We had a lovely visit with Lois Olund of Blakesley Creek Farm, a family farm in the Oregon coastal foothills of Wren, Oregon. Lois has been operating this farm for over 33 years and is an active member in the Pacific Northwest fiber community, through her leadership in events such as the Black Sheep Gathering, the Midsummer's Spin-In and countless educational tours of her farm for 4-H groups and elementary schools. She is welcoming, passionate and an inspiration in her years of experience and wealth of knowledge.
For the past decade, Blakesley Creek Farm has been actively involved in the introduction and upgrade program of Wensleydale sheep from the United Kingdom and belongs to the North American Wensleydale Sheep Association. Wensleydales have a long, lustrous fleece that is finer than fleeces of most other English longwools, with origins dating back to 1838. For more information about the development of the breed in England, please visit http://www.wensleydalesheep.org/images/history.htm
Wensleydale sheep have distinct, curly, kemp-free ringlets that are wavy with a smooth, lustrous surface. The long locks can be spun into smooth or textured yarns which are exceptional for weaving, knitting and crocheting. Wensleydale fiber is very amenable to dyes and produces clear, bright, lustrous colors.
Blakesley Creek farm is home to alpacas, dogs, rabbits, turkeys, chickens, canaries, cats and sheep. Lois has a strong bond with her animals and creates a wonderful home for each and everyone of them on her farm.
Angora rabbits are one of the fiber producing animals raised at Blakesley Creek Farm. Angora fiber is known for its softness, thin fibers and what knitters refer to as halo, or fluffiness.
Bellwether Wool Company is a friend-based partnership between Lois Olund of Blakesley Creek Farm and Linda Hansen of Dayspring Farm. They raise Cormo, Wensleydale, Border and Blue-faced Leicester sheep, as well as angora rabbits and alpaca. Once their animals are sheared, they wash and dye the fiber and then have the fiber processed into roving, which is pin-drafted.
Bellwether Wool Company brings you colorful, pin-drafted roving, batts and yarns, produced with wool raised on these two small, family farms.
Lois is holding a textile that was hand-spun and woven by a friend of hers, using Bellwether Wool Company fiber. A wonderfully vibrant example of the gorgeous fiber being raised and produced on these farms.
Lois has built a wonderful, sustainable, fiber classroom on her farm, which hosts a variety of fiber workshops. There are several workshops coming up in November and the beginning of December (Dates are TBA). Please visit www.facebook.com/BlakesleyCreekFarm for more information on these upcoming workshops:
Full day workshop felted mittens & slippers (choose one) $80
Full day workshop Nuno felting ( making 2 scarves) $80
Half day workshop felting coin purses $40
'Play Days'- choose Nuno felting scarves, silk painting scarves, felting coin purses, slippers, or mittens $25 plus materials
Carding fiber at a recent nuno felting workshop.
Thank you Lois Olund for sharing your farm with us! For more information on the Bellwether Wool Company please visit www.bellwetherwool.com.