I owe all my inspirations to be a farmer, shepherd, fiber arts enthusiast to my grandmothers as well as my mother who all taught me how to knit, crochet and sew. They were the ones who evoked my love of nature, farming, animals, and all things fiber oriented. As a kid who grew up in suburban Maryland, I looked forward to spending my summer vacations at my grandmother’s farm in Orange, Virginia where I spent entire days pretending to be a cowgirl and trying to ride her cows who were extremely uncooperative. And then on a field trip in third grade, I visited a sheep farm where I was introduced to sheep. Little did I know I was hooked until I moved to a farm in St. Mary’s County in 1980 and began to get extremely interested in spinning, weaving, wool crafts and wool breeds of sheep. I owe my love of spinning to my teacher, Barbara Townsend, in St. Mary’s City and to Anne Richards who inspired me with her wonderful wool figures at the Christmas Country Store at Cecil’s Mill in Great Mills, Maryland.
Today my farm, Ferny Brae, is the home to Border Leicester/Corriedale cross sheep which I raise predominately for their beautiful quality fleece which is shorn twice per year (yes – they grow a lot of wool) and it makes an excellent choice for hand spinning with its lusterous and soft handle.