Friday, July 27, 2012

The trip to Echoview


Not long ago, I did one of those things most people consider a little crazy.  I had been corresponding with a new mill down in North Carolina, close to Asheville, about processing some of my wool/alpaca blend fiber into yarn and after several emails back and forth and them sending me a sample of their work, I decided to try them.  I was curious to see their facilities and, since I was trusting them with a years worth of fiber production, I opted to deliver my fiber in person, rather than ship it.  The drive was 6 1/2 hours one way and I went down and back in one day.  Thank goodness for Audible!  I downloaded the book, Wild, by Cheryl Strayed and it got me all the way there and back with no problems.  Audible books are a godsend for helping pass the hours when I'm driving alone.  Last year, when I drove to Juniper Moon Farm, in Virginia for culinary camp, I listened to Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand.  I'm happy to recommend both books as good traveling companions.


To say I was impressed when I arrived at Echoview Fiber Mill is an understatement, for sure.  It's a brand new facility that has been thoughtfully planned, with so much of their system ecologically friendly and based on sustainable agricultural practices .  The building itself is bright, clean and modern, with lovely light pouring in through clerestory windows, solar panels on the roof and a water reuse plan already in operation.  When I was there, they had been operating a little over two months and were having their open house that weekend.  Best of all, the people I met there were so friendly, I felt totally at ease leaving my precious fiber in their hands.  Marcia, their wonderful customer service person, took me through the whole building and introduced me to everyone (and said good things about my fiber, which is always nice to hear!).  They have great plans for workshops and camps, so it would be worth your while to sign up for their newsletters.  I wish I had allowed more time for visiting, because the whole experience was lovely.




So, now I'm anticipating the message from them saying my yarn is ready!  I can't wait to see how it turns out.  I'm having them spin a two-ply, worsted weight yarn and my intention is to get right into the dye pots with it, when I bring it home.  You can be sure you'll get to see it here and I'm really hoping to revive my poor neglected Etsy shop, once the yarn is ready.  Since Asheville is one of my favorite places to visit, this time I'm going to allow myself a little time to relax and visit some of the many fiber and art related shops and galleries for a day or so before heading back home.

5 comments:

  1. How exciting for you to have your fiber ready to be picked up! I have been saving my dog, Augie's hair/fur/fiber for the last 5 years when I shave him down in the spring after he's grown out all fall and winter. His hair is like a poodle, so am assuming and hoping that they would refer to poodle hair as exotic fibers. I want to have fur processed so I can knit a shawl from it.
    I look forward to what you make with your lovely fiber.

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  2. always happy to hear about fiber mills. I'm impressed you drove it in one day. Let us know how you like your yarn. I'm thinking I will take our white llama fleeces and have them spun this year since we have mostly white. Might even find some sheep wool to blend with it so it will have memory. I wish I were that close to Asheville.

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  3. Don't you love a good road trip? Echoview looks so well done, it almost makes me want to raise alpaca/sheep and produce my own wool. I can't wait to see your dyed yarn.

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