mr clipper

i spent mother’s day assisting a professional shearing team at our neighbor’s alpaca farm. i mean, when your neighbor needs help with fiber and you get the chance to watch a pro, really, the choice was obvious.

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i guess i was expecting someone old. maybe even grumpy. i never, ever imagined this pair: two young men, well traveled and tender with fiber. they met in the peruvian andes of course.

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they sheared 20 alpacas in a quick morning. we swapped stories. in those few hours in my neighbor’s barn, my current love of fiber and the fondest memories of my twenties spent travelling the world filled my mind and heart. tales of south america  and asia flowed amidst countless facts of alpaca fiber and dyeing and shearing equipment and staple length.

if anyone is ever in need of an alpaca shearer, mr clipper’s shearing service comes with my highest praise.

the mill trip

it can be an annual or semi annual or bi annual or “holy smokes our barn is full of fleece” trip to our fiber mill. so many  points of interest lie in the 250 miles between our farm and ohio valley natural fibers . each trip up there has had a different flavor, none better than the other.

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the view out the back is always the same

this year we chose the urban route through louisville. our agenda was simple: good coffee and a taste of the local food scene. our delightful host was more than happy to comply and the overnight adventure was perfect.

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we have been working with ovnf since we sheared our first ewe. the original owners had jacob’s sheep and we felt a mill that was familiar with our breed of sheep was the perfect match. now, under new ownership, we remain delighted with their services to us and other members of our regional fiber community.

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mmm

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needless to say, by the time we returned to louisville we had just enough daylight left to meander over the ohio. the sun set on our great adventure and we returned home to a farm well cared for by my teenagers (OK, one actual teenager and one 24 hours shy).

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clearly the barge knew he had an audience!

 

love blue? join us 8/22

my love affair with japanese indigo began long ago, dear friends showed us the magic of dyeing with a farm raised blue and i was hooked.

as with any good courtship, ours developed over many years. there was a lot of dyeing, even more experimentation, and all kinds of fun.  there is no doubt in my mind a peak moment was when i dipped the first yarn our farm’s flock of sheep produced into a farm raised indigo vat  and watched the magic before my eyes. it was my birthday and it was the best gift ever.

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now, years later, i am ready to share the magic. in fact, i am not only planing to share the magic, i am extending an invitation to share the community that has developed around me, our farm’s fiber and  our farm’s blue.

on august 22nd  we will gather here at hill and hollow farm for our fist natural dye workshop. it is a significant day just 4 short weeks away. a day when we will formally begin a totally new series of educational opportunities here.

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we are offering a full day of fiber fun.  it will be an introduction to natural dyeing offering participants the opportunity to harvest and dye with our farm raised japanese indigo.

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it is most importantly a day of community.  sharing the role of educator with me will be a skilled weaver and natural dyer herself: erin.  we met over a shared love for the highest quality of natural dyeing and fiber work. amazingly, she will travel from indiana to share the weekend with us.

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as if this wasn’t exciting enough, we have welcomed back fiber enthusiast and 2013 hill and hollow apprentice for another year of learning and sharing on the farm. deanna is a skilled knitter, spinner and dyer herself and will offer guests the opportunity to work with a raw fleece. taking it through each phase: washing, picking, carding and spinning into yarn.

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i have been secretly calling this fiber boot camp and i am so excited to create this space here on the farm. i am giddy to gather with such wonderful fiber enthusiasts and i thought i might just spread the word. y’all should join us.

anyone interested can email me for the specifics hhcsa@scrtc.com or call, i love a good chat 270-432-0567.