Saturday, December 31, 2011


Many of us who love working with fiber will spend the New Year's weekend planning for more projects in 2012. We certainly want to encourage more felting and spinning activity. We created 2 SPECIAL Merino Wool Batt with a very special price, only $16.50 for 8 ounces of fluffy soft fiber. The batts are a blend of natural white merino and dyed merino, the first with dyed green has a minute amount of natural white mohair in it.
The second batt is a blend of natural white merino and dyed black. The blend has been carded so you can separate it in layers or divide in strips to get more of a solid color. Of course, the blending gives many shades of pure white to dark and in between heathers. Our web page shows a larger picture and you can order from there with our secure shopping cart.

We hope you have a very Happy New Year and that we may serve you often in 2012.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Ready for Christmas & Thinking Ahead

With a little more than a week until the birthday of our Lord, plans are in place to celebrate with friends and family - near and far away. I have also been planning for the annual winter hibernation with felting and knitting.

For knitting enthusiasts, hand dyed yarns like this skein just added to our website called Winter Woods, will help create those one of a kind warm woolen heirlooms.

By request a few of our standard worsted skeins and sport cones are now at Sharon's Quilts & More in downtown Allegan. A sampling of the hand dyed worsted skeins are there as well, including this new colorway of Mauve.

The felting plans for the coming months will unfold soon.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Entrelac Design - 4 new knitting patterns

If you are a fan of entrelac designs or are looking for a knitting challenge for one of your winter projects, you will love the patterns designed by Suzanne Pufpaff.

Suzanne has an excellent talent for combining pattern stitches and designs into truly wearable knitted art that will become an heirloom piece for you. She likes to use photos, schematics and charts as well as row by row direction to make sure each pattern is easy to follow; most of her patterns are over 6 pages long. The following photos are her newest, bringing her total up to 12 with entrelac involvement to date.

This is a cute and very feminine tee top.

Must admit the shrug is my favorite of this group.
Although I also like the comfy look of this shawl.
Another tee top design, never can have too many.

All of Suzanne's dozen entrelac patterns are available for sale on our secure shopping cart for $5 each. Shipping fees are not applicable since the pattern is sent to you as a pdf in an email and you print it when you are ready. An added bonus to Suzanne's patterns is you can use any yarn, from hand spun to commercial.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

New Merino solid and multi colored fibers.

All the fibers are fully restocked with 2 new merino solid color additions, Lime and Dijon. Yes, more greens...I do like green. The 4 new multi colored merinos have such color nuances that was a challenge to photograph. Even more of a challenge to descibe in words so following are their pictures.
Merino multi color Fernwood, rich earthtone shades of brown.

Merino multi color Granite, more natural shades from the skys to waters and earth.
Merino multi color Laurel, subtle blend of greens, browns and red
Merino multi color Primrose, soft blue shades with a hint of pink.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Another Nuno Felt Class at Reflexions Plus

A week ago I had the privilege to introduce these ladies to nuno felt.  I even remembered to get their scarves in the photo.  As said, a picture is worth a thousand words, so I needn't say more.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Full of Thanksgiving...before "the meal".

I shared this photograph, titled God's Smile, awhile back .  It represents how I feel about our life and all the blessings we have.  We are thankful first for each other, as we have grown in experience, we have grown together.  For our families, most of them are on one coast or the other, still our relationships have deepened and are more meaningful than ever.  For our friends, since we don't have "relatives" within an hour or so drive we truly appreciate the friends close by who have adopted us into their family.

For our health, we may take longer to do some things occasionally, we can still do what we want most anytime.  For the country we live in, the news is full of the strife in other parts of the world yet there are those fighting to keep our freedoms, I pray we all remember this. 

For our life, when visitors have commented about our farm, I usually reply that we know we live in the best of all possible worlds.  I truly thank God for bringing us here.  Over 30 years ago we completely changed our lifestyle to move onto a farm that had been vacant for 13 years and showed it.  I think we have made a big improvement on the looks of this land and I know it made a big improvement on us.

I hope all of you have an opportunity during this holiday time to reflect on your blessings.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Felters Occupy Reflexions Plus in Allegan

Reflexions Plus is one of the Specialty Shops in and around Allegan, they offer reflexology, massage, acupuncture, Reiki, hypnosis, auricular laser treatments, aromatherapy, yoga, and more.  Last night it was invaded by new felters learning to make Nuno Felt Scarves.
We had a great time and the final scarves were outstanding.  Unfortunately, my talents do not include photography as the colorful layouts and unique designs weren't photographed.  You can see that at times the ladies were deep in concentration (probably counting) but the overall atmosphere of the evening was full of fun.

Another group of ladies will be learning these techniques next week, I will try to get the scarves pictured as well. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

October's Activities

October is a gathering month; when you have trees all around your home, nearly every free minute is spent gathering leaves in the fall.  The summer's weather created a bumper crop of leaves, as well as walnuts, grass and other growing things.  This was good for many - our neighbor baled a late hay crop and the numerous varieties of great Michigan apples are in abundant supply so it is totally lame for me to complain about a few extra leaves and walnuts.  We will finish gathering leaves, squirrels will gather the nuts and some will gather extra foods to put away for winter.

It is also a time to  gather supplies for our crafts, knitters need yarn and felters or spinners need fiber.  Four new colorways of hand dyed yarn are posted to the website; purples and blues Merino fiber selections are restocked as available and new ones added.  This is Lemon, softer yet deeper in shade value than the Yellow and blends well with Gold. I hope we can help with your gathering for winter wool creations.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Felt United 2011 projects

This ensemble was made especially for Felt United 2011, the wool is from our merino rambouillet sheep with 25% kid mohair from a friend's angora goat, all blended and dyed at Zeilinger's of Frankenmuth, Michigan.  The dye colors are red and blue.  When overlaid in the felting process they create the 3rd color of this year's Felt United color scheme. The individual pieces will be shown on the Felt United website along with felted creations from all over the world.

We had a wonderfully sunny day, a little cool but it did not slow down the enthusiasm.  Suzanne Higgs taught our visitors how to felt soap bars while Sue Pufpaff helped them make felted flowers.  Pictures of our event are shown on our website.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fall and the Allegan Co. Fair

You can plan on fall weather arriving during the Allegan County Fair.  The Fair opens the first Friday after Labor Day and lasts for 9 days.  This year, we had lovely weather for me - in the 70's until time for the big parade Tuesday eve, it dropped 20 degrees.  Still we wouldn't miss it.

Tuesday before the hour long parade, I shared an Elephant Ear while walking around all the displays in the Ag and Commercial buildings - saw a pumpkin that weighed over 800 pounds!  Wed. during the Harness Races, I gave in to a bit healthier fare - smoked almonds, oh, almost forgot the vinegar french fries.  Maybe all the walking through the animal barns balanced that out.  Great fun for any age and durn, only a day and half left.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Felt United at Marr Haven October 1, 2011 Noon to 4 pm

This year's colors for feltmakers all over the world are red, blue and purple. This photo is part of one of the pieces I have made for the event.

Suzanne Higgs of Hooked On Felt from Plainwell and Suzanne Pufpaff of Pufpaff’s Fiber Processing from Nashville, both nationally known felt artists and instructors, will give demonstrations of felt making for the public. Felt art and wearable items will be displayed in front of the shop and inside.

All felt makers in the area are invited to bring their felt items to display in the tents in front of the shop. Any items made in this year's colors will be photographed and sent for publication on the Felt United website. For more information, email me at Please come join us for a fun, felting afternoon.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Giant Mitten Cardigan Knit Sweater

I am so in awe of Pam Hinshaw's latest knitting and must admit the 2 color stranded Latvian style pattern is a technique that astounds me. Especially when I read her notes on Ravelry, actually she used 3 different patterns and 2 technique resource books to achieve the uninterrupted design.

The main pattern Pam used is by designer Meg Swansen, Giant Latvian Mitten Cardigan WG67. You can read Pam's note on the special effects she used to create this lovely sweater and see other views of it on the Ravelry page linked above. Pam wrote to me that she "modeled for the photos on the shore of Lake Red Rock in Iowa on a breezy August 10 and the wool was soft and so comfortable". I do appreciate the compliment on our wool yarn.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Felt Tote Bag

This is my first large scale specific design of cutwork, it reminded me of cutting steeks in knitting - more difficult mentally than physically. The colors are based on the 2011 Felt United theme of red, purple and blue. The blended red/purples are hand dyed Marr Haven roving which wrap around to a back side of silver blue/grey.

The bag is 12 inches wide, 14 1/2 inches tall measured to the top of the bag. The strap handles are 7 1/2 inches taller so you can carry it over your shoulder. There is nearly 9 ounces of wool fulled into very dense felt giving the strength needed for whatever might be carried in it.

The strap material is commercially felted wool, polished into extremely tight material that required much soaking and manipulation to open the surface fibers to attach to the bag wool. Pam Wheelock of acquired the felt pieces and allowed me try this.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Felted Bird Pod

I found a way to beat the heat with wet felting, I enjoy the tactileness of felting anyway but cool wet hands in hot weather is very good.

The bird pod shown here was done the very first of the month. My friend, Suzanne Higgs of Hooked on Felt gave me the beautiful locks to incorporate in a pod design. Felting it in July means it will be ready for next year's bird nesting. The main portion of the pod is from a silver grey batt that Suzanne Pufpaff processed for me at her fiber mill.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Allegan Michigan Independence Day Celebration

One of the great things about a small town is the opportunity to join in any and all celebrations. Our Specialty Shops group entered a float in the 4th of July parade and had a fun time tossing candy and riding around town. I am the one with the big hat at the end of the float.

Each shop prepared something for the float to represent the type of business we have. I hand felted a sheep from our merino rambouillet roving and hung it on a wood clothes rack with skeins of our yarn hanging above the sheep. Below is a picture of the rack at home.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Not only Sheep & Horses at Marr Haven

Somehow the wildlife know when hunting season is over and they show themselves around the woods. Lately, they have been closer than usual; like this turkey who is in the front yard about 15 feet from the front door.

She finally moved to the side yard where she could sun herself.

I had some great pics a week ago of two yearling does who walked all around the house then finally went to the horse pasture to graze. Unfortunately I deleted the images on the camera in error and the only picture left was at the far end of the pasture.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Photo could be topic of the "Priceless" commercials.

I have a soft spot in my heart for cute little boys, probably because we have one - although he is all grown up now.

When a customer emailed this picture to show what she knit with our Blue Heather sport yarn, I immediately asked if I could post it here. The sweater design is very pretty with cable patterns on the front and running up the center of the sleeves, truly an heirloom piece. The wooded outdoor setting is a perfect background for the picnic table bench the child is playing on. But the precious flaxen-haired boy with those big blue eyes is priceless.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Fruit trees in full bloom at Marr Haven

This is a view taken from north of the shop door. The cloud like white showing through the new green leaves of the trees beyond the driveway is a very old "winter keeper" apple tree that has many more blooms than usual.

In the fall the apples are as hard as rocks, we pick a couple of bushels to store in the tack room for the horses. The apples ripen after the first frost. The sheep will race to get the drops on the ground if they are let into this area then what is left falls during the winter for the deer and squirrels.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Merino Rambouillet Roving from 2011 Shearing is here.

One big lapful of fresh roving.

This is just one bag of wool roving that was processed for us at Pufpaff's Fiber Processing in Nashville, Michigan. After our wool is shorn and skirted, I deliver it to Suzanne Pufpaff''s mill where she washes it using organic soap. The water is heated using an outside, wood fired hot water boiler system fueled from trees on the family farm. The wool is then air dried on racks in a dedicated drying room making the entire cleaning process extremely eco-friendly and better for the wool.

When dry, the wool goes through a machine called a "picker" to open the fibers. Next the wool is carded ( a combing like step) by a machine called a "carder" which organizes the fiber into roving or batting form. The final step is my next few days work, weighing the roving into smaller amounts for you to enjoy as you spin or felt with it.

Monday, April 25, 2011

May Day Special of Green Heather

We won't have a Maypole but we are celebrating Spring and the green that is now in our lawns, pasture and trees.

The shop will be open Monday the 2nd from 10 am to 4 pm and of course the website will be open 24 hours both days for the sale price.

Order online Sunday or Monday or visit the shop on Monday to get 4 oz. 210 yards worsted skeins for $7.65 each or a full pound of sport weight, 1,750 yards for $30.60. Multiple skeins or cones are okay, only in Green Heather, shipping is not included.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Wool Trivia - we Need to know this.

Lots of interesting information this week from our American Sheep Industry Association.

How about a bright red Ferrari - made of wool. After traveling the world for the past five years, British artist Lauren Porter is seeking a permanent home for her knitted red Ferrari sports car.

The Royal Wedding Merino Suit Finished

A suit made from wool donated by over 200 Australian woolgrowers to celebrate the union of Prince William and Kate Middleton has been finished in anticipation of Britain's royal wedding on April 29. The cloth is made of fibers sent from wool growing properties representing every Australian state.

From Sydney, the donated wool was scoured and combed in Biella, Italy, by Pettinatura di Verrone, before being dyed and spun at Bulmer and Lumb in Bradford. The cloth was then woven by Taylor and Lodge in Huddersfield, United Kingdom, before being tailored into a suit by Anderson and Sheppard in Saville Row. A small sample of the final cloth will be sent to every Australian woolgrower who contributed to the bale.

Lastly, a practical note: The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) will be holding a wool handling school at the John Oswalt farm in Vicksburg, Michigan on May 1-2. To register, contact Zahrah at ASI by calling 303-771-3500, ext. 54 or by email at Additional information is available from Ron Cole, ASI Wool Education Consultant, at or by calling 970-302-4117.

Monday, April 18, 2011

April White Showers Confuse Flowers

Hanging their bright little heads, looks like the daffodils are not enjoying their blanket of snow.

The violets are in full bloom but the snow is deep enough they can't show their pretty faces. Wonder what the snow peas think that were planted last week ?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Spring Colors in Hand dyed Yarn

Like everyone else, I am impatiently waiting for Spring. In the meantime, I tried to create my own with colors that matched my thoughts - or senses.

I want to smell masses of fragrant violets and lilacs.

Little grape hyacinths and regular hyacinths, all of these reminded me of Shades or Purple and/or Blue.

Imperial Crown is one of the early bulbs in our yard, usually before daffodils, this year a little late but it's orange red blossoms last a long while.

The final color in this group is denim, what I will be wearing as I enjoy working outside.