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Green Mountain Spinning Wheels

Leicester, Vermont - January 2, 2012

Kristin Francoeur has some cuddly friends.

This is Mark and we can't forget about Ellsbury she said about her alpacas.

They are soft fuzzy alpacas have helped the Francoeurs turn a hobby into a business.

The alpaca fibers are twirled into yarn, but the real spin here is not about the comfy threads, it's all about the wheel.

Kristin Francoeur's husband Paul hand makes Green Mountain Spinning Wheels.

"Hand spun yarn has more texture and more individuality because its coming from a person making it rather than a machine," she said.

It all started when Kristin took up spinning yarn 8 years ago. Her wheel was too noisy disrupting the family. So she put her wood worker husband to work, coming up with the perfect, noiseless wheel it was a tricky task.

"She knows the number of times I've been on my knees on the floor asking where's that squeak or click?" said Paul Francoeur.

After 3 years Paul nailed it, a quiet wheel made completely of Vermont red oak and a few custom ones out of cherry. Each machine costs about $500 each.

"I love Vermont and I think its got an awful lot to offer," he said.

It was a product they thought would wheel in a few local customers most spinning wheels are made in New Zealand and Australia.

"It was designed to be affordable durable and meant to look nice when its out in your living room and its made of all Vermont materials," said Kristin.

"I could probably put out start to finish two a week," said Paul.

In one year they've sold over two dozen wheels to customers all across the country, exceeding expectations.

"Is there actually a market for spinning wheels?" asked Gina Bullard.

"There clearly is a market. We weren't sure in the beginning," said Kristin.

They both have full time jobs and this pulls in extra income.

"I think they get a little better every time," said Paul.

Each one comes with a wheel, bobbin and enough fiber to start you spinning. But don't be fooled it's not as easy as it looks.

Before each wheel is sent out, Kristin tests them for at least one hour to make sure it passes all of her tests.

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