Friday, March 23, 2012

Field Trip!

In the midst of throwing pots (boy do I owe ya'll a pottery post!), sorting unmovable-by-movers stuff, weaving commissions, driving back and forth to Fredericksburg and the general stress of limbo I decided a break was in order! Pat from the Fredericksburg Spinning and Weaving Guild arranged for members to visit Misty Mountain and Solitude Wool.  Since I am crazy for Solitude Wool's Karakul wool and had limited time I opted for a quick trip to Solitude.

I love what they do.  Suzanne raises Karakul sheep at her farm Red Gate Farm, shops for other local breed fleece and is the washer of fleece and the dyer.....Gretchen raises Romney at Solitude and weaves and seems to be the master of their internet presence (though that is my own observation.....)  Together they are Solitude Wool.  While they each have their own farms, they have finally found a warehouse location between their locations to centralize all their woolly products.  It's an amazing space.

Sue discussing "skirting".  When you lay out a fleece and sort out the short cuts and unusable wool.

The Tunis (the type of sheep grazing at Mount Vernon during George Washington's life time) fleece on the skirting table.

Just LOOK at that crimp!  This is what handspinners are looking for.

Sue and Gretchen sell mostly breed specific yarns and rovings.  Each is well labeled with a picture of the sheep.....

This basket of Karakul was somewhat depleted after my visit.....

Solitude Wool's product is available on their website.  But if you are lucky enough to live in the DC area they are regulars at the DC Farmers Market!


Elizabeth Seaver said...

What fun! I'm glad you got to take a little break!

Tracey Broome said...

Girllll, you are soooo making me want to weave!!! I'm am going to have to come back in another life and weave, I can't figure out how to fit it in this one!

Anna M. Branner said...

Hey Tracey, get your self a rigid heddle loom! They are compact and allow you to do alot of easy quick projects. Tons of fun for playing with color....Not too time consuming, easy to learn and small enough to put away.

Gretchen said...

Hi Anna!
We loved having you all, and are excited that you love the Karakul. We will replenish the supply of yarn asap!

Couple of detail corrections so folks don't get confused: My farm's name is Solitude (it is a 1790 farm, don't know who named it Solitude, but it has been named that for a lonnnggg time. Our yarn business name is Solitude Wool. And Sue's full name is Suzanne, but she goes by Sue.

Anna M. Branner said...

Hi Gretchen! Thanks so much for clarifying things for me! I will definitely do some corrections. And thanks for reading. :)

Elizabeth said...

Looks like a great trip!!
Congrats on the contract!!