Thursday, August 3, 2017

Fabulous Fleecy Fun

This past weekend, Marc and I had a wonderful trip to Prince Edward Island.  My in-laws treated us to a night at a lovely little cottage in a place called Point Prim.  It was a wonderful night away - quiet and comfortable - and I think we might go back to the same place next year.  Of course, since I am a fibre fanatic, I was thrilled to notice that we were going to be quite close to the Belfast Mini Mills location in PEI, and then I saw that on the same road, there was a new fibre destination called "Fleece and Harmony" (clever name!) that of course warranted a visit.

We left New Brunswick on Saturday morning and wanted to pack as much fun as we could into our one night holiday.  I'll do another blog soon about the places we visited on our way back on Sunday. Saturday afternoon was fibre day though, so we'll start with that!

We set off to the Belfast area to visit the two fibre destinations I'd identified as worth a visit.  I was really excited to see what new treats awaited me at Fleece and Harmony, and I was not disappointed. The owners are sisters who gave up life in the big city to start a sheep farming and fibre milling operation on the island, and now they have a wonderful shop that sells an array of their own yarns, as well as a well-curated selection of yarns from other Canadian sources.  I had a great time chatting about all things wool, and of course couldn't resist some new yarns for my stash.  For example, I had to have a couple of skeins of this stunning tonal spruce green wool - I love the depth to the colour and the bounce in this yarn is pure energy.  It was hard to choose from all their beautiful  colourways.

I grabbed a couple of skeins of their "fiddlehead" variegated wool, and another skein that made me think of our holiday - sea and sky and fields and sand.  The shop had some lovely knitted socks made from the fiddlehead colourway.  Maybe that's what these skeins will become!

Several unexpected bonuses arose from our visit to Fleece and Harmony (do check out the lovely sheep pictured on their website)! First, they have the most unusual cat named Smokey.  This cat (I apologize, I didn't take a picture of him) is one of the longest cats I have ever seen.  He also has a rather unusual face that is very endearing.  He's a Persian cat, but he has a different look.  Anyway, the best thing about Smokey is that when you pick him up, he puts his front paws around the back of your neck and shoulder area and starts massaging with his paws. Yes, his little claws are a bit prickly, but seriously, this cat gives you little kisses while he is massaging you, licking your neck and ear while he's at it.  It's the most adorable habit I have ever seen in a cat.  I seriously wanted to kidnap him! A picture next time, I promise.

Second, we were able to visit with the sheep!  They have a beautiful flock that is mostly white, but there are a few other colours in the mix including a deep chocolate brown and a silvery grey.  The sheep are well fed and happy on their pasture.  Look at all those cute little sheep bums!

One of the sheep was clearly on vacation on shearing day, or was hiding really well in the long grass when the shearer was there, because it still has a lot of fleece in comparison to the others. (turns out this sheep is actually just a champion at growing fleece!  Wow!)

Such beautiful natural colours in those fleeces!

Third, they also sell fresh eggs!  I had to go back on our way home to buy a dozen, and they are very good eggs.  I've already enjoyed several of them.  Fleece and Harmony also sells lamb meat, if you eat lamb, which I don't, because I don't eat animals that I also have as pets, but a lot of people like it, so now you know.  Anyway, when I went back to get the eggs, by happy accident, they had some freshly-dyed yarn that was not quite the right colour for a custom order they were making.  Naturally, it was in my favourite colour family, so even though it wasn't quite dry yet, having just come out of its rinse, I had to grab a few skeins to take with me.  Score!

I highly recommend a visit to Fleece and Harmony if you're in PEI for a visit - well worth it!  They also sell products from their website if you can't make it to the island!

Next, we drove a few minutes down the road to Belfast Mini Mills.  Their primary business is the manufacture and sales of small-scale mill equipment.  No, I am not going to start a mill.  They do have a shop there with some lovely yarns and fibres, as well as a delightful collection of farm critters, including goats, silkie chickens, guinea fowl, donkeys, sheep and more!  This goat was one of my favourites.

They also have a pair of enormous Flemish Giant rabbits - just look at them next to Marc's feet. They're huge!

I had hoped to see the daughter of my Cotswold cross ewe, Twilight.  Unfortunately, the owners were away so the employee tending the shop didn't know which one was Twilight's girl.  Maybe next time.  Here's Twilight though - I am sure her daughter is just as lovely.

I was delighted with the felt sheets they had for sale that have a thin but vibrant coloured layer applied to the white background felt.  The sheets are 18 inches long - a great size for some needle-felted landscape work.  I have some ideas already!  I also bought some matching coloured wrapped yarn that is just beautiful.

Going outside my usual colour range, I couldn't help but pick up a couple of skeins of this scrumptious mohair blend.  Will I knit it, crochet it, or weave it?  Not sure yet...

I also picked up a couple of skeins of a silk blend made with silk that is produced without harming the silkworms.  It's a soft and supple yarn - I am looking forward to using it in a special project.

All in all we had a fabulous vacation, even though it was only one night away.  I'll write another blog soon about where we stayed and show some pictures from our time by the water.


Michelle said...

So glad to see and hear that you're not "all work and no play"! ;-)

Kim Doherty-Smith said...

It was a pleasure to meet you! Smokey sends hugs and kisses! 😁

Crazy Lady with purple fingers said...

Love the pictures1 That is my kind of holiday...fibre and animals!

thecrazysheeplady said...

How fun!