scarf-June 22nd
Drum Card a Batt-Mar 6th
Learn to Spin- Tuesdays in June
And there iare 2 spaces left in the Kumihimo a Dog Leash starting next week! It's a great technique for making shoelaces, friendship bracelets, key chains, drawstrings for bags or garments, trim too!
For more info on any of the classes, check here.
Newest  Project Ideas....
Reserve Sport Cowl- shown left -what could be nicer than silk, bamboo and merino around the neck!
Mecha Slouch- just one skein knits up this simple slouchy hat
Felted Umina Mitten-so soft and warm, flexible (not stiff like a lot of felted items).

Nuna Shawl - with 18 colors in stock the hardest (but most fun) part will be choosing just 4!
Just Arrived Yarns
Nuna, shown left is a lovely bamboo, silk & merino blend that will make lovely shawls for the spring/summer
Kid Lustre-gorgeous garment yarn
Cormo  3ply -US raised, spun, dyed. Just featured in Piecework Magazine
Elemental Shetland -
100% US raised, spun, dyed
Attention Spinners!
Attention Spinners:  don't miss out on this unique opportunity to win prizes thru a new Challenge that is being hosted by the Livestock Conservancy.
First Friday-
Friday Feb 1st  I'll have lots of lovely yarns out at steeply discounted prices. 10 - 5
Some really nice yarns have been discontinued so there will be more than just the strays!
Social Knit n' Stitch with Story Telling
Be sure to check out the Events page for a
story telling social gathering I'm hosting here in February!
Here's a great opportunity if you're feeling a bit of cabin fever (or even if you're not feeling shut in, come on over to gather socially to knit, crochet, stitch or spin with other fiber fanatics).
Pack up whatever project you're working on and come on over for the afternoon to visit, laugh, listen and explore our passion for fiber arts with story teller Recille Hammed.
Sat Feb 23rd
1-3 is story telling
3-5 knitting/crocheting/crafting social
refreshments served
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Northeast Fiber Arts Center  •  7531 Williston Rd  •  Williston, VT 05495

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