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44clovers' Shop Announcement

July 1st, 2015
Thanks for stopping by! It's been a quick but very eventful 3 weeks since I put my shop on vacation mode. The day I did that, I had spent the day dyeing and was on my feet all day. The next morning my water broke and my son was born 2 days later!! He came 3 weeks early!!! The day I went on "vacation" I had a feeling I needed to do something with my shop soon just in case. I've been recovering nicely and it's really helped my spirits to be able to be back into my dyeing. At some point this summer, I'll have all new yarns availble in the form of my Maine Island and Icelandic wools. And this time with shades from lichens and mushrooms added to the mix. Stay tuned!

Hello, Welcome to my shop, 44 Clovers! I am one person who does all the creating and running of this shop from my studio at home here on Peaks Island, Maine. My back ground is in Visual Art with a special love of working with textiles. I select freshly shorn fleeces from Maine farmers along with the occasional fleece while traveling or roving from farmers on my travels such as at farmer's markets. The wool that is hand selected by me is then processed with as low an impact on the environment as possible.

The dyes I use are hand foraged by me near my home or on my travels. I also use pigments derived from plants that were also sustainably grown & harvested. With my dye methods, depending on the color, I use both solar heat or electric heat, depending on the color. I recycle as much water as I am able, also using rainwater, sea water, and snow in the winter months. I love reusing dye baths as I get interesting color variations and it saves water.

With my textiles, I recycle vintage linens and my old clothes to rework into other fabric creations. I do have quite the fabric stash.

Below I've written about the story of each component of my work and how the creative process began.

For the Love of Sheep~
I've always been fascinated with sheep and would take them as my spirit animal. I like to think it was all meant to be as my name means Little Ewe in Hebrew, my sign is an Aries, the Ram and I was born on Easter morning. As a little girl I knew one day I would make what ever it was that was made from sheep's wool. Living in Bowdoinham, Maine, we lived in beautiful country and I spent the majority of my childhood in the fields and woods carrying around my parent's copy of the Reader's Digest of North American Plants and Animals. I was fascinated with the lichens, moss, fern and mushrooms most of all. I feel a kindred connection whenever I see a sheep and I feel very content when working with raw wool

Love of Spinning~
I've been working with wool since I was 13 when a neighbor taught me the basics of knitting. I picked it up more fervently in college and soon taught myself my own version of mittens and hats. For several years I never worked from a pattern until I discovered the first Stitch N Bitch Book. I knit the Kool-Aid dyed sweater and did it exactly like the pattern. I also taught myself to spin using a Turkish drop spindle from Peace Fleece. I made the funkiest chunkiest yarn which made great mittens. For the last 8 years, I've been spinning with a Mazurka Kromski spinning wheel made in Poland. She's part of the family. I love recommending this wheel to others.

Love of Yarn~
The yarn I now make has been a metamorphosis of experiences and I've come full circle back to the soft chunky spun that I love to knit. This style of spinning also features the wool I use quite nicely. I use an upright single treadle Kromski spinning wheel. All the wool I spin into yarn and then dye is spun from fleeces of a variety of animals raised here in Maine. My favorite wool to work with is Island sheep, Finn, and Shetland.

Love of Dyeing~
For dyeing, I've been growing a mountain of Indigo and collect goldenrod for my yarn. For other plants, I collect them along the road sides. I enjoy featuring the soft delicate colors of the North East and will occasionally mix in powered plant pigments from other regions such as madder, cochineal. I also enjoy experimenting with solar dyeing methods. One of my latest favorites is hand collecting my red geranium petals and creating a deep earthy orange through solar dyeing on wool with alum.

Love of Textiles~
When I was old enough to iron, my mother let me take down the box of linens and scraps from the hall closet. They were woven linens with stitched embroidery, lace edging, and silky fabric scarps from my mother's sewing. I relished looking at these pieces of fabric. I soon tried to make my Sylvester stuffed kitty his own clothes. I loved spending my time doing and creating something. As a young teenager, my older sister introduced me to thrifting at the local Goodwill. I would bring a bag of clothing home of colorful dresses from the sixties that no one could fit into. I couldn't throw them away because I loved the fabric. I then started making quilts. I made one for each of my sisters and my self. I then started making pillows from dresser scarves and bags. Over the years I've collected and have inherited boxes of vintage linens, doilies, hankies, it's never ending. I recently came back from a trip visiting my grandmother who gave me multiple boxes of un finished tatting, lace work, linens and books. I love using these fabrics for useful items for today.

Follow along with my process at 44clovers.blogspot.com, 44clovers.com, and 44clovers at FB, instagram, twitter, and pinterest.

This shop accepts Etsy Gift Cards.