On Saturday, a friend and I went to the Sheep & Fiber Farm Tour together. And what a lovely, eye-opening time we had! Over the next few days I hope to share more with you regarding the farms and businesses we viewed, but here today, let me introduce you to the…
…most adorable sheep you’ve ever seen.
These are Babydoll Southdowns, and they are small, maybe not even as tall as a collie dog. See how they are just a bit taller than that five gallon bucket, there? We met them with Sue Wiegrefe of Prairie Plum Farm, who had brought the sheep up to the Clear Spring Farm to be part of the tour. She was very knowledgeable about her sheep and encouraged us to touch the fiber she had for sale. Wow. I did buy some, needing fiber for my Spinzilla spinning. Lovely, soft white, short staple, should spin up very well with a short draw. I didn’t get to it during Spinzilla…even though that is why I bought it…but that’s a story for another post.
I did tell my friend to get rid of those silly fence-climbing goats she owns and get some of these adorable Southdowns. I’m even tempted! These two were gentle, rather standoffish but after a day of being stared at, I suppose I would be too.
Sue had jams from her orchards, and as I mentioned roving for sale, and her spinning wheel up. I’m not sure if she got to use it much on Saturday; the weather was gorgeous and people all over the farm. They also had yak, and a very clean and neat farm for the yak to live on. I didn’t get to meet the owners of Clear Spring Farm so maybe next year.
I met a fellow dyer
While we were there, we also got to talk to Larisa Walk, a well-known dyer in this area. Unfortunately, none of my pictures saved from her demonstration so here is a link to some of her work from another site. She had several dye pots going, and demonstrated how mordanted and unmordanted fiber takes in the pigment differently in each of the dye baths. Larisa also uses cold-water dyeing methods, and told me she frequently leaves her fabrics and yarns in the mordant up to 30 days. That’s much longer than I’ve ever tried…I have to get to another of her workshops next summer, and work along side her.
This was a great stop on the tour! I’ll get to other stops, and a recap of Spinzilla, as soon as I can. Meanwhile, you can go enjoy looking at other pictures of Babydoll Southdowns on Google.