November 2007


Originally uploaded by The Woolley Farm.

Look what I found on the way in from the barn to the house. Apparently 3 of “The Girls” decided to lay their eggs in a little nest in the flower garden. We have a beige, a white, & a speckled brown. I tell the grandkids that the speckled brown ones are chocolate eggs. I think they might believe me. Maybe I’ll blow one out and fill it with chocolate and then start chomping on it in front of them!! They’d freak!!


Originally uploaded by The Woolley Farm.

Look at Ashcrofts head—it’s healing quite nicely after his horrific fight with Trubador two weeks ago. There was blood everywhere, Trub lost half an ear and I could hear the crashing of skulls & horns 2 fields away inside the house. It was awful. Had to separate them using the PT Cruiser and a lawn rake till Brandon got home to help. Keep in mind that those horns grow outta the skulls—they rarely break off and Ashcroft weighs 150 pounds. Talk about lethal weapons! Usually he’s friendly and affectionate, but during mating season, he can’t help it—he charges & attacks everything & everybody.


Originally uploaded by The Woolley Farm.

Yoda (behind) and Murphy stand guard at the gate just waiting for a sheep or goat to try jumping the fence. Yoda is our newest Border Collie Rescue foster dog. He’ll be going up for adoption next week. check out for details.


Originally uploaded by The Woolley Farm.

Poto Kwanee likes to come over to the fence every morning to say “Hi”. Originally she was the shyest, most stand-offish girl, but now she loves people and being scratched. She’s my favorite cashmere!


Originally uploaded by The Woolley Farm.

Cinnamon and Katy, the worlds fattest pygoras. That’s not all hair, folks! These girls are HUGE!


Originally uploaded by The Woolley Farm.

Yesterday while in Portland for a board meeting, I stopped at the newly opened Tess Yarns, on Spring St, 1 block down from the Civic Center. It was a tiny shop, great lighting, very clean, and oh-my-gawd — the colors just hit you in waves when you walk thru the door. The shop carries all of their own yarns and has exclusive patterns made just for them as well.

Melinda named her business after her daughter Tess 20 years ago, when the single mom moved to an old farmhouse on the edge of the ocean 4 hours North of Portland. Sounds very romantic, but if any of you have actually been to Maine in the winter (the 10 months OTHER than July & August), you will be shuddering in horror.

I introduced myself and at first, Melinda seemed a little reserved and quiet. Then I started petting the HUGE cat that was sprawled out on the little seat (he feels as soft as cashmere, due to a diet of kibble and Maine field mice). Then something just ‘clicked’ and Melinda & I talked & talked & talked. We have so much in common! And she’s funny. And she gave me chocolate ( my faves Snickers & Twix). All this time, she let me pet all the skeins hanging all over the shop.

Nothing is wrapped & curled—they are all just bursting loose skeins, exploding with color. No real bright primary crayon colors—just colors that you can’t quite put a name to—-is it teal, purple, blue, green or just “So Pretty I’m Drooling” Blue??

OK you all know I’m a blue/teal person. I tried to pick out a celery green but then Melinda just showed me the varigated blue and well, I ripped it outta her hands and yelped “MINE!!!” The 3 skeins are 50% merino and 50% silk and it’s wonderfully soft & shiny & shimmery. I’m going to make a little cabled tank top. I knit slow, so it should be ready for next summer. Melinda said “Oh, you can wear it to the Manchester show in your booth!” The clever girl thought I really would, but then I decided I’d probably be stripped by my daughter for not wearing something from our own shop at these shows.

Tess Yarns cannot wholesale. Not because she doesn’t want to, but because she can’t cut her prices and make any profit for herself. She sells primarily thru shows right now and is working on beefing up her website and promotion on the net.

So if you’re in Portland, stop in and say “Hi” to Melinda or Tess. I know, I know, most other shops wouldn’t promote the competition, but really, we sell totally different things and I am just so happy to have met Melinda and to have some Tess Yarns in my current stash.

PS: I know Melinda wasn’t “bred & born” in Maine, but I was. I’m 7th generation Maine, so I have the power to make her a real, true, Maine-iac. *POUF* I hereby officially grant Melinda of Tess Yarns the title of TRUE MAINER!!! We’ve got to keep this treasure right here!


Originally uploaded by The Woolley Farm.

Another view of the Tess yarn. Note the subtle color changes and how big & fat the hanks are. Each hank is dyed on Melinda’s kitchen stove, by hand, by just Melinda, one at a time. If you could see her shop, you would be amazed that all that yarn came from one person & one kitchen!!

This is how you wished ALL your handpainted/handdyed yarn would look like. Melinda is truly a color artist. She says her brother is the one with the artistic talent, but I beg to differ!

Melinda came from the mid-west to Maine over 20 years ago, and lives on the edge of the ocean in an old house. She dearly loves water===the ocean, the lakes, swimming like a fish. Her colorways have that ‘under-water garden’ feel to them—no abrupt color changes, soft swaying little pools melting & merging & shifting. *sigh*

If I get hit by a truck tomorrow, everyone bring a skein of Tess Designer Yarn to put in my casket. And a pair of needles…

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