Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"I hold this truth to be self-evident: knitters are really nice people!" ~ Me

Yes, I don't think that I've ever met a knitter that I didn't like - and my recent visit to Sarasota to visit Susan Gibbs of Juniper Moon Farm and Susan Post, shop owner of A Good Yarn,  simply proved me right.

Susan Gibbs, of Juniper Moon Farm with her wool and books, and Susan Post, co-owner of A Good Yarn.

Following her vocation as a stay-at-home mother, Susan and her husband Murray opened A Good Yarn two and a half years ago.  Their store is wonderfully bright and spacious.  It is also hopping - there was not a lull in the 5+ hours that I was there - right up till closing.

Susan’s shop is filled with every possible kind of fiber and with tons of knitting paraphernalia – for which I have a particular fondness!  Her staff and patrons were as welcoming as could be.

When I first walked in the door, I was greeted with a table of knitters - I knew I was going to love it!

Another Sue, and a recently published designer!
A young woman grabbed to model one of                   Etta, sister and sister-in-law of the shop
Juniper Moon Farm's patterns:                                     owners and the first person to greet me when 
                                                                                     I arrived!

Pictured on the left is Murray Post, husband of Susan and co-owner of A Good Yarn. On the right, and photographer of this shot, is Katie, one of the shop’s staff and a talented knitter and blogger in her own right! Murray is a skilled under-water photographer, and his photos are the inspiration behind a line of yarn offered only at A Good Yarn.  As Susan Says:

“The Purl Diver Collection by Three Irish Girls is made of yarns dyed exclusively for A Good Yarn.  They are based on colors taken from the sands of Siesta Beach, and the beautiful water around it.  The inspiration also comes from the beautiful underwater photography of my husband, Murray Post. We hope you’ll enjoy reading about them and love knitting with them.”
Murray was also my on-the-spot photography instructor.  Unfortunately, it became readily apparent just how much I have to learn!

On the left is another colorway carried exclusively by the shop. It is titled “Midnight Pass” from Madeline Tosh. The name comes from a geographic area near Sarasota that has literally shifted sands over the decades.  It is also an area whose future is in debate locally.  On the right are some of the Purl Diver collection and in the underlying picture is the Florida “Team” collection.  I took home a skein of “Midnight Pass” and of “The Gulf of Mexico” from the Purl Diver collection.

As for Susie Gibbs, as I read the synopsis of her upcoming visit to A Good Yarn, I knew that her tale was ringing a bell.  After some investigation, I proved myself right when I came across an article about Susie and her journey in a copy of Country Living Magazine, that I had read awhile back.

Her story reminded me of a show that aired a number of years ago on HGTV called The Good Life.  My husband and I loved that show and were so sorry when it was discontinued.  Each episode highlighted an individual or couple, or family who ditched it all - Wall Street, medicine, teaching, and decided to do something that brought them true joy - though it admittedly was a bit like jumping off the edge of a cliff.  I think that most of us have dreamed the same dream at one time or another.  Well, Susie didn't just dream it - she took that leap and moved from being a producer of the CBS News and living in Manhattan, to buying a farm in Upstate New York and raising sheep.  She did not make this move on a whim however. She had been feeling stressed by the life she was living when she chanced upon the book Storeys Guide to Raising Sheep and came to the realization that she was born to be shepherd!  Susie researched and visited sheep farms and then hit the ground running.  Since then, she and her farm have moved to Martha's Vineyard and then to its current location in Palmyra, Virginia, outside of Charlottesville.

Not just a sheep farm, Juniper Moon Farm offers a vast array of products and opportunities.  The very first of its kind in the US, they provide people the opportunity to invest in, and then share in the bounty of their wool harvest through their Yarn CSA.  Operating very much like the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA's), which have become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer, Susie's shareholders receive wool rather than produce from the twice yearly sheep shearings.

While at A Good Yarn, Susan shared her lovely new patterns and her new line of yarns - Findley, Willa and Chadwick.  I came home with the book of patterns using the Chadwick Collection.  Please visit Susan's site to see all of the wonderful things that are offered there!

Um - yes
Many thanks to both Susan's and to the staff and patrons of A Good Yarn.  I thoroughly enjoyed my day in your company and am eager to come back for another visit!


  1. Tracy,
    I am sorry I missed your visit. I am often sitting at the Knitters' table and it is a good time. You have captured the spirit of the shop. And just for another coincidence, the book by Storey publishing...John and his wife Martha and I are all from Chatham, NJ and were classmates.

    Your blog is lovely.


    1. Thank you so much Carol! I just loved my visit, and I know that I will be back again before my husband and I return north. My step-son and family live in Kinnelon, NJ - so we make it to your home state quite often.

      Thanks again and hope to run into you at the shop!


  2. What a fun time you must have had - smiling faces, colorful yarns and a beautiful shop - Bravo, Tracy! There really is a special bond that forms amongst fiber friends, you are right. I'm heading over to both Susans' sites next. Thanks for sharing Saturday's event with all of us, and in such a colorful, festive way. Looking forward to your next adventure!

  3. Tracy,
    We so enjoyed having you visit the shop. Please don't be a stranger. I know it is a drive for you, but just make it a day! We would love to have you.

    1. Thank you so much! I loved being there and I definitely will be back!

  4. A very good point Tracy, knitters are relaxed, happy people!! What a fun day by the way!! CLarice


  6. After your mini-miniature knitting needles, I imagine you also fell in love with the jumbo-giant ones in the window! Great pictures. Yes, knitters are a lovely lot.

    1. I still think that I'll stick with the mini's!