Knitting by Boat: Part 1 – North Light Fibers

Summer knitting is not just about the stitch, it’s about the memories we make as we prepare for our next projects. Join Rosann Fleischauer on her trip around southern Rhode Island discovering new ports of call and the yarn shops around them.

Dropping lines at Newport, set your GPS for Block Island for a stop at

A - alpaca and barnSummer knitting is not just about the stitch, it’s about the memories we make as we prepare for our next projects. Join Rosann Fleischauer on her trip around southern Rhode Island discovering new ports of call and the yarn shops around them.

Dropping lines at Newport, set your GPS for Block Island for a stop at North Light Fibers. For those of you counting your steps, Paynes Dock and the Block Island Boat Basin are the closest marinas to North Light Fibers. It’s an easy walk from ferry, and if you don’t BYOB (bring your own boat), you can hop a ferry from New London, Newport or Point Judith. Need a lift to the ferry? Amtrak services New London on the Northeast Corridor. The train station and ferry dock are across the street from each other in New London.

From its idylic setting in the middle of a 1661 farm, North Light Fibers offers a wide variety of different yarns manufactured on site at the company’s own micro yarn mill using locally and responsibly sourced fibers. It’s more than just “sheep to shawl” at North Light Fibers. The staff puts its minds to work blending exotic fibers like yak, bamboo, camel, mohair, soy silk and merino into a wide range of colors and weights. When planning your trip, call ahead to secure a spot on the tour, typically held every morning at 10:00 and inquire about available classes or private instruction in knitting, weaving and needle felting.


IMG_0686Knitting by boat map


As you walk through the working farm on the way to the retail outlet and micro yarn mill, you see why so many fiber enthusiasts and ecologically mindful people know this is a special place. The property itself is home to sheep, alpacas, camels, llamas, Scottish highland bulls, kangaroos, emus, yaks, sheep, goats, and even a zedonk.

North Light Fibers produces several different yarns at their micro yarn mill; Water Street (40% cashmere, 60% superfine merino) comes in a DK and worsted weight, Beach Avenue (70% baby alpaca, 30% fine merino) worsted weight, Forever Lace (80% baby alpaca, 20% silk), Ocean Avenue (100% superfine merino) worsted weight, Atlantic (100% Falkland superfine merino) worsted weight, and a selection of specialty blends which include more exotic fibers such as yak, quivet and opossum. In addition, they offer a line of rug yarn manufactured on site.
Given our nautical journey, the first yarn to catch my eye was Atlantic. With the tagline “two islands, two hemispheres and one ocean,” how could I resist? I was particularly drawn to the Teal Inlet colorway as it reminds me of the waters off Montauk Point on a calm day.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


Need a pop of color? Knit up an accessory in Ocean Avenue Rescue Orange or Red Right Return. Ocean Avenue is available in five nautical themed colors sure to delight mariners and non-mariners alike. Need some inspiration to begin your creative process? Knit up Deborah Newton’s Block Island Hat. You will be pleased and so will the Seamans Church Institute (SCI) which receives a donation for each Block Island Hat Kit purchased. The SCI provides educational and support services to the mariners who dedicate their lives to the delivery of goods on the high seas. North Light Fibers’ commitment to the community at large does not stop at the shoreline nor with a single skein of yarn. The company also partners with the Hartford Artisans Weaving Center, Zene-Za-Zena (Women for Women) and local artisans who share their passion for social responsibility. While enjoying the array of products in the retail shop, be sure to check out the beautiful buttons made by local artisan Peter Gibbons and Parker Black’s yarn bowls. yarn ball


14 Laura and skein winder E - Carder-whole-Mill-6 Good SM  Teal Inlet

North Light Fibers, LLC
1661 Farm
129 Spring Street
Block Island, RI 02807
(401) 466-2050
www.northlightfibers.com

Payne’s Dock
Block Island, RI 02807
(401) 466-5572

Block Island Boat Basin
(401) 466-2631
www.blockislandboatbasin.net

Tags:

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *