yesterday a bunch of us drove 45 minutes west of the twin cities, to join my friend birdie for a wool dyeing party. as i mentioned in an earlier post, birdie has 8 sheep purely for their wool, and she has plenty of wool to share!
around lunch time, jackie, my sis, heather, anna, anna’s mom june, anna’s sister ellie, kathryn, kristen and i all gathered at birdie & ed’s hobby farm on a sunny but breezy day. first birdie taught us how to card the wool:
we all had the chance to card. we went through a whole pillowcase of wool, which birdie says represents only 1/10 of the fleece from one sheep. it really is amazing how much wool they carry around.
birdie and her husband ed had the fire started before everyone arrived, so it was nice and hot when we started mixing the dyes. everyone had a chance to help weigh the wool and measure dye ingredients:
once the dyes were mixed and the wool was added, the jars and pots were placed over the fire to set:
while the dye was setting we ate salads, fruit, and yummy cheese toast. birdie also made us rhubarb cobbler, with rhubarb from her garden. she told us she burned it, but don’t believe her — it was sooo good.
after about an hour over the fire, the dyed wool is rinsed and laid out in the sun to dry (the orange/rust/terra cotta dye is my favorite):
at the end of the day, we got to meet the sheep! they’re a bit timid, but definitely have personalities. they raced into the barn and then peeked out at us through the barn window…
outside on a sunny day, in the company of wonderful and talented women, eating good food, learning how to dye wool… the makings of a fabulous day. and we got to take some roving home! thank you so much, birdie!