When we purchased our first spinning wheel nearly 20 years ago, we never imagined what we were getting ourselves into. As Greek Orthodox Christian nuns (http://holynativityconvent.com/splash-page.html), our simple life is centered around the daily cycle of church services, prayer, and our handicrafts. We support ourselves with the work of our hands, mainly by dipping beeswax candles, sewing religious vestments, making wooden engraved icons, and also hand-painting icon panels and canvases for walls of churches.
After learning to spin, I soon discovered blended batts. Then I remembered that a friend who once had a small alpaca farm had given us a drum carder, so I started experimenting with blending exactly what I wanted to spin. With my painter's background, it was natural for me to extend my love of mixing paints to the similarly creative process of blending color and texture in fiber to make the handspun yarns I so admired.
Then, graduating to dyeing my own ingredients to find "just the right color," I quickly became addicted! Not only that, but now I also wash fleece from various farms to blend into our batts. Another sister works with me, and we're constantly coming up with new color and fiber combinations. We're so grateful that we can continue this work, thanks to you, our wonderful customers!
Here we are at work: Stephie looking at color combos, I (Macrina) at the carder, and both of us in the fleece barn at Rhinebeck, 2018.