Jagger Spun, Maker’s Way, Kimberly Crichton Studio: We set out on a lovely Spring day to visit Stash, a yarn shop adjacent to the Jagger Spun Spinnery in Springvale, Maine. We called it “far” Western Maine because this trip routed us from Southern Maine along our far western border with New Hampshire: Sanford, Springvale, Hiram, Fryeburg, Center Lovell, Norway and South Paris.
The Jagger family first came to Maine in the 1880’s. Certain members of the family were experienced in working at spinneries overseas. In Maine, they established a worsted spinning operation in 1906 which operated in a South Sanford location until 1956. That year, the company moved to Springvale and has been producing 100% wool and wool blends ever since. Jagger Spun maintains fourteen lines of yarns in up to 54 shades of color. Weavers and knitters throughout the US and beyond prize these yarns. Staff member Susan Mills—also a knitter—showed us around. We did not get to see the spinning or dyeing operations, but we did learn of a new showroom for planned classes in the works for the Fall.
Then, it was off to Maker’s Way Studio, a new shop in Sanford with a lovely array of yarns, patterns, books, notions and fabrics. Melly is shop owner, garment sewer, knitter, teacher and all-around inspiration. Mary Lou, traveling with us, purchased four yards of lightweight gauzy apricot linen which she intends to eco-print, along with a pattern for a duster coat pattern to sew. Maker’s Way is a lovely shop. They host a regular Tuesday Night Maker’s Group and have several workshops coming up.
After traveling north through Hiram and Fryeburg, we reached our designated resting spot—Center Lovell Inn. As luck would have it, owner Rose is a fabulous chef and we had amazing breakfasts.
Later that evening, it was on to the studio of Kimberly Crichton. Kimberly is an artist who recently moved from the city of Portland to a small town in Western Maine to create her own home and to further her artistic practice. Kimberly told us of several interesting fiber artists living and working in the area: Wade Kavanaugh in Bethel (check out “striped canary” on Instagram); Pamela Moulton who works in Lovell but has a studio in Brunswick; Hewnoaks Artist Residency, an arts program drawing artists from Maine, New York, and beyond; and others. Kimberly’s new house came with lavish perennial gardens, and she is incorporating pressed dried blossoms into her works of art that involve painting, printing and stitching. On this Spring night, she served us fresh-picked asparagus and a warm rhubarb crumble.