On Saturday, I drove up to Stratford Ecological Center for the monthly Fiber Circle – an unstructured three hour gathering filled with spinning wheels, pin looms, knitting, felting, coffee, snacks and talk of all things fiber. This month saw attendees ranging from one who was working on her second ever fiber project to a spinner who has been handcrafting yarn for 50 years.
This month, I worked on some free form, experimental felting.
When the meeting wrapped up, I headed outside to see all of the goings-on. I scurried straight to the sheep pen to see the Tunis and Shetland lambs.
A quick aside: When I was in middle school, we had a small flock of sheep on our ten acres of land in the country. Our first spring, we brought home two Merino babies, Spring and April. We added two young adult Columbia sheep to the flock, a ewe and a wether named Kelly and Corey. The next spring, Kelly gave birth to Bounder and a still born twin during the night. The birth was traumatic, but thankfully my dad was able to save Kelly. We added a 4H cast-off sheep named Little Guy, an Angora goat we called DeeDee and Buddy the Pygmy goat to round out our flock.
After watching the sheep, I moved on to admire the orchard/ chicken run. I’ve learned that housing hens under trees prevents hawk attacks. The hawks like to have a clear entry and exit route, and the trees obscure that. If we end up with an acre or two in a few years, this is a set-up I would like to replicate, on a smaller scale.
Finally, I took a look around Stratford’s revamped hoop house. They are growing some really lovely greens, for sale by weight. I didn’t buy any this time, but the process is easy – grab a pair of scissors and a bag, hanging by the door, and self-harvest what you’d like. Weigh and pay for your selections in the visitor center/shop.
As usual, I enjoyed getting out of the city and into the openness of the country. If you are interested in fiber arts, considering doing the same. The Stratford Fiber Circle meets the first Saturday of the month, from 10:00 until 1:00, and the fee is only $10 for the entire year. If you come, I’ll even set you up to wet felt if you’d like! See you there?