April 14, 2024

From the Pastures: Investing in wool

This is the time of year that I become a little impatient waiting for spring. The warmer weather makes me think the grass and pasture should be getting green faster than they are. The sheep are also looking impatient. They stand at the gate looking out to the pasture and make a lot of noise when I go out to the barn. I tell them, “Not yet, need to let the pasture grow and get a head start.” I do not think they understood me.

I want to give an update on the colored wool we were spinning in the mill last month. The yarn turned out very nicely. Very pretty colors and the yarn has a lofty feel. It will be great for knitting. Last month I also spun some alpaca yarn, which ended up as a thin yarn. The alpaca fiber is a lot finer than wool and spins a little differently. The yarn was very soft. The customer was happy, which is the important part.

We are still getting a lot of fiber in for processing. The reason we started the mill is to help sheep producers turn their wool into more valuable products. There is a big group of people interested in quality wool fleeces, roving and yarn. A customer once said, “If I am going to take the time to knit a sweater, I want to use a quality wool yarn.”

There are a couple of fiber festivals coming up in March and April. Illinois Fiber Festival is new at the Copper Creek Church in Champaign on March 16. On April 6 is the Stephenson County Fiber Festival in Cedarville, Illinois. Plan to attend if you have any interest in fiber. Both have some fun classes, also. I will not be able to attend this year as we are expecting a new granddaughter during that time. We are very excited. Happy Easter.

Jane Zeien

Jane Zeien

Belvidere, Ill.