Tuesday October 2, 2012

DUMMERSTON -- It won’t be difficult to trace the source of yarn available for sale at Deb Titus’ new shop on Sweet Tree Farm.

She’ll just point to the wall at Wool ‘n Stuff, where she has hung photos of her sheep and alpacas bearing names such as Trooper, Pearl and Jolly.

"I can say exactly where it’s from," Titus said. "They can go and look at the animals."

Titus and her husband, Charlie, have run Sweet Tree Farm for eight years. Situated along busy Route 5 in East Dummerston, the farm is known for grass-fed beef that is free of hormones and antibiotics.

"That’s going along pretty well now," Titus said of thrice-weekly beef sales at the farm. "Everybody realizes the benefits of grass-fed beef."

Now, Titus wants to take the concept of food transparency -- knowing a food product’s source -- and apply it to wool produced by her sheep and alpacas.

That’s how Wool ‘n Stuff was born. Today, Titus plans an open house from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. featuring spinning demonstrations, woven goods and yarn from local farms.

Titus said her spinning teacher, Patty Blomgren, will offer demonstrations, specialty items and naturally dyed, hand-spun yarn.

The open house also will feature Cathy McKenny of Ibiwisi Alpacas in Westminster and Betsy MacIsaac of Crooked Fence Farm in Putney.

After Tuesday’s event, Wool ‘n Stuff will be open during Sweet Tree Farm’s beef-sale hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 p.


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m. to 7 p.m. (one hour earlier after daylight-saving time ends) and on Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Titus said she plans to focus on her own hand-spun yarn and specialty roving from Sweet Tree Farm. She touts spinning as relaxing and relatively inexpensive, and she believes there is a "good market" for growth.

"I’m having fun with this," Titus said. "I think more people should try it."

Mike Faher can be reached at mfaher@reformer.com or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.