July 2017 News

"An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail" Edwin Land


It is July already! Where does time go? Our fiber adventure continues! Every day at the shop we get to meet wonderful new, creative and inspiring people.

June was filled with fun events and classes. Our first ever Cricket Club meeting was so much fun! Our second beginning spinning class and intermediate spinning class started and we hosted a World Wide Knit in Public Day event. We also set up a booth at the Madison Village Community Social where our sheep shaped cookies were a huge hit!



We have slowed down a bit on classes for July and August but will have more coming soon when the summer slows down. Keep an eye on the website for a one-day fleece processing class, a rug punching class with Kathy Donavon in October, and much more. We continue to offer beginner knitting and crochet classes by appointment. Register on-line, call or stop in the shop!


New Supplies and Fibers

Are you crazy for hand painted yarn? If you are or if you have never seen or created with it, you have to check out our new line of hand painted yarn from Tina’s Twisted Fibers! The colors are brilliant and stunning!

We have made up some really wonderful 100% wool 2 oz. dryer ball bags! It is time to replace your dryer sheets with these energy saving and static reducing dryer balls.

 We also have in new books, stitch markers and more!

Rare Breed News

We have gotten some wonderful new rare breed fibers in over the last month including, Gulf Coast Native, Florida Cracker, Karakul, and Navajo Churro. We are working on getting them out in the shop and on the website!

The Santa Cruz raw fleece was re-homed very quickly! If you missed out now worries! We are hand processing the other three fleeces and will have some gorgeous Santa Cruz yarn in the shop soon!

Fiber Review

So, Jane Stewart, who is spinning and knitting little swatches for each of the different breeds of sheep fleece we get into the shop, had this to say about the Barbados Blackbelly;

"Barbados Blackbelly Wool. This was an interesting experience. I have always said I've never met a natural fiber I didn't like...well...until now. There was no combing or carding this fiber! The only thing I could do was try to pull it apart into something resembling roving. It has a very fine, short undercoat and stiff, wiry top coat.

Spinning was not pleasant and knitting was worse! The only thing this fiber would be good for is pot scrubbers or baling twine."

I don't know for sure, but I am getting the feeling that she really enjoyed working with this particular fiber. Though she did also add that she thinks it is actually way worse to work with than the Romanov!

I wonder if anyone could find a way to make the Barbados Blackbelly and the Romanov a bit more user-friendly? If you do be sure to let us know!

blackbellyspinning        blackbellysample

Farm News

Last month we realized that our dream of expanding our flock of Romeldale/CVM sheep was not going to come to fruition. Because negotiations for the land behind us and renting the land on the other side was not a feasible long-term option, we had to choose to either sell and relocate to a place with more land or stay here and downsize our existing flock and take our fiber adventure in a different direction. We made the decision to stay here to be near family, friends and of course the shop!

After taking Frank and Marilyn back to their original farm, we received bittersweet news regarding the seven remaining ewes. It was actually really great news but it is still hard to imagine not having our whole flock here with us (we are keeping the rams! I refused to re-home Humphrey).


Anyway, after a referral from a friend, we had contacted John at the Veterans Healing Farm in Henderson, North Carolina in regard to donating some of our flock to a veteran or a veteran's organization. Well, this past week John got back in touch with me and said they would love to accept the donation of all of our girls!

So, Vivian Leigh, Katharine Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman, Lauren Bacall, Rita Hayworth, Debbie Reynolds, and Dorothy Dandridge will all be relocating to North Carolina where they will become therapy sheep for veterans.


Coming Soon

We Have a Lot of Plans for Bracken Moss Farm Fine and Rare Fibers

  • Our first breed specific knitting pattern is complete and will be available in the shop soon! We are going to put together a kit that will include the pattern, a Skein of yarn from that particular breed of sheep and any accessory that goes with the pattern then, a percentage of the sale will be donated to a conservancy program for that breed. What a great thing to be a part of!
  • Spinning Club
  • Breed of the month club and other breed specific adventures
  • Video Podcast
  • Meet and Greet with Humphrey, one of our Romeldale/CVM sheep at our farm (will be held by appointment only 


Rare Breeds

Rare Breed News

I am sure everyone who knows me, and those of you getting to know me, are figuring out that my ‘thing’ in the fiber world is where the plant and animal fibers come from. With my investigation and research background firmly in place, I love to find rare things! Now, instead of looking for people, I get to look for fibers!

So, guess what I scored for our little shop two days ago? Four Santa Cruz raw fleeces! That’s right! Our little shop in Madison, Ohio is going to have Santa Cruz raw fleece!  Santa Cruz are on the National Livestock Conservancy’s list of critically endangered breeds along with, Romeldale/CVM, Florida Cracker, Gulf Coast/gulf Coast Native, and Hog Island.

National Livestock Conservancy

One of our goals at the shop is to acquire raw fleece, roving/combed top, felt and yarn from each of the rare breeds. Though we don’t have all of these for each of the different breeds, we have at least something from Romeldale/CVM and Hog Island and we now have Santa Cruz on the way and have found sources for Florida Cracker and Gulf Coast/Gulf Cost native.

By purchasing raw fleece and other fiber products produced with the fleece from these breeds, we are all doing our part to support the shepherds who raise these rare breeds which in turn helps to save the breeds! Very exciting!



Holy buckets! I am not sure what exactly I was expecting when we decided to go ahead, two years before scheduled, and open the fiber shop last March. Everything has been so much more than I could have imagined. I have met so many new friends and seen friends I haven’t in thirty years! Thank you so much to everyone who has dropped in to say hi, hang out and work on projects, and to just see what’s going on at the new shop in town!

People’s interest, at every level, and in every aspect of fiber arts has really taken me by surprise and has encouraged me to bring fiber art supplies to the lovely people who visit our shop and our on-line clients as well!

The willingness of the ‘old timer’s’ to share what they know is so heartwarming! As is people’s patience with me while I am learning along with everyone else!

I love coming to the shop each day and seeing who will come through the door and what I will learn because wow, am I learning a lot! 

The Macabre Story of Wool Combs and St. Blaise

We received our shipment of St. Blaise wool combs today! Little did we know there is a story behind the name of these combs....

The Legend of St. Blaise

SOD 0203 SaintBlaise 790x480

The story of the namesake of these Viking type of wool combs is a bit macabre, to say the least! According to legend, "...Blaise was a good bishop, working hard to encourage the spiritual and physical health of his people. Although the Edict of Toleration (311), granting freedom of worship in the Roman Empire, was already five years old, persecution still raged in Armenia. Blaise was apparently forced to flee to the back country. There he lived as a hermit in solitude and prayer, but he made friends with the wild animals. 

One day a group of hunters seeking wild animals for the amphitheater stumbled upon Blaise’s cave. They were first surprised and then frightened. The bishop was kneeling in prayer surrounded by patiently waiting wolves, lions, and bears.

The legend has it that as the hunters hauled Blaise off to prison, a mother came with her young son who had a fish bone lodged in his throat. At Blaise’s command, the child was able to cough up the bone.

Agricolaus, governor of Cappadocia, tried to persuade Blaise to sacrifice to pagan idols. The first time Blaise refused, he was beaten. The next time he was suspended from a tree and his flesh torn with iron combs or rakes. Finally, he was beheaded." (source: https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-blaise/)


Welcome to Bracken Moss Farm Fine and Rare Fibers

Welcome to Bracken Moss Farm Fine and Rare Fibers!

This has been a crazy adventure so far! it was just the week before Christmas 2016 while I was in Kuwait visiting my husband Alex, who is working on a project there, that we decided to go ahead with plans for the shop, two years ahead of schedule! What are we thinking?!

Me: "But, Alex, I don't know what I'm doing! All I do is raise sheep and it is probably more the grace of God that they have not died not any skill of mine!"

Alex: "No worries Princess, you can do this!"

You may be asking, "What is it that you want to do?" Well, here at Bracken Moss Farm Fine and Rare Fibers, we exist to share our passion for fibers and the plants and animals they come from. We strive to help others create their own experiences through their exploration in fiber arts.

As we search near and far for fiber sources, we seek to share our findings with our clients, all the while building lasting relationships with our suppliers, wherever they may be.

So, here we are exactly two weeks after our exciting Grand Opening celebration! The Grand Opening was so much fun! Alex flew home for two days just to be here and support me! He is the best husband ever! And, my family was here and so many friends and even people I didn't know showed up to show their support for our little shop!

We had a small wine tasting with wines from Maple Ridge Winery ( http://www.mapleridgevineyard.com/index.html ) a boutique winery here in Madison, Ohio. We also a variety of cheeses from Mayfield Road Creamery (http://mayfieldroadcreamery.com/index.html ) Orwell, Ohio!  The talented Cat Lilly played the keyboard and sang in her beautiful voice which really created a relaxing atmosphere!

After our great start, we are finishing up the website inventory, getting the POS system set up and getting started with classes! The classes we have planned so far are:

Knitting and Crochet

Wednesday’s 4:30-7:00pm Beginning Wednesday, March 15, 2017 Elizabeth Tinck of Madison will be in the shop and available to teach from basic to more advanced knitting and crochet. This is a very informal class arrangement. You can stop in for in for as long as you like and receive basic instruction or help with more specific knitting or crochet issues you may be having with your project. Please feel free to bring your own supplies and projects though of course we hope you will find something you love in our shop! The cost for instruction is only $10.00 per session! No minimum number of participants for these sessions and no registration required!

Beginning Crochet

March 26, 2017 2:00-5:00pm (and every other Sunday thereafter) If you have ever wanted to learn to crochet or if it has been awhile and you need a refresher this is the place for you!  Terra Rowland will be teaching beginner level crochet every other Sunday. All you need is $20.00 per class, size H or I crochet hook and a skein of yarn. You are welcome to bring in your own supplies though of course we hope you will purchase them at the shop! There are no minimum number of participants for these classes and no registration required!                                                

Beginning Drop Spindle

March 25, 2017 Kate McLaughlin will be teaching an introductory-level spinning class designed for those who have either never spun before or those who are just beginning to spin. We will discuss types of fibers used for spinning and the processes required to prepare fiber for spinning. The primary focus of the class will be on learning to use your drop spindle, drafting, and control of your fiber, and producing singles yarn of different thicknesses. We will also be covering how to prepare your yarn for use once you’re finished spinning it. The cost of this class is $20.00 plus the cost of supplies (2 oz. of roving and a bottom whorl drop spindle) which can, of course, be purchased at the shop! If you have a bottom whorl drop spindle you are welcome to bring it and use it for the class or you can borrow one from the shop! The minimum number of participants for this class is 5. Registration is required for this class. This class will be from 6:00-8:00pm.

Beginning Spinning

Beginning April 1, 2017 Kate McLaughlin will be teaching a four-week beginner spinning wheel class. Kate’s love affair with spinning began at the age of nine when she saw a woman spinning at a historic festival. She began taking spinning lessons and has been spinning ever since. In the nearly 20 years since her first encounter with the fiber arts, Kate has sold her yarn at shops, festivals, and online. In addition, she has given countless presentations and demonstrations about spinning and has spun a variety of fibers ranging from alpaca to dog hair and nearly everything in between. Kate currently resides in Pierpont, Ohio with her husband, son, and an assortment of four-legged friends

This class is an introductory-level spinning class designed either for those who have never spun before or those who are just beginning to spin. We will discuss types of fibers used for spinning and the processes required to prepare fiber for spinning. The primary focus of the class will be on learning to use your wheel, drafting, and control of your fiber, and producing singles yarn of different thicknesses. We will also be covering how to prepare your yarn for use once you’re finished spinning it.

The cost of this class is $60.00. This includes four ounces of Romeldale/CVM roving, use of a spinning wheel and instruction. The maximum number of participants is 5. Registration is required for this class.

Class dates and times:

Saturday April 1, 2017           6:00-7:00pm ish

Saturday April 8, 2017           6:00-7:00pm ish

Saturday April 22, 2017        6:00-7:00pm ish

Saturday April 29, 2017        6:00-7:00pm ish

So, we are off and running! We hope to see you in the shop soon!!