Author Archives: FiberWild!

Suzy’s Farm – FiberWild Annual Field Trip

Suzy's Pasture

FiberWild's Annual Field Trip to Suzy the Shepherdess' Farm ...
Check out all the sheep and their cute new lambs!

Just after we opened the store in 2004, Suzy the Shepherdess (I'm not making this up) walks into the shop sporting her finest Shepherdess garb and promptly asks if we would like to sell her locally produced yarn. She said that her sheep are raised using only traditional 19th century farming techniques, and her yarn is available only in the natural colors of her animals.

We felt the fine quality of the soft wool, and we were instantly sold. We suggested that she wind them up in 50 gram skeins with pictures of her sheep on the labels.

Needless to say, Suzy's yarn has been popular with anyone seeking locally produced, traditional wool for their knitting projects ... perfect for Galena's large population of living history re-enactors.

Over time, Suzy has worked for us, doing database work, writing blogs, doing various special projects, and providing a unique perspective. Every year, we have a company field trip to her farm just as the lambs are arriving, take a bunch of pictures, then go out for pizza (and beer)!

Suzy's Farm 2014

FiberWild Crew with Lambs

The FiberWild Crew with Lambs

Amy with Lamb

Amy with a Lamb

Simon on Guard

Simon on Gaurd

Evelyn 2014

Suzy's girl, Evelyn

2014 Sheep and Lambs

Sheep and Lambs at Suzy's

FiberWild Crew 2014

The FiberWild Crew 2014

Suzy's Farm 2013

Amy and Sean

Amy and Sean

Two Little Lambs

Two Little Lambs

Only a Day Old!!

Only a Day Old!

Suzy's Girl, Evelyn

Suzy's girl, Evelyn

'getting a drink!

'getting a drink!

Ben and Wendi

Ben and Wendi

Ladies, please hold still!

Ladies, please hold still!

Suzy's Farm 2012

Amy and a little Lamb

Amy and a little Lamb

Some of the Flock

Some of the Flock

Karen, Vera, Wendi, Nicki, Sean, Amy, Suzy

Karen, Vera, Wendi, Nicki, Sean, Amy, Suzy

Suzy the Shepherdess holding one of her new lambs!

Suzy the Shepherdess
holding one of her new lambs!

A new moma giving her little lamb some advice!

A new moma giving her
little lamb some advice!

Simon, looking proud and regal!

Simon, looking proud and regal!

Sheep grazing in the pasture.

Sheep grazing in the pasture

 Wendi petting Fred. He was a bottle fed lamb.           Now full grown, he still loves attention!!

Wendi petting Fred.  He was a bottle fed lamb.
Now full grown, he still loves attention!!

A new moma giving her little lamb some advice!

A new moma giving her
little lamb some advice!

Simon working hard protecting the sheep.

Simon working hard protecting the sheep.

Nicki holding a lamb!

Nicki holding a lamb!

Wendi, Suzy, & Nicki holding new lambs.

Wendi, Suzy, & Nicki holding new lambs.

Fred (the sheep) has Passed

Every year, the whole crew from FiberWild takes a field trip to Suzy the Shepherdess's farm to visit her sheep and play with the lambs.  One of the highlights of the trip is visiting with Old Fred (the sheep), so we were all very sad to hear of Fred's passing.  The following is Suzy's tribute to our old friend ...

Fred (2005)

Sheep don't hug or hold hands, but they do show affection by standing very close to their mother, leaning against her.  Fred did the same to me, which made him very difficult to photograph!  Here I'm pushing him back with one hand while taking a photo with the other (2005).

As a rule, sheep don't like traveling. But there is an exception to every rule!

Named "Frederich" in honor of his German (East Friesian) heritage, Fred the Sheep was born in 2004 and was bottle raised by me.

Normally, bottle babies are a mess. Either the mother or the lamb is weak, and the lamb is left with "replacer" - a powdered "just add water" fake sheep milk that is simply not as good as the real stuff. But Fred's mother, Fritzi Girl, was in good health and had simply rejected him. She was an East Friesian sheep - a "milking breed" that is usually milked like a dairy cow and used to make cheese (most commonly Roquefort, but there are many other sheep cheeses as well). I was able to milk Fritzi Girl and then feed Fred the real milk, so he grew up strong and healthy.

Pictures of Suzy's Farm

When selling my yarn at local markets, I'm always surprised at how many visitors to my booth don't really understand what wool is and where it comes from. I had been thinking about training a lamb to travel and be my "spokes-lamb," promoting wool. During the bottle feeding process Fred had bonded to me and soon believed that I was his mother - he seemed the perfect candidate to travel.

Once I made the decision for Fred to travel, I started getting wacky. While giving him his bottle and halter training him, I'd dance, sing, screech, poke at him, and generally make a nuisance of myself - all the while hoping that none of my neighbors stopped by for a surprise visit! The result is that very little flustered Freddy. I was pleased to note that while the militia was firing their muskets at a living history event at the Apple River Fort, humans were startled when the guns fired - but Fred remained perfectly calm!

With his very own dog crate in the back of my van, Fred traveled to events in and near Stockton, Illinois. He was a regular each Saturday while I sold yarn at the Stockton Farmer's Market.

At events I would set up a small pen next to my table and visitors were encouraged to pet Fred and ask questions about sheep and wool. He enjoyed the attention and special treats, made many friends, and probably thought each event was held in his honor!

Shearing Fred - March 2007

Me shearing Fred with hand shears at the Apple River Fort (March 2007).

Fred was best known for volunteering at the Apple River Fort in Elizabeth, Illinois, a reconstruction of a fort built in 1832 in fear of Black Hawk and his warriors. For many years Fred was the star attraction at the Fort's "Cabin Fever Jubilee" event each spring, where we demonstrated 1830s springtime chores. I sheared him with the hand shears while I was wearing a dress, multiple petticoats, and 1830s stays! Needless to say, it was a challenge! His wool looked like a pale brown, but underneath the "summer highlights" he was a deep gray - a very nice color!

Evelyn feeding Fred (June 2012)

My 2-year-old daughter Evelyn feeding Fred (June 2012).

When my first human baby was born in 2010 Fred retired. He had enjoyed six years of touring and was ready to spend his weekends in the pasture with the other sheep instead of on-the-road.

When my children were toddlers I used to fence in an area behind my tent to give them a safe play area while I sold my yarn - many of my long-time customers recognized that I was using the old Fred-Fence to corral my children!

Fred aged gracefully and was healthy and strong up until just shortly before his demise. The average lifespan for a sheep is 10 years. Fred made it 13 years - a good run for a good sheep! -Suzy the Shepherdess -

Pictures of Suzy's Farm

Woodfield Sweater in Berroco’s Modern Cotton

A classic in the making ... knit the Woodfield Sweater ...
Featuring Berroco's Modern Cotton ... 
25% off for a limited time!

The Woodfield Sweater is a modern take on a traditional tennis sweater that can be made in any worsted weight yarn. This versatile pullover can be knit in a cotton yarn for the summer or a wooly yarn for the winter, and it looks just as good knit in one color. Pair it with a cute pair of jeans or dress it up with your favorite skirt!

Bonus: The is a FREE pattern and Berroco yarns are on sale ... 25% - 50% off!​

FIBERWILD EXCLUSIVE

Mountain Colors Yarns logo

Woodfield Sweater

by Amy Loberg

Pattern FREE

With a simple stitch pattern and fun color changes, this sweater is and easy knit, but does require some seaming. The body is knit in the round up to the armholes then front and back are worked flat. The sleeves are knit flat and seamed. Stitches are picked up to knit the neck trim. Once everything comes together, you'll have a classic sweater that will be a favorite for years to come!

Finished Sizes

34 1/2" (38", 42", 46", 49 1/2", 53") 

Materials

Berroco Modern Cotton - 25% Off!

5 (5, 6, 6, 7, 8) skeins of main color and
2 (2, 2, 3, 3, 3) skeins of contrast color

Shown in Little Compton and Bluffs

Can also be Knit with ...

Berroco Weekend - 25% Off!

5 (5, 6, 6, 7, 8) skeins of main color and
2 (2, 2, 3, 3, 3) skeins of contrast color

Berroco Ultra Alpaca - 25% Off!

5 (5, 6, 6, 7, 7) skeins of main color and
2 (2, 2, 3, 7, 7) skeins of contrast color

Berroco Vintage - 25% Off!

5 (5, 6, 6, 7, 7) skeins of main color and
2 (2, 2, 3, 3, 3) skeins of contrast color

Yardage

900 (1000, 1140, 1250, 1330, 1465) yards main color, 310 (350, 380, 420, 444, 467) yards contrast color

Needles

32" US 7 [4.50mm] and
32" US 5 [3.75mm]
 circular needles
OR size needed to obtain gauge

Gauge

20 sts = 4" in Stockinette stitch on larger needles

Notions

Stitch Markers

Skill Level

Easy

"Woodfield Sweater"   |   Berroco Modern Cotton   |   Shown in Little Compton and Bluffs

Shop Modern Cotton 

SUMMER YARNS

Modern Cotton - 25% Off!

Berroco's “Modern Cotton” is a cotton and rayon blend yarn that is as soft as your favorite tee shirt! This machine washable medium weight yarn comes in a great palette of spring colors, and has great stitch definition. Modern Cotton is perfect for any project ... from baby and children's clothes to fun summer accessories!

Fiber Content

60% Pima Cotton / 40% Modal Rayon

Yardage / Weight

209 yds in 100g

Gauge

20 sts over 4" on US 7 [4.50mm]

Care Instructions

Machine Wash, Gentle, Cold. Dry Flat

Shop Modern Cotton 


Weekend - 25% Off!

Berroco's "Weekend" yarn is super soft, machine washable and perfect for adults or children. With lots of yardage, it's great for afghans or simple accessories. It's the best of all worlds!!

Fiber Content

75% Acrylic / 25% Cotton

Yardage / Weight

205 yds in 100g

Gauge

18 sts over 4" on US 7 [4.50mm]

Care Instructions

Machine Wash, Gentle, Cold. Dry Flat

Shop Weekend

WINTER YARNS

Ultra Alpaca - 25% Off!

Berroco's "Ultra Alpaca" is a great balance of wool and alpaca in a worsted weight yarn. It has the softness of alpaca with the body of wool. This yarn holds stitches beautifully and comes in bold colors ... also felts well!

Fiber Content

50% Alpaca / 50% Wool

Yardage / Weight

215 yds in 100g

Gauge

20 sts over 4" on US 8 [5.00mm]

Care Instructions

Hand Wash Cold, Dry Flat

Shop Ultra Alpaca 


Vintage - 25% Off!

Berroco's "Vintage" is a soft yarn with the look of wool. It's perfect for any garment, either adult or child, and it's also wonderful for accessories!!

Fiber Content

50% Acrylic / 40% Wool / 10% Nylon

Yardage / Weight

217 yds in 100g

Gauge

18 - 20 sts over 4" on US 7-8 [4.50-5.00mm]

Care Instructions

Machine Wash Cold, Dry Flat

Shop Vintage

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