Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wonderful wool

The Royals were on PEI one day for a visit and some fun by the sounds of it so while they were in one direction, we went in another.  We headed up the highway to a town called Bloomfield.  I never actually saw the town as the woolen mill was right on the highway.

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Marlene gave us the name of this place.  We went inside and watched the making of wool.  Not yarn, wool.  I love working with wool and when you are done you have the warmest homemade slippers you will ever put on your feet.
This is the workings inside that door.

Now I'm not sure about all these steps in the process of making wool fibers.  I know they have to "card" the wool after it has been washed.  This manufacturer did not do the washing on site, so I believe it came in ready to put through the machine.  It also has to be spun which you can see here.  The dying process was done off site too.  It is a self-guided tour so hard to learn without being able to ask questions.  Perhaps we'll go back and ask another time.

We watched it all and then went upstairs.  They sell everything wool including skeins.  I bought a few

These are only 3 ply so I'll add one colour to the black for the slippers.  I bought 2 skeins of the black.  The colours were selected with specific people in mind.

Karl found these in another bin.  These are 5 ply!!  Only need one "thread" while knitting these up.

These are the slippers I make up.  I've been making them for our daughter since she was little.  Its an annual gift.  It isn't Christmas if Mom doesn't make slippers.

When we were finished at the woolen mill, we got back on the highway and headed to Birch Hill, a tiny community that is mostly farming.  We were heading to Green Gable Alpacas.

These lovely animals had just been sheared a few weeks ago.  They are wonderful.  Raised only for their fibre.  Nothing else.  They are not beasts of burden.  They came from South America originally but are now enjoying great lives in Canada.  There are a few alpaca farms in my area.  Their fibre comes in many, many natural colours, so nothing has to be dyed.

Look at these two.  They are just small guys.  One is named Cola and darned if I can remember the other name.  Each and everyone has a name.  I love Cola's face.

Alpacas have toes, they don't have hooves.  I heard years ago that they were created this way so it was easier for them in climbing mountain sides where they first resided.  I don't know if this is true, but it makes sense to me.

This farm was once a dairy farm, and when Janet saw it, she instantly knew that she would convert the milk shed into a store. 

Janet, who hails from Hamilton, Ontario (two towns over from me) only moved to the Island a few years ago.  She said it was time for a change in her life.  What a change it was for her.  This is the inside of the store.  It is fabulous.

Of course, I purchased.  Socks for my always cold feet and a new scarf which Janet knitted.  I can use this with either of my winter coats and it will keep my neck lovely and warm.  I bought wool too.  I hope someday to knit myself a pair of gloves.

Karl also got a pair of inserts for his winter boots.  It will help keep his toes warm while out blowing the snow next winter.!!!

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