In Gladwin, Michigan, in the bottom of a house, Martha is keeping the spirit of the fiber community alive and well! For six years she's been opening her doors to knitters and crocheters to learn and spend time together.
"I had lost my office job and was told by my hand surgeon no more computers. It left me in a dilemma. The only job I could think of with no computers was political - not my thing. I have been knitting since I was 10 and crocheting at 6. I knit my way through college while I was studying. It really helps me focus and I knit through most meetings these days. I get asked a lot if I knit in my sleep and it always gives me a laugh. I usually have knitting and/or a book with me wherever I go. My current location is in the bottom of a house. It feels like a good fit. I get many compliments about the way I have it arranged.
I love natural fibers. I try and stock many American made fibers. I know how they are made and usually there are no surprises ( a piece of hay now and then). I found Cestari in a shop when I was still working my office job. I made two sweaters with it and fell in love. I told myself I would stock if I ever opened a shop.
My customers are like friends. I have an open knitting table. People drop in during the day to stop and visit, knit a few rows, ask questions....Thursday is my open knit day from 1 to 9 but I get many people at different times. I ask people to call ahead if they need some one on one. I have had a bunch of aluminum needles and hooks donated and that is what I use for beginners to keep the costs down in the beginning... I usually have monthly specials and a knit-a-long going." ~~ Martha Ogg
Meet Rebecca, our first STELLA Stockist that we are shining the spotlight on. You can find her STELLA Stockist listing under the CRAFTERS section. She's a soap maker & a yarn dyer; her work is just beautiful. Here, in her own words, Rebecca talks about her creations, her interests, and why she chooses Cestari. Scroll down for pictures!
dusty tree dyeworks:
When I established Dusty Tree DyeWorks (an offshoot of Dusty Tree Soap) in late 2017, I knew I wanted to use materials that I felt good about. I researched and tried a few and when I stumbled onto Cestari Sheep & Wool Co. I found a winner. I use their Mt. Vernon base in fingering, DK and worsted weights as some of my bases in my hand-dyed yarn company.
Sticking with a Dusty Tree theme and my unusual nature of things, I have decided to name my different yarn weights according to trees; you will find SEED (lace weight), ROOT (fingering), SAPLING (sport), TWIG (DK), BRANCH (worsted) and LEAF (bulky) in my yarn line.
I'm also a handcrafted soaper living in the Laurel Highlands area of SW Pennsylvania. I make plant-based palm free soaps with natural colorants and essential oils. I also make a low suds Wool Wash that I wash all of my handdyed yarns with as well as my own hand-knit garments. I use Cestari's lanolin in my Wool Wash since I feel good about knowing where it comes from and it's the real deal. Not some refined paste passed off as lanolin.
Hand-dyeing yarn was a natural progression from my soap business. I am able to play with colors that I couldn't do with my soaps while also incorporating my favorite pastime...knitting! I love attending fiber festivals selling my soaps and now my hand-dyed yarns too. I look forward to doing it for many years to come and continuing my relationship with Cestari.
Find me on Instagram as both: dustytree & dustytreedyeworks
Farming is a lifelong passion for Francis Chester. Born in Brooklyn, he moved to Long Island, NY as soon as he could and learned about vegetable gardening, how to milk goats, and how to care for chickens.