On Friday I had a wonderful morning visit with Sally and Ian at Topsy Farms on Amherst Island, Ontario. Sally and I had fun choosing colours of Topsy’s 2-ply, 100% wool worsted weight yarn for Purlin’ J’s.
Afterwards Ian gave me a tour of the barn and explained the workings of the farm, starting from how they shear the sheep, to loading the wool on to the small ferry for it to go to PEI for processing. Topsy’s yarn is processed with soap, not detergent, which is why it feels so soft.
I also got to visit with this little lamb, who is about a month old!
Here is some of the Topsy yarn you’ll find on-board Lil Dorothy:
Yesterday I visited Carleton Place, Ontario, to attend the Lambs Down Festival. It was held at the premises of the Canadian Cooperative Wool Growers, the place where three million pounds of Canadian wool is graded then distributed around the world. The Lambs Down Festival features sheep-shearing demonstrations. I watched this one-year-old ewe being sheared for the first time!
The Co-op was established in 1918 by the sheep industry as a national system of collecting and marketing its members’ wool on a co-operative basis. It occupies a former Canadian Pacific Railway roundhouse. Did you know that only 10% of wool produced in Canada stays in Canada? The other 90% is exported.
Yesterday the warehouse was open. There seemed to be LOTS of raw wool stored there until it is graded and shipped out.
Here are some more photos from my recent visit to Silver Cloud Alpacas, north of Kingston, Ontario. As you can see from the bottom photo, the animals were freshly shorn. The freshly-shorn fleece is then laid out in the top-floor of the barn (middle). I love that the finished yarn can be tracked to the individual animal.