wooly good time

Drumlin Farm's Woolapalooze is such an important annual pilgrimage for us, it's hard to believe this was only our third year there!

a pair of wooly sheep in the pasture


I love animals, but it's always amazing to me to see people who really WORK. Because they are on like a totally different wavelength of interacting with animals. From the sheep dog trainer to the sheerer who only uses scissors, those guys are in charge with the four-footed. I have never been so jealous to be a farmer.

a sheep being sheared with big scissors

oh the indignity

Though rainy, the weather felt more like early spring than dead of winter, which was a nice improvement over last year. There was a moment though, when we were waiting for the sheepdog demonstration to begin and I felt the wet cold seeping directly into my bones, that I left Dan and Harvey to and took Zion to the food pavilion. Man, that cup of coffee was the best $2 I ever spent. Zion also enjoyed his Bertucci's roll.

zion eating a roll


Then the other boys joined us and we ate lunch on the deck of the new farm life center. Look at me knitting while my children finish eating. It's like I have an addiction or something.

Leah, Harvey, and Zion relaxing under the porch of the Farm Life Center

putting the wool to use

With lots of warm wool on our heads and bodies we made a great day of it; FOUR FULL HOURS at the farm, if you can believe it. The more I get into the fiber arts the more I have really technical questions to ask. So what was formerly a 30-second pass through of "Look Harvey, that's how they spin yarn" is now, "Hey, are there tension adjustments on that thing? How expensive is the roving? Is it the same process to ply?"

The highlight of my day was talking to an artisan who ran a booth filled with soap and Norwegian looking knit items. "This looks like something out of a Jan Brett book," Dan said.

"Actually, that's a replica of the sock that Hedgie gets stuck on his head in The Hat."

"Seriously?" I say, "I love looking at the knitting in Jan Brett's books. I've always wanted to remake the sweater that Treva wears in The Trouble with Trolls."

The women's eyes glittered. "I sell that pattern on my website," she says.

If I'm wise I won't try to size up a child's sweater pattern... instead I should wait for a girl child to come along and in the meantime make myself some useful Treva socks. Or Lisa socks. There's a lot on the website, in case you interested. (Though I feel our blog readership leans more towards "marvels at your craziness" than "actually likes the same crap.")

Here are my additional takaways from this year's woolapalooze:

- I reconfirmed my opinion that spinning looks like a fun but expensive hobby, so I'll only venture into it if we move to a farm and raise sheep.

- On the other hand, people seem to sell handmade soap for $4 a bar. So, like, I should already be selling handmade soap. I calculate it costs me about $1.95 per bar, and I could certainly cut them smaller.

- Actually, I should get goats and make goat milk soap, because that stuff looks sooo beautifully creamy. That wouldn't require moving to a farm per say... only buying a bit of property off our next door neighbor or something like that. Of course, then the cost per bar of soap would be something approaching infinity.

- I like festivals. I want to go to more festivals.

a shorn sheep in the barn