Yesterday afternoon we took a quick trip up to Philipsburg Manor to see what was happening at this historic Hudson valley farmstead’s Sheep to Shawl Fest. We arrived just in time to see the last batch of sheep being herded to the shearing area by a very intrepid dog. There are no shearing action shots, I’m afraid, because the place was swarming with children whom I felt should get up closer than I to see where sweaters come from.
In addition to the sheep and the shearing, there were spinners and weavers and knitters on hand to explain and demonstrate their work. And a wool dyeing demonstration as well–all very impressive. And so, as advertised, we did have an opportunity to see wool travel from sheep to shawl.
We also met a couple of oxen who are from a handsome and distinctive heirloom breed of cattle that shares a background, genetically-speaking, with those oxen that arrived with 18th c. colonists to North America. The breed, Randall, has brown and white coloring and a distinct white line down their backs. We met them after their day’s work, when they were relaxing over dinner in the barn (and not letting me get a good picture of their nice white linebacks, alas).
And speaking of farms, I’m thinking that I might have to get my hands on this book sometime soon.