Friday, July 11, 2008

A Sheepish Day

A couple weeks ago I gathered some city friends at a local sheep farm for a day of hands-on woolen education. Amy already wishes she lived in the country and Holly loves to knit and is experimenting with drop spool spinning, so when I met Melissa and learned that she raised sheep... a light went on in my head. Duh! A perfect, divinely serendipious, oppertunity for some artsy synergy. And besides, it would just be so much FuN!

This is what we learned. Sheep raised for wool do not make for good eating nor milking (not that we tasted mutton during our stay, but our hostess, Melissa, told us some of what she's learned from two years of raising sheep). Black merino is the most desirable wool because of its gorgeous natural color. My friend Holly (pictured with lamb) learned that sheep are as cute in person as they are in pictures. And when you run your fingers through their coat, your hands are made silky smooth from the lanoline.

My friend Amy learned that spinning is not at all as easy as it looks! There's your foot pedaling to keep consistent while one hand holds the wool and the other "drafts" the fibers for spinning. Kind of like patting your head while simultaneously rubbing your stomach! heehee Notice Amy's intense concentration?

Our fabulous, generous hostess Melissa (her dotted apron is pictured) very patiently coached us as we each tried a hand at her spinning wheel with hilarious results.

It's blurry, but you can still tell that my ball of spun wool is still pretty blobby and lumpy- bumpy. Melissa, on the other hand, spins a fine thread that needs to be plied (several strands spun together) before being thick enough for knitting and crocheting (and she does beautiful knitted work). What did I learn? That wool arts are not my bag, but I have a talent for bringing like minded people together. :)


Linda said...

What fun you had! Good to know that they don't eat those sheep....I didn't know any of that. I love that little brown cute. I had the greatest phone call this morning!!!!

Donna said...

Awwww...Love the sheep!! I like to crochet, when I have the time, but I don't think I'd like to start from "scratch"!!!Hahaha...Happy weekend sweetie!!hughugs

~Red Tin Heart~ said...

This was such a fun post! I love sheep.. I would love to have a little farm and raise them for their wool.
Thank you Nathalie for the wonderful compliment on my photo.
I have thought about you all weekend.
Sending you my love, Nita