Monday, March 28, 2016

Hej! Hej!
Greetings from Vermont!

Kim Goodling of Vermont Grand View Farm here as this month's K&YA Guest Blogger. 

Vermont Grand View Farm is home to Vermont’ first flock of Swedish Gotland sheep.   Join Lisa for the Knitting & Yoga Retreat this April, and you will have the added bonus of visiting our farm!  Cornelia Hamilton will feel right at home while here. 

We purchased a small flock of Gotlands a little more than a year ago, and traveled to Gotland island last September to learn from Swedish shepherds. You will be visiting our farm right in the middle of our lambing season, so come prepared to love on some little ones. 

If mother nature should have it so, you may even see a lamb being born! You can read all about my farm life adventures and fiber art creations on my blog, Living with Gotlands.

Our barn studio overflows with Gotland yarn and roving in varying shades of gray. Gotland wool is very lustrous and curly. 

When knit, the fabric has a lovely sheen and drape. It also seems to bloom when washed and forms a soft halo effect. You will have an opportunity to browse in the studio and purchase some of our yarn for your knitting pleasure. You can also find our yarn in our online shop, the Gotland Wool Company.

Creating with my hands has been a life-long passion. From our barn studio, I offer fiber art classes in felting, drop spindling, fiber preparation, and natural dyeing. Students of all ages have come to the farm for private lessons or mini-retreats to learn the heritage crafts. I have worked with professional knitwear designers, art teachers, professional 
milliners, homeschool families, bridal parties, and girlfriend reunions-all wanting to explore and create with their hands. Recently, I have enjoyed using my Gotland curls in making felted garments. I enjoy sharing my love of fiber art and passing it on to others.

When the nights are below freezing and the days above freezing, the sap runs crystal clear. It is hard to predict what the sugaring season will be like this year with the mild winter we have had thus far. As long as there is sap though, we will have our evaporator running and little jugs of sticky sweet goodness for you.

Bring along some mud boots and work gloves, and if the weather is cooperating, you can help farmer Chuck, my husband, with sugarin’ season. We tap about 50-75 maple trees the old fashioned way, by hanging sap buckets on each tree. Then, we collect the sap, and boil it in our little sugar house. 

Year round, we host overnight farmstay guests from around the world. We have a Farmhouse Suite that we rent to those wanting to experience rural Vermont farm life. Guests may tag along for chore time or may sit and relax on the porch. As an added bonus to your retreat, I offer a coupon for a discounted rate on an overnight stay to Lisa’s knitting group, so you can come again sometime and linger longer. Our suite is the perfect place for a romantic get-a-way, a girl friend’s retreat, or family gathering.

I promise to provide you with lots of opportunity to purchase our Gotland yarn, visit with the ewes that produce our yarn, cozy up to the woodstove with your knitting in hand, help with maple sugaring, and best of all, squeeze some adorable little lambs. Oh, and yes, there really is a grand view! 

Now that you know a little bit about me and my farm…I look forward to meeting all of you in April!


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