Monday, December 8, 2008

Very FAQs

Okay, some of these AQs are not so very F, but some are very, very so I figured it might be helpful to answer them here. 

1. Where my yarn at?
We get many, many emails every day from anxious shareholders who can't wait to get their hands on their dividends. Believe me when I say we hear you! I know it seems like forever ago that you bought your share and how long does it take to grow and process some yarn anyway? And isn't this a Fall Share so shouldn't I have gotten my yarn in the fall?

Here's how the CSA works. You buy a share in a shearing- let's use Fall 08 as the example here. That means you have a share in the fiber that comes off the animals at the Fall '08 shearing. This year, due to icky weather, we were forced to shear a whole month later than I like to, but it couldn't be helped.

So all the angora goats were sheared on October 25th. Shortly afterwards we took bags and bags (and bags) of mohair fleeces to the mill for processing. The mill estimated a turnaround time of 10-12 weeks, but that was just an estimate, and they do not guarantee delivery dates. Many, many mills are on a 6 month turnaround right now so 10 to 12 weeks is great really.

As soon as the yarn and roving are ready, we pick it up from the mill and we begin the hellish process of shipping. (Several of you lovelies who live nearby have offered to help with the shipping and I hope you know I will be taking you up on it!) It will take at least a week, maybe two to get all the boxes shipped out. 

Then you get your box in the mail, exclaim with delight and spend the next week boring everyone you know to death  showing them the yarn from your sheep. 

Knit and repeat.

I will communicate with you here about the status of your goodies. With the last clip I was on the phone with the mill at least once a week and posted here when the fiber is being washed, being carded, being spun, etc.

I hope that clears it up and I apologize if the process was unclear to any of you. It's my job to make this an enjoyable experience for you and I hate that anybody may have been worried or put out.

2. How much yarn will I get in a share?
We don't know. We really, really don't know. It depends on the amount of fiber the animals shear (varies with the weather, animal health), the number of animals in the heard (number of lambs born, animals lost to illness, etc.) 
You should know that we want you to get as much yarn as possible. An unbelievable number of our shareholders re-up with every offering- something that I am more proud of than just about anything I've ever done.  

3. When will we see the lambcam? 
Soon. Very soon.  We are waiting for the new website to launch and as soon as it's up it will be 24/7 cuteness for your viewing pleasure.

4. What can a non-knitter do to support the farm?
I can't tell you how many emails I get everyday from people who want to be part of what we are doing but have no interest in receiving yarn. It is an amazingly flattering thing to hear but I didn't really have an answer for them until I gave my speech at M.I.T. (see, now that it's over , it was a Speech. And did I mention that it was at M.I.T.?)
After the Speech (at M.I.T.) a share holder named Maria and her husband came over to talk to me and Mr. Maria- sorry, I don't remember his name- suggested that non-knitters would like to support the farm as well. "Maybe they could sponsor a bale of hay and become members of the farm?" At the time I thought Mr. Maria was over-estimating the extent to which people like us, but then I started getting more and more emails asking how they can get involved.

Turns out, Mr. Maria is a genius. Seriously. They should ask him to give a Speech at M.I.T.

We are now offering memberships in the farm for anyone who would like to help out with the (crippling) cost of hay over the winter. Members will be invited to all shareholder events and be welcome to visit the farm on weekends in the winter and anytime in the Spring, Summer and Fall.  Anyone who sponsors 10 or more bales will also receive a Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm 2009 calendar. (Which we wouldn't be able to do if we didn't have so many extra calendars, Patrick.)

I will do a separate post on how to sponsor a bale later today.

5. Can shareholders in the Martha's Vineyard farm visit the Hudson Valley farm and vice versa?
Absolutely. Visit the farm you are closest to or come to both. We'd be hurt if you didn't drop by.


Julie said...

This reminds me- the folks I mentioned to you that do such a fabulous turn around are Spinderalla's and their website is here: (I have no idea if they do orders the size you will have but it's worth checking out.) They are very good with fine fibers and I can say from personal experience you will get back gorgeous roving that's not full of those nasty nepps.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we non-knitter could sponser a goat or a sheep for a year including vet bills, grain, hay, shearing and etc. We could get pictures of our adopted kid or lamb from to time and we can come and see them. What do you think?

Anonymous said...

Here's another "support other stuff" question - is the price the same as a regular share?

Inquiring minds, etc.