Monday, February 28, 2011

Sheep Shearing

This past Saturday we enjoyed a field trip with our great friends, the Allen's at Shady Side Farm in West Olive. I heard about the shearing day via the West Michigan Etsy Team of which the owner of Shady Side Farm (Lona) belongs. This is just one of the great opportunities I have come across while becoming an active member of this team! The kids were encouraged to use all of their senses to learn about the process of shearing sheep, feeding sheep, observing new lambs and experiencing the barn as well as learning what people do with the fleece after it has been taken from the sheep and cleaned. They just loved squishing and smelling the freshly sheared fleece and watching the newly sheared sheep leap up and run down the length of the barn back to the herd. They had to pay attention so that they weren't knocked over by any of the sheep! The baby lambs were absolutely adorable! The girls begged to take one home as a pet which I said when they grow up they can live on a sheep farm and have as many baby lambs as they want - Rian has already named her future lamb "Flower".

After the girls had enough time in the barn we headed across the farm to another building where fiber artists were hard at work showing off their beautiful items crafted with wool. The kids saw socks being hand cranked on an antique sock knitting machine as well as wool being felted by Barb of Pit Bull Lady Designs. Barb was so patient as she was practically attacked by 5 super excited and curious little girls all wanting to watch/touch/see her in action as well as look at her finished products. (Thanks Barb!!). The balls of colored roving were amazing! We all enjoyed feeling the soft colorful texture of the roving and the yarn. The girls also had an opportunity to learn how the roving was turned into usable yarn by watching three women expertly spin the roving with a spinning wheel. They even got a chance to "help" spin a little yarn themselves.


Lona said...

Great photos! Thanks for sharing them.

MariO said...

Wow, this looks like it was a lot of fun!!