Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Fibers and Felt Supplies Page

'Quick views' will make it much easier to find the items you want in the 30 pages of our website which include fibers for felting and spinning; plus the many felting tools and instructions . This menu page has needed a redo for quite some time since the list page had become so long, it was almost unmanageable.

The quick views are small pictures like the one above for the multi-colored merino top. New colors in this group and the solid colored merino will be added in the next couple of weeks so I hope you will find the website pages more "user friendly". We are always glad to hear suggestions for the presentation of our site. If you have comments, please feel free to share.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Pam's Elizabeth Zimmerman Raglan

Pam from Iowa visited the farm shop this summer and knit this great cardigan from our Green Heather Sport Wt. yarn.

It is a true classic, the pattern is the EPS Raglan by Elizabeth Zimmerman. Not only is Pam's knitting wonderful, she gave a thorough and helpful explanation of the EZ and Meg Swansen's techniques in her Ravelry projects page. When you check the project page, you can click on the individual photos to see all the details of the round neck, button band and heart patches. Also an ingenious yarn cone holder that her husband made for her. Thank you, Pam for sharing.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Needle Felt Teddy Bear for Allegan Art Hop

Kris Allred, a customer from Hamilton Michigan, needle felted these miniature teddy bears to go to the Allegan Art Hop tonight. Each one is extremely well felted with movable legs and arms and glass bead eyes. Standing, they range in height from 5 to 7 inches.

My favorite is the grey one in the front right cause he is made from our lambs wool roving which gives him an almost textured fur look. They have such cute expressive faces and are such solid felt, hope I can sell them for her. The price is more than right.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Knit Ski Cap for Men or Women

Naturally the colder months are particularly busy for anyone interested in wool. No matter if you are a sheep owner, fiber artist or just love to wear wool. Since I am all three, I LOVE the fall and winter months.

This is one of the hats I made for the Dec. 10 Art Hop in Allegan. It is knit with 2 strands of Marr Haven Sport Weight so it has the density of worsted yarn but the stranding gives unique varigated colors. The elasticity of wool makes this suitable for most sizes, men or women.

This one is done in Blue Heather and Light Heather, I also knit the Light Heather with our Green, Burgundy and Lilac Heathers. The hats and several felted wearables will be at Baker Studios for the Art Hop. Of course, I did a couple for Christmas buyers at the shop as well.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cats and Wool

Our shop is attached to the house, our Border Collies have always been trained not to go into the shop. They respected that rule.

Then Minniecat adopted us, she has her own rules. Her preferred spot is the top of the yarn rack laying on whatever knitted piece is there. I have learned to keep some sort of obstacle there to keep her blonde hairs off the yarn, even gave her a special felted rug. However, when people come into the shop she must feel exposed so she finds new out of the way places. This is her newest choice, inside my wet felted "Tiffany" bowl.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Nuno Felt Shawl

Suzanne Pufpaff has a new pattern that will let you make 2 triangular shawls from a piece of silk gauze that would normally only make one shawl or 2 scarves. I really like the sheerness of nuno felt, it is so strong yet looks so fragile. The shawl I made above is the large size, it hangs well below my hips in the back.
The red one is the "small" size, both from the same piece of fabric. Both are felted with merino top and a silk - merino top for some shine.

You could make 2 medium size shawls and a scarf from the same 2 yard piece (which I just happen to have on our website) Great idea for Christmas gifts, very little cost and looks fabulous on everyone.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank you Veterans

We are enjoying a beautiful, warm fall day thanks to the veterans and those now serving to preserve our wonderful life in the United States of America. The price they were and are willing to pay, many did, is awesome to me. I thank them mightily and hope wherever they are, they know they are appreciated.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Merino Top Restocked & New Colors

This is the time of year for us to restock our fiber inventory, all the merino solid colors are in good supply with 3 new colors added. The new colors will become standard replacements, for example: Pink will eventually replace Petal Pink.

Gold will replace the old Gold

and Burnt Orange will replace Pumpkin Orange.

The colors that will be replaced are still available in the shop or online but once the supply on hand is gone, we will not be able to reorder those colors. The new colors all have the wonderfully soft merino hand and the depth of color in each will enhance any of your fiber art.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Mystery Roving, A Special Purchase

This is the Mystery Roving I mentioned last week. It is a mystery because each 2 ounce bag is a little different.

The primary fiber is fine grade wool; merino, rambouillet and sheltand. Some of the wool is dyed, some natural white or natural colored, there may be alpaca, llama, mohair or other wools blended with the fine grade. The dyed wool is mostly various shades of green, there is a smaller amount of dyed red mixed in some bags.

It is great for wet or needle felting, the fibers are shorter so would be difficult for spinning. The mittens below were made by wet felting into a firm light weight mitten, perfect for driving the car. I am going to use two bags to make a heavy pair of mittens for barn use.

The mitten on the left is palm side up, I spread a short length of roving width wise to let the mixed colors make their own design. The mitten on the right is top side up, I separated some of the lighter natural colored with a bit of red in it to lay on last to make a design. The special price for this roving is $4.00 for a 2 ounce bag, it is a limited supply.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ting's Kntted Vest Cardigan

Ting is a busy mother of a toddler and infant so I am sure her knitting time is limited, however she found time to knit this beautiful cardigan for herself . The pattern is designed by Meghan McFarlane and can be found on Ravelry. The yarn is our Light Grey worsted weight.

Ting's choice of pattern and yarn color are timeless so she will be able to enjoy it for a long time. I appreciate her sharing the photos with me and knew you all would enjoy them, too. I do love this style sweater and Ting did such fine knitting of it.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Felting with Kazoo Yarnies

Kazoo Yarnies have such fun KIP meetings, this was my second meeting with the group. This time instead of Knit In Public, we had Felt In Public as the picture shows. The organizer of the group, Beth, is a professional photographer who took several great pictures in a rather underlit restaurant setting.

I made a cell phone/eyeglass case using merino top and brought a large bag of a special purchase "Mystery" roving. Will get that posted on the website later and post it here. Several of the knitters were interested in adding another fiber art to their repertoire and took some of the Mystery roving home with them. I am hoping they will keep me posted on their progress.

I had a little time to talk with a few of those attending, got to meet WonderWhyGal, she has more pictures on her blog. Also chatted abit with Carolyn and Janet, shown in the photo above.

Group meetings are so much more than knitting in public, they are a chance to learn more about those we have met online and in turn learn more about yourself.

Monday, October 11, 2010

New Felt Makers

Faith is not only a patient young lady but also a quick learner. She asked a few weeks ago if I would show her how to make a hat, she had to be patient since we had a couple of other things scheduled that were taking my time. She did a great job, making nice felt, choosing colors and design all on her own, she kept her Mother and I hopping to keep up.

Holly's hat is really nice, too, but she keeps saying she isn't a hat person. So far, most have disagreed with her on that.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Felt United Submissions

Felt United is past for this year. It was such fun to see other felt artists work and watch new people learn about felt, particularly if they fall in love with felt making. There are pictures of the event at the farm on our website or on Facebook. Here I will share one of the items that each of us submitted for the International Felt United website.

The major piece I made for this year's event is a wall hanging that hung over the shop doorway on Saturday.

This is a close up of the sky portion so you can see the silk fibers, hand dyed blue silk locks and metallic fabric grid pieces that are incorporated in that section.

This close up is of the sun with silk fibers, silk yarn and metallic fibers.

We each submitted 3 pieces for the international site; my favorite of Sue Pufpaff's entries is this stylish coat and matching purse.

My favorite of Suzanne Higgs entries is this very unique vessel.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

ArtPrize entry by JA FELT

There are many wonderful views of the Chroma Passage felt art exhibited by Janice Arnold at Grand Rapids ArtPrize. I have thoroughly enjoyed everyone's pictures yet I am sure all would agree, the work is so amazing it is impossible to capture the true beauty except in person. This view is at the far end of the passageway, Janice calls it the Petoskey Arch - note the formations of the piece in the upper center which resembles our petoskey stones. I wish everyone could see it in person.

I kept walking back and forth in the hallway to view new details of her work and wanted to share one with you. This is a detail of one of the four 34 ft. long pieces at either end of the passage. There are more detail pictures on the Marr Haven Wool Yarn Shop Facebook page

Thursday, September 16, 2010

9 days left of Anniversary Specials and ONLY 2 weeks till FELT UNITED

Tomorrow, Friday the 17th, all knitting patterns are 25% off; then Saturday through the 24th all knitting needles and tools are 25% off. The final day, Sat. 25th, Marr Haven Yarn is 25% off.

It always seems to me that as the fall days shorten in daylight, the clocks go faster. This year especially, we went from Fiber Festival to 25th Anniversary for the shop and already it is just 2 weeks away from the International Day of Felt United event at the farm. The exhibits and demonstrations will be under cover in the tent or yurt in front of the shop so if it is cool that day, do bring a jacket. The shop will be open, of course, but the action will be outside. We do hope you come and bring a friend.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

25th Anniversary of Marr Haven Wool Yarn

September is the anniversary month of selling our merino rambouillet sheep's wool as yarn. We want to thank everyone for your business by having 25% Off Specials thoughout the month.

Whether you have been a customer for many years or just recent we hope you will continue to let us serve you and will tell others about our soft wool yarn. Please click on the 25% Off Specials to see what you might want.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Michigan Fiber Festival 2010

Our good friends, Karen and Manny from Illinois, come to MFF and usually bring guests who have not attended before. This is the group from this year, left to right:Abraham, Nissa, Stephanie, Karen, Jessie, Manny, Charles and Janet. We did have a good time even though it always seems rushed to get everything in.

Special Note: Enjoyed meeting the new bridegroom, Charles. You make such a happy couple, Belated Congratulations to you both.
A Second Special Note: Glad we don't have to wait till MFF 2011 to see Karen and Manny again.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Needle Felt Sock Monkeys

Sharon Elzinga from Michigan came to the shop after her tour of Michigan Fiber Festival to get more Lambswool Roving. She showed me the family of Sock Monkeys she has started from the Lambswool Roving and I had to take a picture, they are so cute.

I promised to mention that the female doesn't have all her stripes on her feet or mittens on her hands so she isn't quite finished, the 'baby' one hasn't begun yet. Each one is made individually and very firmly needle felted so they can be handled easily.

She also showed me a recycled wool vest that she has embellished with needle felted flowers and vines, wish I had taken a picture of that. What really impressed me is Sharon's statement that she tells her students, "We change recipes in a cookbook all the time so we should change patterns or designs in our creative work like needle felting to make it our own."

I wholeheartedly agree and think it is important that a beginner learns that from the start. Sharon would be willing to come here to teach a class, if you are interested, let me know.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Make Your Swatch Useful

You may already do this but I have to admit, I hadn't thought of this great idea.

Lisa of North Dakota is going to knit the Allegan Sweater in Clara Parkes book, The Knitter's Book of Wool. She found a hat pattern on Ravelry that uses the same Farrow Rib as does the sweater and used that pattern for her swatch.

Cute hat design and now a useful swatch. It is knit in our Lilac Heather. Thanks Lisa for the great idea.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Cool Dinner in two ways.

Like so much of the US, the heat and humidity has been almost unbearable this summer. Last night, neither of us even felt like eating but I knew we needed some fuel for our bodies so made up the dinner plates for us. My dear husband thought that was such a good idea, he took a picture - I am flattered.

The 2nd cool part of the dinner is all but the cottage cheese and sesame crackers came from our garden. The garden is loving this tropical weather so I should be tolerant.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Allegan's ready for Fiber Festival

Just installed a window display in the Starry Night Gallery with finished felt items made by Suzanne Higgs and myself. The Gallery is one of the 8 Specialty Shops of Allegan who are keeping their shops open late for Festival attendees.

Six of the shops are downtown; Antiques Etc-3-D Beads (and new ice cream shop), Water Street Place Antiques, B & C Emporium, Baker Allegan Studio, Sharon's Quilts and Starry Night.

The 7th Shop is Beneath the Trees Gallery & Studio, located at the corner of M-40 and 108 Ave, the corner you where you turn to come to Marr Haven. Links to all the shops are listed on our web link page.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

American Lifestyles Lost??

All summer we have publicly watched the Gulf Shore fishermen worry about the loss of their lifestyle due to the oil spill. It is very painful even when we aren't a part of the tragedy.

For an even longer period of time, ranchers in the western states have fought battles to save their lifestyles with little or no national coverage. Think of cowboys on horseback herding cattle and shepherds on hillsides watching over a flock of sheep grazing in national forests.

The American Sheep Industry Weekly News reports that acres available for domestic sheep grazing on the Payette National Forest will be reduced by nearly 70 percent. This decision follows years of federal court rulings sought by the anti-livestock group Western Watersheds Project. Groups seeking to remove all livestock grazing from federal lands are using bighorn sheep habitat as a surrogate to remove domestic sheep grazing allotments from the forest. "This decision is obviously devastating to sheep production in Idaho... Unfortunately, there is nothing in the Payette Forest finding that is going to protect the bighorn sheep," commented Ken Wixom, president of the Idaho Wool Growers Association. "If this issue were truly about the protection of the bighorn, they would not take those who have the highest level of incentive to help resolve the problem off the forest and out of the equation."

A similar situation is a recent settlement agreement between energy company El Paso Corp. with Western Watersheds Project and Oregon Natural Desert Association. El Paso Corp. agreed to provide $22 million to WWP and ONDA in part to create unprecedented federal legislation to allow for the buyout and retirement of federal grazing permits - threatening ranchers' grazing rights across vast portions of the West. Ranchers with grazing permits account for over half of all commercial beef cattle in the West.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Laume's Gift from OWOH Exchange

A few months ago I participated in an exchange with artists all over the world. It was inspiring just to visit all the different blogs, so many different mediums. There were prizes given by each, usually chosen by a random number generator. I was lucky enough to win more than one and have mentioned them in earlier blogs. I recently received the last prize gift, the beautiful pen shown above from Laume.

Laume is from Northern California and calls herself Laundress and Philosopher. She doesn't mention her beautiful photography shown on both her blogs, Beach Treasure and Laume's Studio, as well as the numerous art crafts she makes. Neither blogs give a clue of her generosity which I discovered when my gift arrived, not only was the pen almost too pretty to use, she added a Fairy notebook, an iced cappuccino drink and a pomegranate tea. Thank you, Laume.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Close Encounter with Cicada

Yesterday we baled the section of field that was dry, when done Gene parked the baler in the shade of an old honey locust tree. We went inside for a couple of hours and when we came out there seemed to be something sticking out of the baler tire. But closer inspection showed a cicada emerging from its shell. Scary looking up close like this.

We scared him/her enough taking the picture then left to go pick up the bales. After the bales were stacked in the barn we checked on our new little friend and found him/her fully "hatched", just hanging around.

This morning all that was left was the empty beetle shell. We felt honored to experience this natural phenomena.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sam the Ram Stuffed Sheep

Sam the Ram is back!! He is really handsome with his aran patterned knit fleece, of course all of Sam is knitted and then stuffed.

After several requests we now have the pattern booklet in stock. Just wanted to show him off to everyone . Sorry for the pun but sheep shows are in full swing now.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


A year ago two great friends brought a beautiful potted plant with one huge blue, almost purple, blossom. It usually is futile to try and plant them outside with our winters but I always have to try. This time it took, gloriously. I did use an acid fertilizer to make the blossoms blue but either too late or all the rain has washed the acid part away cause the blossoms seem to be all pink. Pink or blue it is growing so very well and so pretty.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

WWKIP Kalamazoo, MI

Had a great time with the World Wide Knit In Public held today at Erebelli's in Kalamazoo. It was sponsored by Kazoo Yarnies with hostess Beth Pulsipher shown on the left talking to part of the group.

Stitches in limbo.
Studying that design.
Showing how much fun we all had.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Podcast: New Way to Enjoy my Fiber World

Last week CoggieTM and LorrieU visited the farm, we had a great time talking about different things in the shop, saw the sheep in the field and laughed alot. CoggieTM has a podcast, The High Fiber Diet where she talks about knitting, crochet, spinning, dieting, food, family and fiber fun. Podcasts are not new, just to me. I don't have an MP3 or Iphone so had to listen on my computer.

It was so fun to listen to her talk about her life and her loves. She has such a comfortable, conversational way of talking that it was almost as if she were still sitting on the shop sofa. CoggieTM interviewed me for her podcast which she posted last night. I certainly did talk alot and I hope her listeners will find it interesting..

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lilac Heather Baby Sweater

Stephanie Ruff of California sells hand dyed fiber/ yarn and handknit baby items. She sent me this photo of the darling baby sweater she knit from our Lilac Heather. I think her knitting is so well done and am certainly pleased that she chose our yarn to make this. Just had to share it.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Helmet Liner Special Delivery by coggietm

Two gals from Ravelry, KaRi, known as coggietm and Lorrie, known as lorrieu came to the shop, we had a great time and you will hear more about that later.

KaRi's husband was deployed earlier this month and the knitting goddess took advantage of that information to arrange a serendipity event. I was delayed in sending the latest helmet liners to Texas...but KaRi is going to visit her husband before he is sent to she will personally deliver them. Lorrie is modeling one, I think she needs the size smaller.

I thoroughly enjoyed having them visit the shop and appreciate KaRi taking care of the helmet liners, but more importantly I am so thankful for the service her husband is doing for us. This is his 3rd deployment.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Merino Rambouillet Roving Fiber Special

It is time to weigh and package this year's shearing for your spinning or felting creations. Our flock's fiber blend of merino and rambouillet breeds spins quickly for me even though I am definitely not a good spinner. I prefer to wet felt the fiber into thin, flowing fabric or sometimes with several layers make it heavier and hard enough for water to bead on the finished piece. Suzanne Pufpaff washes our fleeces and cards them into roving or batts at her fiber mill so this is another "All Michigan Made" item from our farm shop.

Some of last year's roving is still available and to make space, the 2009 roving is now on special at $4.00 for a 2 ounce bag. When you go to the web page of our natural roving and top, you will see a box labeled Coupon Code; enter 2009 before you click on the button to Add Roving to Cart and you will get the special price of $4.00. If you don't enter the code, you will receive the 2010 roving at the regular price of $5.00.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Veggie Garden Commencement

The past week was perfect for the beginning of the 2010 vegetable garden at Marr Haven. The temps were in the 70's - not too hot to work, with a slight breeze to keep the no-see-ums away (little gnat type bugs that bite). We have many, big shade trees around the house which means the garden is at the edge of the sheep pasture to get full sun and that means, fences all around. This was the year to take it all apart and set up again...thank heavens there's only a 2-3 year repetition of the fence part.

The plants went in last Wed am, we are trying a new yellow sweet pepper this year. Can you see the tiny little pepper that is already formed in the center.

Last year we tried Mustard Spinach for the first time, it is a fast grower as you can see by the row showing today. The seeds are not as big as a pin head and were planted only 4 days ago.

Now this week's heat and humidity will be a delight for all the growing things...and I will stay out of the sun as much as possible.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Great Wool Wet Felt Hat Class

Yesterday Bill and Andy came from Illinois to learn about making a wet felted hat on a Hat Shaper. Good thing they are both so energetic because Suzanne did put them through some fast paces.

They were so agreeable to try her technique that they didn't complain when we had our math problems designing a template for the resist, not even a grumble when we had to work extra hard for the brims to shape correctly. Actually, when all goes perfect I don't think you learn as much as when we work out a problem together.

The best part was today when the guys came back to show their trimmed and dry hats. They fit Bill perfectly, little large for Andy so he will use a size smaller Hat Shaper. They were obviously pleased with the outcome which Made My Day.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Kimono Cardigan perfect for spring.

The finished Kimono Cardigan is as perfect for spring as I hoped. It is knit with Marr Haven Green Heather sport wt, making it lightweight yet a warm coverup for the spring breezes.

The pattern by Dovetail Designs says it is a great project for beginners and I agree; although the roll over collar was a new technique for me. It was easy but I couldn't picture it in the first read, I won't give any explanation here respecting designer Val Love's creative rights. I will say after you do a couple of rows of the collar directions, it becomes very clear.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Tulip Time Fetival in Holland Michigan

The Tulip Festival begins today in Holland Michigan, May 1 through the 8th. The festival website says, "it is a celebration of Dutch heritage and culture, a multi-generational event that has a little bit of something for everyone including; 3 amazing parades, multiple Dutch Dance performances, concerts, theatre, Dutch attractions, Dutch food, children’s events, trolley tours and so much more!" There are many interesting places about Dutch traditions in Holland that you can visit any time of the year but festival time is special.

Visitors to the festival often stop by our farm shop on the way since we are only 25 miles from Holland to the south and east which makes it a fun week for us as well. We had a good rain, actually thunderstorm, during the night so everything is fresh and dewy looking and now the sun will come out to make the day more enjoyable. Guess I should get shining as well.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Spring Green hand dyed yarn

Appropriate to the early as it is. The tree leaves are not full size yet but about 2-3 weeks ahead of what is normal here. Even the lilacs are blooming, my husband's fishing buddy said that was a sign the fish were biting - wonder if they know the season is early.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Baby Blanket & Kimono

As a prayer shawl is knit, love and best wishes are knit into each stitch. That is how I knit this baby blanket and kimono.

My friend, Ryna, had purchased the yarn to crochet a baby blanket for her first great grandchild who will be born in June. She lost her battle with cancer before she could make it. I was honored to complete this love gift for her.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

New Feltmaker has a Hat

What a great Saturday, a surprise early birthday party for Karen and then she had a private feltmaking lesson with well known Hat Maker, Suzanne Higgs of Hooked on Felt.

Karen looks a little surprised at the beauty she created, doesn't she. It wasn't even dry when the picture was taken, wait till the merino-silk dries and the colors will pop. She may do some embellishment on the twin pleats in the front or maybe add the pretty purple flower which she finished only minutes before the photo.