Archive | February, 2013

Everything Old is New Again…

19 Feb

Welcome to the blog for the Saco River Mill, Yarns & Textiles store.  We are located in Building 13 of the old Westpoint Pepperell Mill in Biddeford, ME (a straight shot across Main Street from the end of Alfred Street).

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The store was created to be the retail presence for the Saco River Dye House, a newly installed dye house using re purposed dye house equipment from the former JCA dye house in Pepperell, MA.  In operation since October, they are definitely keeping busy skein dyeing yarn for former customers of the old dye house as well as adding for new clients like Quince & Co. and SuriPaco.

A few weeks ago, a post appeared on the discussion board of my knitting group on Ravelry advertising that the dye house was looking to open a retail store.  The following day I hunted down the owners and secured an interview and a week ago today, I came on board as a partner and manager of Saco River Mill, Yarns & Textiles.

Here’s what the space looked like last Monday:

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The door leading to the "seconds" room and the dye house offices.

The door leading to the “seconds” room and the dye house offices

The front door

The front door

The space was full of fixtures and inventory from the warehouses associated with the old mill.  The project before us last week required that we pull the store together by Saturday so that we could accommodate a tour of the dye house that had been scheduled for a charity knitting group.  But as you know and as I have said at least a half dozen times in the past week, there is nothing like company to get the house pulled together!

So on a snowy Saturday, we welcomed a group representing the Maine Mitten Project.  A group of knitters who have taken on the task of making 1600 pairs of mittens for holiday boxes distributed by the Maine Children’s Home.  Each knitter received a free pound of yarn to put toward their mitten making and also received a tour of the dye house.

Deb, a.k.a. DebD007 on Ravelry explains the Maine Mitten Project.

Deb, a.k.a. DebD007 on Ravelry explains the Maine Mitten Project.

Claudia welcomes the group and shares the background history of the dye house.

Claudia welcomes the group and shares the background history of the dye house

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And the tour begins..Dye.

The dye tub where the colorful "magic" happens.

The dye tub where the colorful “magic” happens

Newly dyed and very wet yarn goes into the industrial "salad spinner" to remove excess water.

Newly dyed and very wet yarn goes into the industrial “salad spinner” to remove excess water

Going from a loose skein to a twisted skein at the speed of light! ;)

Going from a loose skein to a twisted skein at the speed of light! 😉

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This machine measures, cuts, and labels the smaller skeins of rug yarn.

This machine measures, cuts, and labels the smaller skeins of rug yarn.

Creating yarn "cakes".

Creating yarn “cakes”.

Dave shows how yarn goes from cones to skeins to be dyed.

Dave shows how yarn goes from cones to skeins to be dyed.

I spend all day trying NOT to touch the gorgeous yarn as it dries on the racks!

I spend all day trying NOT to touch the gorgeous yarn as it dries on the racks!

I think everyone really enjoyed seeing how the beautiful fibers they use, come to possess the colors that inspire the handmade finished objects they create.  I know I really enjoyed seeing everyone in my shop!  While we are not yet 100% up and running, the store is open Monday-Friday and in the very near future I hope to post regular store hours and announce the official opening of the store.  So, if you are in the neighborhood, come on by and say hello, have a cup of coffee and talk about yarn!

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