Recently I had another birthday. I'm old enough where a fire extinguisher is a required with the birthday cake. When does the count start going in reverse?
My mom was kind enough to register me for The Traveling Ewe's weekend Fiber Frolic. We traveled from Portland to Blakesley Creek Farm in Wren, Oregon. The farm is home to Wensleydale sheep, rescue Alpacas, German Angora rabbits, the cutest guard dogs ever, and several turkeys and chickens.
Lois runs the farm and she gave us a tour of the animals and how she processes their fiber in preparation for dyeing there, or going on to a mill. In addition to the fibers she processes, she also had sample of other types of fiber and we got to play a game of guessing the animal/breed to the fiber sample. I was lucky enough to have the Angora rabbit. MUST have one!
Lois mentioned that they are finishing up on some guest quarters, similar to a B&B. So eventually one can make a weekend reservation and learn how to just about anything fiber related over the weekend. Spinning, dyeing, knitting, etc.
After the farm, we traveled to Corvallis for lunch and yarn shopping at Stash. Stash has a modern feel and great customer service. They carry some standard brands like MadelineTosh, SweetGeorgia, and Brooklyn Tweed, in addition to local indie dyers like Knitted Wit, Black Trillium, and Despondent Dyes. Good variety of needles, both knitting and crochet, and other fiber accessories. But surprisingly, I actually left the store with only some stitch markers I've been looking forever for.
Our last stop was in Halsey, Oregon at Ewethful Fiber Farm & Mill, which also houses Despondent Dyes. The building is a historic Hardware and Antique store. The front of the store is set up somewhat as a mercantile, selling fiber and yarn, in addition to hand made quilts, knitting kits, knick knacks, and antiques. They also offer various fiber related classes. Kim runs the store and the mill.
In the back is the Mill area, where Kim can process wool and alpaca into bats, roving, or yarn. It's basically a one woman operation, and it looked like she had a lot going on there.
Further back is Kathy's dye studio, Despondent Dyes. It's a relatively small, but well laid out studio. This is Kathy's second year of operation. She produces a lovely array of sock/fingering weight hand dyed yarns and beautiful sock blanks, both single and double knitted. She also works i conjunction with Kim on dying hand-spun for the Mill store.
After the Mill, we headed home. This was my first trip with the Traveling Ewe, and I highly recommend checking them out. JJ is the owner and she has some incredible trips coming up. A 5-day trip to Denver in October, "Sheepish in Seattle" in April (this is their 4th annual trip), and there is talk of a New York trip in late 2018. She also tries to schedule 2-3 day trips a year.
A big thank you to JJ, her helpers, and all the wonderful ladies on this trip. It was such a pleasure to meet everyone. No doubt about it, fiber enthusiasts rock.