(Make yourself a cup of tea, this is going to be a long, but interesting post!)
Last Friday I took the day off, and MiL and I drove out to Carstairs to check out Custom Woolen Mills. It was a lovely way to spend a day off and a really interesting little trip, so I thought I'd share it with you.
Firstly, I have to admit that the trip did not start off on the right foot. Carstairs is about an hour outside of Calgary, and as we turned off on to a lovely paved highway, we passed a semi, which left us this souvenir of our trip...
We did not let this set back deter our interst in seeing the wool, so we forged ahead- I suppose if something is going to happen to your BMW, the best witness to your innocence in the situation is your Mother in Law!
Driving up on the property we stopped in the shop, where we were told to check out the washing/spinning first. And so, we stepped into the barn with a very SHEEPY smell and checked out the raw wool being washed.
We also stopped into to check out the sock knitting process. Custom Woolen Mills makes a bunch of machine knit, wool socks for customers. The gentleman demonstrating this showed us the sock knitting machine.
After inhaling sheep fumes and getting a really good understanding of what goes into producing yarn, we enjoyed the RARE sunshine outside to check out the barn area and all the fleeces that are waiting to be processed.
alpaca mittens for my father in law and how very soft the yarn was!
lanolin in it, it immediately makes your fingers feel so soft to touch. We learned about the different "crimps" in wool and got to feel the difference between a "good fleece" and a "bad fleece".
Rounding out our visist, we also got to step into the store, to be tempted by the various wools they had spun.
We had a great time at Custom, despite the "rocky" start. (Bad pun alert!) I think we both found the operation fascinating, and it kind of personalizes the yarn you are buying a little more.
I did end up buying the yarn for my sister's mittens at an impromtu stop at Pudding last Friday. But we can discuss that another day. There has also been knitting progress here at Chateau Nennie.
Progress and the opportunity to cast on new projects will be on hold this week, as I prepare to write the CHRP exam. All knitting time will be devoted to studying (SOBS UNCONTROLLABLY). I will not allow myself swatches or ANYTHING for projects I want to cast on for the fall, until after the morning of Oct 2. If you think about it.... send me a little luck that day okay?
*Husband must be credited for handling the news as well as he did. Was he happy? No. But he did not get angry with me, understanding it was not my fault and also choosing to look on the bright side that no one was hurt and that no other part of the car suffered injury. On the downside- the windshield is not repairable- and will need to be replaced.