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Maine Fiberarts Tour Weekend at Hatchtown Farm

!! Fiber !! Fiber !! Fiber !! Fiber !!


Check out the Hatchtown page at the Maine Fiberarts website.

Fri., Sat. & Sun.
August 5, 6 & 7
10 am — 5 pm

Hatchtown Farm is either No. 67 or No. 15
Now, if you have the large, glossy Tour Map that Maine Fiberarts printed up a couple of years ago, or are viewing the Printed Tour Map on the MFA website, we are No. 67 on the Pemaquid peninsula. But, if you have the smaller flyer printed this summer, you’ll find us as No. 15. So! ..if you are really going to come on down it might be the easiest for you to jump over to the Contact page right here on our website for all the information you might need. The webpage lists all the specifics and particulars …phone number and such. You can even have the Google Map folks work up a set a of customized directions with maps just for you.

Shearing Day…Spring is on the way!

This morning it’s snowing  just enough to brighten up the grey piles that pepper the landscape, but the other morning when I opened the door, I smelled Spring…a welcome change from the all familiar wood smoke of Winter! And last week, our cat was stalking a Robin that was flitting around in one of the apple trees.  A Robin…?  I know,  it seems a little early to me.  But I guess Spring really is coming… thank goodness!  We’re ready for it…even the inevitable boot-sucking muck!    

shearing grey

a little taste...

Another sign — SHEARING…the big reveal…our Spring Harvest!  It’s all happening on Saturday, March 5th.  Emily, our wonderful shearer, will get started at about 9:30AM and will finish up when the sheep are naked…probably about 4PM.  Come by for a fleece preview.  We’ll give you a job if you’d like one or you can bring a chair and just hang out.  Stay all day or for just a little while. We’ll be happy to see you !!  Can’t wait to see those fleeces!  It might be a little too early to see signs of lambs but maybe we’ll get lucky.

snow sheep

Waiting for Emily...growing yummy fleece!

I’m going to make some chili &/or soup & bread for all who’d like to stay afterwards. And we’ll have drinks on hand.  Please let us if you’re coming so we’ll plan enough food for all to enjoy and  please bring a little something to share (hints: chocolate is a big hit and I don’t bake). It’ll be fun to relax and chat after a day of fleece and sheep handling! a memory

Usually it takes me a few days to recover from Maryland…mostly it’s the long drive that gets to  me.  But this year wasn’t normal… it was SUPER HOT!  Considering that it was snowing in parts of Maine on the day I left, the heat was kind of like a punch in the gut.  All that aside — the festival was as wonderful as ever — although it is becoming very BIG.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people there…

maryland crowd

The main boulevard into the fairgrounds was well travelled all day Saturday -- and take a look at that parking lot in the background!

I participated at the American Coopworth Registry booth again and our members brought together a wonderful selection of Coopworth products…a lot of talent in this group!  The booth was well stocked with everything from handmade woolie greeting cards and pins to hats designed with tons of woolie locks knitted in and looking like a wild head of hair…and lots of beautiful yarn, roving & fleece of course. (photo by Martha)

ACR booth MD 2010

Our booth was busy...serious fiber folks don't let the weather get them down.

This year our group was invited by the Festival Committee to participate in the Breeds Display Barn…just 2 weeks before the Festival — yikes!  Luckily, one of our junior members was bringing sheep so that was one big hurdle taken care of…and our member who does the Coopworth Breed Display at Rhinebeck jumped right in and volunteered to take this on.  And here’s the result of their efforts — WOOHOO to Kris and Erinn!!

MD breed display 2010

A beautiful selection of Coopworth products and loads of photos of our members' sheep.

winning MD breed display

The judges awarded us Champion of the Wool Breeds Division & Grand Champion overall!

Didn’t do much shopping this year — picked up a book for a friend and a replacement part for my Woolee Winder.  I was tempted by some beatiful fiber but behaved myself.  Mostly, I spent a bunch on water, lemon and limeade and a couple of very tasty lamb lunches enjoyed with friends in the shade of a big old tree.

More Shearing Day

And now a little creative piece from Jim.  Enjoy!

Shearing Day(s)

lustrous silver fleece

Look at the lustre!!

Whew!  Shearing for this year is done!  We’re so lucky to have sheep that make such beautiful fiber and a “sheep whispering” shearer.  Mother Nature smiled upon us and gave us the most gorgeous day on Saturday.  She even brought on the sun just as we gathered to finish up on Sunday. 

Thanks to all who came to help, everything went smoothly.  The skirters — experienced and newbies alike — did an extraordinary job.  One of our CSA shareholders came from Florida via NH and she even had her husband skirting before too long!  I’m betting there’ll be very little for me to do when I get back into the fleeces.  And we must not forget the sweeper who keeps the shearing floor clear of debris… and those who got down and dirty in the sheep pen.  Without them the sheep wouldn’t make it to the shearing floor at all!  And then there were all the folks to came to cheer us on…thanks everybody!  What a fun day we all had!

Here are some photos.  Jim was having flash issues so some are a little blurred but hope you enjoy them anyway. 

shearing 2010

Emily gets started on the first sheep and the skirting crew waits to get their hands into the nice warm fleece.

keeping the floor clean

Penelope stands ready with her broom. That floor is so clean you could eat off...well, maybe not!

little helper

Little Minh has his broom and is ready to help Penelope.

picking up fleece

Kathy became an expert fleece picker-upper/thrower. Here she dives right in! The skirters await her throw...

shearing 2010

Our oldest visitor (80+) and one of our youngest look on as Emily shears.

many hands at the skirting table

Many hands at the skirting table make light work.

sunday skirters

The skirters roll up a pretty grey fleece.

action at the skirting table

Serafina opens a sheet for the fleece to be wrapped in.

Emily 2010

Emily, our "sheep whispering" shearer is calm and relaxed even after 5 hours of hugging sheep.

naked sheep

Only a few more to shear and the girls are starting to hint that they'd like their hay.

shearing day nosh

After the sheep are fed, we head to the kitchen for a well-deserved nosh.