Hank is a sheep shearer who gave a demonstration today at the Midtown Farmers' Market for opening day.
Hank is a really, really swell guy.
So swell that when he noticed Rebecca and me drooling over the pile of freshly shorn gray fleece that was laying outside the pen he said, "Go ahead and take it."
Rebecca and I go off to the side for a quick conversation (and a cup of coffee): Is he serious? Can we really take all of this wool? What would we do with it? We only just learned how to spin and pretty much suck at it still. But...this is WOOL.
We go back and say "How much do you want for it?"
Hank says "Oh nothing, I toss it all the time. Nobody wants it anymore. I figure I throw out about 3-4,000 pounds of fleece each year because there's no market for it anymore. Nobody wants the gray or black fleece at all."
Knitters and Spinners: We have Hank's phone number. We can hook you up. Save the fleece!
So I walked out of the Farmers' Market with a real burlap "wool bag" from the farm filled with an entire sheep's worth of wool - about ten pounds. It's sitting in my garage now (which will smell like a barn tomorrow, no doubt). Rebecca and I have decided to sit on it until the summer when we'll clean it up, card it and spin it up together.
How many sweaters do you think we can get out of one sheep?
We were both thrilled to learn that River Winds Farm is a new vendor at the Market on the first Saturday of each month...wool and yarn!