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Handmade Portraits: MV Knits

Jul 11, 2008

by Tara Young

(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.

37 comments

  • TeenAngster Admin

    TeenAngster said 8 years ago

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

  • adam Admin

    adam said 8 years ago

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

  • merlinsbarkproducts

    merlinsbarkproducts said 8 years ago

    Great video!!

  • woolhandcrafts

    woolhandcrafts said 8 years ago

    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!

  • Vanessa Admin

    Vanessa said 8 years ago

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

  • katelynjane

    katelynjane said 8 years ago

    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!

  • jessiemccann

    jessiemccann said 8 years ago

    What an amazing journey! And so inspiring!

  • staceyjoy

    staceyjoy said 8 years ago

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

  • SpiffyKnits

    SpiffyKnits said 8 years ago

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

  • mtraub

    mtraub said 8 years ago

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

  • thefunkyfelter

    thefunkyfelter said 8 years ago

    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 :)

  • PearsonMaron

    PearsonMaron said 8 years ago

    So amazing!

  • groundwork

    groundwork said 8 years ago

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

  • jcraft

    jcraft said 8 years ago

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

  • emarie

    emarie said 8 years ago

    Wonderful video, guys! Susan rocks : )

  • ElenaMary

    ElenaMary said 8 years ago

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

  • intertwingle

    intertwingle said 8 years ago

    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!

  • MVKnits

    MVKnits said 8 years ago

    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.

  • cherylavenue

    cherylavenue said 8 years ago

    Nice video! Great dedication to make the move:)

  • weirdwolf Admin

    weirdwolf said 8 years ago

    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.

  • Chappysmom

    Chappysmom said 8 years ago

    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.

  • DancingKnitter

    DancingKnitter said 8 years ago

    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.

  • ghostkrabb

    ghostkrabb said 8 years ago

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

  • Rokali

    Rokali said 8 years ago

    "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.

  • wiradjuriwoman

    wiradjuriwoman said 8 years ago

    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.

  • topsyturvydesign

    topsyturvydesign said 8 years ago

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

  • ArgyleWhale

    ArgyleWhale said 8 years ago

    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.

  • MVKnits

    MVKnits said 8 years ago

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

  • esdesigns

    esdesigns said 8 years ago

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

  • bamboobaby

    bamboobaby said 8 years ago

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

  • northstaralpacas

    northstaralpacas said 8 years ago

    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!

  • knitfitt

    knitfitt said 8 years ago

    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.

  • Karmacrochet

    Karmacrochet said 8 years ago

    I loved the video. Keep going!

  • bluestarbutterflies

    bluestarbutterflies said 8 years ago

    I love your shop, and the video was fantastic!

  • perfectdays

    perfectdays said 8 years ago

    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)

  • superbitsch

    superbitsch said 7 years ago

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

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