A Zero-Waste Wool Mill!

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I am going to get a little personal here, maybe even a little bit uncomfortable, but I feel compelled to share.
I started this sheep adventure nearly 30 years ago with 2 sheep that were born on my birthday. I was asked to name them and then when the time came, I couldn't bear to see them go off to the sale ring. Of course I bought them and as I love to say, two turned into too many! I have been very lucky with very few health issues with these sheep. One thing I do know, it has been a learning experience.  
One thing led to another and along the way I found why I had these sheep. Anyone who knows me knows I don't do anything without going all in for the long haul. I never set out to own a wool mill. It wasn't a dream, nor a dream come true. It's more of a passion.
Before I ever worked at the mill, Becky would frequently ask me if I wanted a job. No....not me. Machinery and I don't get along. If it has a motor or an engine, forget it. Well, that was a preconceived notion I had place on myself, but as time went on, I realized I have a whole lot more German engineering in my blood than I realized, thanks to my machinist, inventive, creative father.  
And then one day I started working in the mill.  And then 4 years passed.  All the while, the mill was for sale.  I watched interested parties come and go and in late December of 2016, I told Dave and Becky we'd like to buy the mill equipment.  It has been a long year and a half to get here and we still aren't finished.  When you have a project like this, you're never really finished.  
I am passionate about keeping this mill going and particularly in this valley.  I love that there are other small flock owners like me keeping the sheep farming tradition alive.  I want to be able to provide that service for them for years to come.  Farming, in any form, is fast becoming a thing of the past.  It's the single biggest reason I share our farm with others here.   We are keeping the tradition alive in both farming and wool processing on smaller scales.  
So what was my ah-ha moment when I realized my reason for having sheep?  It was when I began needle felting.  I had sheep for several years before I discovered it.  Needle felting led to wet felting which led to teaching.  I am just as passionate about spreading the love of wool and felt through teaching.  
This week was the culmination of a lot of hard work by myself and some area school kids with their annual art auctions.  If you follow me on facebook, you are well aware of this.  I had someone use my post and pic of one of my projects for their own promotion.  This was an eye-opener for me in a lot of ways.  They say imitation in the highest form of flattery, so I will go with that.  Wool and felting is nothing new.  Wet felting is ancient.  And another thing I've learned is just as soon as you think you have an original idea, someone else has probably already done it!  With all of that said, I need you all to know, I am approachable.  Just message me or shoot me a quick email and ASK permission to use my posts and pics.  Don't assume.  We all know where that leads us!  I have worked long and hard to get where I am with all of this and that deserves, at the very least, a sentence or two when you repost.  Please ask first and  give credit where credit is due.

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