Knit Night: Missouri Town 1855 Sheep Shearing and Spinning

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That tickles!

I’m skipping knit night tonight, largely because I’m still tired from Saturday (so it’s all their fault anyhow).  On Saturday, we went to Missouri Town 1855, which is a really awesome historical reenactment site just south and east of Kansas City in Blue Springs.

Is that a breeze I feel?

Saturday was the annual spring sheep shearing, and if I’d gotten there earlier, I could have gotten a fleece for ten bucks, but we were too late (it was all the Seductress at Arms’ fault) and so no fleece this year.  I did, however, get a lead on local merino for ten bucks a fleece, so it’s all good.

We had a blast, the Mistress of Corruption, the Seductress at Arms, Sister Merciless, and two new members, Crochet Joe and WyomingNot.  There is so much to see and do and touch on a working farm (which Missouri Town is, on a very small scale), and we felt like a bunch of kids.  It helped that the majority of the crowd that was there was children).

People forget some pretty obvious stuff about sheep.  Wool gets messy.  Correction:  Wool gets filthy, fouled with mud and feces and grass to the point that you’re never quite sure what color the sheep was originally.

Nearly naked now!

It was a very warm day, so this little lady (she had full dugs, so she was still nursing) was probably relieved, once her winter coat came off, but she didn’t like the process much at all.

Hammered Dulcimer

After watching the little ewe get sheared, we hung out by the hammered dulcimer player and learned to scour the lanolin out of wool with lye soap and hang it in the sun to dry.  The dulcimer player was quite talented, and the lye soap was quite hard on the hands.

Scouring Wool in Lye Soap to get the Lanolin Out
Wool drying on a wheel

We sat for quite awhile and chatted with the woman who was doing the scouring and carding (that’s when you get all the fibers in the wool to line up so that they can be spun), and relaxed.  There was also a decent fiddler and, again, a ton of small children.  Joe had to leave at this point, so we said our goodbyes.  the Seductress made it up to the Mistress of Corruption and myself that she was late by getting waters for us all, and we fanned ourselves and drank in the shade for awhile.

Finally, we hung out in the tiny little log church with a lovely spinner who owns a farm east of Kansas City where she sells fleeces for fiber artists.  The Mistress of Corruption and I intend to pay her a visit, and when we do, I’ll review her wares.

  • Storytelling at Missouri Town 1855, Jan. 19 (
  • Why alpaca beats wool for eco friendliness (
  • The Shepherd, The Shearer, and me (
  • Wonderful wool (
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