The Etsy Blog

Handmade Portraits: MV Knits


(music by Barry London, Charlie Parr)

After quitting her day job in Los Angeles and moving to Martha’s Vineyard, a quiet island off the Massachusetts coast, Susan Gibbs aka MVKnits had a great idea. She started Martha’s Vineyard Fiber Farm and figured out how to make a living making yarn. Why not use the local food movement’s model of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and apply it to a yarn harvest? Shareholders pay for a share in the yarn harvest as a way to support a local farm (or in this case, a local farm supported through the internet) and in return they get weekly updates, photos from the farm, an invitation to the shearing and ultimately a share of the yarn.

Check out the Martha’s Vineyard Fiber Farm’s blog and flickr site. And check out the Etsy Labs flickr site for Calder Martin’s photos from the shoot.MVKNITS_lambs640.jpgYou can watch more of our Handmade Video Portraits and we’d be so thrilled if you’d subscribe to our free Etsy iTunes podcast.

  • TeenAngster Admin

    TeenAngster says:

    Those baby sheep! Amazing! What a life...It looks like hard work, but so rewarding. Great portrait.

    6 years ago

  • adam Admin

    adam says:

    That's heartwarming. I don't use that word often.

    6 years ago

  • merlinsbarkproducts

    merlinsbarkproducts says:

    Great video!!

    6 years ago

  • woolhandcrafts

    woolhandcrafts says:

    Susan, I just love your video. Thank you so much for helping us get started with our Yarn CSA program, for your words of encouragement, your enthusiasm, and your advise. Farm life is the BEST!

    6 years ago

  • Vanessa Admin

    Vanessa says:

    I can see this becoming a whole movement for people to know where their craft supplies come from. So inspiring!

    6 years ago

  • katelynjane

    katelynjane says:

    ohmygosh, seeing that lamb being born was so amazing! I just about cried...but then I was at work so I held it back (: Good work, girl! Your business looks amazing, you've come a long ways and your journey is so incrediable! I seriously love these videos!

    6 years ago

  • jessiemccann

    jessiemccann says:

    What an amazing journey! And so inspiring!

    6 years ago

  • staceyjoy

    staceyjoy says:

    What a great view into your world, Susie! The lamb being born was just amazing.

    6 years ago

  • SpiffyKnits

    SpiffyKnits says:

    Congrats Susie! What a wonderful glimpse into all that you are doing! I can't wait to see it all in person! Colleen

    6 years ago

  • mtraub Admin

    mtraub says:

    susie, it was wonderful meeting you at the farmers market in martha's vineyard. your yarn looked stunning!

    6 years ago

  • thefunkyfelter

    thefunkyfelter says:

    that was a beautiful video! It made me teary eyed to see how much you love your sheep and how dedicated you are. My husand and I would love to have sheep some day, and you are a great inspiration. thank you for sharing your experience :)

    6 years ago

  • PearsonMaron

    PearsonMaron says:

    So amazing!

    6 years ago

  • groundwork

    groundwork says:

    As I was watching this, I just couldn't stop grinning! Its so wonderful.

    6 years ago

  • jcraft

    jcraft says:

    Thank you for sharing this story. I found it very uplifting and motivational.

    6 years ago

  • emarie

    emarie says:

    Wonderful video, guys! Susan rocks : )

    6 years ago

  • ElenaMary

    ElenaMary says:

    fantastic..loved seeing your farm and shots of Menemsha..will be there in 3 weeks and will look you up!

    6 years ago

  • intertwingle

    intertwingle says:

    wonderful, wonderful. Brings back memories of when I worked on a farm, oh those idyllic days -- hard work too. Makes me want to pick up my knitting needles again so I can join!

    6 years ago

  • MVKnits

    MVKnits says:

    Thanks everyone. I was a nervous wreck about doing it but Tara (weirdwolf) was really great and we had a lot of fun. I can't believe what an amazing job she did putting it together.

    6 years ago

  • cherylavenue

    cherylavenue says:

    Nice video! Great dedication to make the move:)

    6 years ago

  • weirdwolf Admin

    weirdwolf says:

    Awww thanks Susan!! I had a fantastic time visiting with you and your animals. Very inspiring indeed. Now I just have to figure out how to move to the country and get some goats of my own! Thanks for sharing your wonderful story with the Etsy community.

    6 years ago

  • Chappysmom

    Chappysmom says:

    The video is just fabulous--all that cuteness and MV scenery. Not to mention hearing Susan talk about her farm!! Love the production values, love the music, love all of it.

    6 years ago

  • DancingKnitter

    DancingKnitter says:

    Susan, Loved the video! The video team did a great job. Wish I were closer and could come visit. I know you are working really hard and I'm happy for you that you are enjoying it so much. It definitely shows in the interview.

    6 years ago

  • ghostkrabb

    ghostkrabb says:

    Inspiring! Love those sweet sheep and baby goats and wooly coats. Gotta get some fiber. Keep it rollin Weirdwolf.

    6 years ago

  • Rokali

    Rokali says:

    "Are you a real farmer or are you still doing that internet thing?" Ha! I used to visit Martha's Vineyard as a kid every summer. I remember a carousel with horses and you tried to grab rings as it went around. If you got a gold ring you got a free ride. Great portrait.

    6 years ago

  • wiradjuriwoman

    wiradjuriwoman says:

    I think this is great, I am in a small country area in Western Australia and have a fair few Angora goats and sheep of many colours and breeds and after feeding costs and sending off the wool to the wool brokers it seems hardly worth it, I love your ideas. The goat kids look marvellous with such silvery lustre to their fleece, I will purchase some of your wools and learn from a young hand, old hands can learn from the young ones after all.

    6 years ago

  • topsyturvydesign

    topsyturvydesign says:

    What a wonderful wonderful portrait! I will count fuzzy wuzzy sheep when I go to sleep tonight!

    6 years ago

  • ArgyleWhale

    ArgyleWhale says:

    Wow! Those are the happiest sheep and goats I've ever seen! It really shows how well you care for them. Your story is so wonderful and it's great that you've found success in such a challenging arena.

    6 years ago

  • MVKnits

    MVKnits says:

    The carousel still has the brass ring! I think it might be one of the last in the country.

    6 years ago

  • esdesigns

    esdesigns says:

    i'm glad the carousel is still working. i enjoyed the video- the sheep look so happy.

    6 years ago

  • bamboobaby

    bamboobaby says:

    A very fine video indeed. The sheep look so must put conditioner in their hair after shampooing.

    6 years ago

  • northstaralpacas

    northstaralpacas says:

    Susan, what a wonderful look at your life and 4 leggeds. I feel like you are my new friend now. I know that your business will continue to prosper. Ain't nothing like farm life!

    6 years ago

  • knitfitt

    knitfitt says:

    I love the yarn I bought from MVKnits! It is becoming an absolutely dreamy lace stole. Thanks for the video. It was a pleasure to see and hear Susan and the critters.

    6 years ago

  • Karmacrochet

    Karmacrochet says:

    I loved the video. Keep going!

    6 years ago

  • bluestarbutterflies

    bluestarbutterflies says:

    I love your shop, and the video was fantastic!

    6 years ago

  • perfectdays

    perfectdays says:

    I loved your video~~~!!!!! Informative and so entertaining, you are a star! It was brilliant, a really cool way of life. I will keep an eye on your progress, and hopefully your yarn will find its way over here to Oz for me to work with. smiles from over the pond Lyndel (in Oz)

    6 years ago

  • superbitsch

    superbitsch says:

    wow, cool story, good luck and best regards from germany. Ines

    5 years ago