This handsome man very nearly broke my heart this week, which is strange considering we’ve never met.

Not only have I never met Pete Johnson, until a few days ago, I’d never even heard of him. Not until blog reader Sylvia Cannizzaro sent me an email. “I wanted to let you know about a terrible disaster that has happened to a local organic vegetable CSA here in Vermont. Pete’s Greens has had a barn fire and has lost almost everything.”  A quick google search led me to a handful of news stories where I learned that Pete’s main barn and processing facilities were destroyed to the tune of half a million dollars in damage. The farm is insured for about half that amount.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that looking at this picture makes me break out into a cold sweat. It also drove me to the phone to call my insurance agent and check on my own coverage. A barn fire might be the worst disaster that can happen to a farm. It also might be the most common, which isn’t altogether surprising when you think about all the hay stored alongside heavy equipment, cans of gasoline and God-knows-what-all else.  And let’s not even think about the heat lamps used in the Spring to keep newborn animals warm! It actually makes me shudder to think about.

Sylvia Cannizzaro asked me about the possibility of buying CSA yarn from our farm and raffling off a handmade sweater as a fundraiser to help Pete get back on his feet in time for the Spring season. I think we can do better than that, though.

I happen to know that the fiber arts community is without equal when it comes to helping people in need. I know this because way back in 2008, when this blog was just a shadow of what it has become, the readers of this blog raised $10,000 in 10 days to help a man who spent his whole life helping others. With all our new readers, I think we can do even better than that this time. In fact, I think we can beat our previous record without even breaking a sweat. You are kind, caring people, and you don’t need any encouragement to help people who need it.

To encourage you to help us spread the world, we’re having a giveaway! Everyone who makes a donation or emails the address below will be entered in our giveaway for the following fabulous prizes! This is not a raffle- just a giveaway to help draw folks to the site to read about Pete’s and the fundraiser.

Now, you might be wondering what fantastic prizes we’ve dreamed up to thank you for helping us help Pete’s. The following list is just the beginning- I’ve got emails out to lots of friends in the yarn business and I hope to add to this list daily between now and the day we stop accepting donations! In the meantime, you could win:

A Share in the Juniper Moon Farm Yarn CSA in your choice of yarn or roving

One of two weekend farm stays for two at Juniper Moon Farm

A sweater, hand knit just for you by Sylvia Cannizzaro

One of five Juniper Moon Farm t-shirts

One of five Juniper Moon Farm tote bags

One of 10 bags of Juniper Moon Farm’s Amazing Granola

My very own yarn stash, full of all the lovely and amazing yarns that I’ve purchased but not found the time to knit in the last two years!

Four handwoven placemats with four pottery plates to match from Anna Branner’s Cloth-n-Clay.

Three skeins of the unbelievably gorgeous Sundara Aran Silky Merino in “Viridescent”(Rav link) from Shareholder Tracy Anderson’s stash.

Two skeins of custom dyed yarn from Happy-Go-Lucky yarn, as seen in this Etsy listing.

Your choice of something from the Naturebuttons Etsy shop.

A share in the Juniper Moon Farm CSA, donated by shareholder Elana Kehoe

Two skeins of Dublin Dye Company Merino Sock or Merino Lace Wool, winner’s choice.

A $20 gift certificate to Stone and String Studio.

A sock yarn sampler – Four skeins of glorious hand dyed sock yarn from Unplanned Peacock Studio.

One four ounce braid of hand dyed spinning fiber from Zarzuelas Fibers.

A yarn pack with two skeins of
bulky merino, worth $40, in a one-of-a-kind dye batch. Kitchen Sink Dyeworks.

Two skeins of Blue Faced Leicester worsted in the colorway of your choice such as this from Dragonfly Fibers.

Two skeins of Nona (50/25/25 merino/cashmere/silk heavy laceweight) from Spirit Trail Fiberworks dyed to order for the winner.

Two skeins, winner’s choice, of any yarn on the Spirit Trail Fiberworks website.

Four ounces of any rare breed fiber available on the Spirit Trail Fiberworks website.

Four ounces of any combed top blend available on the Spirit Trail Fiberworks website.

From Gilead Fiber farm, there are two prizes, each winner can choose one from the following options: 1. A handdyed skein of Tallulah Toes, which is 30% mohair and 70% cormo sock yarn; 2. A hand dyed or natural skein of Nola yarn, which is 50% mohair and 50% Coopworth; 3. 50/50 Roving from Varitek and Frosty, who are kid mohair and Finn wool; 4. Roving from Seymour, which is kid mohair and coopworth lamb blended about 50/50. You can see her rovings and yarns on her Etsy site.

Dyed in the Wool will donate a matching Tie-Dyed set of T-shirt, drawstring back pack, socks and shoe laces to helping Pete. Pattern and colors are the winner’s choice, so this is a custom dyeing job.

Hazelbrake Farm, a certified organic berry nursery, will donate a blueberry bush suitable to the winner’s climate, shipped to them. (Unfortunately, they cannot ship to Alaska, Hawaii or Oregon.)

Dirty Water Dyeworks is donating two skeins of the winner’s choice of yarn from their website.

Friend of the farm Deb Clemens is offering winner’s choice of a gallon ziplock bag full of freshly plucked French Angora fiber for spinning in a variety of colors, OR a real live French Angora baby bunny (available in May) if the winner would prefer and can care for it.

Stephannie Tallent (StephCat on Ravelry) is donating three pdf downloads, winner’s choice, from any of the patterns she has for sale on

Molting Yeti Super Fun Knits is donating five patterns of the winner’s choice as download, print or both.

Amy Singleton is offering a project bag of the winner’s choice from her Etsy shop, The Needled Fig.

Kyrie Garretson of NeverBlue Farm is donating one skein of Handmaiden Mini-Maiden in the Nova Scotia colorway.

Flying Goat Farm is donating four prizes- each one is a 4 ounce package of 100% Flying Goat Farm kid mohair roving in natural white, gray or any dyed colorway they have in stock in Frederick, MD. Winners choose the colors they want.

GrandmaTutu Designs is donating two prizes- A beautiful set of GrandmaTutu Project Bags (3 sizes, 100% linen) and a basket with three bars of GrandmaTutu soap together with a loofah and soap sweater.

Pattern designer Ashley Knowlton is donating patterns. Winner can choose either a copy of her Gwynedd pattern collection(Rav link) or four individual patterns of the winner’s choice from her pattern store(Rav link).

Snowshoe Farm Alpacas is donating two $25 gift certificates for use at their farm’s yarn shop, where they sell fiber and yarn from their alpacas.

A $100 gift certificate from WEBS. Yup.

Allison Haas of Alaskan Purl is donating the pattern for her felted bag Alluvia (Rav link) and enough yarn to complete it (11 skeins of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes.)

Clara Parkes (yes THE Clara Parkes) is donating two signed copies of her book, The Knitter’s Book of Wool.

Tanis Gray is donating three patterns, winner’s choice, from her pattern library on Ravelry.

Orli Gal is donating a handknit pair of socks she just finished, about size 8.5 women’s, seen here on her blog.

A set of patterns from Stitch Poet, courtesy of the awesomely named Champagne Maker.

The 11×17 print of your choice from photographer Joel Eagle.

Melissa Morgan-Oakes is offering two prizes- One signed, personalized copy of her book 2-at-a-Time Socks, and one signed, personalized copy of her book Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks. Each book comes with enough yarn to create a pair of socks taken from her very own stash.

Elinor Brown is offering $50 worth of patterns from her Ravelry pattern store Exercise Before Knitting.

Amy McClenahan, vismajor on Ravelry, is offering this skein (Rav link) of Wollmeise 100% Merino Superwash (fingering weight) in the Kurbis colorway from her stash.

Traci Vaspol, friend of the farm and former aromatherapist, is offering a pair of her hand made cedar sock bockers and her Organic Knitter’s Hand Balm and Fiber Wash.

Two skeins of hand dyed yarn and a selection of patterns from Black Bunny Fibers.

A very sweet anonymous donor has knit a man’s Aran sweater, 42″ chest, made in chocolate brown Lopi wool from Norway for this fundraiser.

Kim Eubanks is donating an adorable hand knit pink baby hat and a pair of very sweet hand knit baby booties.

There is a new store opening in Cambridge, MA on February 19th called Gather Here, which the owners describe both as a “fabric and fibers store” and also as a “stitch lounge,” and I think it may become my very favorite place to be ever (this is Jenny, hi!). Enough about me, though, the folks at Gather Here are offering a $100 gift certificate which can be used in their store once they open or on their website.

Susie Middleton, former editor-in-chief of Fine Cooking Magazine and current editor-at-large is donating a signed copy of her cookbook and our Susie is so worked up about this her head just up and exploded again.

Artist Kristina Closs has donated a beautiful 5″x5″ original painting of a sheep!

Kelly Ann of Kelly Ann’s Quilting in Warrenton, VA is donating a beautiful quilt that she made.

Mountain Girl Felts is donating an item of the winner’s choice from her Etsy shop.

A six-month Fiber Club Membership at Ava, Ludu & Bees.

Miss Babs is donating two prizes, a skein of Windsor handpainted sock yarn for each winner, winners’ choice of colors.

We got an email from Linda Pratt, National Marketing Director of Westminster Fibers, which distributes Rowan Yarns, and they are donating one bag of Rowan Colourscape, designed by the internationally famous textile artist Kaffe Fassett!! Each bag contains ten 100g skeins, and each skein retails for $22.95, so this is a BIG prize!

Friend of the farm Lindsay Berdan is donating a gallon of pure Vermont Maple Syrupmmmmm…

Laura Nelkin and Schaefer Yarn Company is donating two prizes. Her Aventina pattern with a skein of Schaefer Audrey yarn in Thistle, plus beads to go with the pattern, and her Listado Cowl pattern with a skein of Schaefer Heather yarn in Julia Child.

Shareholder Deb Boyken is donating five knitting books from her library: Swing, Swagger, Drape by Jane Slicer-Smith, Knitting it Old School by Stitchy McYarnpants and Caro Sheridan, Saturday Style by Doreen L Marquart, All New Homespun Handknit by Amy Clarke Moore, and Jil Eaton’s Knitting School by Jil Eaton.

Two batts from Enchanted Knoll Farm, farm raised Merino/Corriedale with silk and sparkles and recycled sari silk in the “Titania” colorway.

Yarn Mountain is offering a $50 gift certificate to their store in Harrisonburg, VA, or on their online shop.

Alina Shea Creations is offering a three month membership to their Yarn Club.

SpindlesBySourkraut is donating an absolutely adorable hand turned acorn stitch marker container that’s so cute I can hardly see straight.

Our very own Lisa Stockebrand of Union Street Fiber is hand knitting a beautiful sweater which she blogged about here comprised of corriedale fiber which she dyed and spun, and JMF yarn which she also dyed herself.

Green Mountain Spinning Wheels in Leicester, VT is donating two prizes.  Each prize is 8 ounces of alpaca or alpaca/wool rovings in the winner’s choice of color and fiber.

The Yarn and Fiber Company (my  mom’s LYS in NH!) is donating two gift certificates of $50 each to two winners.

Ivy Brambles Hand-Dyed Yarn Company, who is donating one skein of Ivy Brambles Hand-Dyed Romantica Yarn in the colorway of the winner’s choice, with an Ivy Brambles Halo Pave Shawl Pattern.  Ivy Brambles yarn is sold at the Yarn and Fiber Company.

Kate Latz is donating a beautiful, soft hand-knit hat knit from a wool/mohair blend from her Etsy shop, Positive Purls.

Friend of the farm Lisa Noyer is donating three skeins of beautiful fingering and/or sportweight yarn from her stash, including Sundara, Yarntini and one surprise.

Becky Herrick of Sugaree Fiber Arts is donating three of the indie design patterns from her Ravelry store.

Sara of Woolies is donating a an adorable hand-knit and felted stuffed sheep

A $40 gift certificate from Frenchboro Bakery.

A handknit baby tomato hat from Petite Legume.

Baba Black Sheep Yarns is donating one of their 7.6-7.9 oz hand dyed rovings, winner’s choice.

The Fuzzy Bunny is donating a box full of spinning fiber and a bath and body sampler.

A hand knit or crocheted cowl, in the fiber and length of the winner’s choice, from Fiber Love Designs (facebook link).

From funkybabymine, a 45×60 Benartex wholecloth quilt kit in natural plus email quilting support, or a $50 gift certificate, winner’s choice.

A gift basket from Crafting Balance, including a bottle of handmade, Earth-friendly all natural Cleanse – a no-rise soak for handknits and delicates, and a selection of herbal bath and body items.

A kit for the beautiful Lace Baby Cardigan (Rav link), consisting of the pattern and a skein of the now discontinued Yarni yarn, enough to make the sweater, in pinks/peach, from designer Mary Lou Egan.

Eight ounces of roving/batts from Finnsheep at Harlequin Farm.

Angelika Paul of Guiding Light Marketing is donating her services getting found online in search engines, social networking and review sites, setting up web coupons, and gathering website statistics, among other services, a $300 – $500 value to be used by the winner’s small business or the small business of the winner’s choice.

Friend of the farm Debbie Lee is donating a felted purse she handcrafted.

A three-month membership to the Fabulous Fiber of the Month Club at One Planet Yarn and Fiber.


A braid of fiber, dyed to order from The Midnight Sheep.

Thank you so, so much to ALL of our fundraiser prize donors! You guys are beyond amazing!! We have more on the way, so please keep checking back!

[If you would like to donate a prize for this fundraiser, email me at susie AT fiberfarm Dot com. We’ll put up your prize with link to your website and you can ship the prize directly to the winner!]

We will be accepting donations now through February 6th. Prize winners will be notified in the days following in a post right here on the blog. Remember- you can donate as much or as little to Pete’s Barn Fund as you like but you don’t have to donate to enter! If you would like to enter and don’t have the funds to make a donation at this time, email us with your full name at info at Believe me, we’ve all been there!

Do you think we can talk Sylvia into hand-delivering our donation to Pete’s and taking along a camera for a blog post? And does anybody know where you can get one of those giant checks printed? Reader Paula has volunteered her husband to print a giant check for us to give to Pete! How flippin’ cool is that? I ABSOLUTELY LOVE this community!

Good luck, y’all!

Due to a misunderstanding with PayPal, for the time being we are having to switch to Amazon Payments to collect the donations. To be clear, this is NOT a raffle, it is a giveaway and a fundraiser. As stated above, you do NOT have to donate money to Pete’s Greens in order to enter the giveaway, simply email us your name and address and we will be happy to enter you in the giveaway. We just don’t want this misunderstanding to get in the way of anyone wanting to donate money to Pete. The problem is that through Amazon Payments we can only specify the amount paid, so our very clunky and hopefully temporary workaround to this problem is to create different buttons for different amounts. Thank you so much for your patience!