Yarn? What? You may be wondering how or why a pick your own fruit farm would be selling yarn. It is, after all, not a typical product of fruit farmers in the country. But… anyone who knows me knows that I am not typical. My college pastor liked to call me “eccentric.” Not sure what that meant exactly to him, but to me it means that I like to think outside the box… which is how we ended up here!
Last July I had the unfortunate experience of dislocating two of my ribs, and because of this injury I wasn’t allowed to do field work for many months. It was frustrating to see weeds growing and not be able to hoe or do much about it. I needed to find something else to do that could benefit our farm, so I turned to another passion of mine… yarn and knitting.
In June of 2016 I was blessed to attend a fabulous knitting retreat in Rochester where I took a class on dyeing yarn with Kool-aid, and it got me thinking, “What else could I dye yarn with?” And thus began the experimentation. I began to read anything I could about natural dyeing. I tried berries and juices first and quickly learned that although concord grape juice makes a beautiful color, it is not very colorfast or washfast.
From here I moved onto plants and wildflowers and this is where I found my new love. The amazing colors that can be coaxed from the plants, roots and bark of nature’s beauty continue to astound me. I would never think birch bark could give me a pink color… but with just the right pH of the water used to dye in, and a little bit of practice and luck, waalah!
Out of all this fun and experimentation has come our new product line, Berry Fun Yarns. Like farming, it is a labor of love… but I do like to do things by hand. It is just who I am.
For those who have come to love our fruit, no worries. We will always be a fruit farm first! But this yarn thing is just so much fun for me. It makes my heart sing in ways that it hasn’t for quite some time. So for now, you can expect to see me dyeing yarn as much as I can, depending on interest in the product. In the coming weeks we hope to have it available for purchase online via our website, and in the spring, hopefully at the Rochester Downtown Farmers Market as well as at the farm.
So…if you are a lover of beautiful, hand-dyed yarn or know someone who is, check it out. Follow me on Instagram or Ravelry where I am berryfunmom. Let me know what you think. Ask anyone in my household, I will never turn down an opportunity to talk yarn!