Roving Reporter: Spinning Fiber in Baltimore & Beyond

This roving reporter has just returned from Baltimore, Maryland, stuffed with crabcakes and carrying burgeoning suitcases stuffed with spinning fiber. I was thrilled to teach several handspinning workshops for the Weavers’ Guild of Greater Baltimore. This active guild has about 150 members and will celebrate its 70th anniversary next year!

I had a day between teaching and giving a presentation on Dorset buttons to the guild, so my friend Cindy and I went sleuthing for fiber. Here are a few of our favorite places:

Neighborhood Fiber Co.

Located in a renovated Baltimore firehouse, Neighborhood Fiber Co. (NFC) produces the deeply saturated colors they have become known for on a range of base yarns and combed tops. Founder Karida Collins discussed her colorways and inspiration in an article published by the Baltimore Sun earlier this year, saying, “I wanted to really focus on the beauty of a city. . . . I think people expect people to see beautiful colors come out of things like the ocean or a flower garden. People think of the city, and they don’t think of vibrant colors or beauty in the same way.”

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Combed tops from Neighborhood Fiber Co. Photos by Kate Larson

I picked up some combed tops and delicious yarns at the second-floor yarn shop. Maybe it is being surrounded by the fall color in the Midwest and New England of late, but orange is the first color I gravitate to right now. Do you go through color cycles? Muhu orange, yes please!

Cloverhill Yarn Shop

The Cloverhill Yarn Shop is a cozy LYS in Catonsville, Maryland. In addition to well-stocked yarn cubbies and bookshelves, the shop had a Hobbledehoy Fibers trunk show during my visit—dangerous! I love Hobbledehoy’s dyed combed tops and classic batts, but the battlings get me every time.

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Yummy battlings from the Hobbledehoy trunk show at Cloverhill.

Enthusiastic shop owners Wae and Amanda said that they have had busy beginning spinning classes lately. In addition to classes, they also host a Friday night spinning gathering each month. “We move the tables and order pizza, and we spin our hearts out.” It doesn’t get much better than that!

—Kate

Featured Image: Fiber feast, Baltimore edition! The second story of the Neighborhood Fiber Co. is filled with colorful skeins and braids.


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