February 27, 2024

From the Pastures: Come on, Barbie

September already! Have you had your first pumpkin spice latte? I have not, but I did enjoy a pumpkin spice cream cheese muffin the other day. I saw a funny advertisement for pumpkin spice oil change for your car. Seems everyone is jumping on the trend — even if to poke fun at all the hype.

The mill is very busy getting ready for the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival. The trailer is almost all packed. Setup is only one day away as I write this. Thus, I am a little panicked, but also excited.

I have made some new things this year using my wool. The Scottish Blackface wool we have felts very nicely. I run batts from our carder using about a pound of wool. I have a friend who puts two batts together and needle felts the batts on a felting machine. She then cuts them into small round and square pieces.

I dyed them in different fall colors and then put four together with a nice piece of wool yarn for a set of wool coasters. From one batt, there are at least 30 coasters. I think it is a good value-added item to make from wool. Hopefully, they will be well received.

Another new item is Barbie pink yarn. I dyed a bunch of Shetland wool with a pink dye and spun it to a two-ply yarn. It will be great for anyone with kids interested in Barbie. Should knit a nice pink hat, mittens or scarf.

Last month, I mentioned that my husband and I had a chance to visit Dublin, Ireland. We were only in the city, not in the countryside. We did not see any of Ireland’s real sheep. It was interesting how many stores had sheep-related items and wool clothing. Hats, gloves, scarves, handbags, blankets, sweaters all made with wool were everywhere. All the items were high quality and in wonderful colors.

Pictures of sheep were common on all types of items from coffee cups to socks. Ireland does a good job of marketing their sheep and wool. It is hard for any tourist not to leave without something sheep related — me included. Our suitcases were a bit heavy on the return trip. Have a wonderful September.

Jane Zeien

Jane Zeien

Belvidere, Ill.