Pocket Meadow Farm has yarns, knitting & spinning supplies
You'll find assorted yarns of subtle hues, vibrant colors and luxurious fibers and more at Pocket Meadow Farm. The shop is located at 116 Peter Yost Road off Route 9 East several miles from Berkeley Springs. It opened on May 12.
Pocket Meadow Farm carries commercial and hand-spun, hand-dyed yarn from all over the world and felting, as well as knitting and spinning supplies.
Supplies include knitting and spinning books for beginning through advanced projects, knitting patterns, circular and bamboo straight knitting needles, drop spindles, knitting kits and fiber art tools. Fiber arts classes and spinning and knitting groups are also available.
Owner Ellen Kardell offers yarns for knitting, crocheting, spinning and weaving that are mostly natural fiber yarns. Yarns range from basic wools to luxury fibers such as alpaca, mohair, angora, llama and quivit, which comes from musk ox, said Kardell. Her store carries one synthetic blend.
Pocket Meadow Farm has soft alpaca boucle, silk yarns, hand-dyed lace-weight mohair, fingering weight of 100% Merino in rich colors, linen yarn and marled yarn, which is two or three different colored strands spun together.
Linen yarn is pretty rare. It was found in Egyptian tombs, she said. Kardell also carries bamboo yarns and blends. Bamboo yarn is amazingly soft.
Pocket Meadow Farm yarn brands include Brown Sheep, Louet, Plymouth, Blue Ridge Handpaint, Harrisville, Yarns International Shetland 2000, Misty Mountain Farm, Crystal Palace Panda Sock Yarns and Reynolds Odyssey self-striping yarn. The self-striping wool creates a subtle pattern as you knit, she said.
Her main yarn line is Brown Sheep from Nebraska. It's a factory-made yarn that comes in more than 70 subtle shades. She carries 36 of their colors.
"It's like owning the candy store for me," said Kardell of her variety of yarns.
She also carries multi-colored roving and felting, which makes a really dense waterproof hat, she said. Kardell makes felt hats. She will also have some knitted pieces for sale at her new shop.
An artist in many genres
"It's really inspiring for me to be surrounded by this amount of color," said Kardell, who is a knitter, spinner and fabric artist.
Kardell has knitted, sewn and crafted with fiber and fabric since she was eight years old. She taught herself to knit at age nine.
Kardell has been a working artist all her life. She attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y. and studied fine arts. After graduation, Kardell had a leaded glass studio in Washington, D.C. for 20 years and did commissioned commercial work through designers and architects for churches, restaurants and small corporate interiors.
After a five-year corporate job, Kardell moved to Berkeley Springs in October. She was looking for something with more land for animals and a small business-friendly atmosphere, she said.
Raises rare sheep
Kardell has four Leicester Longwool and Border Leicester sheep that she raises. She spins the fleece into her line of Pocket Meadow Farm Longwool Yarns. She also has two Angora goats.
The Leicester Longwool fleece is nearly 10 inches long. It doesn't do well in big mill machines, but small mills can handle it, said Kardell. The sheep fell out of favor but the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation brought them back, she said. There's fewer than 5,000 registered Leicester Longwools in the world, said Kardell. She wants to promote rare and interesting wools.
Resurgence in industry
In the last 10 to 15 years, the whole alpaca industry and rare breed sheep industry has grown, said Kardell. There has also been a resurgence in hand knitting, she said.
She spins because it's meditative and historical. The thing about making your own yarn is that no one else will have it, she said.
"People have done it for a millennium," said Kardell of spinning.
Kardell's new love is tapestries and weaving.
Classes, fiber arts groups
Summer classes at Pocket Meadow Farm include a beginning knitting class and a knitted lace workshop for intermediate knitters. Lacework is her specialty, said Kardell.
Kardell wants to establish knitting and spinning groups at her farm. She belonged to about six groups where she used to live. She hopes to build a community of people doing fiber arts and crafts.
"Fiber arts are very social," she said.
Pocket Meadow Farm has a lunchtime knitting group from noon until 1:30 p.m. every Wednesday and a Tuesday spinning and knitting group from 7 to 9 on the second Tuesday of the month. Everyone is welcome to bring their fiber arts project. Kardell can offer some hands-on assistance. Call to confirm.
Pocket Meadow Farm is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday from 12 to 4 p.m. and other times by appointment.
For more information about Pocket Meadow Farm, call 258-9702.