Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Harvest Home Farm Artisan & Fiber Festival

On June 16 my mom and I attended the Harvest Home Farm Artisan & Fiber Festival in Whitehall, WI.

There were sheep far away in the pasture.

And blueberry bushes!

These brothers were checking out the llamas.

And there was a sheep shearing demonstration! Shortly before this, I had read something about shearing and was intrigued. When you've shorn a sheep, the fleece is supposed to be in one whole piece; I was trying to figure out how they do it. The answer is complex, but to grossly simplify, you start with the underbelly where the fiber length is too short to use, and throw that part aside. Then, starting with short strokes around the neck and face and other nooks and crannies, then do the bigger areas. That is, again, grossly simplified. They do not do it in one continuous stroke of the shear, like I had thought. The wool more or less stays together as it is shorn, so it easily stays in one piece. And after several sheep, you have a big burlap bag of wool and some freshly shorn sheep.

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