Flannel Jammies Farm

...praising God on our 1/5 acre of suburbia

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Wool Share...

Early this year, my daughter and I bought a wool share at a local farm.  This allowed us to visit and feed lambs, share dreams and conversation with the farm owner and her family, and at the end of the season we'd receive beautiful wool from her sheep.  As an added bonus, we were invited to participate in sheep shearing and wool spinning/dyeing at the farm.  (Here's a secret: my daughter is the knitter... I just wanted to visit the farm and play with the animals!)
Today, a lovely day of sunshine and mild temperatures provided by our Creator, we traveled to the farm for dyeing and spinning.  Others with wool shares were already there, others came later, arriving with expectant smiles.  Our farm hostess and her family were dressed in period garments, and had prepared everything for our visit: fresh wool separated into bundles, vinegar baths and dyes for the wool, wood fires outside to keep the dyes cooking, and a wise carding and spinning teacher. 
The wool bundles had to go through a vinegar bath to help the dyes to set, and then a quick rinse in soapy water and then clear water.   Eight of our bundles were natural that we would dye, and our other two were a lovely dark gray/brown.
Into the dye!  We chose to dye 4 of our bundles with coffee, two with turmeric, and two with a bright aqua blue dye.  The turmeric was the favorite of the day, I think, with its rich tone and fast coloring.
Once dyed the wool bundles were transferred to the clothesline to dry.  Small color sample bundles were also there in the sunshine. 
While our treasures were drying outside, we all gathered for a delicious lunch of fresh salad greens dressed with farm-made goat cheese, sunflower seeds, and a balsamic vinaigrette.  Fresh baked bread, some scented with rosemary, was served with butter and farm-canned blackberry jam.  Farm daughters had also prepared fresh lemonade with honey for us.
This day, the culmination of a season of visits on the farm, was a gift.  Our hostess is so generous with her time and her knowledge, giving us a recipe for a healing tea as we said farewell.   She and her family are a fine example of sustainable and joyful living in what can be a crazy and chaotic world, and a true exhibition of hospitality.  Thank you, M, for the season of wool!

She finds wool and flax
      and busily spins it.
She is like a merchant’s ship,
      bringing her food from afar.
She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household
      and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.
She goes to inspect a field and buys it;
      with her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She is energetic and strong,
      a hard worker.
She makes sure her dealings are profitable;
      her lamp burns late into the night.
Her hands are busy spinning thread,
      her fingers twisting fiber.
She extends a helping hand to the poor
      and opens her arms to the needy.
She has no fear of winter for her household,
      for everyone has warm clothes.
She makes her own bedspreads.
      She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.
Her husband is well known at the city gates,
      where he sits with the other civic leaders.
She makes belted linen garments
      and sashes to sell to the merchants.
She is clothed with strength and dignity,
      and she laughs without fear of the future.
When she speaks, her words are wise,
      and she gives instructions with kindness.
She carefully watches everything in her household
      and suffers nothing from laziness.
Her children stand and bless her.
      Her husband praises her:
“There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
      but you surpass them all!”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
      but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.
Reward her for all she has done.
      Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.
Proverbs 31:13-31


Lorie said...

What a beautiful day!

The Cottage Girl said...

Your description of the day makes me want to go too! This all sounds very interesting. What a great experience.

Doug VanNiel said...

hi Donna, Did I tell you that my mom is a weaver? she has done many little projects on her loom in New Bern, N.C. I'll have to ask her if she had ever spun her own yarn. Sounds like fun. I look forward to seeing the end result after the knitting part of the project. DV

donna rae said...

Lorie and Cottage Girl, thanks for the comments... it was such a beautiful season of wool!

Pastor Doug! How fun to hear from you that your mom's a weaver! I'd love to learn weaving and leave the knitting to my daughter, Trista.