Day 4 on the fiber tour took us inland, north and west, about 2 hours. Our first stop was at Bartlett Yarns. Bartlett is the last mule spun mill remaining in the United States. We were able to tour the facility starting at receiving room, where raw fleeces come in and are sorted. They are then sent out to be washed, and in some cases, dyed. We moved to the mill where machinery from by-gone days is still in use for processing the cleaned fiber. As a hand spinner who has processed a raw fleece all the way to usable yarn, I can truly appreciate seeing how it’s done on a commercial scale. We saw the giant carding machines in operation and the fiber being drafted down to pencil diameter. The spinning machinery was not operating at the time. It is so noisy that the operator works the night shift alone. It was nice to see machinery operating with gears and leavers and not a computer screen in sight.
From there, we stopped at the nearby Midsummer Night Meadow Farm where farmer/artist Susan Watson demonstrated how she creates locker hooked fiber art. She called her flock of Corriedale sheep out for us to see, but they disappeared pretty quickly after seeing all us strangers.
We headed back to the coast to visit Kelly Corbett at her Romney Ridge Farm. As soon as the bus pulled into the drive, the chickens and sheep came running out to meet us. We met Kelly and she explained about her sheep breeds. I noticed that some of the sheep were behind a fence and asked why they were in “lockdown.” Kelly explained that, due to the nature of sheep to follow the leader, she couldn’t trust them not to run off down the road. We checked out Kelly’s yarn, needle felting art, and her ready to go kits.
Our last stop was at The Mooring B & B in Georgetown for a traditional Maine lobster bake. The delicious dinner was held on the grounds, with beautiful sunset views of the water and nearby islands. A delicious end to the day.
Sorry no pictures but we were so far out in the country that my phone died searching for a signal. I’ll post a slide show after I return home.