Seacoast Fiber Fest

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On Sunday I visited the beautiful Riverslea Farm in Epping, NH, to check out the Fiber Fest.  I managed to lure my husband along with me after I reminded him that this is the farm that produces the goat pate that he discovered at the farmer’s market, and now can’t live without.
The farm raises goats and sheep for meat and wool products, and has a wonderful shop on the premises that is open year round to sell their products.I am enjoying my visits to various kinds of area farms.  It’s clear that they’re all trying so hard to be creative and find ways to keep their way of life viable in today’s world.

Lots of vendors and demonstrators were set up in a meadow next to the barn, and they brought along their animals.

There were alpacas
and sheep
And this guy was spinning angora yarn right from the back of his rabbit!!
The farm’s ‘guard llama’

The story behind the llama is interesting…

“For years we had coyotes and other predators living around us but never harming our livestock. As the forests and hay fields in southern New Hampshire have rapidly turned into house lots, this has changed. We have had to introduce guard animals to protect our sheep and goats. We chose llamas. The llama lives full-time with its herd or flock, eats the same food and requires all the same care. Llamas have proven to be more effective guards than dogs or donkeys and we get the benefit of their beautiful wool.”

This is a circa 1920s sock knitting machine!  The finished sock is coming out at the bottom.

The farm sells woven striped and plaid blankets from its virgin wool.  They send the wool to one of the last remaining mills, on Prince Edward Island, Canada, that can weave these kind of vintage style blankets.  The prices are very reasonable ($75 for a twin size)

Riverslea sells the blankets through the mail here.


    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    Brownieville Girl
    August 17, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Nearly enough to get me knitting (and that says alot!!!)

  • Reply
    August 17, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    oooooo THAT kind of fibre! I was waiting for the pictures of wheat and bran! I am in desperate need of some really cool wool…maybe angora?? no..alpaca or lama I think….siiiigh a million patterns at the ready with dark stormy days ahead….

  • Reply
    August 17, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    What gorgeous colours and animals! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    August 17, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    I loved this post and your photos were terrific. I do, however, wonder about the poor rabbit. Do you think he’ll be scarred for life 🙂 Have a wonderful day, Sue. Hugs and blessings…Mary

  • Reply
    Sue/the view from great island
    August 17, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Kary—I want that sock machine, too!

  • Reply
    Sue/the view from great island
    August 17, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Susan—I picked up a million brochures at the farm, and it seems like there’s quite a large network of fiber fans spread out across New England. I did see one, the NH Wool Arts Tour, Oct 8,9 and 10, that includes 6 farms… Might be worth getting on a few mailing lists.

  • Reply
    Susan Lindquist
    August 17, 2011 at 12:18 am

    Great post! I wishI’d had the free time to make that event … could have been there in about an hour! Shoot! Your photos are killer … especially the close-up of the black and white ‘guard llama’ and that cluster of wool skeins!

    PS I want that shawl!

  • Reply
    My Farmhouse Kitchen
    August 16, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    what a GREAT post !!!! loved it all…the animals…that man spinning the hair from his DARLING the sock knitting machine..wish i had one !!!! i loved it all…such cute animals

    wish i lived closer

    enjoyed my visit
    kary and teddy