Friday, September 24, 2004

The Wool Tour

Fall is coming fast. The Wool Tour is October 9 and 10th. The Wool Tour is a trip through New Hampshire to visit five farms that all have something to do with the fine art of working with wooly stuff. I have been going on the Wool Tour for seven years at least. I heard about it when I owned a farm in Londonderry, New Hampshire, and had many friends nearby who were avid knitters like I am. This tour is pure New Hampshire. It is a chance to take a drive through the lovely back woods, and map in hand, find these five farms and visit with folks who love all things wool. There are sheep farms to visit, where they have sheep dog demonstrations, and where you can buy all kinds of roving for spinning, wool for knitting, some hand-knitted garments, and even lamb to eat (eep).

One farm sells a field full of pumpkins as well as wool. Different "wool people" gather in their barns to talk about their favorite projects and sell all matter of stuff. One farm has master weavers who show their new works, their hand dyed yarn for weaving, natural dyes and looms. The Alpaca farms have their own fleece to sell, as well as a friendly Alpaca or two if you brought a truck. Everyone enjoys talking to other knitters and spinners, people who enjoy making things with their own hands, all the while knowing that the time they spend on each item could never be sold for what it is worth. The Fiber Studio has a huge inventory of yarns, wheels, looms, knitting accessories galore and a huge studio for classes. There isn't much that the owner, who has a masters degree in fiber arts, doesn't know about spinning, weaving or knitting.

At the tiny Wool Room yarn store in Antrim, they have demonstations of spinning on antique spinning wheels. I look forward to seeing the woman again who sits on her chair with her angora bunny on her lap and spins the yarn right off the bunny! I look forward to visiting their two Cotswold sheep and buying some roving to spin into a Christmas scarf or two. I have made a lot of friends at these farms and yarn shops. The Wool Tour is a little slice of heaven for anyone interested in fiber. Add to this the glorious colors of New Hampshire in fall, and it makes for a day I look forward to every year.