Friday I took a trip to an old mill in Woonsocket, Rhode Island to pick up some yarn. The mill had long since stopped producing anything and in recent years was being used as yarn storage for a company that was weaving elsewhere. The company went under, like so many other U.S. textile companies, and the yarn was there to be taken. Weaving yarn is far harder to buy since most stores only selling knitting yarns, so I scooped up far more than I have room for in my studio. (This weekend will require some reorganization.)
I love old mills, but seeing this one did leave me a little sad and pondering the American textile industry, which pretty much doesn't exist in the U.S. any more. A town like Woonsocket had once been a thriving mill town, in the state that spawned the American Industrial Revolution. Now, like most old manufacturing towns, it has high unemployment and a slew of problems.
I went here with two talented weavers and Linda from Alamode Stuff, and I'm glad a lot of this yarn will find its way into new projects and fabrics, and to the shelves of the textile department at UMass Dartmouth.