Wooly field trip

Shortly after the Kansas State Fair, I got to do something I’d been thinking about for a long time… I went with a bunch of spinning and weaving friends to tour Mid-States Wool Growers Cooperative.  This came awfully close to sensory overload for us fiber types!

Here are a couple of views of what we saw on entering the warehouse area:

Bins full of wool

Way more than "three bags full"!

Wool expert Alex McClure explained how shipments arrive from all over this part of the country and are tracked for each individual grower, then graded for quality and sorted…

Our guide, Alex McClure

Where the grading is done

One of the grading criteria - staple length

Baler

… then baled and sent on to processors.  He was very patient, and answered all of our questions.

He had even set out a number of fleeces of varying fineness and quality for us to look at, handle, and ask even more questions about!

The whole happy group

Then, best of all, we were able to pick out and buy any fleeces we wanted!  Laura (Sugar Bunny Boulevard yarn shop proprietor) and Marsha scored the reserve champion fleece, splitting it 50/50.

A pair of happy fleece owners

One of the advantages of being the tour arranger was that I got dibs on the grand champion fleece!

My lovely, lovely wool

I think it would satisfyingly complete the cycle if I spun and knitted something from this fleece, then entered it in next year’s fair, don’t you?

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3 Responses to Wooly field trip

  1. Laura says:

    Beautiful Sharon! My photos are very similar but I don’t have the one of me and Marsha together! Would you please email that one to me?? Thank you SO MUCH for arranging this opportunity for us! It was SUCH a delight! Have you started washing your fleece yet? I’ve got the Dawn out and took it to the shop and put it on the counter by my 1/2 fleece and that’s as far as I’ve gotten so far. 🙂

  2. liliad says:

    You all look like you’re having so much fun!

  3. Maria Ada says:

    Oh, how cool! Thanks for sharing your behind-the-scenes experience with the rest of us.

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