MENDOCINO Co., 4/30/19 — If you’ve ever wondered how a sheep’s wool becomes a sweater, you might want to check out the “Barn to Yarn” event in Hopland this weekend. This popular springtime event will return to the University of California Hopland Research and Extension Center this Saturday, May 4.
The Barn to Yarn event will feature farmers and ranches, shearers, spinners, weavers, and knitters, and other local experts involved in the Northern California sheep industry. There will educational activities, presentations, workshops, take-home craft activities, and more for all ages.
More information can be found at the event’s webpage, where you can register and purchase tickets. Here’s all the details from the press release:
From Sheep to Sweater at Barn to YarnHREC press release.
Just where did the wool for your sweater come from? How do you shear the wool from a wriggling 160lb sheep? You can learn the answers to these questions and gain hands on experience of knitting, weaving, spinning and felting at “Barn to Yarn” this Saturday from 9AM-3PM at the University of California (UC) Hopland Research and Extension Center (HREC).
Experts from far and near join the event to share their knowledge and love of wool and all the associated crafts. Mendocino Wool and Fiber Inc. owners, Matt and Sarah Gilbert, will share their skills from shearing to classing the wool. Spinners from the Silverado Spinsters in Davis will spin and weave a shawl to be auctioned off at the end of the day. Matthew Topsfield of the Uist Yarn Studio travels all the way from the Scottish islands to teach the art of making ‘Dorset buttons’ and the knitting traditions of sea faring communities, and Robin Lynde of Meridian Jacobs in Vacaville joins with her beautiful wool and stories of her farm and fiber.
“There’s so much for families, crafters and fiber enthusiasts at Barn to Yarn,” commented Hannah Bird, HREC Community Educator. “My favorite aspect of this event is the fact that everyone gets the chance to try their hand at working with wool, we’ve had children spinning and knitting every year and expert fiber artists learning from our mini workshops. We’re honored to have special guest and centenarian, Jean Near, joining us, whose gorgeous Merino wool is regularly a prize winner at the Mendocino County Fair. We’re also thrilled this year to be recipients of a grant from the Mendocino Community Foundation, Textile and Fiber Arts Endowment Fund to support the event,” added Bird.
This event heralds the beginning of the annual Hopland Shearing School run by the UC Mendocino County Cooperative Extension. The week long training is so desired that the 25 places sell out in minutes from the opening of registration. Many of the participants work with smaller sheep flocks and it is not economical to employ travelling shearers, used to shearing flocks of hundreds or thousands, for just a few sheep. These small flocks are increasing across Mendocino County and the need for qualified shearers who are sympathetic to the needs of small producers is high.
Alongside a renewed interest in keeping small flocks of sheep, there has also been increased practice of fiber arts such as knitting and felting in the last 20 years, particularly amongst millennials.
Admission is $15 for adults, children under 12, free. HREC asks visitors to leave their pets at home to protect the site and the sheep resident there. Bring your own picnic and all utensils; tea, coffee and water will be available. Visit http://bit.ly/BarntoYarn2019 to find out more and purchase your ticket. Barn to Yarn will be held at the Rod Shippey Hall, 4070 University Road, Hopland, CA 95449 from 9am-3pm on May 4th. For more information contact Hannah Bird, (707) 744-1424, Ext. 105, [email protected].