Today, a kind-of last minute decision to visit Zeilinger Wool Mill (www.zwool.com), in historic Frankenmuth, Michigan was a fun and educational event. Katie missed an opportunity to visit the mill with her 4-H group earlier this year, so we decided to jump in the car first thing this a.m. – the kids are on mid-winter break. The mill is located just over an hour drive from Armada. Though somewhat familiar with the ‘sheep to shawl’ process, it was an interesting and insightful trip.
The tour encompassed key processes: scouring (washing the wool), drying, picking, carding; from there the wool may be processed into batts or roving, and finally into yarn and/or into machine-knitted socks. The mill also offers wool comforters and various fiber products in their shop. They also have a limited capability of dyeing. We were told that many family/hobby farms like ours make-up a large part of their business. While they process wool, alpaca, llama, mohair and angora, they also process a few ‘exotics’ like buffalo and yak! We finished up our visit with a famous chicken lunch at Zehnders.
Being exposed to all that fiber today, I have to share my latest project. I’m often recycling wool blankets into lap/baby blankets with – you guessed it – SHEEPY motifs. This one is a pretty two-tone soft pastel yellow (approx 45″ X 52″) with a crocheted picot edging all around in natural white and a central, rather large (15″ X 17″), sheep! BAA!
Have a wooly great weekend!