Wool Day, Saturday, April 16, 2011
Sartell Farm, Fiber Dreams Farm, Blue-By-Ewe Farm,
Three tours took place throughout the day, beginning at the Sartell Farm for shearing and skirting, then moving on to Fiber Dreams Farm to observe the wool processing operation, then the final stop at Blue-By-Ewe Farm for spinning and dyeing of wool.
The very cold, spring day started off at the Sartell Farm, 4 Fisk Hill Road,Temple where Kate Sartell demonstrated sheep shearing. Kate started shearing at the age of 12, doing heer own flock. By sixteen she was getting hired by others to shear their flock. This was followed by demonstrations on skirting fleeces, general talks on the different types and uses of wool, handling and storing fleeces and preparing the wool for processing, given by Nadine Chounet of Painted Knoll Farm in New Hampton. Nadine told the crowd how she never stores fleeces in plastic bags, she will roll her fleeces in old sheets which she has gotten from family members and second hand stores. She showed how to skirt a fleece, removing second cuts, hay and the dirtiest parts of the fleece.
As the tour proceeded onto Fiber Dreams Farm, 115 Webster Highway,Temple the second tour will began at the Sartell Farm.
At Fiber Dreams Farm, owner Jennifer Connolly gave tours at her wool processing operation. She took the guests all through the steps the fleece goes through from raw fleece to roving. This was an opportunity to see the scouring, picking and carding process up close, to ask questions and actually see fleeces being done.
The tour concluded at Blue-By-Ewe Farm, 147 NH Rt 45, Temple, owner Donna Quinn, Hillary Chapin of Smiling Sheep Farm and Lisa Letendre of Green Mt. Spinnery were demonstrating many dyeing techniques using natural herbs grown by Donna. They showed many yarns dyed with natural dyes, as well as microwave dyeing techniques using chemical dyes. Lisa explained how to dye with onion skins, which part of the onion to use and the different colors you can get from them. They created multi colored yarns by pouring different dyes on the skein and microwaving them. At this stop there was also other wool craft demonstrations taking place, such as spinning and needle felting. These were being demonstrated by the Monadnock Woolies 4-H Sheep Club, when they weren't trying to stay warm.
The New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Growers Association would like to thank the Sartell's, the Connolly's, and the Quinn's for opening their farms for the public. As well as, Nadine Chounet, Lisa Letendre, Hillary Chapin and the Monadnock Woolies for giving their time and knowledge. We are able to offer events like this because of this giving from our members. Thank you very much.
The contact people for this event were:
Ted, Felicia, and Kate Sartell