Farm Day 3: Romney on June 15th

Learn about Romney sheep and wool at WeatherLea Farm

Our third breed study field trip is coming up fast; Saturday June 15th. We invite you to join us for an afternoon of experiential learning about a wonderful Longwool breed of sheep.

The idea bubbled up because Sue and I were learning so much by going directly to farms, buying fleece (especially Sue, she has touched many hundreds, no… thousands of fleeces), and getting to meet the breed that grew it. Books are great references…but touching is better. Plus we wanted to introduce you to some of the farms that we buy wool from so you have a personal connection to the yarn. It is also an opportunity for the farm to offer their own products directly to you.

So, here is what’s on offer:

See and enjoy a beautiful 1790 farm in Lovettsville, Virginia, WeatherLea Farm. In addition to raising Romney and a few Merino sheep, they have llamas, a small vineyard, host weddings and have a cottage available for overnight stays (last I heard, it was available for the weekend in case you want to fly in from far off parts for the event). There are gardens, a lovely pond with a deck above; perfect for sitting and spinning or knitting, so bring a project and soak up some good farm ambiance. WeatherLea will be selling their beautiful wool blankets and roving made from the wool they don’t let us have. Listen to the talk on Romney sheep and see the sheep shearing. Taste wine from North Gate Vineyards, who turn WeatherLea’s grapes into excellent wine. And come to of my favorite places at WeatherLea, a great big bank barn where we will have Solitude Wool yarns and fibers, the mini-workshops and…

We have another guest at this event: Two Rivers Yarns, a local shop from Brunswick Maryland. They are putting together the spinning mini-workshop and are bringing handcrafted swifts, shawl pins, soaps etc from local consigners plus spindles, needles and other tools.

Two mini-workshops with Romney wool

1. Knitting: two color mosaic
(slip stitch) knitting taught by Karin Fellers. Knit an eye glass or cell phone case using a simple slip stitch technique that creates a bold color pattern. You will knit in the round and learn how to read a mosaic chart so you can expand to other projects. Offered twice: 12:30 and 2:30.

2. Spinning: learn how to spin your own yarn taught by Jenni Campbell. Romney is one of the easiest wools to spin and often recommended for beginners. Here is your chance! Grab it. Roving from WeatherLea will be used in the class. Two sessions: 12:30, beginning spindle spinning; 2:30 session can be an intermediate or beginner + class depending on interest/skill.

Schedule for the day:

12:00 (noon) to 4:00 pm – farm open, Solitude Wool and Two River’s Yarns booths and WeatherLea wool products

1:00, 2:00 and 3:00 pm – talks about Romney sheep

time still to be determined: sheep shearing and North Gate Vineyard, wine tasting

12:30 – first session Mini-workshops

2:30 – second session Mini-workshops

Cost and reservations

WeatherLea can handle all of us, so you only need to reserve a spot if you would like to take a workshop. Each class limited to 8 students; pay in advance to reserve a space.

Entrance is $20.00 and includes a $10 coupon good towards Solitude Wool purchase.

Mini-workshops are $30.00 each plus materials fee.

Please send Gretchen an email at f-fsolitude@mindspring.com, or call 540-554-2312 to reserve a space and arrange for payment.

So hope you can come! We are on rain or shine (thank you big bank barn).

How to Get to Weather Lea Farm

Phone: 540-822-5097

from I-495 Beltway, VA: Take Dulles Toll Rd (Rte 267) to the Greenway toll extension, which begins just before the airport. At the end of the Greenway, exit left to Rte. 7 West/15 South. Stay on Rte. 7W about 3 miles, then exit right to Rte. 9 West. Go 5 miles to 3rd stoplight; turn right on Rte. 287N. Drive 8 miles, to stop sign at 7-11 store in Lovettsville. Jog left and immediate right to stay on Rte. 287N. Proceed 1.9 milies down a long winding hill, passing Wenner Rd. Look for Weatherlea Farm Lane on right, at white board fence.

From MD at I-495: Take I-270 from Beltway to I-70W at Frederick. Exit onto Rte. 340W/15S. Stay on 340W (do NOT take 15S to Leesburg) to Brunswick exit. Turn left off ramp to Rte 17S; take right at stoplight, continue down hill to roundabout; straight across Potomac bridge; Weatherlea Farm Lane is second left, 1/2 mile from the river.

Scenic Alternative from DC/Bethesda: Take River Rd. through Potomac and beyond until it ends at Seneca Rd. Turn right on Seneca, continue to end at stoplight in Darnestown. Left at light onto Rte. 28. Continue on Rte. 28 for approximately 20 miles; watch for little house with many birdhouses, and turn left there (Rte. 28 itself turns). Continue several more miles (stop and get an ice cream at the Creamery) into and through Point of Rocks. Turn left on Rte. 15; cross Potomac River bridge and take immediate right on Lovettsville Rd. Continue several miles into Lovettsville. Turn right at 7-11 onto Berlin Turnpike (Rte. 287). Go two miles down a long, winding hill. Look for Weatherlea Farm Lane sign on right.

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