Spin In 2008 at Black Bear Winery Greene NY
We went to a local Spin in today at the Black Bear Winery. It wasn't a large event about 8-10 local farmers who raise anything from goats, different breeds of sheep and alpaca, but, they were a wealth of knowledge!
I had my drop spindle on me and my son and I started talking to a very nice woman named Amy who raises Angora rabbits and Fin sheep. I was asking about the bunnies as she had chosen not to bring them today because they were freshly plucked and looked like any normal bunnie right now, but, when she next breeds them she has my number so I may have one YAY!
Then we turned our attention to her fin sheep. They have a very soft coat much different in feel to a shetland sheep.
Here is Tony (the dark brown sheep) and Zinnia the light Tan in a little pen where we could pet and feed them. Both were born back in March of 2008 but in different litters and were bottle fed even though the rest of their litters were mother fed.
There were also 2 freshly sheered Alpacas there. You could pet them if they came close enough to allow you. Their head was still fluffy and so soft and their freshly sheered bodies felt like a chenille afghan.
The owners of all and the spinners were more then happy to talk to anyone about the animals, fleece, bats, roving you name it. Amy, the fin sheep owner, handed us some prepared roving from some of her sheep and started to help my youngest son spin this onto a drop spindle. She was having a ball teaching him and he was picking it up very fast! He ended up spinning about 10 1/2 yards in 15 min so she then taught him how to andean ply it with itself to make a yarn suitable for knitting and to help set the twist.
Here's His first spin off:
He now has a little over 5 yrds of plyed fin wool to knit with.
Amy was impressed with his interest and how fast he was picking this up and offered him some roving she had in her car. We walked up with her to find bags full of roving and out she pulls a blanket of brown fin wool and hands it to him, to play with, about 2 lbs.
We got her name and address and she took down ours for a bunny but we are invited to stop into her farm any time. She also has a spinning wheel shes willing to loan out for a month to get me totally addicted and drooling for my own lol
Then I spotted Sharron who is a local Alpaca farmer who blames me for getting her addicted to some online sites :) It's all in good fun. But, she just shoved some orange alpaca roving into the bag I was carrying and told me to take it. Then she handed Ben some White to card in with his wool and play with it more. She has a spinning group that meets at her farm and I am invited to come out and spin with them whenever I like! I was in heaven!
Amy also gave us a small sample of her angora rabbits last plucking
It started to rain a bit so we went inside for a wine tasting mmmm It's not bad either you get to taste 6 wines for $3, so the hubby and I each did our own tasting and shared so we sampled 12 of their wonderful berry wines. They don't use grapes at all so white/red doesn't make a difference because its not what you are use to with grape based wines. It was wonderful! I came home with a bottle of Strawberry Dream which is a desert wine and to me its desert in and of itself! It smells like Strawberry shortcake and tastes heavenly! The Hard cider is good as well and we were told by the owner is great mixed with beer too! I also fell in love with their Elderberry wine, Ruby, Starlight and Cranberry Zing. We will be going back for more!
We came home and Ben had to keep on spinning but he wanted to practice. So I gave him some commercial roving and he's been spinning away.
He now has about 15 yards of commercial roving spun up and wants to again practice plying it. He's very good at spinning and picked it up fast. So fast that Sharron saw his yarn Amy taght him to spun and jokingly showed him her's said "I've been spinning for 4 years now and yours is better...ok you go away now!" LOL
We had a great time though and I hope the event only gets larger each year. I know I will be looking for it next year and spreading the word as well as visiting these local farms and learning from them and buying (well bartering as many don't sell their roving or hand spun but will barter it for anything you have)