Have Ewe Any Wool?

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Frying Pan Farm Park - Spring Farm Day


Today, my friend Jo and I demo'd spinning and weaving as part of the Spring Farm Day at Frying Pan Farm Park. It's a family festival with lots of activities and demos for the kids.

We had a wonderful time. I really enjoy this venue - it's very low key and serves as an educational vehicle for the children. They get to try spinning, weaving, corn shucking, and several crafts. They also learn about the various farm animals and see all the babies - young lambs, young calves, and young pigs. They also get to pet all the animals as well as watch the sheep being sheared.

Outside, there were several sheep and their lambs - they're so cute! I just love little lambs.

One new activity this year was the milking display. I had a lot of fun with this one - the 4-H kids showed me how it works and then gave me a try. Everyone should try milking a plywood cow - LOL!!!

My demo spinning wheel broke about half-way through the day. The plastic piece that connects the footman to the wheel gave up the ghost...just like it had done on my Louet several years ago. It's an easy fix once I get the right part. Jo suggested using a strip of leather instead of the plastic - that may be a good option. I'm probably going to go ahead and order the part (and some extras) so my DT Lendrum will have spares as well...just in case it suffers the same fate.

I was still able to turn the wheel manually so the kids could see how it worked, but my demo changed from the spinning wheel to the drop spindle. Jo demo'd spinning on her Victoria and I showed how the same results could be accomplished using the simple drop spindle...but definitely not as quickly as with the wheel. I even got to try out the Victoria. It's so easy to spin on - it takes a very light touch to get the wheel going and is a compact size that travels well.

I taught a young woman named Isabel how spin wool with a drop spindle during the festival. She was absolutely intrigued by the process. She returned to our display a number of times and finally asked if I could teach her how to spin. I taught her the "park and draft" method....and off she went. Isabel was a natural! She's very excited and is making plans to purchase her own drop spindle...or to have her Uncle make her one!

Patricia from Capital Alpacas was just across the barn from us. She was busily spinning alpaca and preparing the fibers using combs. Her alpacas are such sweeties...and they LOVE to eat right out of your hand - it kind of tickles as they gently nibble away. (There's no fear of being bitten as they only have bottom teeth!)

Throughout the day, the 4-H kids would lead sheep into and out of the barn. Some were off for shearing, and others just "out for a stroll".

Still others were headed off to the shearing tent. This one looked MUCH smaller upon his return from the shearing display!

There were numerous tractors on display, but my favorite one was the antique Farmall with the steel wheels.

I'm a sucker for all animals...especially the young ones like this little duckling.

The little piggies are just so cute! I love the little black and white spotted ones - they look like "holsteins"!

These calves were all so sweet. Check out the "big cow eyes" on the little brown one.

It was a beautiful day - not too hot, not too cold. The only "down side" was the extreme gusts of wind which really kicked up the dust. As always, it was a lot of fun and the kids seem to really enjoy it! Till next year...


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