craft with wool supplies

Crafting Shearling Sheepskins

We are introducing Crafting Shearling Sheepskins in response to significant demand.crafting-shearling-sheepskins

All shearling sheepskins are chosen for the highest density of wool; the thickest loft, then trimmed to the desired length of staple, from 8 mm to 25 mm, standing up like a dense ‘brushcut’. They come in 3 forms:

  1. Customers use Medical skins of top quality shearling for cushioning back and bottom, preventing or relieving sores.
  2. Naturally coloured shearlings are new.
  3. Crafting Shearling sheepskins are available at a lower cost. These are dense, trimmed skins with small defects, ideal for cutting into the desired shape.

crafting-shearling-sheepskinsPeople are showing impressive creativity with these Crafting Shearling Sheepskins.

The most common uses are for beds for dogs and cats, from tiny wee pups that are carried in a handbag to very big dogs. Sometimes the owner entices the pet to their new Crafting Shearling Sheepskin to protect the new sheepskin purchased for themselves.

crafting-shearling-sheepskinsThe longer staple Crafting skins are sometimes cut into two seat pads. They are comfortable – excellent for preventing or reducing friction sores for people, and they look lovely. Jennifer wrote: “the skins arrived today. They are more gorgeous than I imagined! I need to sharpen my scissors and calm down before cutting!” She made 6 wooden chair pads from 3 skins.

crafting-shearling-sheepskinsAn increasing number of our customers make baby booties, with 16 mm sheepskin soles. We make them too, using every scrap of the supple resilient Crafting Shearling Sheepskins.

The tops of crutches or seat belts or any places that rub or chaff can be padded with cut shearling sheepskin pieces.

All our shearling sheepskins are washable, resilient, fire retardant and hypoallergenic.

crafting-shearling-sheepskinsWe have two customers who are using Crafting Shearling Sheepskins to express their love of horses. One has designed a saddle warmer. She cut a skin carefully to pattern, stitched it, and now uses it regularly.

Another home business supplies carefully hand-built and designed horse tack. The owner is working on a prototype for Velcro-attached, sheepskin-covered cheek pads for bridles and other spots that might rub. She is delighted with her first experiments.

Shearling sheepskins – medical, naturally coloured and for crafting – are available at the Wool Shed on Amherst Island, where we pay the 13% sales tax, or from our on-line store.

What creative uses might you discover?

Needle Felting Kits

 Topsy-smNow available:
Needle Felting Kits

Needle Felting Kit showing pad, 2 needles, white and dark natural wool fleece

Needle Felting Kit

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Each Needle Felting Kit Includes:

  • 1.5 ounces of washed and carded wool,
    natural white and dark grey
  • 2 – 38 gauge triangular needles
  • 1 high density foam pad
  • 1 wooden skewer

 

Sample Card displaying coloured Felting Wool available

Felting Wool Colour Sample card

http://store.topsyfarms.com/index.php?route=product/category&path=96_106_110

Cost is $15.00 plus tax and mailing

For more information, or to order, please contact:

  • (613) 389-3444
  • 888-287-3157
  • info@topsyfarms.com

Coloured wool is available in 12 colours;

$2.00 an ounce

 

Flooding in the Wool Shed

3 1/2 inches of rain this morning – over 2 inches in an hour. The photos show Ian bailing water out of the Wool Shed entrance. (Click on the photos for larger versions.)

Nothing was ruined in the Wool Shed, but it was a bit close.

I was in the Shed with 2 visitors when the deluge ratcheted up. One woman kindly used a broom, sweeping at the rain hard after we failed to block the doorway with a garbage bag. (The other lady was happily trying on stuff and drawing my attention in a second direction.) Ian was sound asleep, getting over the previous day’s exhaustion. I hoofed to the house though the wet. The water was up to my ankles in the vestibule and dribbling past the barrier of mat etc I’d tried to construct into the main display area. I shrieked upstairs for him, grabbed the missing credit card machine and waded back. (Wool is warm when wet).

We sell a wide range of pure wool products: bedding, roving, yarn and knitted products at the Wool Shed. They were all in danger (though all products at our on-line store were safe).

The building was constructed just after the turn of the century as an Ice House/Milk House, and is downhill from the laneway. We’ve tried to install adequate buried O pipe drainage, but it blocks. The building is way too low.

Ian brought the mop and pail then grabbed the containers of lamb towels he’d laundered and carefully stored in the barn. We shooed out the visitors with proper thanks, and he bailed in the vestibule while I got up everything I could from the floor level, and mopped overflow with towels. The water was just creeping across the main floor into the storage area for yarn.

 

Pretty exciting. By that time, my home care helper was waiting for me and thank goodness the rain was starting to slacken. After mopping the floor, I was bold enough to return with the camera to grab the shots before heading in.

Wool: After Shearing Challenges

After shearing we had 80 eight foot bags (from this year and some left from the previous year) packed firmly with quality wool, and 15 bags of belly wool and off cuts.

The next task was to get the wool bags to their destinations.

The first group to P.E.I.; some bags for landscape mulch; and the rest to the Canadian Woolgrower Co-operative in Carleton Place, Ontario.

Trucking costs a great deal, and over time we’ve tried lots of alternatives. We’d hoped it would be straightforward to find a potato-hauling truck heading back to that other Island, empty. Wrong. We’ve hired trucks ourselves and tried sharing space with our neighbours. One truck that had hauled cattle showed up unwashed, festooned with souvenirs of the previous load. We’ve had drivers phone us from 15 minutes away on the 401, expecting tractors, wagons and at least 3 helpers to magically materialize on the mainland. This year we hired a company from Quebec, and the results were the best yet.

Wool on the trailer on the way to the ferry

But there were glitches.

Ian made arrangements to park our wagons with the wool carefully tarped at the Township Roads depot, where there is space for wagons, tractors and a transport. On Wednesday, he hauled one wagon by tractor to the ferry and then to the Township site. He waited for the next boat then returned on the tractor. He next brought two wagons in tandem to the ferry and, with help from the crew, got them both onto the deck then off and rehitched, thence to the depot. It was a long day, but a relief to have the wool all on site, waiting. The trucker was due on Friday.

However, Thursday was the day of very extreme winds (sufficient to blow the doors off two cars, locally). We received a call saying our tarps were tearing off the wool bags. Kyle and Ian rushed for the boat to find out that the eight foot waves were preventing docking on the mainland side.

We could not get to the mainland to save our wool.

Kyle sat in the lineup for hours, calling a friend on the mainland for emergency help. That friend somehow managed to wrestle the tarps in that heavy wind over the wool to give it some protection. It could have been destroyed if soaked then left sitting. The ferry was back in action later in the day, and Kyle managed to cross, and join his friend to anchor the protection securely.

Ian and Jacob joined Kyle the next morning off the 7 am ferry, and met the trucker, who showed up on time and with a clean trailer. He was unilingual francophone, but the language of smiles and helpful hard work is universal.

We’ll hire that company again.

Ian’s favorite picture of the year is the sight of the full truck, departing for its destination. (Sorry, I can’t show you – they were too busy to click.)

Most of our wool is shipped back to us according to our order as roving (washed and carded wool), either dyed or natural, cheeses of pencil roving, yarn, (30 colours and 4 tones of natural) and blankets and throws.  All of these and much more are available at the farm store, the Wool Shed, or on-line.

Now, to deal with the 15 bags….

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Nous vous invitons à communiquer avec nous en français à info@topsyfarms.com, ou par téléphone: 1-888-287-3157. Demandez à parler à Sally.