Jeri Lynn talks about being Hooked on Spinning and demonstrates Thread Plying on her Treadle Spinning WheelRead Now
I first learned about Jeri Lynn Farms on Etsy. Jeri Lynn was raised on a farm in a small town in Missouri. "I've always had animals." She was introduced to spinning when she visited the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair (SAFF) in North Carolina. She purchased a spindle; but did not pick it up for 3 years until she finished homeschooling her children. That's when she got hooked on spinning.
We recently visited Jeri Lynn and her husband Jeff at Jeri Lynn's Farm in Kinards, South Carolina. Our cameraman David and his wife came along with us. We had a wonderful time and learned so much about sheep farming and how she spins her wool fiber into yarn during our visit.
What is a day in the life of a sheep farmer like?
No day is ever the same. The sheep keep me entertained and I'm always learning something new.
My day begins at 5:30 and the work continues until the sheep say I can stop. Coffee is my friend.
Farming is often perceived as romantic or genteel. It is the hardest job you will ever do. I literally work from Sheep to Shawl! I take care of the lambs, shear them, then process, spin, and create wearables.
Fiber Art is what I do to support my "sheep habit". I love the smell and feel of the wool on the sheep, in the bath, running through my fingers when I spin, and finally coming off my needles or loom.
There is always something new to learn from new spinning and dyeing techniques, new discoveries in keeping my sheep healthy, a different grass or forage, fencing challenges, and more. It's long hours and lots of problem solving!
Can you tell us what you know about types of sheep wool and where we might find it in products?
There are so many different breeds of sheep. About three quarters of the sheep are pure or derived from Merino the fiber from each having it's own characteristics. There are some basic divisions each having it's own use. For example, I'm familiar with Primitive, Medium, Fine, and Longwool sheep.
My first sheep were Shetlands. This is a primitive diminutive, and fiesty little breed. This breed is used for the famous Wedding Ring Shawls
I then raised Corriedales. They are a very large, fine wool breed. My Ram weighed 350 pounds. We sold our flock when we moved from Gaffney to Kinards.
I recently had the opportunity to re-purchase my Corriedale Ewes and a lamb born at the farm we sold in Gaffney.
Corriedale is sometimes called a "beginner fiber" because it literally spins itself. It is soft and springy.
Now I have Teeswater Cross Sheep too. They are a longwool breed. Very lustrous with long sweet curls. Their fleece is perfect for lockspinning and extreme tailspinning. It's also awesome for felting arts and doll hair.
One little known fact that I like to share with people is that Lanolin is derived from sheep wool. It's a wonderful skin moisturizer and you'll find it in lotions and cosmetics.
Do you plan to be a vendor at any shows or have any recommendations for our readers?
One of my favorites is a small local show Octoberfest in Newberry, South Carolina.
I'm planning to be a vendor at Soda City Farmers Market in Columbia, South Carolina
I was accepted at Carolina Fiber Fest. It is a 3 day show in March each year in Raleigh, North Carolina
I'm hoping to attend the Indie Craft Parade in Greenville, SouthCarolina
There is Travelers Rest at Art on the Trail again this year as well.
And of course, SAFF is the highlight of the Fiber year !
Any Information You Would Like to Share with our readers about being in business or selling on Etsy?
I do find that my art yarns and wearables do much better "in person" where one can touch and feel the items rather than in an online shop like Etsy. My creations sell well at shows and in shops.
I sell my Prepared Fibers almost exclusively in my Etsy Shop. They are ready to be used in spinning and other crafts. I'm still learning what works in online shops, computer technology, and how best to sell on line.
My creations are currently available for sale at "A Walk in the Woods" shop on Main Street in Hendersonville, NC and in My Etsy Shop.
You'll also find me on Facebook and Instagram where I have actually sold some items also!
My Etsy Shop Bio sums it up for me:
I feel honored to be blessed with such abundance and delight in sharing it with others!
“Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43:19
During our visit at the farm Jeri Lynn demonstrated thread plying using her Treadle Spinning Wheel.
There just are not enough hours in the day to learn all the steps Jeri Lynn takes to get from Sheep to Shawl. We had such a wonderful trip though and so enjoyed their hospitality and great coffee!
We are definitely planning another trip in the future to learn more about shearing sheep and dyeing the wool to prepare for spinning.
Sign up for our Free Monthly Newsletter to find out what we learn at our next visit to Jeri Lynn's Farm when she shows us wool dyeing and preparation for spinning!