Portrait of Amos
by: Amos

All About Beth Hood


Beth  HoodIf you know Beth now, you may find this hard to believe: She was a novice knitter when she started working at Halcyon Yarn. Oh what changes have occurred in the three years she’s been here: She is now a knit-a-holic, a go-to knitter amongst staff and customers for info and advice, and uses her rapidly expanding knowledge to great effect in her role as a customer service provider.

“Amid such inspiration (both in store and from our customers), I have ventured into unexplored fibers and projects, and done some basic designing” says Beth modestly. Such understatement, such creativity and skill: She is the genius behind the Diamond Hood in Silky Flamme, the Fountain Hood in Halcyon Gemstone Soft Twist Silk and an alternative to the traditional Prayer Shawl, the Trinity Shawl out of Misti Cotton.

No doubt, Beth is productive. About recent projects she had this to say: “I have really enjoyed working on projects displaying some of the lesser known yarns and accessories. I had fun with an I-cord necklace out of Silk Garden and a triangular scarf out of Malabrigo Angora to show off the striking Magnetic Clasps. My favorite yarn right now is Taffy which comes in such splendid colors! I was very pleased with a yellow dress in Taffy for one of my granddaughters and I am working on a Pure and Simple Henley T Shirt in red Taffy doubled.”

Having a dad in the Army, and “Marrying into the Navy”, Beth has lived just about everywhere, no kidding. But, “My parents are both from Maine so it has always been home”. While she now lives close to work, she’s also had some far-flung and important jobs: “My most exciting job (before Halcyon) was working in the Vice President’s Office in D.C. as an Administrative Assistant.”

“When I’m not at Halcyon, I love being with my family–parents, siblings, husband- Jack, our four sons, three beautiful granddaughters and handsome grandson” says Beth. She has a son in California, one at the U of Maine, one living locally (he’s a lobsterman – a real Mainer), and one serving in Afghanistan. Luckily for Beth, her well traveled family has some young ones close to home: “Golden haired 3 year old Savhana keeps us young and on the go! She is my favorite knitting inspiration!”

Beth has recently tried her hand at felting in a Nuno class, is enrolled to take the ‘Knit to Weave’ class and has even started contemplating spinning! Beth also enjoys reading, gardening and cooking. “There are a lot of great cooks here at Halcyon and we are frequently trying things out here and exchanging recipes!” Oh man, the only problem for the rest of us is restraining from “trying out” too many slices of Beth made cakes… As if all that wasn’t enough, she is studious as well: “I am in my fourth year of Education for Ministry and hope to continue those studies,” says Beth.

Thanks Beth, for all that you do for Halcyon Yarn!

Barbara McGuinessThis month we feature a very important person at Halcyon Yarn: Barbara McGuinness. “Barb” is the person who makes sure that your order is complete, well packed, and shipped quickly for the best rate possible. Says Barb “how else are we going to keep our shipping rates so low”?!

Barb came to Halcyon Yarn, and Maine, about a year ago. Formerly hailing from sunny Southern California, she surely smuggled some sunshine in the back of the U-Haul, and has been graciously sharing it with the rest of us. She certainly helps to keep spirits high in the busy shipping area. Check this: It’s Friday, 4:30 pm, an order arrives… It’s 10 items, and is shipping in like 5 boxes because it includes a yarn, shuttles, 6′ reeds and a loom… It’s going to Greenland… Can’t be done right? Wrong, 10 minutes later, the boxes are making their way out the door with a smile and a “that one’s for the shipper”.

Barb has quickly “gone native” living here in Bath, Maine. She usually walks to work, and we often have the pleasure of saying “good day” or “good evening” to her husband Mark and their dog Bagel. “Bagel the Beagle” is surely the cutest Beagle east of LA, and that’s according to all of us, not just Barb.

Barb is a knitter of considerable skill and modesty. “Yeah, I knit a bit” she says, while co-workers marvel at her skill and creativity with making her own patterns. “I also love cooking, baking (yeah! thank goodness for the treats in shipping), watching sports, and travel”, she says, and clearly we see that boredom is not a problem for Barbara!

Not one to slow down, Barb is busy with new friends, keeping up with family, exploring Maine, and making plans to visit some of her favorite international haunts such as London and “La plus belle du monde, Paris”. Thanks Barb, for keeping the creative fiber-arts folks supplied quickly!

We’ll be introducing the staff of Halcyon Yarn over the next couple of months, as we add staff profiles to our web site. We are a small, friendly, and diversely knowledgeable group, so check us out! We’re starting with Denice, since she had her name drawn at random from a beautifully felted hat…

DeniseDenice started working at Halcyon Yarn in November of 2007. “I learned an amazing amount” she said of the first few busy months. That is surely true, but she’s doing a fair amount of teaching as well. Her fiber knowledge is far ranging: Starting with crocheting some 25 years ago, she has progressed through stints with knitting, dyeing, and most recently has become an avid spinner. “Going back to the source of the yarns has been a practice for me in my life and has given back to me as much as I have given it”. She’s a ring-leader with the Tuesday Twisted Spinners group, and an always smiling presence in the store. Her positivity is contagious: “There is always something to do, there are always customers to work with: The people that I’ve gotten to know here are all very unique and fun!”.

Any chance she’ll be slowing down and resting on her laurels? Nope. “I’m hoping to branch out over the summer and teach a class or two. I’d also like to be available for beginning knitters and spinners… What’s great about it all is you know there is a future and tons of possibilities to improve and enjoy the whole realm of the fiber industry”.

Outside of the fiber universe she is the mother of the most charming group of kids you’ll ever meet, and married to a dashing sheriff’s deputy… so don’t be tempted to snag any of her beautifully spun fibers without asking first!