Wednesday, May 3, 2023
10:30 am – 2 pm
In-Person at Shaker Village (Outdoors)
Outdoors at Shaker Village and happening directly next to the Shakers’ sheep being shorn!
We will be taking hand-picked fleeces from the Shaker flock of sheep for our workshop. Work in the barnyard alongside the flock being shorn! Brother Arnold will talk a bit about the flock, the fleece, and definitely in-depth about the breed and personality of the sheep you have your fleece from. The Shakers’ flock include Romney, Shropshire, Icelandic, North Country Cheviot, and Finnsheep breeds. You will have a first-come first-served selection from fleeces shorn earlier that morning and while we are having our introduction.
Learn how to skirt, clean, and wash a fleece with Betsey Leslie of Ewes to You Farm in New Gloucester. Betsey has been hand processing fleeces for over 35 years and has developed a process of cold-water washing that allows the lanolin to remain while the dirt washes away. Lanolin is the grease that is naturally produced by sheep and helps make their wool waterproof.
We will work communally as a group to help skirt all fleeces used for the workshop. Everyone will take home their own full fleece with a sample washed and the knowledge to finish the washing process at home. A variety of natural colors will be available and participants are welcome to share their fleece with one another to have a variety of colors and breeds of Shaker wool. Your finished product will be ready to use as-is, to dye, and/or to card & spin. We will host a series of workshops in May where you can return with your clean fleece and learn how to card & spin it into your own Shaker yarn.
We ask that participants please bring:
- An old sheet to wrap your fleece up for transport.
- Wear clothes that can (and will) get dirty.
- Layer clothing for predicted temperature changes.
- A bag/cooler lunch and water bottle.
Let’s enjoy the day together, play with wool, and learn new techniques!
Maximum 12 participants.
All ages and levels of experience welcome.
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