New Hampshire Wool Arts Tour


Today was a “play hard” day, and play I did! It is the weekend of the New Hampshire Wool Arts Tour, where you can take a self-guided tour of several sheep and alpaca farms. This is the third year that I’ve done the tour, and I look forward to it with eager anticipation each time. This year, however, I had no particular wool needs. I’m working on a knitting project currently. I’ve got at least one more waiting in the wings. I have a whole pile of untouched yarn in a basket on my sewing table, so I didn’t need to purchase any. So mostly, I was going on the tour to enjoy the sights…the sights at the farms and the sights as I meandered all over the beautiful autumn countryside.

To set the tone for the day, I chose my “American Folk Music/Hornpipes/Reels/Etc.” playlist on my phone and set off. Ahh…perfect musical accompaniment for a day in the country!



Since I was planning on enjoying the drive as much as the stops, I meandered with no specific agenda. This is a very good thing, when you happen upon signs like this! Oh yes! I try my best to follow every “barn sale” sign. Garage sale? Yard sale? I can easily skip those. But barn sale signs?…never!



Following this one, down paved and dirt roads, led me here.  This large, rambling New England farmhouse with its attached barns and many outbuildings (including more barns) was having a HUGE sale! What most captivated me was the antique sleighs and the fur lap robes for sleighing. The lap robes (three at least) were lined in wool of exquisite quality and had a decorative wool fringe all around. I’d never seen anything like them! But I left them for a buyer who owns horses and can actually use sleighs and lap robes. I bought an antique walking stick…a simple walking stick…literally make from a stick. With my arthritic knee, I’m determined to develop a collection of interesting canes so I can be infirm in style someday.



After that delightfully unexpected side trip, I went off in search of my first Wool Arts stop of the day. This small barn is always so nicely decked out for autumn.


First stop of the day was in this large horse arena barn.


The gorgeous shades of seafoam green roving in this basket caught my eye. So pretty!


I bought some apple crisp from a couple of smiling young people, and then hit the trail again. The day, which had started out sunny, was quickly turning to hazy sunshine. But still the view of the autumn foliage, just down the street from that farm, was a beautiful one.


It’s been an interesting autumn, in terms of foliage. The leaves seemed to have turned a little early this year. And we’ve had lots of rain. Some trees are still green. Some are turning. And a lot of them have had all their leaves beaten off by the rain and/or wind already. But any way you slice it, autumn in New England is gorgeous!


While I love the farmstands for produce, sometimes you happen across a family or an individual that grew a large crop of something and has just set up a table, a truck, or a tarp in their front yard and is selling what they grew. Prices are usually very good! So, when I saw a pile of pumpkins, gourds, and winter squash outside a very old colonial house, I had to stop. I bought Colette an enormous white pumpkin (which she had said she wanted this year for carving) for a mere $4.00! AND I bought an enormous gourd. I’ll show you that later.


At the next stop on the Tour, there were alpaca and sweet-faced sheep! I learned that alpaca’s teeth grown constantly, like fingernails, and have to be trimmed.



Then it was on to one of my favorite stops on the tour. I love driving a couple of miles down this narrow dirt road to get to the small white cape and its sheep pastures.


I took about a dozen pictures of the sheep, but this one was my favorite. It wasn’t the most in-focus, but the leaf on the back of the black sheep just delighted me!


The hazy day had grown increasingly cloudy and the skies had begun to look threatening. Then, when I was in the barn at this stop, it suddenly began to POUR rain. I made a mad dash for my car and resumed my following of the sheep signs.


But first, I took a turn around this charming village…where many of the descendants of the town’s original settlers still live. It is the very definition of Picturesque! The rain had let up, and I rolled down the car windows to let the cool air whosh through. The air had that wonderful autumn scent of wet leaves. The town has an old, New England graveyard.


And there’s an old carriage barn on one home’s property.


And so many lovely old trees and barns.


I did a little antiquing (just looking) along the way.


The rain, which had stopped and started, had let up a bit by the time I got to my last stop of the day. I had to stop and admire the angora bunnies and the handknit angora pieces.


Then it was home to deposit my newly acquired giant gourd on the rock wall!


It was a lovely day!








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