It's wool and studio tour season!

Although the days can still be comfortable t-shirt weather, cooler weather is fast pushing the summer heat away. Milking is done. It's now a 3 time a week check to make sure all the milkies are drying up safely, and showing no signs of mastitis. The lack of grain on the milk stand and the long, late stage grasses and hay diet is helping dry up the girls in preparation for breeding groups early October.

ON the late summer breezes I can hear but one song....it's the cool season....it's wool season....

Okay, so not really, but you get my drift. The long, constant days of summer are ending, making way for the less busy, shorter, and more creative autumn and evenings and winter nights. Wool season begins with washing the wool. I've been busy washing bags, and bags of wool.

This is a pretty messy job, so it's done in the barn. Over the years I've tried many ways of washing wool, and have settled on soaking in tubs with repeated water changes. It works well, of course having a cement floor and floor drain really helps the process. 

washing wool
feed tub wool washing
draining wet wool
draining the wool

Washing, then picking, carding, and then either weaving, spinning, felting, or dyeing it. The project I'm working on with the wool determines how far I go with processing it.

wool drying in the sun
It's clean, but still has some vegetable matter in it. the picking and carding help's with that.

 

My current focus seems to be on thick, luscious, luxurious, fleece rugs like the ones below...

smaller gradient fleece rug.
a larger, varigated rug made from the wool of Bossy and Miss Priss.

 

 

 

 It's also the time of year to trek into rural Ontario to see the changing leaves.

The Autumn Leaves Studio Tour (ALST) is a very well established studio tour of Grey and Bruce County. Guess what, We're on it - Studio R. 

Planning for the tour has been over a year in the making. Last year's tour was cancelled (like so many other things, but this one is going ahead. 

I'm pretty pleased to be in the company of such talented artists and craftspeople - from painters to blacksmiths. It's a chance to see how artists work, the materials they use, and why they make the choices they do. 

 

 

For more information about the artists on the tour, how to find their studios, and other local spot, please go to www.alst.ca

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