On the final day of the 4th Annual Olympic Peninsula Fiber Farm Tour, I visited Compass Rose Farm and their Icelandic sheep.
One of the first things that grabbed me was the colours of the sheep. Not just black, brown, grey and white but all types of shades that comes from different breeding. Light brown, dark brown, brown-black, red brown, tan, carmael, brown with white/grey/black/different brown spots grey, silver, grey-black, white white, off white, white with brown/black/grey spots, black with white/brown/grey spots, black-brown, black black…the list goes on and on and on…
And, just for MORE variety, there were two guard llamas looking on. Yes, guard llamas. And, just as their sheep are different colours, they are too!
I had a wonderful talk about the sheep themselves and breeding practises in the US versus Iceland (for multi-coloured wool here vs meat and milk there) and the practises of Compass Rose Farm. It makes me so glad to hear that breeding for colour and fine-ness are hand in hand for them.
After talking sheep for a while, I then looked around a bit more and admired their garden and plants and realised that I really like their set-up with the chip lined pathways…
but kept being drawn back to the animals.
It was a wonderful visit. They also have bees, though I failed to photograph their 3 hives. Like most of the farms that we visited, these lovely folks have chickens too, 4 different breeds, and I had to buy some eggs.
And yes, since you asked, some wool DID follow me home. There was a beautiful black for Mike, much more black than the dark grey (dark brown) Romney we found yesterday but with enough character for me than I won’t feel like I’m spinning into an abyss. 26 ounces (1.625 lbs) in 2 bumps.
36 ounces (2.25lbs) in 2 bumps. It was love at first sight and no, I’m not sorry at all that there is barely any room in the
spare room wool room. If I could have still fed my family and bought the rest of the cinnamon tweed, I would have. Granted, if I had bought it, I would have needed less fiber to clothe us but I didn’t think it would be in our best interests.
All in all, this has been such a stellar weekend. The weather has been lovely, the people super friendly, the animals beautiful and the fiber abundant. While at Taylored Fibers, Barry showed me the rescue/freecycle llama, alpaca and random breed of sheep wool fleeces that he had washed and was ready for the carding machine in the next few weeks. With glee I gave over the Shetland and two other alpaca fleeces and should have those in 6 weeks or so. I am so very excited about getting started spinning all my new lovely wool so the real question becomes: Which do I spin first? Suri Alpaca? Jacob? Romney? Icelandic Black or Cinnamon?
So many choices came into being this weekend, we shan’t speak of the beautiful colours that are already in the stash or coming from the ITW club. While I’m selling my Ladybug this weekend, I am sorely tempted to get another wheel so I can have multiple projects going at once! Wouldn’t it be smart to have two though? One for natural colours, one for those beautiful dyed woolies? Makes sense to me!