Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wooly Bully!

About a year ago, I bought some divine yarn called “Shepherd’s Wool.” The colors were beautiful – bright jewel tones, beautiful colors of nature. And the texture was so soft, that as the yarn went through my fingers and piled up on my lap as a cohesive piece, I felt as though I was working with a cloud.

When I noticed the label said “Stonehedge” and was from East Jordan, Michigan, I wondered – could this be the Stonehedge Petting Farm sign I’d seen on road trips in the north, only 25 miles from my cottage?

It was, indeed, and became my first northern field trip of the summer.
Cruising down the lonesome highway. Yes, it may be summer, but with gas at $4.25, it was pretty lonesome!

I turned in to see a gravel driveway with a barn and paddock at the far end, a small building at the left and two others on the right.

My first stop, of course, was the yarn shop, a very tiny little spot with the glorious wool hanging along the wall! This is just a sampling. I ended up with more skeins than I needed, along with some small balls of fleece for needle felting.

Then Debbie, the owner, took me on a tour of the fiber mill and the area where the dying and skein-making was done.

First, cleaning the fleece – after it’s washed it goes through a machine that picks it apart (no burrs here!) and it ends up as the fleecy roving.

Then it is dyed.

and then put on machines that spin it.

Another machine turns the individual “ply” into whatever-ply the yarn is!
(I was thrilled they were working with my favorite green!)

And eventually, pulled together and labeled!

After that, I enjoyed a look at the farm part, but the sheep were in another pasture, so I missed them. I did, however, see Thunder the horse!

What a treat that was! My thanks to Debbie and her crew!

Then it was into East Jordan for a few antiquing moments -- I didn't buy (prices were high) but it was fun to look!

After that, a stop at Circle Herb Farm, where everything was all a-bloom.

As I left, I thought, “how lucky am I?” Pretty lucky!


robin-bird said...

awww...yes pretty lucky indeed :) that was a great adventure and you created a photo essay that gave us lots of interesting information. these are things i would never learned in a hundred years unless you had told me. i like the idea of a rode trip out on my own. i haven't done that for years unless i have a destination that includes a friend.hmmmm there are many places to go here in oregon. i will have to ponder that idea.
love to you jeanie and thanks for the ride!

Beth said...

what a great trip and once again your photos took us all on the trip with you !!!

Anonymous said...

What a fun field trip for me this morning, while it is raining here (which is fine since we need a break from the heat).

The yarns were just gorgeous. Although I do not do anything with yarn anymore (once upon a time a weaver) I probably would have had to buy some!

Thanks for sharing.

Beth Leintz said...

I'm fascinated by the whole "making yarn" process. I keep thinking I'd like to spin my own- but then when there's such beautiful stuff to buy- I think maybe my time is better spent knitting ;) Thanks for sharing the pictures!

Artsy Etc. said...

Lovely adventure. I felt like I was there with you. You also reminded me how much I need to plant nasturtiums next year. I sure do love those.

xoxox have a great weekend, Jeanie.

Naturegirl said...

This was an awesome field trip!Good that you took the time to explore!
Cool the process the wool goes through! Thanks for taking me along!

julochka said...

love all those pix!! and you make me want to visit a yarn shop and see them actually MAKING the yarn. i obsessively buy yarn, but don't really know how to knit. yet. but i shall learn. :-)

Rosa said...

Oooh, I love your adventures! I too love wool and I don't even knit. I would love to have a big wooden bowl full of colorful balls. One day.

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